Planning Success for
Independent Business Owners

Letter from Ed Smith

   To whom it may concern,

In January, 2006, I attended the Las Vegas Furniture market not only in search for furniture and accessories, but also for answers. For nearly twenty years since starting my retail furniture store, I was not experiencing sales growth. To me that was troubling. I felt the need to return to the double-digit growth that we had always enjoyed.

I attended a seminar hosted by JRM Management that was conducted by Joe Milevsky, CEO and President of JRM.  The seminar focused on measuring and improving your sales staff, primarily by tracking ups, closes ratios,  AUSP, Revenue per up, and other indicators.  Coincidentally, I was already tracking most of these indicators, but saw room for improvement. Joe was inspiring and I felt that his team was the right one to assist in identifying our weaknesses and improve our operations.

I met with Joe afterwards and told him more specifically of my concerns.  I was a staunch believer in solid wood, American made furniture and wasn’t looking for a consultant to change my basic philosophies and beliefs, but rather improve upon what we had already built. He assures me that is what they would strive accomplish.

In the spring a business analyst was sent with a “pay only if you’re satisfied” agreement. Our business operations were reviewed and the greatest weakness was in the area of closing more sales from the existing traffic we were already receiving.  Based on the findings, I entered into a contract for JRM’s Customer to Client sales.

Michael Luciani was the consultant chosen to handle my account. We worked closely together to establish a time frame that could conform to him training my existing sales staff.  Our staff was broken into two groups, each attending a two-day seminar on the basics of greeting, qualifying, demonstrating and closing, but more importantly, how to retain that customer as a life long client.  In addition, a system was implemented to closely monitor those that didn’t purchase with the intent to convert those into satisfied buying customers in the future.

For nearly two years now we have used these systems which allows me to quickly review a dashboard of indicators which clearly shows strengths and weaknesses of each associate.

With business conditions less than ideal,  every competitive advantage is helpful.  My staff is more professional and our follow-up is the best it has ever been.  I would recommend this process to any retailer and I, along with my staff, have nothing but praise for Mike Luciani’s knowledge and professionalism.

Ed Smith, President
Chariho Furniture