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Shop Talk
Robert Bell
Resource Center: How to find (and keep) good people

Selling furniture is hard enough. Finding the right sales associates to sell that furniture can be just as challenging. The same with hiring and holding on to delivery drivers, accountants or people in any other position at your store, for that matter. Faced with low unemployment and rising wages in other industries, furniture retailers are scrambling to find quality employees to staff their stores, says Rene Johnston-Gingrich, vice president of training development for Profitability Consulting Group. “It’s the single-biggest issue across the board when we talk to retailers,” says Johnston-Gingrich. “And as long as the economy continues the way it has, it’s going

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Think Like a Customer
News
John Graham
Think Like a Customer or Lose the Sale

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking like a customer. If you do, you’re done!” This warning has been pounded into the heads of salespeople, and it will follow them until their last day on the sales floor. Why is thinking like a customer dangerous? It’s the noxious notion that leads down the dark and dismal path to serious trouble – lost sales. If you dare to let yourself think like customers, you may be distracted from your mission and become overly understanding and sympathetic. Yet, successful salespeople work hard at sharpening their understanding of what prospects and customers are

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Photo of products sold by Design Elements of Florida
News
Robert Bell
Resource Center: Engage customers through e-newsletters

Let’s face it: We are slammed by email and social media and much of it is the same. “It’s an onslaught of messages designed to sell, sell, sell,” says Michael Bailenson, president of e-marketing company Bailcomm. “The constant sales pitch is not the way to go about engaging with potential customers.” Bailenson says there’s a better way – personalized e-newsletters – and he has the numbers to prove it. “People still want information, but it has to be information that’s relevant and engaging,” says Bailenson. “Think about two emails – one is nothing more than a sales pitch to buy

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Hands up in the HFA resource center seminar room
News
Robert Bell
Resource Center: How to convert ‘no’s’ into sales

To many furniture sales associates, the word “no” means the end. To Joe Milevsky, “no” is actually a starting point. “At any time during the sales process, when a customer tells you ‘no’ what they’re really saying is they haven’t learned enough about the furniture or you haven’t established trust with them,” says Milevsky, CEO and founder of JRM Sales & Management. “Too many salespeople put their tails between their legs and walk away. That’s when salesmanship really starts.” HFA’s Resource Center Milevsky will speak at the Home Furnishings Association’s Resource Center at Las Vegas Market on Tuesday, July 30.

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Make It Personal
News
Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender
Make it personal

Looking for a low-cost, high-impact marketing strategy? Grab some paper and a pen. Years from now, someone will spend a gazillion dollars to study American life online and wonder who these people were who so desperately need to lose weight, perfect their relationships, look younger, make certain body parts larger than life, buy fake designer goods and grab those Ph.Ds they so richly deserve but have not earned. Sigh. That’s a typical day of email for us. More than 700 messages, of which 80 percent are junk (that get deleted without us even reading them), and 20 percent actual mail.

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Walker Furniture donation a ‘lifesaver’ to veteran

Photo: Walker Furniture’s Linda Alterwitz-Mizrahi meets Air Force veteran Cleveland Lee Johnson. An Air Force veteran is sleeping peacefully, thanks to a generous donation by Home Furnishings Association member Walker Furniture. The Las Vegas furniture retailer donated a new bed and recliner to North Las Vegas resident Cleveland Lee Johnson and his wife, Patricia Ann Stone-Johnson. Patricia Ann Stone-Johnson described the donations made by Walker to her husband as “life-saving.” Help for Heroes The new furniture was not only delivered to the house but also set up by a crew of Walker Furniture workers. It’s all part of a program the store runs

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