Understanding Parents' Flooring Needs: Questions for Finding the Right Fit for the Family

Knowing how parents shop can help sales associates ask the right questions.

Anybody who’s watched a toddler wobble her way across a living room floor—apple juice in one hand, graham crackers in the other—understands why a family with a 2-year-old may have particular considerations when purchasing new flooring.

Fast-forward a few years, and parents face a whole new set of challenges. Whether it’s battling spilled finger paint or flung dirt from soccer cleats, each family experiences its own variety of flooring fiascos. And, they rely on sales associates’ knowledge to help minimize the evidence.

With the expertise from Jeff Fromm, a speaker and professional consultant on marketing to millennials with kids, we pinpointed three questions sales associates can ask when assisting parents in the store, based on how parents shop.

Ask this: How old are your children?

“Today’s parents with young children have different expectations from consumers in the past,” says Fromm. “Whereas the old sales mantra was ‘Follow the ABCs: Always Be Closing,’ the new focus should be ‘Remember to ABH: Always Be Helping.’”

Sales associates are most helpful when they understand their customers’ needs. “Time is precious when you’re a parent out shopping,” Fromm says. “Respect their time by asking questions that show empathy and give you insights into their situation.”

Knowing the ages of the children using the space in question will help sales associates understand the messes the customers face. Once the ages of the customers’ children are known, sales associates can determine the parents’ current life stage and listen to their specific challenges.

Are they constantly vacuuming dirt out of carpet fibers? Do they often spot-clean stains from food or art projects? Once their cleaning needs and methods are understood, explain how a particular flooring solution, such as STAINMASTER® Active Family® carpet, makes it easier to clean even life's messiest moments—spills, soiling, stains, and even pet accidents.

Ask this: Is there anything you don't like about your current flooring?

Parents conduct online product research before, after, and often even during a sales interaction. “They consume content on every subject from carpet to baby food to buying a car,” says Fromm. “And when they buy a car, for example, they use their friend network.”

For sales associates to join a customer’s friend network, they have to become a trusted resource. Ask open-ended questions that give parents an opportunity to provide more information, which in return gives the sales associates an opportunity to listen.

“Keeping a dialogue going by asking questions and then truly listening to the [parent’s] response will allow you to build this trust with your customer,” Fromm says.

Ask this: How do your kids like to play in this space?

Parents define “useful” based on many criteria like cleanliness, lifestyle, safety, comfort, and overall room design.

“I would ask whether there are other aesthetic considerations,” adds Fromm. Is the parent trying to match wall color or existing furnishings? Maybe the customer would be willing to share a photo of the space to give a better idea of what currently works and what challenges can be solved with the new flooring.

And, for parents to purchase a new product, Fromm says they have to be convinced that it’s valuable. In the case of flooring, sales associates are more likely to make a sale if they can show parents how different options fit their lifestyle. For example, if children use the playroom for gymnastics and dance practice, parents may prefer a soft, plush carpet, such as STAINMASTER® TruSoft® carpet.

Above all, Fromm reiterates that it’s all about helping. “If you actively listen, people will share their needs and trust the solution you design together.”

Ask this: Do you have pets?

Families increasingly want to have their pets with them throughout their homes. The STAINMASTER® brand makes that easier than ever by offering both luxury vinyl and carpet options for pet parents' flooring needs. And they can combine the two for a fully coordinated, pet-friendly home.

STAINMASTER® PetProtect® carpet is the first carpet and cushion system designed for pets and their people. It easily releases pet hair during vacuuming, actually cutting vacuuming time, and is unsurpassed in stain protection.

STAINMASTER® PetProtect™ luxury vinyl flooring is designed to be durable for pet’s claws, provide pet action traction for pet’s paws, and be a cinch to clean when accidents happen. We even put our performance to the test in a full-service doggie daycare, where it withstood traffic from hundreds of pet claws.