It’s easy to spot potential customers, but spotting pet parents might not be so simple—especially when determining the specific needs of their pets. So to satisfy pet parents and help them choose carpet, you must understand the wants and needs of the customers and their pets.
"Start by asking questions about the customer’s lifestyle and what flooring details are most important to him or her, says Angie Ridder, general manager—residential remodeling at Star Flooring in Wichita, Kansas. And because, by Ridder’s estimate, around 70 percent of her customers have pet concerns, pets will likely be a part of the conversation.
“We ask if you have pets, kids—what’s your lifestyle like. Do you live in the country, the city?” she says. “Usually, you don’t need to ask very much before they open up and tell you what their lifestyle is.”
Chicago Interior Designer Nan Ruvel also focuses on the customer while keeping the needs of pets in mind. She has made a pet-friendly aesthetic part of her planning process to ensure that her clients’ flooring and furnishings hold up to the wear and tear of four-footed family members.
“I’ve had many clients who have pets, and I always joke that a lot of them are what I call ‘repeat offenders’ because they purchase things that are not pet friendly and get destroyed, and we're back at it again—replacing, redoing, reupholstering, whatever it is,” Ruvel says."
After you’ve asked your questions and understood your customer’s concerns, you’re ready to build on the relationship.
Ridder draws on what’s happening in her own life (she has dogs and lives in the country) in her conversations with customers. “If the salespeople have experience with the carpet or know someone who has some experience with it—that really helps, that they can relate,” she says.
Sales associates can also offer advice that may not directly relate to the sale. Showing that you’re a problem-solver as well as a salesperson helps build the relationship. For example, you can educate your customers about taking care of their pet's nails to reduce the likelihood that they’ll scratch hard-surface floors.
“If you trim [your pet’s nails], they get really sharp. If you file them—you might get some scratching, but not too much if you keep your pet’s nails taken care of like you’re supposed to,” Ridder says.
With the relationship on firmer footing, you’re positioned to offer your expertise on how to choose carpet. And with STAINMASTER® PetProtect® carpet, there’s a lot to talk about.
STAINMASTER® PetProtect® carpet resists stains and offers exceptional soil protection, making it easy to clean. “The hair being able to be vacuumed off the carpet easily—like PetProtect® does—is a selling point because that’s a big issue,” Ridder says.
But you might also encourage your customer to select a carpet that matches the color of his pet. Having a white carpet with a black Newfoundland may require the customer to vacuum more often than he would like. However, STAINMASTER® PetProtect® carpet releases pet hair while vacuuming, cutting vacuuming time. So no matter the color, vacuuming is easy.
STAINMASTER® PetProtect® carpet also does plenty to address pet needs. It’s soft and exceptionally durable, providing a safe place to sleep, jump down to, and play. And it instills confidence in pet parents that their dogs and cats can be throughout the home, which is beneficial to pets themselves. A happy pet parent often means a happy pet.
Overall, Ridder says, “PetProtect® carpet is easy for us to sell because it has the solution-dyed nylon, so we know that the stains will clean out of it.” If there’s a problem, the STAINMASTER® brand stands behind its warranty, Ridder says—something that isn’t always the case with other companies.
And if, at this point, your customer prefers hard-surface flooring, STAINMASTER® PetProtect™ luxury vinyl flooring is a great option. It is designed to be durable under pet’s claws, provide pet action traction for pet paws, and be a cinch to clean when accidents happen.