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Furniture World Articles by Larry Mullins

Read Winning Strategy For Getting Referrals

Published: 9/22/2018
Here's how Furniture World readers can create a buzz around their businesses resulting in more sales and less ad costs.

Read Get More Referrals - Part 1

Published: 3/23/2018
You can teach your retail home furnishings business to market itself, so you can harness the magic of word-of-mouth marketing and referrals.

Read Retail Grit

Published: 1/14/2018
What is Grit? Why does it matter? How can you create a retail culture of Grit?

Read Furniture Sales Pre-Suasion

Published: 7/7/2017
What if your sales people knew exactly what to say and when to say it before they made an appeal of any kind?

Read Principles of Influence

Published: 3/29/2017
Six important promotional ideas to get your customers to say "yes!" based on the writings of Dr. Robert Cialdini.

Read Guerrilla Marketing - Part 2

Published: 9/30/2016
Here’s how furniture retailers can sell more, compete smarter, and save advertising dollars as well.

Read Guerrilla Marketing Revisited

Published: 3/25/2016
Jay Levinson’s marketing techniques are ideal and affordable for independent furniture stores.

Read Deceptive Pricing

Published: 1/4/2016
What to do if your competitor deceptively prices their products?

Read Retail Enterprise Thinking

Published: 9/28/2015
Enterprise thinking is your key to superlative leadership many retail home furnishings stores lack

Read REV up Your Business - Switch To Evidence Based Advertising

Published: 3/24/2015
There are fortunes to be made in retail home furnishings by the entrepreneurs who understand how to leverage their offers to dramatically increase market share.

Read How To Do The Impossible At Retail In 2015

Published: 11/21/2014
How do you identify and prioritize retail opportunities this coming year? What course of action should you take to do what you now consider impossible?

Read Big Time Social Media Bottom Line Boost - Part 2

Published: 3/17/2014
To stand out from the crowd you must become the most trusted authority on home furnishings and mattress sets in your marketing area. You must learn to tie peripheral type E beliefs to deeper type D authority figure beliefs as described in this article.

Read Big Time - Social Media - Bottom Line Boost!

Published: 1/3/2014
The first part of a two part series on how the wise independent can now make important inroads in market share by integrating social media and the Internet with other media.

Read Romance & The Big Ticket Sale

Published: 5/30/2013
A fascinating article on how to apply the concepts of romance and love to furniture sales. The article advocates for a profound shift in the attitude of retail salespeople away from a purely profit motive toward a more intense focus on service.

Read Reinvent Your Company

Published: 4/1/2013
Perhaps you have a compelling Mission. And, you may have a clear vision of where you want to be this time next year. But these are only potential powers until every person in your organization understands and can express them. Larry Mullins gives step by step instructions on how to translate your mission into action.

Read Reinvent Your Company In 2013 - Part 1

Published: 1/10/2013
Why should you reinvent your company? Because, as Steve Chandler, author of Wealth Warrior, points out: “Companies and individuals who reinvent themselves are more prosperous than those who stay stuck where they are.”

Read The Lost Secrets Of Scientific Selling - Part 4

Published: 12/2/2012
In the first three installments of this series, Furniture World readers learned to identify and develop productive and mutually beneficial relationships with the toughest and most elusive personality types. Read on to find out how salespeople in your organization can increase sales performance by questioning some of the conventional assumptions they hold about success and selling furniture.

Read The Lost Secrets Of Scientific Selling - Part 3

Published: 9/25/2012
We learned how to develop productive relationships with tough personality types. Read on to find out how to use this information to improve your sales performance.

Read The Lost Secrets Of Scientific Selling - Part 2

Published: 7/12/2012
In the second part of this series we will examine the lost art of mastering our relationships with difficult customers. We will learn how to develop productive and mutually beneficial relationships with the toughest and most elusive personality types.

Read The Lost Secrets Of Scientific Selling - Part 1

Published: 6/6/2012
This article illuminates the basic principles of a selling technique that is based upon behavioral science. Want to reach the top much sooner? Want to serve customers better? Is your mind open? Good! The code to human behavior has been cracked. Get ready for some revolutionary selling ideas!

Read Mattress Wars - Part 2

Published: 4/5/2012
How can you benefit from changing mattress retailing trends? By embracing them.

Read Media Mix Magic - Part 4

Published: 3/20/2012
By putting the proven principles of evidence-based advertising to work, you will be able to leverage media to revitalize your market share like nothing else can.

Read Media Mix Magic Part 2: Total Store Makeover

Published: 12/5/2011
Part 2: Consider a Total Makeover. Start with zero assumptions about media and about your store.

Read Media Mix Magic -Part 1

Published: 10/5/2011
Create a killer mix of media that will leverage maximum sales and profits.

Read Mattress Advertising Wars

Published: 3/15/2011
Some say that the major “S” mattress brands have lost the high ground in branding and advertising to Tempur-Pedic. Should they be concerned? Larry Mullins thinks so.

Read Multiply Ad Effectiveness With The “Why” Factor

Published: 1/5/2011
The final article of the “Sell Lots More" series will divulge the game-changing link that ties everything together, the Why? Factor.

Read Multiply Your Ad Effectiveness With The What Factor

Published: 9/22/2010
Discover how to start using the principles presented in the first part of this series by making sure that you address the “WHAT” factor in your advertising and other customer communications.

Read Multiply Your Ad Effectiveness With The Who Factor - Part 2

Published: 7/9/2010
Discover how to start using the principles presented in the first part of this series to create a Unique Selling Proposition)and set a new wave of profitable business into motion for very little cost.

Read Feel Your Customer’s Pain & Sell Lots More

Published: 6/7/2010
Learn to deliver the four “magic” sentences that will relieve your customer’s pain and you will sell more home furnishings... lots more.

Read Build A Home Furnishings Sales Machine - Part 3

Published: 1/19/2010
The third and final installment in this series explains how you can get way out front of your competition by working to deliver uncompromising Integrity, Excellence, and Caring.

Read Build A Retail Home Furnishings Sales Machine - Part 2

Published: 11/19/2009
Part 2 of this three part series looks at alternatives retailers have to just cutting back expenses in these tough times. Instead, Larry Mullins suggests ways to become a Market Leader and leave sleeping competitors behind.

Read Build A Home Furnishings Sales Machine

Published: 10/4/2009
Part 1 of this three part series looks at alternatives retailers have to just cutting back expenses in these tough times. Instead, Larry Mullins suggests ways to become a Market Leader and leave sleeping competitors behind.

Read Advances In Evidence Based Advertising

Published: 8/19/2009
Now is the time to convert expensive, weak retail advertising into highly productive, cost effective efforts using the internet.

Read Why Should Customers Buy from You?

Published: 11/19/2008
Larry Mullins looks at four wasteful assumptions most home furnishings have, that tend to hobble their advertising and marketing efforts.

Read Cure For The Business Blues

Published: 7/14/2008
Examples of how some furniture entrepreneurs are turning the tide in a negative business climate.

Read Forget Old Media, Use People Media™ -- Part 5

Published: 5/9/2008
People Media™ begin at the top. Your store’s Brand begins with your own personal Brand. All of us have a Brand. You cannot fake it. Here are easy and inexpensive tips for using People Media on your website, on your sales floor, in your direct mail and even at the point of delivery.

Read Forget Old Media Use People Media™

Published: 3/8/2008
Digital communication is changing marketing as we know it. Old marketing assumed that someone was watching your commercials and reading your ads. Many furniture retailers are bombarding customers with weak and hastily prepared advertising messages, but you don’t have to.

Read The Seven Lost Ad Secrets - Part 3

Published: 1/2/2008
Larry Mullins explains how to effectively use new, inexpensive, uncluttered, media to reach the public and tell your story. He does a post mortem on those pervasive Big Box ads and provides tips to help you to make your ads really pull.

Read Discover Your Retail DNA - Part 5

Published: 11/9/2007
Seven ways are presented to keep your store looking fresh and make your offerings more relevant... on a budget!

Read The Seven Lost Ad Secrets - Part 2

Published: 11/8/2007
Targeting your message to "Boomers" and "Seniors" because that's where the buying power is.

Read Seven Lost Ad Secrets Updated For A Digital Age

Published: 9/13/2007
How new approaches to advertising can win friends, influence customers and make you money at a time of information overload.

Read Revisiting Management By Walking Around

Published: 7/17/2007
Is Management by Walking Around still relevant for retail furniture stores in a cyber-based culture?

Read Rediscover Your Retail DNA - Part 3 Signage

Published: 7/3/2007
Part 3: How signage, graphics and environmental elements optimize communication and create an enhanced shopping experience

Read The Code That Unlocks Customers’ Hearts & Wallets - Part 2

Published: 5/11/2007
Dr. Rapaille’s Culture Code ideas can be used to lift home furnishings advertising and point-of-purchase efforts to new levels of cost-effectiveness. This article will show you how to “Five Sense” your store, brainstorm ideas with your staff and sort out these ideas to come up with the best ways to appeal to your target customers.

Read The Code That Unlocks Customer's Hearts & Wallets

Published: 3/7/2007
Part 1 - Dr. Rapaille’s Culture Code ideas can be used to lift home furnishings advertising and point-of-purchase efforts to new levels of cost-effectiveness.

Read Make Your Competitors Irrelevant -Part 2

Published: 9/26/2006
A continuation of Larry Mullins’ excellent article on Blue Ocean innovations. In this issue, he details a Blue Ocean plan for a shop-at-home program.

Read Blue Ocean Marketing Can Make Your Competitors Irrelevant - Part 1

Published: 8/8/2006
This article is about a new, innovative approach: Blue Ocean marketing. Blue Ocean is about using your time and imagination to create uncontested market space that will make the big boxes and other competitors irrelevant.

Read Big Box Invasion Ad Strategies - Part 3

Published: 4/17/2006
This is the final installment in a three part series on advertising and event planning. It tells how the management of Hineline Furniture, a 30,000 sq. ft. showroom with a limited ad budget in a small community, planned and executed a promotion that exceeded their wildest expectations.

Read Ad Strategies For The Big Box Invasion - Part 2

Published: 2/14/2006
Larry Mullins looks at how independent retailers with certain strengths can use proven advertising principles to out-advertise giant retailers.

Read Advertising Strategies For The Big Box Invasion

Published: 12/13/2005
Huge retail chains and big box stores have monster budgets and corporate ad departments to work with. Out-advertise them in 2006 by buying right and working on your message. Larry Mullins explains how to create effective messages that will attract customers who are already in the market to buy.

Read Abuse of Power : Cautionary Retail Tale

Published: 10/5/2005
How to avoid the pitfalls of abuse of rank and its results; poor customer service and reduced productivity.

Read 12 Great Ways To Promote Your Brand

Published: 6/8/2005
Larry Mullins describes 12 great ways to help you and your customers remember what makes your store unique. What does your brand have that all the others don’t?

Read Every Associate A Leader - Part 3

Published: 4/7/2005
There is a new paradigm for bringing leaders up through the ranks of our retail rganizations. It is based on the Metavalues® of integrity, excellence and caring and includes an entirely new way of teaching these attributes. Larry Mullins continues to look at how the best furniture stores develop leaders.

Read Every Associate A Leader - Part 2

Published: 2/8/2005
Test way to develop leaders who can see your company and services the way that they ought to be.

Read Every Associate A Leader- Part 1

Published: 12/17/2004
Larry Mullins looks at the organization that does the best job of developing leaders and examines ways to promote integrity, excellence and caring in future retail leaders.

Read Are Women The Best Salespeople?

Published: 10/5/2004
Things have changed since the days when furniture was designed by men, built by men, sold wholesale by men to men, and eventually sold at retail by men to women. But the “grass is still greener” for women in other industries and there’s still a lot for furniture “men” to learn.

Read What Salespeople Need To Know About Your Profits

Published: 6/25/2004
Ask a sales associate how much profit an average furniture store makes. Most will guess in the neighborhood of fifty percent. Larry Mullins explains why this impression, that is also shared by your customers, can sabotage your sales and marketing efforts.

Read Advertising And Your Credibility

Published: 6/22/2004
In this “Enron” age, your advertising has to work harder and smarter to win the trust of prospective customers. If you have a store with great merchandise offers, excellent prices, motivated sales consultants and impeccable service, yet you can’t seem to get your story across, this article will help.

Read The World's Greatest Furniture Store

Published: 6/22/2004
Larry Mullins starts this article by stating, “If you have a good company and are satisfied, this article is not for you.” He continues to explain how good furniture stores can become great. It starts with finding that one aspect of your business that is your Brand, your ticket to rapid growth and greater returns.

Read Powerful, Productive Direct Mail

Published: 6/22/2004
Many merchants make the mistake of assuming that if they keep a direct mail message short, customers will read it. This is just not true. Shown are five steps to producing direct mail pieces that will convince even hard to reach customers to visit your store.

Read How To Buy Print Media For Half-Price

Published: 6/22/2004
If you think that newspaper advertising isn’t effective, you may want to look at your message. Larry Mullins presents sure fire ways to create messages that are appealing to consumers and differentiated from competitors.

Read Bring In Customers With The Optimal Media Mix

Published: 6/22/2004
Television, radio and print media can work together to bring in those customers who need, but are not yet actively shopping for furniture. Newspaper can be used productively if you take the time and make the effort. But you can’t buy $1,000 worth of newspaper space and put $50 worth of effort into creating your message, and expect it to work.

Read Does Who You Are Matter To Your Customer?

Published: 6/22/2004
There is a long list of furniture stores that stand for nothing in the minds of their customers. Their ads and commercials reflect this lack of identity. Here are ways that you can get your customers to identify your unique brand identity.

Read The Most Powerful Promotional Tool

Published: 6/22/2004
In more enlightened companies, employees are exercising much more authority and power. Decisions to satisfy a customer’s problem are made on the spot, rather than waiting for an authorization from some manager who may not be available at the critical moment of customer need. Larry Mullins describes a simple management tool that can help you get the most out every employee.

Read Seven Ways To Increase Market Share In Tough Times - Part 2

Published: 6/22/2004
Part 2 of this series examines and expands upon some of the ideas put forth in Britt Beemer’s book “It Takes A Prophet To Make A Profit”. The best retailers are sharpening their tools and checking for leaks, waste and junk. They are inspiring their troops with an upbeat, confident attitude. In addition, they are moving to increase market share.

Read Seven Ways To Increase Market Share In Tough Times - Part 1

Published: 6/22/2004
The best retailers are sharpening their tools and checking for leaks, waste and junk. They are inspiring their troops with an upbeat, confident attitude. In addition, they are moving to increase market share.

Read Visionary Selling - Part 3 - Company Vision

Published: 6/22/2004
If your vision for your company is not vivid and compelling, it will not fly. If you cannot "see" in your mind's eye what it is you want, no one else will see it either. Being a Visionary Leader begins with a vision, but that is only the beginning.

Read Visionary Selling - Part 2 - Become A Visionary Leader

Published: 6/22/2004
The visionary leader must learn these four principles: The principle of visionary leadership; the principle of a visionary mission; the principle of authentic core values; the principle of CCEWIG, or continually confronting everyone with intimidating goals.

Read Visionary Selling - Part 1 - Take The Time To Understand Deliver Priceless Value

Published: 6/22/2004
How does one add value? Almost without exception, added value is services. To succeed in the new marketplace, you must out-service your competitors. Is this expensive? No, but it is difficult. Larry Mullins looks at ways you can think about adding priceless value that will convince your customers to buy.

Read Kacey's Mattress Revolution

Published: 6/22/2004
When it comes to mattress advertising, Denver is much like any other city: it is a shark tank. Also, like any other city, almost all the mattress ads look alike. Until now. Kacey Fine Furniture is taking mattress marketing to a new level.

Read Seven Keys To Advertising Success

Published: 6/22/2004
Since the October 1998 issue, Larry Mullins has treated FURNITURE WORLD subscribers to a detailed analysis of the keys to advertising and promotional success. Many industry retailers have asked for a summary of these cardinal principles which are summarized in this issue.

Read Advertising Principles- Part 7 - Guarantee Satisfaction

Published: 6/22/2004
What do your customers really want? What are their greatest fears? How can your salespeople instill confidence in your products and services at the start of the sales process? How can you guarantee that your customers will remain satisfied?

Read Advertising Principles -Follow Up After Your Big Event - Part 7

Published: 6/22/2004
There are two big challenges that can confront the retail furniture organization after a major sales event. The first of these is to deal with the "after sales blues" - an emotional let-down that comes over everyone. Second, the CEO must move quickly to capture the knowledge that has been gained during the event.

Read How To Use The Magic Of Time Framing

Published: 6/22/2004
Time framing can revolutionize your business life. The simple executive concept of doing one thing at a time in disciplined focus has been lost to many entrepreneurs over the years.

Read Advertising Principles - Event Planning - Part 5

Published: 6/22/2004
Planning, or the lack of it, can make or break you as a retailer. It is true that "without vision, the people perish." Yet without a plan, a vision is just a dream, simply wishful thinking.

Read Advertising Principles - Part 4

Published: 6/22/2004
People Media are people communicating with other people... saying good things about you, your store and about your merchandise. People Media may be the least expensive, best-kept and most powerful "secret" in retail marketing!

Read Advertising Principles - Part 3 - The Right Media

Published: 6/22/2004
Larry Mullins continues his series on media management with a discussion of how to use newspaper, direct mail and radio to maximize the return on your advertising investment.

Read Advertising Principles - Part 2 - Who Writes Your Ads?

Published: 6/22/2004
Even if the letters screaming SALE! are a foot high, unless people know you and already like your store, they are not likely to respond. Larry Mullins presents some more secrets of writing good ad copy.

Read Advertising Principles - Part 1 -Who Writes Your Ad Copy?

Published: 6/22/2004
According to Larry Mullins, today's advertising is created-for the most part-without regard for the principles that make advertising work. This series of articles looks at the "seven lost secrets" of advertising promotion.

Read Renaissance In Print Media: Follow The Leader

Published: 6/16/2004
The furniture industry has experienced a “dark age” in print advertising. Happily we are entering a “renaissance” period. Evidence of this rebirth can be seen in an Ethan Allen piece that is, without question, a new benchmark for retailers.

Read 26 Powerful Advertising Suggestions

Published: 6/16/2004
Larry Mullins presents 26 suggestions to help you start thinking about getting the most out of each advertising dollar.

Read Exceed Your Customers' Expectations

Published: 6/16/2004
Those few, those fortunate few, who can exceed customer expectations will win and keep greater market share. Delivering a shopping experience that exceeds customer expectations is doable. It just isn’t easy.

Read The Amazing Power Of Feedback

Published: 6/16/2004
It takes a lot of hard work to generate a month’s business in a normally dull weekend. Learning the five basic steps to planning a successful promotion is just the beginning. Planning without flawless execution is worthless. The key to success is to engage your team leaders in an organic process of effective communications and mandatory feedback.

Read The Four C's Of Leadership

Published: 6/10/2004
Learn how to communicate your vision, boost productivity and lift morale through effective coaching, cooperation, counseling and correction.

Read It's Time To Prepare Your Organization

Published: 6/10/2004
Great business leaders have a goal that benefits society and inspires a workforce to do its best. They foster on-the-job growth in self-knowledge, wisdom, and relationships. Finally, they are engaged in creating a product that does more than just generate revenue.

Read How To Re-merchandise Your Sales Floor

Published: 6/10/2004
Dealing with the challenge of adding new products, clearing out losers and maximizing sales per square foot can be complicated. Bill Blake simplifies the tools, techniques and suggests a few tricks to help you master this process.

Read A Boring Vision Statement Won't Cut It

Published: 6/10/2004
Without a vision-statement, businesses, organizations, and even countries perish. Not in a dramatic way perhaps, but slowly, inch by inch. It takes more than a vision-statement, of course. It also takes integrity of commitment, excellence, and caring. Step-by-step instructions will help you to create your vision statement in just 35 minutes.

Read Crisis Of Values At Retail

Published: 6/10/2004
Leaders have lied to their people, the public, and themselves. But things will turn around. Use this transition period to rebuild... and start by looking at MetaValues™.