Those who have worked with Brian Snoke, owner of Comflors, Inc. located in Ogden, Utah, know that his enthusiasm and dedication are at the heart of his family business—even if you’ve only spoken with him once, you can hear the passion in his voice.
Similar to many of our other flooring dealers, Snoke grew up in the flooring industry. Immediately after graduating high school in ‘80, he found his own path by working for a carpet company and then a resilient flooring company.
His experience gave him the skills, knowledge and confidence to start his own flooring company—a business that became a significant part of his family and their lives.
“My wife Jean and I started Comflors together and have worked on it every year since, says Snoke. “Our children Brandon and Amy are also very involved in the business. Amy knows the ins and outs of all the project details and Brandon is in the field managing the daily installations and relations.”
The company became incorporated 1997. Over the past two decades the company has become fully engrained in wood floors and sports floors. Early on, Comflors worked with a handful of different sports floor manufacturers, but when they discovered Action Floor Systems®, they knew it was a great fit.
Ever since, Comflors has been working exclusively with Action Floors. We’ve grown and learned from each other; Snoke is a big believer in his partnership with Action Floors and has experienced clear advantages and benefits of working together. Since he opened shop, he has developed his own system for success alongside us. We spoke with Snoke to find out what sets Comflors apart and what has made his business so successful throughout the years.
Focusing on School Relationships
There are a handful of unique tips and tricks Comflors has been practicing over the years to find success—one includes a deep focus on working with the local school districts with support from his local Action Floors sales representative.
“Our area rep for Action Floors is out of Portland, Oregon; his name is Matt Lyman,” says Snoke. “Matt is second to none when it comes to working together, helping get jobs specified and getting projects approved with architects.”
The two have a great working relationship and success rate when it comes to winning new business opportunities. “Brian is an honorable man—that’s what makes him so easy to work with. Our knowledge of the industry and products are complementary of each other,” shares Lyman. “This is especially helpful in business meetings.”
“We work really well because we are open, direct and honest with each other,” Lyman adds. “When you work truthfully and candidly, working together becomes a lot simpler.”
This foundation has allowed Snoke and Lyman to learn each other’s strengths and better support each other. Rather than going in and trying to push a sale, the duo focuses on being trusted advisors and educational resources to schools. Snoke believes this is the main reason his company has found such accomplishment in this market.
Schools make up about 50 percent of Comflors’ business. They’ve locked in five-year contracts with three districts in the region—over 350 schools. This means that Comflors services all the schools within the districts each year, performs regular maintenance and continues building a long-lasting relationship for future projects.
“By going out and visiting with the schools and end users, we went from originally putting in budget systems that were simply a cheap sleeper with maple on top to premium systems that support athlete performance like PowerChannel, Channel Flex Ultra NR and ProAction Thrust,” Snoke says.
“We’ve been able to explain to them that sleeper systems have more breakage with boards falling through if they run heavy lifts over the floor. If they go with these heavier duty, premium systems that are friendlier to the athletes, they can actually save in the long run in more areas than just athletics. It’s the maintenance of the floor, the consistency between buildings in the district, the efficiency of using one dealer and more.”
The school districts have been very receptive to this approach. Once one school district was under contract and games were played on the new floors, other districts began asking them how their hardwood court was different and why it was so unique.
“They said, ‘Contact Brian at Comflors,’ and before I knew it, we put together a five-year rollover contract on a third district because of what they felt and saw on the floors installed in the other districts.”
Face-to-Face Outreach with Architects and General Contractors
The other half of Comflors’ business comes from new floor installations throughout Utah. To ensure the company is top-of-mind and in spec for new business, Snoke is proactive with his new business development outreach.
“My advice to anybody in this industry would be to go out and get in front of your architects and general contractors. I believe that the most valuable thing in business is face-to-face communication rather than over a phone or email. I think people want to see you rather than hear you. They want to see that you care about what you’re selling and providing—and you can do that a lot better being in front of them.”
Snoke practices what he preaches. Together, Snoke and Lyman visit architects and end users, but Snoke makes an added effort to meet with general contractors, too. By scheduling regular face time with his contacts, he’s been able to pick up a lot of work. He adds that general contractors can be very influential in the bidding process and providing specs directly to both the contractors and architects has made business easier for everyone.
“Every job is better if your product is the spec and you don’t have to put in a substitution request,” adds Snoke. “If we’ve been to the architect and have the spec driven around Action Floors, then we’re not having to hustle—we’re already there.”
Leaning on Action Floors
Working hand-in-hand with Action Floors has helped Comflors boost efficiency and drive sales. That’s thanks in part to the way knowledge is shared among the dealer, installation crews, and their Action Floors sales representative.
When it comes to the installations, Comflors takes pride in is the fact that they use all in-house workers. This allows the dealer to understand the exact skill level of the installers and efficiently train their crew.
Comflors keeps the crew up-to-date and knowledgeable on new flooring systems and installation best practices by leaning on Action Floors. When new flooring systems come out, the Comflors crew takes time to get educated on the ins and outs of the system. They never want the end user getting the impression that they’re learning on the go, so Snoke and Action Floors help instill confidence in the crew through practice and training.
“The thing about Brian and Comflors is that they have an amazing amount of faith in Action Floors’ products,” Lyman adds. “Even when something is in early or developmental stages, Brian is willing to try it out for us.”
Comflors willingness to test new systems incredibly helpful for Action Floors, but also speaks to the amount of respect the two businesses have for each other.
“The nice thing about Action Floors is that it doesn’t matter who you talk to from the bottom to the top. You get 100 percent commitment out of every single person,” Snoke shares. “Over the past 40 plus years I’ve been doing flooring, I can’t think of a single distributor or manufacturer that gives what Action Floors gives in terms of support.”
Action Floors is proud to work with industry leaders and go-getter partners like Comflors that share our commitment to quality work, trustworthy business practices and craftsmanship. If your business is interested in growing, contact Action Floors today or call 1-800-746-3512 and learn about opportunities to work together.