I had two leads on Monday. One was for one window with an integral blind, a couple which had just entered retirement. The other was for 3 windows to an elderly lady’s property, with her son there. Both said almost the same thing to me: “now you’re not going to add thousands of pounds on to take it back off if I sign now are you?”

If that is not a most obvious way of saying to the hard-sell/drop-closers out there that this tactic of selling is not working anymore, then I don’t know what is! What is for sure, is that customers now know to expect this sort of approach and know to steer clear as soon as possible. Needless to say, I explained to these customers, as well as all my others, that we don’t operate on a hard-sell basis nor do we use the drop-close. What we do is tell you what you need to know, go away and work out the keenest possible price in the first place, submit it in detailed writing, and after that the ball is in your court. No pressure, no annoying follow up calls for the next seven evenings begging for your business. Just honest advice, a few questions, and a nice atmosphere between the customer and our company.

Those of you who do use drop-closes and massive discounts will probably call us weak for doing such a thing. You’d say why didn’t you get the deal on the night? Weak! Well I’d say it’s not weak, in fact the complete opposite. Leaving a customer’s house without hard-sell and pressure, placing the trust in the hands of the customer that they will come back to us once they have our quote in writing shows stronger character and a more moral way of doing business in a day and age where morality in business is very much under the microscope.

At the moment, business is being battered by the press and from areas within itself for dodgy dealings and unethical practices. Only this week we have seen Barclays hit with three resignations over the Libor scandal. Hard-selling doesn’t quite stack up against billions of pounds worth of fraud, but the overriding messages from the consumer to business is that they do not wish to be treated like idiots any longer. Deal with us properly, respect us and don’t try to hoodwink us as we won’t be taking it any more. Our industry has to change along with everyone else.