A day or two ago now, I noticed this tweet from @StJohnsWindows: Just driven 14 miles to a sales call to be told I have ordered else where, should we not charge for sales calls? And then this one from the same account: Must have had worst day for sales calls ever, just got back from call, had other window Co’s arriving at the same time to give quotes.

I do share his frustration. There are some leads where you know you are just there to make up the numbers and that the customer has pretty much already decided on where they’re going, therefore wasting your time and effort and petrol. And there is always those leads where you go and there are other window companies there at the same time. I find that incredibly rude and annoying. You go on these leads, knowing you are utterly wasting your time and you’re not going to earn a penny. Is that fair? Customers must surely know they are wasting that sales person’s time. So is it time to start charging for sales calls?

I have asked this question before on this blog (can’t find which post it was sorry!) and got a luke warm response to the proposal. But if for example one of the national companies started to charge a minimal amount, say £5-£10 for a quote, and the amount of leads didn’t drop by all that much, would the rest of the industry then be able to follow suit?

Think about it, if you’re particularly good at your job you’ll have a conversion rate of at least 1 in 2, or maybe 2 in 3. But what about those calls you don’t get? You could have a long dry run where you don’t earn anything. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit of something, just to cover the cost of your fuel to get you there and back, to stop leads like the ones described above being not so much a pain in the arse?

Maybe it wouldn’t work. Maybe the consumers would be so put off by covering the fuel costs of the reps to get to see them that they’d just use another company that doesn’t charge for quotes.

I do totally understand @StJohnsWindows’ frustrations. Those sorts of leads are wholly unfair on the reps sitting them.