Whilst the problem of the cowboy image is probably down to us, this is not what I am talking about. I am on about the perception of the industry as a cheesy, smarmy, slimy profession that only attracts particular types of people.
This was a comment left by Peter from Bristol Bifolds on my OFT post: We could start by rebranding away from “double glazing”. Lots of more suitable names. We will all be selling TG by end of the decade so it will go away by then anyway. Personally as an aluminium man I have never sold double glazing but windows and doors and I am in the Fenestration industry. This could be something that the GGF should be at the forefront of.
MD of John Fredericks also had this to say, on my Little Added Touches post:
Hi DGB, I take issue with the fact you are calling the salesmen a “rep” and I am sure he would also think the same!!! You are right, we should learn something from his experience and you should be called “sales consultants” because that what you do!!!!
Finally, JFP have a customer whom has modelled his showroom on an Audi dealership, it is stunning !!!!! If you ask nicely perhaps I could take you there, to share the experiance……
You see the emerging pattern here? We really have to stop calling ourselves the things that give us this unsavory image. The term ‘double-glazing’ has now been ruined by smarmy, untrustworthy sales men and women. The term ‘sales rep’ has also been tarnished. To be fair, I am guilty of still using this term.
For all the hard work we do physically day in and day out, trying to shake off the cowboy image, it what we call ourselves in front of the public that will help matters a lot. We need to start dropping in phrases like ‘sales consultant’, we need to stop using ‘double-glazing’ and start using windows and doors. That’s what we sell, as Peter points out above. You can’t really smear the image of a window or door, so we need to start using it more.
Fitters need to be called installers. Work mates need to be called colleagues. Receptionists need to be called administrators. And so on. We’re all professional companies aren’t we? We all try and do the best for our business and the industry as a whole? If so, then it’s time to start portraying the professional image to the public and to ourselves that we think we need and deserve!
What a load of tosh! It doesn’t matter if I am a double glazing salesman, a sales consultant, a sales executive or whatever name you want to give me. When I engage with a customer the first few seconds a crucial, I create an impression at that point and go from there. People either like and trust me or they don’t. We get too hung up on titles given by large organisations to their staff ‘Collegues’ ‘partners’, give the public some credit, they know when they meet someone for the first time if they trust them or not. That doesn’t… Read more »
This image is stereotypical and as you say, we have brought it on ourselves over the years. Nevertheless I see a real polarisation in our industry with excellent showroom based businesses employing professional, well trained, sales people, adopting a consultative approach and genuinely delivering value for money and very high customer satisfaction levels. I could provide a list of Ultraframe retail installers that meat this criteria, in fact, pretty much all do, so take a bow guys!
Got to agree with you here Joe. I think we’ve finally woken up as an industry and realised that things have had to change if we were going to move forward and survive in a changing world.
Thanks for your comment!
While I completely understand your point, Andy, I guess I think it still plays some role–not what titles are within the company (call your secretary whatever he/she wants to be called–who’s going to know? Who cares?)–but as far as actually GETTING people in front of you in the first place. I agree that once a customer is in front of you, it doesn’t matter what you’re called, but the point is making sure that you are able to get that customer in front of you in the first place–and that is your public image. And that’s a hard thing to… Read more »
Hi US Chick!
What is the window industry like over in the US? Are they seen as professional and trustworthy, or is the image similar to ours?
Surely we all represent the company we work for.From sales manager to fitter to tea boy.Therefore we are all reps.
I personally get fed up with Amber windows calling me to say i asked them to call me back after a sales call last year.What lies.If i need windows i will obviously fit them myself.When i try to point this out they hang up.
No wonder we have such a bad reputation and it will continue with shoddy sales practices such as the one outlined.