In the 8 years I have worked in this dynamic industry, I have seen it go through some changes. I joined when the industry embarked on a journey to try and improve it’s image. I joined when the industry was only just starting to get a grip with the internet and the power it could give businesses. I joined when attitudes towards the customer were changing. The industry now looks a whole lot different to how it did then. Yet there is one trait left that our industry needs to ditch before customers can really start to say that we’ve changed.

The hard sell. The staying hour after in hour in someone else’s home to force a sale. The arrogant attitudes of sales people when they don’t get a sale on the night. The starting a price massively high then bartering for 3 hours until the sales person gets down to the price it should be. A customer should never have to remove a sales person from their home because the buying experience is making them feel uncomfortable. It makes no sense and rails against that hard work the industry is collectively doing to mature and evolve.

For me, there is no justification for such aggressive tactics. A sales person can earn a living selling in a professional and polite manner. A business can have a good and profitable business model by having practices focused on quality customer service. Managers don’t have to train their sales staff their old hat aggressive ways. A business can still do well by not closing a sale on the night when the customer isn’t comfortable. All people in this industry can earn a good living without using hard sell.

The fact is, the type of industry we are now simply doesn’t not reflect such an old fashioned and despised selling technique. We are selling products now in which the customer can tweak and change the finest details. That amount of choice and customization wasn’t available even up to just a few years ago. But the game has changed, and we should be allowing the customer the time and space to refine what they want from us. Yes we can offer advice and help point them down the right path, and we can still use some genuine sales techniques in the process. But when a customer wants to spend £10k on their windows and doors, can we really say that in today’s modern and attentive industry, hard sell has it’s place. No.

We’re all trying to sell a dream in reality. You will see by the examples of work in my last post that new windows and doors are finally becoming an art form now. We are selling a bespoke, high quality product that requires time, expertise and finesse to get right. Using a hard sell approach to get that end result simply does not marry up with this image. It’s dead, and the few remaining national and regional companies should be understanding this, especially now with a much more educated customer base.

Agree or disagree? Does hard sell really continue to have it’s place? Or should a modern fenestration industry shun these practises altogether and actively fight against it? All comments welcome in the section below.