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.
You’re so right, I’ve just left one of the big guys after 4yrs of trying to get customers to do the deal now or lose the special discount, ringing the office to get the bottom line price which means I lose any commission I may have earned, to be fair my manager wasn’t the aggressive, bawling type but still all they want is figures on the board, the moto being BOOK EM OR F..K EM. Now I work for a small installer where I feel I can do my job properly by advising the customer what’s best for them &… Read more »
Hi Keith, thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you have found happiness in your new job. Personally, I have never worked for any company that uses the hard sell tactic. I have been lucky enough to work for the family business since I left school, and we use the same approach that you use. No pressure, advice and guidance and we try to make the buying experience as relaxed and professional as possible. I firmly believe that this sort of sales tactic will become redundant very soon. Perhaps due to the Government cracking down on cold calling and hard… Read more »
Nice to read the comments. How can we persuade the large organisations to mend their ways? How can we persuade the GGF to ban this awful practice, and include this in their “Code of Ethical Practice”? It is not permitted here at the NFG, but we don’t have these organisations as members. Or, is it too late? Soon, we will have onerous laws imposed upon the industry, because these kind of tactics: The consumer “rights” lobby are winning the day, and that will affect everyone, including the majority of decent, honest people who run businesses in this industry, and real… Read more »
Hello DGB, Safestyle would appear to be taking orders at no matter what cost. Two local companies quoted just over £6000 for nice job, Safestyle went in at over £13000 and then discount all the way down to £4800. Web site says 55% discount, well customer got more than 63%.! Customer would have cancelled if I matched but said no, our price is our price and if started to discount now you would have thought I was ripping you off to start with!. No specification left just said it was A Rated, have checked Safestyle web site and no specification… Read more »
FENSA is unable to comment on sales/marketing/advertising-related issues as our remit as a Competent Persons Scheme covers Building Regulations compliance only.
You may find it helpful to view GGF’s Code of Practice for Consumers http://www.ggf.org.uk/publication/code_of_practice
FENSA never sells its data to third parties.
Bit of a cop out, reply !
Well as your one and the same GGF = Fensa.
Comment from a GGF point of view.
As you say GGF have a Code of practice !!
I recently asked a person with many years experience in this industry for his advice on sales as I have been away from selling myself for a few years.. He said never be afraid to ask for the job and never leave the house without the sale completed. Easier said than done and not advice I will be taking. Yes it’s okay to politely ask for the job and appear enthusiastic to customers but I would hate to pressurise anyone – surely it’s a complete turn off. Giving potential customers the option of looking at previous work and speaking to… Read more »
You raise a good point. Getting clients to look at work you have already done is a great way to demonstrate your company’s workmanship and skill. Often that will be enough to convince them of your quality and price.
Theses companies prey on the elderly and not so bright
I once was enroute to a survey and the police called and told me not to call as the guy was senile they asked for my name and I gave them the installations directors name and email
Toe rags of the first order and still owed £2k absolute tossers and crooks and the owner is a devout Christian what bollox
Totally agree and so refreshing to hear. Those that sell on features and benefits will be the long term winners in my opinion. The industry is improving all the time. Quality people from quality companies selling quality products. Win win
I think we should leave the old bad days of high pressure, not-leaving-until-you-sign sales techniques in the past. There are few things that some people don’t think of when it comes to sales. 1. Information With the advent of the internet, customers are generally more clued up on the products they are looking to buy. The internet also allows the customer obtain contact details for a lot of companies with a few clicks of a mouse instead of thumbing through the yellow pages. 2. Attitudes These days customer attitudes towards buying items has changed. Whether this is due to more… Read more »
It’s good to hear the comments from decent members of our industry. I agree that consumers do not want this kind of disrespect and bad practice. But, it is what they often get. A great number of leads are generated dishonestly promising “a quote only”, and yes, they prey on the trusting elderly person and the most vulnerable. It is not selling, not clever and pure exploitation, which we should all be ashamed of in this industry. It is still happening day in day out. It is how salespeople are trained by some companies, and these companies are organised to… Read more »