A few days ago, I wrote a post suggesting a few ideas as to why the industry has the reputation it does. I also included a poll to go with it. If you’re a sales person, it doesn’t make for good reading, be it in the poll results so far, or in the comments left. So it begs the question, does the hard sell and similar tactics really have a place in a modern window and door industry?
“High pressure salesmen”
To give you an idea of some of the comments left in the post I mentioned above…
I reckon people really dislike greedy, manipulative individuals who have no other consideration except self-interest
Anthony Jones FIAM FInstSMM – National Federation of Glaziers:
It is difficult to understand why the largest companies in this industry have to train their so-called salespeople to act in the way they do. As large businesses in the so called “developed” economy we have, they hold great advantages over smaller companies, yet they continue with the policy of hard selling. Hundreds, if not more, smaller businesses, many of them established for decades with a good reputation survive and indeed flourish, by treating people with respect, not using bogus discounts etc.
It is a crazy industry to work in.
You have these large companies that use the hard sale tactics using high pressure salesmen.
I am sure these salesmen have little product knowledge and no moral standards.
I am surprised that the directors of these national companies allow their businesses to be run in this manner. These directors should be looking at the industry and its customer needs and stop these high pressure sales.
Some quite scathing comments, and all from people inside the industry, not from home owners. These comments will be echoed up and down the country by companies who take a professional approach to selling their wares to home owners.
As many of you will know, I am very much in the “No” camp when it comes to hard sell and similar sales tactics. We’re a modern industry now, with products far more advanced than decades before, and with a client base far more informed than it once was. It’s time to treat the products and the people we sell to with respect and professionalism, drop the tactics, and approach sales in a totally different manner.
Advisers and designers
Just look at how far our products have come in the last decade alone. There is so much choice now than what we once had before. It also means that we can’t just waltz in as sales people into homes, tell people what we think they should be having according to what is easiest to sell. The public are well informed as to what is out there now, and they expect to be told what all their options are, without feeling pressured into signing up for anything.
What we should be doing is approaching sales as advisers and designers, not sales people. The sheer number of products out there demands that of us. No more flogging plain white doors and windows. Our jobs have evolved beyond sales now and into roles where we design amazing products with the home owners needs in mind. We’re advisers and designers now, not sales people.
Some of us have already figured that out. Some companies really have not, and they tend to be the bigger ones, where volume is more important than anything else. Unfortunately for them, I think the voices against pushy sales tactics are growing louder, and hopefully in the coming years they will find it harder to operate those types of sales tactics.
It may have once been widely practised, but the hard sell never had a place in our industry.
I can name dozens of companies over the years who used it that are no longer here today. It is short term profiteering that gives our industry a bad name.
It’s good to see it diminishing and it will be even better when it is gone completely.
Companies who focus on quality and service and who market those well will always be longer lasting than those who hard sell.
I started my company over 7 years ago, not once have we reduced a price from our first offer. We are full for installations through to the middle of November and we obtain over 65% of our work from recommendations. I think I know what customers prefer and I agree with what is obviously the same way of thinking for the vast majority of the industry now. Customers and the industry do not need the tactics of the “Big Boys”. I love it when I come up against the likes of the “big boys”, big means a big first price… Read more »
Our company never hard sells we do not even price during the visit. We obtain customer requirements, advise on relevant regulations and types of glass they can use. Return to the office and prepare quotation and email or post quotation as required. Job done.
Hard sell still works for large players in the industry or they would stop doing it. Look at the turnover !
My advise to consumers is not to book appointment if company is going to price on the spot (for any product) that way they will not be subject to this awful type of practice.
I loathe a hard sell of any product or service, it immediately turns me off the company and I steer well clear, but unfortunately there are still thousands of people in this country that will be taken in by the practice and will sign there and then, and will believe they have got a bargain. Until this perception changes the hard sell will remain, and I guess by the turnover of some of these companies they have no plans to stop it anytime soon. Much like the shocking tactics used by some charities highlighted lately, which drove an elderly lady… Read more »
I am with the guys above in terms of how we do business, we rarely price a job in the house unless the customer specifically requests it. We have a couple of showrooms and either invite the customer to come to us and we go over the quote and present our products, even then we only want a customer to make a decison if they are comfortable. The problem with the hard sell, apart from the moral aspect of it, is that it can often set the job up wrong from the start, the customer might feel they have been… Read more »
I’ll pick on the BIG MOUNTAIN supplier because their horse seems to be the highest but this was my experience of one of their sales staff; Couldn’t have 1100 high casements, had to be split with an added opener ???? Had to have Toughened glass below 900 due to health and safety ????? Had to have structural posts in a BOW window ?????? (150mm projection bow) Had to have a structural cill for the above window ????? Had to have the locking upgrade due to being on a street ??? Had to have egress windows, even on the bathroom and… Read more »
I agree wholeheartedly with all of the comments regarding the awful practice of high pressure hard selling, but until the consumer starts saying no to these tactics it will continue. The recently released survey showed that the top 3 window companies who between them turnover in excess of £450 million pounds per year, and i’m sure some of these companies sales people use similar tactics being discussed here. Maybe the consumer actually prefers this to the more soft approach I and most posters on here seem to use to promote our companies, products and services. I for one will always… Read more »
Nothing wrong with asking for the order there and then ,if you have represent a good company a product which meets there needs when I’m out selling I come across a companies who quote and show no samples however that’s another debate
Hard sell is for companies trying to meet neccessary quotas along with selling substandard products and services. If your product and services are top notch they will sell themselves, if your quotas are screaming desparation then it’s time to review your business model. I feel the majority of consumers have wised up to the HS tactics employed by certain companies, unfortunately the minority still make for easy pickings from these industry vultures and sadly as a result there will always be a place for them to make their nest.
We must bear in mind that most of this hard sell comes from one sad fact – commission only salespeople. Yes of course many are commission only for small family firms and are diligent, ethical and professional. However the difference there is that you will be treated like an employee and not with the attitude that the vast majority of double glazing company owners have towards their sales staff which is “if he/she aint selling, they’re not costing me anything”. Targets and the “numbers game” are also a reason. Lets be honest – this industry and the work we do… Read more »
I am heartened by most of the comments in this blog. However, I am sorry to sound negative but legislation and more legislation will not solve the problem. Let’s get this the right way round – the increasing legislation is there because some (unfortunately the largest companies who represent the lion’s share of our business) act in the manner described. So, the root of the problem is bad ethics; there is no excuse for it – we need to take every opportunity to publicise appalling, disrespectful practice. After all consumers are human beings; they are part of the same society… Read more »
For everyone’s information the changes in consumer legislation in 2014 and 2015 are simply because of the following:- 1) The Consumer Contracts Regulations brought in 13th June 2014 was a result of the British Government signing up to the EU Consumer Rights Directive back in 2011. This changed cooling-off periods for distance and off-premises selling. The 14 days COP from date of delivery came about because of “rogue” online traders delaying sending out goods waiting for the 7 working days COP from date of contract to elapse, so the consumer couldn’t change their mind on receipt unless the goods were… Read more »
Sometimes you do seem to come up trumps with the technical detail , and then there are the lies of the WER scheme .
Does the consumer have the right to sue the arse off Everest for claiming that their windows provide more heat than they lose during the winter heating season , it’s not true is it, it’s a pack of lies there aswell !
To hear the GGF picking out the bits of legislation that it wants to recognise is so hypocritical , but then, he who pays the piper calls the tune I guess.
Ps – Nick – for info, sale to correspond with sample has existed in consumer law since the Sale of Goods Act 1893