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…

Kevin Ahern:

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.

Paul Kelly

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.

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