I’ve been selling windows and doors in this industry for nearly ten years, and in those ten years I’d like to think I have learned a thing or two about about the industry, the general public and myself. So here are four big things I have learned in the past ten years. Perhaps some of these will resonate with some of you.
Customers make the job what it is
When it comes down to it, selling in this industry, whether it is business to business or business to customer, it’s a people orientated industry. And it’s the people that make this job what it is. In the past decade I have learned that customers can be awesome, and also the very opposite.
I am pleased to say that the majority of customer I have dealt with in my time have been a joy to do business with. I have been able to get to know quite a few people, which makes the job feel like less of a job, if you understand what I mean. I have been able to have a laugh and a joke with customers, and established some as longer term regular customers as they move properties and buy from me again. It is those people which genuinely makes my job a pleasure.
There are on the other hand the few that are the complete opposite. The types of customers that no matter what you do, how you do it and when you do it, they will never be happy. And they will make sure they take it out on you, the sales person.
I have seen professional non-payers. People who are OCD fanatics. Some who are just plain nuts. Luckily the number of good customers far outweigh these types. We only get a few like these a year, but not matter what you try and do, you won’t be able to please them.
It’s a nasty industry at times
I have met some nice people in the industry while I have worked in it. A lot of the reps I deal with are great, and my ventures with this site and the NFAs have allowed me to meet people higher up the chain when perhaps that normally wouldn’t happen.
I have also come across some less than savoury characters too. I like to think of myself as professional, especially when it comes to selling to the home owner. But I can say for sure that there some very dodgy sales people out there working for companies who really don’t deserve to be in the job. I have heard of some absolute horror stories.
The industry does have a snide side. Sneaky characteristics where it sometimes feels like it’s every man for himself and bugger everyone else. There always tends to be the greedy one, and a few that like to stir the pot for no reason. Luckily, these are the few and not the many. But there is a nasty side at times.
An industry that is under appreciated
One of the biggest things I have learned is that our industry is massively under appreciated. Whenever you tell someone that you’re in double glazing, you generally get the standard groan and then their looks changes to assume that you rip off old ladies. But in reality, the work we do is vital to every single home.
Our industry is generally seen as a boring, lifeless one that isn’t really inspiring…until it comes to that home owner actually wanting to get the work done, then it becomes a whole different matter. It’s a funny reaction. We’re boring until we’re needed. Not like cars, kitchens or other forms of construction.
Our industry provides every home with vital security, energy efficiency and in so many cases, can dramatically change the look of a home. Yet despite all of this, our industry doesn’t get as much love as it should.
The reputation of the industry won’t change
It might sound a tad negative, but judging from what I have seen so far, the reputation of the industry isn’t going to change any time soon.
No matter how much great work the professional side of our industry does, the idiots that do things badly will unravel it all in no time at all, and it’s that which will get the news headlines.
Our reputation as dodgy and not to be trusted will remain for as long as there are dodgy companies that operate in our sector. And we won’t be able to solve the problem. Our industry’s bodies seem unable to put anything concrete in place to root out the deadwood. Sounds negative, but it’s true.
As always, all comments welcome in the section below.