If there is a complaint that both the industry and general public share about this line of work, it is when companies start off their prices in the home at astronomical, and obviously inflated prices, just for them to crash back down again. It helps no on, and it’s probably time this practise is banned.
Time to ban
Imagine if you had a sales person from a company which carries out this sort of sales tactic. You have an average sized house, with around ten windows and two doors. You have a general idea of where prices should be. But then imagine after a couple of hours of flannel and tiring pointless chit chat, you get told that your ten windows and two doors will cost £65,000.
Of course that price then drops at least half a dozen times, with a couple of calls to “the manager” and it ends up around £12k. However by that time the sales person has lost all credibility, they and the company now look stupid and any astute home owner will at this point have told them to leave.
This leaves the home owner with a wasted evening, is probably disgruntled, and now has a very skewed and tainted impression of what is a generally hard working and professional industry. It’s time to ban this sort of sales practise.
The elderly and over-trusting
There are two groups of people that companies with sales practises like this look for; the elderly and those who are very trusting of others.
Some sales people are very good at making people believe that at £65k, this is a good price for ten windows and two doors to your home. And we have all heard the horror stories of the elderly person down the road being fleeced for far more than is morally right.
But the problem is that there is no law. There is nothing set out in stone to say a company cannot use things like discount structures as part of their sales infrastructure. Yet its this practise which lures unsuspecting folk in, and ends up paying way over the odds for the work to be done.
At our place, the customer gets the best price possible in the first place. No messing about. No games. No tactics and definitely no “sales”. It’s worked for us for 34 straight years and with conversion rates at around 65%-70% at the moment, we’re obviously doing something right.
For me, there is an obvious solution to put pressure on companies who mislead home owners using discount structures. Get the self-certification bodies like FENSA and Certass, and the GGF for that matter as they have members too, to get all their members to sign up to a pledge which makes them stop using discount structures. This sort of tactic has to be seen as a negative and something that the industry needs to weed out. Failure to comply should mean expulsion from that organisation. Simple.
The argument from those companies is that while it is not against the law, something like the idea above would be an encroachment on free enterprise and that bodies should not be telling companies how to run their businesses. Well sorry, my argument is that when there continues to be blatant misleading of the public, with people being taken advantage of in their homes, then this is something that is bigger than being allowed to run a company in any fashion you want.
Come on guys, do you really expect people to buy from you once you’ve dropped a price from £65k to £12k?