Are gimmicks part and parcel of the industry we work in, forever to stay with us, creating a divide between those who sell on the back of gimmickery? Or are we reaching a point where the industry needs to drop all of that, in favour of focusing on product quality and customer service?
A fading fashion
You only have to look at all the new products that have arrived in the market over the past few years to see how far we have come as a sector. We have woken up and understood that the real profit and growth is found at the higher end of the market, with products that inspire and excite home owners. That is why we have seen such a lurch to the upper end of the market by a lot of fabricators and installers.
So when it comes to the marketing of these new products, gimmicks, sales and discounts of old are a tactic that doesn’t do the product or the sales process any justice.
Take Residence 9 as a good example. A PVCu timber alternative product designed specifically for the higher end of the market. To be fitted into prestige homes where the owners of those homes can step back and admire the quality and aesthetics their investment has got them. You do not see then, at least from what I have seen, installers offering such a prestige and high end product coming with 50% “discounts” or BOGOF offers. It is these sorts of gimmicks that simply do not suit a product of the quality of R9.
Marketing of this kind should be a fading fashion. However, in 2016, parts of our industry continue to use sales and marketing techniques dreamed up 35 years ago.
A constant battle
We’re an industry of two very different halves. One half very happy to advertise composite doors at £500 complete with tacky half page ads in local magazines and leaflets. The other half working with home owners to craft and create their new windows and doors using high end products, tailored to their tastes. Perhaps it will always be this way.
Home owners are a different breed to what they were a few decades ago. They’re much more informed. Much more aware of the various methods and tactics used by sales people. They know that discounts are pretty much always fabricated. That the phone calls to managers are as scripted as an episode of TOWIE. They know that if a “sales” ends on Sunday it will start again on Monday. So surely it is now time to drop the gimmicks in favour of sales based on the product and it’s quality.
Lets not pretend that all products can compete with each other, because they can’t. But, a good sales person and and innovative marketing department can find ways in which to market their products to home owners in the right way, highlighting the best USPs that product has to offer, without having to resort to high pressure or discount tactics which takes focus completely away from the very thing the home owner intends to buy.
In the long run, diversionary tactics that are still being used by a certain portion of the industry only serve to take focus and attention away from the products we try and sell. It gets lost in a tangled web of paperwork and pressure, with the novelty of a new purchase for the home owner well and truly gone.
The “value” end of the market has hidden behind gimmicks and archaic selling methods for decades. But will it ever end?
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