New guidance is being issued today by industry trade bodies which are going to change the advice given with regards to in-home sales. Up to now, the guidance has been that in-home sales, including in private gardens are not to be done, with all sales activity being done remotely. However, that advice is now being changed.
Letter to the editor
This has just been published by Certass TA:
Yesterday evening (Wednesday 20 January), following numerous discussions with Government departments, we had confirmation on an amendment to the position around selling in the home.
This amendment confirms that sales appointments may take place in the home, as long as they are undertaken in a COVID-secure way.
Sales appointments should still take place remotely if possible, but this is not mandatory. If an installer receives a request for a quote from a homeowner, which requires a visit to survey the property and explain the options available, this can be done by an appointment in the home. These appointments must be carried out in a way that is COVID-19 secure and installers should be vigilant with following social distancing, face covering and hand washing in order to protect themselves, their teams and customers. There are no changes to cold sales activity and door-to-door selling, as per the door-to-door sales regulations which were issued on Christmas Eve.
This is positive news for installers, many of whom have found it difficult to follow up leads remotely, experiencing a lack of online engagement with homeowners. However, digital is still playing an important part in bringing in warm leads from homeowners so that these sales appointments can take place.
Unfortunately, the information on the Government websites will not be altered but the interpretation by bodies such as Certass and the guidance we produce has already been amended and is available now for Certass members to download.
Such a change in policy, at a time when the death rate from COVID-19 is at a record high point, I’m sure will lead to concern from many in our industry, but as the largest glazing trade association, it is our responsibility to make sure that glazing companies understand what options are available to them and how any change in regulation affects their working practices.
I urge members to check in to the Certass TA Members Forum on Facebook for the very latest information.
Chair, Certass Trade Association
This returns salespeople to a position where sales can now happen in the home, where remote sales cannot be done. Whilst the above states remote sales should still be an option, it’s likely that the number of in-home sales will no rapidly increase as the demographic working in sales is largely used to working that way.
I can see two reactions to this change in position. One will be relief as reports of slipping sales pipelines were beginning to increase. The other will be worry and anxiety. Case numbers, although not as high as a couple of weeks ago, remain high, and the daily death toll continues to go rapidly in the wrong direction.
It will be up to companies to decide whether or not to stick to remote sales for now until the situation becomes safer. Some on social media have already confirmed that will indeed be the case.
This will continue to fuel the debate about whether enough is being done to drive the spread of the virus as low as possible, with comparisons continuing to be made to the first major lockdown in March 2020.
To confirm, door-to-door sales and canvassing remains banned. With this highly controversial sales tactic currently offline, there will likely be debate as to whether it should be banned altogether. That has been the general direction of movement over the past few years anyway, but perhaps this is another area where the pandemic will accelerate change.
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