Blogging Up The Works

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Haiku Month - Day 2

You can lead a horse
to water but you cannot
make it drink. No Sir!

The art of selling is basically summed up in that well known saying. You should lead a client to a happy conclusion, as our American cousins describe it, that being the purchase of your products. Of course, much of the double glazing industry is based on bludgeoning a prospective client into submission, an art in which I am sadly lacking.

Tonight I went to see a woman who is confident in her ability to purchase windows. she informed me she had done it before and knew just what she was doing. I knew within 5 minutes that I wouldn't be selling anything there. The clues were.

1) She is getting 10 quotes! - There are very few people who can take in the information given by 10 different companies with 10 differing windows. You probably need to be very knowledgeable about the basic product to even begin to. She wasn't. By the time you have had that many quotes there is only one thing you can remember. The price.

2) She uttered the five words which are the biggest clue that she won't be coming to us. "of course, I want quality". Very few people who buy our windows ever mentions quality in that way. They ask questions which are probing about the construction, engineering, design, et al. When a client starts saying they want quality, the only person they are convincing are themselves. When a person says they want quality, they might as well just hold a piece of paper up saying "I buy on price", because they always do.

3) "I have a budget and I won't go over it". Well, it's to be hoped for her sake that her budget is high enough to get her some half decent windows, but if it does, it will be more by luck than judgement.

4) Now, I am at fault here because I didn't do my job properly, but I didn't tell her one thing about our windows. Nothing. And she didn't ask one thing about them. The only thing she knows about our windows are what they would be costing her. Assuming she does the same, the only thing she will know about the other company's product is the price. The only choice she will then make is based on price. Not quality.

Our windows will normally cost more than others. They should. They are the best windows. Every one will say that, but we can prove it at law. We have to in order to advertise the way we do. Not everyone can afford our windows. That's fine. Don't tell anyone, but there are times when it would be a bad decision for someone to buy our windows. I don't want people to make decisions that are bad for them. But I do believe that people should, and most sensible people want, to buy the best windows they can afford. My job is to show them, that if they can afford us, they will be getting a better product than they can get from other companies.

And no one is happier than me when I've led them there are they start drinking.


  • I really don't envy you, mate. There's a knack to selling and I don't have it. I don't think it's some I could do.
    And unfortunately, double glazing salesman still have this reputation of old and whilst it may not apply to any individual person, I'm afraid you've all been tarred with the same hard-sell brush.
    Of course, it works both ways and I bet there has been many a customer you've wanted to defenestrate! :)

    By Blogger Masher, At 6:24 AM  

  • I tried selling windows once and only once. I, like Masher, do not have the knack, but good luck to you m'dear - I hope you sell millions!

    By Blogger Toffeeapple, At 12:27 PM  

  • Masher - Our industry has a bad reputation and most of the time it's well deserved. It can be initially hard to overcome the public prejudice but you can do. Most clients relax into the appointment once they realise you aren't there to attack them. By the same token it would be nice if clients were straight with us. There is a well known maxim in sellig which is "buyers are liars". There is a level of mutual mistrust that actually makes it hard for a client to really end up with what they want or need.

    Toffeeapple - I once tried working for another company, years back, I too lasted for one appointment before I walked out Everest are very different in the way they train us and we approach our customers, or we should be. That is why most of us have been with the company for so many years.

    By Blogger kennamatic, At 6:22 AM  

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