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 Post subject: Thoughts on windows and this industry
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:22 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Peoria, IL
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Admittedly, I'm a newborn baby in the window industry, having sold windows for less than a year, but I have also immersed myself in as much knowledge as I can ascertain.
I was looking back recently at my earliest posts on here; Cocky new salesman, trying to convince the world that I hd the best, worked for the best, etc....
Thankfully, I wasn't cocky enough to not listen to what people who really Do know what they're talking about when they corrected me or pointed me towards the truth about what I was saying.

Anyhow, I've come to some conclusions...
#1), there are only 4 different types of windows:
Great, Good, Ehhh, and terrible.
Whenever someone on here asks about a certain company, I immediately do a gogle search on their windows and find out as much as I can. Look at the construction, warrantys, features, etc and then give my thoughts on what I read.
#2) people have no clue how to do this, because I see people asking wuestions al the time about this window vs that window, when, other than the name, they're basically the same window. People, this is a great place to ask questions, no doubt, but do a LITTLE research and maybe you'l find your own answers and learn a few things at the same time.
#3) people are CHEAP, man. When I see someone crying over paying 300 a window and they have like 110" windows, I'm like, WHAT!!???
Even at cost, my low end, smallest size double hung is about 400 a pop. And that is WAY below any of the competing quotes I've seen from other companies in my market.
#4) there are way too many crooks who try to make a retirement check on one sale, if they're still trying to get people to pay 18,000 for 10 windows, for example, etc.
I'd rather make a few hundred per sale a few times a day, than a few thousand on one sale a week, man.
think about it.
5) There is a reason WHY salesman are so pushy about signing tonight. You give a customer a good demo, a good price and a good product and you leave them to think about it; THEY NEVER CALL YOU BACK!! NEVER NOT EVER!!! IF you purchasers were actually HONEST with your sales rep, you wouldn't be getting pushed into signing tonight.
I beat out Sears and Braymiller (Local contracter selling Wincester Bristol windows)the other night, in price, quality, warranty, demo, everything, you name it. The customer was RIGHT THERE, but definitely not "sold" so I let her go with a good estimate, and a promise of "we'll think about and let you know either way."
Uh huh, yeah right.
THEY NEVER CALL BACK!!!
So folks, the sign tonight thing is something you brought on yourselves....


thoughts????


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:33 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Central OH
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I am a newbie at buying windows so I respect the opinions of people in the industry who are unbiased about what I want to purchase since it is not them I am buying from. That is the great thing about the internet in that there is a great deal of expertise on many subjects and some people have decided to help others to be better educated in subjects they need help in. I think it is great that folks like you give your opinion on windows that folks like me (even after reading the brochure and looking up info on other sites) don't really know half of what is being said or written. You guys who have seen many types of windows can cut thru the tech gargon and give an honest opinion on the long term reliability and workmanship of the product vice someone like me just seeing a sample for a few minutes.

As for the signing now deal, my rep did not pressure me nor asked me to sign now. He explained the windows he had for sale, the warranty and any questions I had. I decided to do further homework when I discovered this web site. Just wanted a warm and fuzzy feeling from other window experts so it would make my decision easier knowing the window I want is decent and priced reasonably. Don't have a problem with a 400-500 window if the installation is done correct and the company corrects any problems if they arise later. That weighs in my decision along with price. I for one will be calling the rep back and placing an order, because of his no pressure sales, presenting a good product that is reasonably priced and the company having a good reputation. The lifetime warranty also will play in the decision somewhat. Sorry your people never call back. Being a salesman is tough. I remember selling real estate and showing couples tons of houses only to have them go buy from another agent because he showed them a house they saw somewhere and called to inquire. Just part of the business. Maybe if more folks monitored sites like this and asked questions, honest salesman would get more calls the next day (or later) vice having another low ball quote from a sleaze who demeans your product and claims his is just as good for a lower price (although it isn't).

Guess it all comes down to education and if you don't know the answer then you great folks who probably answer the same type of question over and over on this forum do a great service trying to help educate in a laymens terms.

Don't know if I answered any of your questions Hip or if I just rattled on to long about nothing but I for one appreciate the help you and others offer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:14 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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Good Points Hipkat! I kind of disagree on the "Never call me back rule". I always tell the customer to mull it over with their spouse and even shop my price around. I land a great share of my jobs no problem. By gaining the trust and respect of the customer you will do very well. The big fact on a customer signing away a good chunk of savings means they will screen us. They don't want to have Joe Shmoe coming in their home where their children are along with all their life long possessions. I don't blame the customer for being on guard at all. I'm the same way with anything I hire out. I don't hardly ever do it but there are some things I don't mess with, like gas! So making sure the customer feels safe is most important.

There are a couple types of customers you will run into. The customer who is doing nothing but trying to find the lowest bid. That's the bottom line no matter what.
Then there's the customer who's spending all their time here or elsewhere educating themselves so they can make the best decision possible for the money they have to spend.
Then there's the customer with the deep pockets that really doesn't care what he gets he just wants it done right by a worthy company.
With all these types of customers and many others comes the tangibles. Should I get vinyl or wood, should I get vinyl clad or aluminum clad, should I get Krypton or Argon gas and so on. These are the places where the salesman will make the sale by giving them the answers. You must also tell them why they need what your telling them. It goes on and on no matter what we try. I enjoy that part with everyone.

Hipkat I do applaud your desire to listen and learn. Not many people take the time to sit back and listen to what people are saying. I myself learn something all the time. Even being an old dinosaur in the industry. I'm always keeping my radar up for things being said and why their saying them. So keep up the good work and thanks for the desire in the industry!!!!

Guy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 81
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Hip
Alot of people just want to know what it might cost.
They saw windows at home depot or lowes for $100
and thought that was great for therma junk
They never thought costom size and installation would cost more
2 of 10 are serious customers in my market and financing is a big deal.
I am a respected installer in my area and I can cut people fantastic deals on any window with any options with a list of references going back 15 years.
They still feel they are being taken because the saw windows at bargin outlet for $69 and cant you just make them work.
I leave the sales end to you guys its a tough job and im glad you all do it
I have no sympathy for people that pay to much its none of my business. If they are happy I am happy . I do a quality job no matter what the product or price. It is true installation is more than half the window the best is no good if not installed properly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:22 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Peoria, IL
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I know that when I went from FJB and their "fast talking salesman" approach to this company and being more of an educator, my succes has multiplied tenfold. But getting that calback is the one elusive thing I haven't been able to put my finger on yet.
I have started a new approach though this week, and we'll see how that goes; Sending a small card to people who don't buy thanking them for their time and apologizing if they had any questions I didn't answer.

The funnniest thing is that I got into this industry as a fluke. I lost my semi that I owned, and didn't want to punch a clock for 8.00 an hour and took someone's advise about getting into sales and ended up selling windows (As opposed to cars or kirby vaccuums).
Now I just feel I like I've really found my niche'.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 135
Location: ne ohio
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excellent posts fellas, first time i have seen this subject matter. sure beats the same old same old. a very successful man once told me in sales, as long as you don't try to sell the customer they will buy more often then not. make sense? nobody wants to be sold, they want information and they want their questions answered. if they are comfortable with the product, the company,the price and you. they will buy. if they don't buy, forget about it before you leave the driveway. it will effect your attitude with the next homeowner. if your running alot of appointments your enthusiasm has to remain high. it is a great career, you get to talk and meet new people everyday. hip, some people have no intention of buying windows, sometimes i wonder why i am even there? a guy three blocks from my house said he was going to replace his windows, they were terrible and he was wasting energy. didnt want them right now but he would for sure call me. that was 16 years ago. same couple live there same windows. i chuckle everytime i drive by. have fun with it. we could actually be forced back to physical labor. nahh


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:35 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:48 pm
Posts: 323
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I believe we all have asked ourselfs similar questions. Some buy name, others product and some price. If you have a product that meets the customers needs and desires then great. Keep in mind not many people feel they should shell out money for windows in the first place. Their parents never had to have their windows replaced kinda thing. Most vinyl windows look the same to clients and while a kitchen remodel adds value to their home, every home has windows. You get to laugh on occassion, or at least we do, when 3-6 years later we get a call because they have issues and the other people no longer carry the line, the company is out of business, they won't return phone calls, etc...actually happens more often than you think. Really gets too me. I feel your pain. If there was a feature they wanted and I could not offer it then I have no problems, client satisfaction is king, price shoppers should buy a window and install on the weekends. A man once unpolitely asked if he could get a reduced service charge and I told him yes. Pull out the window, drop it by and he could pick it up later that day. Even offered him a loaner unit.
I also classify 4 different types of windows: 1-8 years, 8-15 years, 15- maybe 25 and hopefully 25+ (how long do you want it to last?)


Last edited by JScott on Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 135
Location: ne ohio
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jscott, thats great man.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:51 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:10 pm
Posts: 225
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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The one thing I have over most salesman is the fact I also do the install. Yes it's true at 45 I'm still swinging the hammer after 30 + years in the trade. My son has taken over the tough man part of the installs. So that puts less demand on the old muscles. My point being the customer finds it more comfortable having me there from beginning to end. It does work well for us.

I can definitely recommend any and all salesman take the time to go out with your installers and do an install. You should try to get out and help them ounce every four months. This will only add great sources of knowledge for your future sales!

Hipkat, on your return cards your sending out add a line asking the customer to explain why they went with some one else. This will give you the information you need in signing more contracts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:15 am 

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:57 am
Posts: 135
Location: ne ohio
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guy, i am also in your age bracket.[which means sore] after doing what you are are doing for 15 years. i am going to leave the install to the installers. thanks for the tip though. fifteen years of selling and installing is enough for me. does everyone think that window sales reps just walked into this field and now nothing about installing? most of the reps i know have worked their way up through companies to get to sales. most have started in plants then to installs and finally to sales.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:18 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 5:39 pm
Posts: 5
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It is a known fact that you should always get more than one quote for whatever you are having done so signing here and now is considered to be a bad thing to do unless you are sure about the quality and price and workmanship you are getting. With a busy work schedule if you sign it can be hard to go look at their work within the 3 day period. There have been a few situations with me that the salesman has said right out that they can!t answer the question because they are not an installer. At least they were honest about it


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:22 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Peoria, IL
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Harman, good point, BUT, there are over 300 different companies that sell and/or manufacture windows, so which 3 quotes do you want to get??
I believe that I do something that is different than most reps, but is definitely the "way" that's endorsed here; I educate. I start out by telling people that once upon a tim, windows were replace for a very obvious reason: They were broken! but no, thermal eficiency has become a #1 reason, particularly with rising costs for fuel. I let them know what they should and shouldn't look for, show them our windows, give them 3 - 5 options and grades of window and a price. no pressure. Also, no silly discounts, no "sign in the front yard" etc... just a list price and our price, which is usually alot better than most anyone has gotten from other companies. Admittedly, like i said, I'm alot more successful now than I was at FJB (lol and I KNOW their "people" read this and know who I am), because of that fact alone. So I'm not really complaining about when I don't sell, I just scratch my head at people in general. The 16 years with the same windows story was classic!!!

BTW, little known fact; Home Depot reps, nationwide, have a closing rate of less than 17%. How do you feel now, reps??? lol


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:12 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 81
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Most sales people I have dealt with or have known in the past are forbidden from being on a job site.
One sales manager from say "S" Mart explained it to me this way.
It might hinder their agressiveness to close the sale and cause them to develope knowledge of something they do not need to concern themselves with.
Anything they need to know is in the training video or in the text books we supply.
This same video or similar one is used by several companies and only
covers specs, sales tactics, how to close a sale, and handle rejection. There is also a section on how to make a customer feel poorly about any one else they might buy from and that all they could afford was a lower end product even if it was exactly the same window only they didnt know it.
I installed a job one day that a salesman did such a fine job of convincing the customer that his windows were the best and his installers were the best that he paid $4500 more than the lowest bidder with exactly the same window that he paid more for and didnt have a clue .
He also thought company A had better installers than B . I worked for A and B. It really was an eye opener to the effectivenes of a sales pro.


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 Post subject: Reply
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:00 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:43 pm
Posts: 353
Location: Illinois
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Very interesting thread Hipcat! I remember our first conversations on the board discussing the educational consultation verses the high pressure sales approach. I had no doubt it would not only increase your sales but would also increase your enthusiasm in the industry.

Most sales people lose sight of what they are there to do and it is easily read by the consumer. This is usually a result of their sales training. Sales of ANYTHING is nothing more than relieving Pain or providing Gain. That's why they were invited by the homeowner in the first place. Being better prepared to communicate with the consumer and listen, and then having the knowledge to educate and offer them the best solutions and benefits for THEIR circumstances is more valuable than any sales manual ever written. It's a win/win.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:07 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:22 pm
Posts: 301
Location: Peoria, IL
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Well, you are right about that. And I'm glad I bought into it early on, before I really developed TOO many bad habits. I did a search for my name and was reading all of my posts, right from the beginning. Reads like 2 different people. My only real downer is that I was selling the best, Schuco, the wrong way, and I wish things there would have been different, but I wouldn't go back for any reason, now.
My company not only took the sales reps to the plant to learn how to install Vista windows, they want us to go watch our customer's windows get installed, IF it's possible. (Wide ranging area here, that I run). I think anyone who doesn't is a fool. How can you be a so-called expert on your product, and know ALL the information to give people, if you've never seen the most important part; the installation!!!

Now, I need to go research Kolbe windows..... :D


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