The ugly truth behind replacement window sales tactics and 5 things you should be aware of

The ugly truth behind replacement window sales

Today is the first part in a series of insider information about the remodeling business. The ugly truth behind replacement window  sales & marketing. Sales, marketing tactics, and fake discounts that all plague the remodeling industry. At ProTex Remodeling we are often asked the question. Eric, how do I know if I am getting a good deal on my new windows?

Who is coming to your house to give you a “free” estimate today?

Let me start by saying that a great salesperson is no accident, they are highly trained. Many remodeling companies spend thousands of dollars to train a single salesperson on the correct sales tactics to use in your home. That salesperson’s trained to do one thing, close the sale. Many remodeling companies have the budget to hire professional sales trainers. Salespeople that are training in a step-by-step, scripted sales process that is designed to separate you from your hard-earned money. Is it really a “free” estimate? Or is there going to be a scripted, planned out sales presentation that is going to take place in your home? We’re going to shed light on the ugly truth behind replacement window sales and marketing tactics and give you at least 5 things you need to know to get that “good deal”

                         This looks like a good deal, or is it?

It all starts with the hook. These are some of the most often used marketing tactics. You see an ad that may look something like this.
  • Free Installation this month only
  • Buy 2 windows get 1 free
  • $1,500.00 off a house full of windows or siding
  • Special program or special government program. See if your house qualifies.
  • We’re looking for model homes in limited neighborhoods. See if your home qualifies
  • Window trade in discount
  • Buy 2 windows get 1 free or discounted
  • Pay as you go, our price is good for 12 months if you start your project today
  • No payments or zero interest for 12 months

Are all the decision makers going to be at the appointment?

Ever wonder, when trying to set up your “free” estimate. Why some of the first questions they ask you sound something like this?
  • Will your spouse be there?
  • Are you married?
  • Will all parties involved be at the appointment?
  • Are there any other people that need to attend the appointment? We want to make sure they get all their questions answered.
  • We will need at least 2 hours for the appointment.
  • If anyone can’t attend, please call and re-schedule.
  • Is there a specific budget you are thinking about?
  • Did you get any other estimates?
  • Will you need financing?
  • What’s your monthly payment goal?
  • When are you wanting to complete the project?
The answer is simple. Pre-qualifying questions. These questions set the salesperson up with the best opportunity to close the sale. Pre-qualifying questions, expose and limit some of the most most common objections in the sales process. Examples of common objections are.
  • I need to talk it over with my spouse.
  • We’re not sure if we can afford it.
  • We need to apply for a loan.
  • We’re only shopping
  • We need to get other estimates
  • We are short on time and need to leave
These are some of the common objections salespeople are trained to overcome. A good salesperson expects these objections and more. When you fire off an objection their training teaches them to do this.
  • Listen. The salespersons ability to listen and to understand, not only to respond, is critical. The nature of the objection and how it’s communicated. Also contains important information, helping the salesperson tailor their pitch and delivery.
  • Ask questions. After a prospect’s objection, rather than pitching them, ask more questions. Asking questions will get give them a chance to expand on themselves and their needs. The more people talk about themselves, the more you will:
  • Build rapport with the prospect.
  • Establish trust from the prospect.
  • Justify the prospects time investment in you.
  • Isolate the objection. By rephrasing prospects’ objections, priorities, and pain. You display that you’ve listened to them, understood them, and exhibited empathy.
  • Ask for the sale a minimum of 3 to 5 times. The sales profession is anything but easy. That’s why good salespeople are worth their weight in gold. Effective sales pros must have more positive qualities than a boy scout. Even if you do everything else right, asking for the close is challenging. This is why you need to adaptable to every behavioral style.
  • Repeat or loop back. Great salespeople will repeat this process until one of two things happen. You run out of objections that make logical sense and become a closed sale. You get frustrated with the process and ask them to leave. When you ask them to leave you may think, man I’m glad they’re leaving.

What is a trial close?

Before asking for the sale, and part of overcoming your objections. The salespersons uses a series of “trial closes”. Many companies require memorization of specific trial closes. Trial closes are introduced in a very specific order during the sales presentation. You’ll enjoy answering these questions because you simply are not aware of their intentions. The right questions, in the right order lead the salesperson down the correct path that you provided for them. Here are some examples of a trial close:
  • How do you feel about what we have discussed so far?
  • What do you think about the solution I’ve shared with you?
  • How does what we’ve talked about sound to you?
  • Based on what you’ve heard so far, what are your questions?
  • If you had your way, what changes would you make to the proposal?
  • And my favorite. If we can meet your budget, is there any reason we can’t do business today?

What is a hard close?

Using a hard close is when the salesperson is asking you directly for the order. People buy for two reasons. To avoid pain or loss. As well as, to gain pleasure. Here are some examples of a hard close:
  • Wouldn’t you agree that it makes sense to stop wasting money on high utility bills?
  • Wouldn’t you agree that those windows that won’t open are a safety issue for your family?
  • The cost of new windows is only going up. Wouldn’t it make sense to take advantage of today’s pricing?
  • This offer is only good on the initial visit.
  • We only use one house per neighborhood for our marketing partnership discount. I have another appointment around the corner, this may not be available later today.
  • You told me that your budget was____. With this today only discount, this fits your right into your budget.
  • I understand that 20K is a lot of money. You told me that $225.00 per month was in your budget. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s the monthly investment and not the actual price that’s most important? Plus, that payment is less once you factor in your new lower utility costs.

You say to yourself, I’m not falling for any of this nonsense.

Don’t be foolish. Great salespeople will make you enjoy the sales process. While weak salespeople won’t even ask you the questions. Which one of these salespeople will show up to your house? The skill of the salesperson will determine their success rate. As a rule, great salespeople sell more expensive products and make a great living. You will politely  ask them to leave and this happens. It’s one final closing attempt and it’s called the doorknob close. They go something like this:
  • They’re going to turn to you and say how disappointed they are that you’re losing out on a great opportunity.
  • That it’s their fault and they must have must have done something wrong. They offer to get another salesperson involved.
  • You know, there may be one last offer I can get you. I will need to call my manager for approval. It’s going to take a yes or no from you but it’s worth a try and you may save a large amount of money. Many companies mandate this step before a salesperson can leave the sales call.
  • And my favorite. The Taillight close. This is when the salesperson finally leaves and you’re thinking, Wow I’m glad that’s over. Five minutes later the doorbell rings. Mr. & Mrs. Smith, there’s one last thing that I completely forgot about. Knowing that we are so close to meeting your budget. I couldn’t bring myself to drive away without sharing this with you. May I come back in for a second?

I need to get 3 estimates.

Here is what you will run into when you start shopping around.
  • The guy that sells windows out of his truck. He doesn’t know much about sales. May or may not know much about windows. More than likely, installs them himself and may not know what he’s doing. He doesn’t know the correct way to price his jobs and make a profit. This company is usually the lowest price and the first to go out of business. No skilled salespeople to worry about here.
  • The company that has a descent online presence. They know the difference between quality and cheap. Although they may offer both, they still revolve around price. They understand how to make some profit but may still be under bidding their jobs due to the lack of skilled sales people. They subcontract the installation of the windows, often at the lowest possible price. This attracts the novice installers because the good installers know their worth. This company can spends years chasing deposits. Often taking money from one job to complete another. They usually fail within the first five years. This is where novice salespeople learn to close and usually fail.
  • The company that has a good online presence and is easy to find. Has great examples and online reviews of their work and customer testimonials. Sells only quality products and pays installers at the top of the pay scale. This attracts good installers and reduces call backs, thus saving money. Has a good grasp on their business and understands profit and loss. Their prices reflect the real cost of doing business. This company usually lands in the middle to upper end of the price range. This is where above average salespeople progress to, and some become a closer.
  • The company that has an unlimited budget and a huge online presence. Customer reviews that are usually filtered using a company like Guild Quality. Sales managers handle training of the salespeople in the art of closing and re-hashing sales appointments that weren’t closed. Often these companies have a large overhead including payroll, leases, company vehicles and more. Usually, they sell quality products while understanding that a great sales presentation can make a cheap product look good. They have a clear understanding of profit and loss. Their services are priced to reflect their increased overhead and cost of doing business. Sometimes these companies will leverage high volume against better pay for the installers. This may not attract the best installers because the workload doesn’t add up to the pay scale. There is usually an in-house service tech. That person spends their time running behind the installers and putting out fires. To trim the fat, they often look for places to squeeze margins. Usually resulting cheaper installation materials and labor. This company is almost always at or near the highest priced estimates. This is where a real closer works!

In summary, consumer beware.

Buying home improvement is like going to Las Vegas. You’re about to spend more money than you planned. While letting a skilled person, running a game you may not know, directing you down a path you didn’t plan on going down and enjoying every minute of the process. All the while, that little voice in your head is telling you to stop and go see a show. Sorry about the gambling analogy but there’s a reason I don’t go to Las Vegas. The deck is more than likely, stacked against you. In the home improvement business the deck is stacked the same way. Keep in mind that a salesperson sees anywhere between 5 to 15 people per week about home improvement. How mayny times per week to you see a salesperson?