Plavecsky's Ponderings By Jim Plavecsky
by Jim Plavecsky
September 29th, 2014

The Peak of the Selling Season Commences So Remember the Four L’s

We are now heading into the heart of the busy selling season, and for window manufacturers, the fall season is a bit like Christmastime to a retailer. It is time to pull out all the stops and sell! When it comes to selling, remember to arm your salespeople with the knowledge and sales aids to respond to potential buyers, in terms of the “Four L’s.” Homeowners will want the answer to at least three of them before committing to a window purchase.

The first “L” is: How good does the window LOOK. There are three ways to look at a window. First, one can look through the window from the inside of the home to the outside. In this case the viewing area becomes very important. The more expansive the viewing area, the greater the connection to the outside world, which is the main purpose of a window. The second view is the aesthetics of the window itself from the inside. This comes into play when one puts blinds on the window (or within the IG), at night or if the window includes electro-chromic glass, which change the focus from looking through the window to looking at the window. Now one can appreciate the beauty of the framing system, the contours of the extrusion, the beauty of the wood framing, the finish of the hardware, etc. Also, don’t forget the view and beauty of the window from the outside. How well does it match your house? Some window fabricators offer software that can show what their windows will look like installed in your house. Window painting has gone crazy in recent years, and multiple color options are available for both interior and exterior. LOOKS can definitely excite the potential buyer leading to a sale!

The second “L” is: How long does the window LAST. For a new home, windows are a major investment, and not something for which a homeowner expects to be shopping again in just a few years. A discussion of a warranty is important, but even more important is the knowledge of the quality and performance characteristics of the components used to manufacture the windows including the vinyl extrusion compound (or wood type, aluminum alloy), the locks, the balances, the glass, spacer, sealants, gaskets, etc. The greater the knowledge you can impart to your window salespeople about these items, the better. Of course, when it comes to the glass package, the mere presence of the NFRC label is itself a mark of durability due to the stringent requirements of ASTM E2190 that must be passed in order to be eligible for NFRC labeling. A basic understanding of this process by the salespeople is also very helpful to convey to the consumer. Yes, potential buyers definitely want to know that your window will LAST.

The third “L” is how well the window system LEVERAGES the advantages of modern technology, and this is reflected in all of the performance specifications of the window available at a specific price point. In simple terms, this means how much bang the customer is getting for the buck. Thanks again to the NFRC Label, the consumer can compare window performance ratings such as the U-Value, the CR (Condensation Resistance Rating), the Visible Light Transmittance (VT) and Air Leakage. See the excellent blog recently written by Mark Milanese entitled MPG For Windows, Even though this information is listed on the NFRC Label, be prepared to help explain the significance of these ratings to the potential buyer. You will be surprised and shocked to see consumers who know more about what these ratings mean than the window salesperson thanks to the Internet. It is definitely not a good thing when the consumer knows more about a rating than the salesperson! Once again, this third “L” is LEVERAGE and this means simply what level of performance is the window providing at a given price point.

There is also a fourth “L,” which may or may not apply, but could also make the difference between obtaining vs. losing the order, and that is, “Can you offer a LOAN?” Does your window company or your dealer provide financing? Oftentimes, the consumer does not mention the need up front but when it comes to closing the sale, they become worried about diminishing their savings or need their cash for something more pressing. In these situations, having access to a fast and easy financing source can make the difference in completing the sale. So if you do not have connections to a financing company that offers flexible options based upon different needs and consumer credit ratings, it may be time to link up one before the fall selling season passes you by!

So get ready and arm your salespeople to the teeth with knowledge and solutions to answer the “Four L’s” and go close those deals to complete a successful sales year!

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  1. Nice article Jim. Your 4th L – “Can you offer your prospect a loan?” is proving to be important this fall selling season.
    This week almost half of my projects took advantage of our “12 months no interest financing”. Financing not only gives clients the chance to tackle a project they wouldn’t do without credit terms it also keeps us competitive – Competitive with other window and door specialists who offer financing and just as importantly competitive with other purchase such as a television, couch or granite countertops who do offer easy credit.
    I urge everyone who sits at the kitchen table to offer financing – to specifically bring it up and put a brochure on the table for the prospect to review. You may be surprised at who takes advantage of financing and who doesn’t need it at all, but you will certainly close more sales!

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