This week, I received a call from a company that publishes a local magazine that I was unfamiliar with. They were inquiring as to whether I would be interested in advertising in their publication. I am always looking for new opportunities, so I said that they could come out to our showroom to discuss it.
Two representatives showed up, and we began with the obligatory small talk: Boy, it’s being raining a lot, how’s business? and so on. Then, they jumped right into their canned sales pitch. There were no questions about our company, or how we do business. There were no questions about what we currently use for advertising, or even what our needs are. You might say these two were off to a bad start with me.
The reps began reading off a barrage of statistics typed up on laminated sheets in a handy binder, no doubt designed to make them look like experts. But, when I started to ask questions about their statistics, their coverage area, their readership and their pricing, I seemed to have thrown them off-tempo. If they couldn’t follow their step-by-step pitch, they got frazzled.
Once they finished telling me how great they were…that this was a no-brainer, and that I’d be foolish to pass on this opportunity, they finally asked me what I thought. I told them that, honestly, I didn’t care for their sales process because it doesn’t match mine, and that they didn’t seem to want to know about me or my business.
I believe that people make mistakes and should be given second chances. Therefore, I told them they could start over now that they knew how I felt. This was their chance to open a dialog that benefitted both of us. Did they take full advantage of this opportunity? No. They doubled-down on their previous approach, turning up the pressure. They claimed that there was limited space in their magazine for companies in my industry, and that if I was going to get on board, they needed an answer right now. I told them I was not interested, and quickly walked away.
Obviously, the canned pitch with high pressure must work on some people or they wouldn’t use it. There are a ton of window replacement companies that use the same approach. Personally, I can’t work that way. When someone walks into our showroom looking for new windows, the first thing we do is have a conversation. For example: What type of windows do you currently have in your home? How long do you plan to stay in your home? Are there certain features that you’re looking for? Is there a budget that you’re working with? What is the time frame for your project? We don’t even discuss the products that we have until we are comfortable that we can meet their needs and expectations.
We are consultants, not salespeople. It is our job to match the customer’s wants and needs to the product that will perform up to their expectations, and then exceed their expectations on after-sale service. The customer experience during the purchase process matters. We don’t use gimmicks or high pressure to make people buy products, options or services that won’t make them happy in the long run. It’s the longer, harder road to take. But, it’s the philosophy of doing business we’ve chosen here at Window Innovations, and I’m proud of our team for doing business the right way.