Creepy Sales Practices Of Some
St. Louis Window Companies
AKA – Why Won’t He Leave?
There’s a ton of pressure on many St. Louis replacement window salesmen to close their sales by any means necessary. So much so that they have developed some truly bizarre methods to get that sale on the first try. We will present you with two of the most egregious of these bogus sales practices, why they succeed, and how to protect yourself.
Creepy Sales Practice #1: The Permanent Guest.
This may be the creepiest technique of them all. You invite a representative to your home to discuss the possibility of investing in a whole-home window replacement. When they arrive, all is friendly, and the conversation is casual and mostly revolves around getting to know one another before getting into the nitty-gritty of replacement windows.
Before you know it, an hour has gone by, and you’ve yet to get into the windows themselves. You steer the conversation toward the windows, and you learn all there is to know about their window brand and installation practices.
You go through picking out window types, styles, and add-ons. You seek answers to your remaining questions, and then you come to the quote, and it’s way higher than you expected.
You thank the rep for their time and tell them you’ll need to think about it for a day. They smile, say, “sure thing,” and then they start talking about discounts. As the discounts mount, the number gets better, but it’s still too much money to spend without sleeping on it.
You thank them again.
And they still don’t leave.
Why They Do This.
It’s not that they don’t see your attempts to usher them out of the door. In fact, to them, that’s the true beginning of the sales process, because now you are feeling some pressure to make the experience end.
Most people are too polite to eject a guest from their home and rely on social cues to coax them out of the door instead. This reluctance to be rude works in the salesman’s favor because he has no intention of leaving without a signed check unless you blatantly ask them to leave. This means your only options are to be uncomfortably direct or give in and take the offer.
Why It Works.
As a culture, Americans can’t abide being thought of as rude. In your head, you might be screaming, “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!” but your face will show nothing but polite interest as you try, once more, to hint that you need them to leave. And the window rep knows it.
They also know that you are at least interested in replacement windows but are thrown by the price. New windows, after all, aren’t cheap. So the theory is that if they can create enough distance between your moment of sticker shock and the time they leave your home, there’s a good chance that you will sign the contract.
During this time, they whittle away at the initial quote with an unending cascade of discounts until your shock gives way to the sense that you are being offered a great deal. They know that the pressure is going to break one way or another. Either you sign, or you give them the boot. And enough people sign to make this creepy method worth their trouble.
How To Fight Back.
It’s really quite simple to win this little battle. All you have to do is see what they are doing and accept that you will have to be a little rude to get them out of your home. Ignore their crestfallen looks, forget that they’ve been nothing but cheerful, and get on with your day.
Creepy Sales Practice #2: The Devious Discounter.
The discounter relies on slowly backing away from a shocking initial quote to find the number you can accept. There is always a number that their bosses say they must get, but you’ll never hear that number from them unless you are truly reluctant.
Here’s how it works.
During the getting to know you phase of the visit, they listen for certain things, like your past and current professions. Once they have something they can use, they go over their product and lead into the quote. They will give you a number that is easily twice what you expected to hear (and twice the real price, too).
Once you pick your jaw back off the floor, they start in on the discounts. The first option is often the “whatever day” sale. In February, it’s President’s Day, Mother’s Day in May, Father’s Day in June, and so on. Every month has a day that deserves a sale, and, by golly, are you in luck! Because the sale is going on for just one more day and knocks 20% off your quote.
If that doesn’t get you to jump, the rep will remember another discount that they can apply. Maybe they can slip your windows into that “big order” for the apartment complex down the way and save you another 5 -10%.
Then he’ll add, “But we’d have to get the order in quick because that apartment order goes out in three days, and we still need to measure your windows.”
“Say, didn’t you say you were in the military/are an EMT/are an amateur juggler? Well, we have a program for veterans/first responders/street performers that gives you a 5% discount just for doing what you do.”
Why They Do It.
Most window replacement window reps work on commission and are set a minimum selling price per window installation. Anything they get above that price is split at a much higher commission rate than what they get at just the minimum price.
So they start off in the stratosphere, offering a ridiculous quote that no sane person would accept. The hope is that you will eventually agree to a discounted quote that is still above the minimum allowed and let them make a nice bonus.
As each imaginary discount (yes, imaginary) is applied, you are given time to consider it, and, if necessary, the next discount is applied. This is psychological warfare.
Eventually, two things will happen. You’ll begin to fear losing the chance to save so much money, and you’ll start to feel guilty about holding out for more. Eventually, you’ll sign just to get rid of the mounting pressure in your head.
How To Fight Back.
Throwing them off their game takes a bit of guts. You have to be willing to be just as ludicrous as they are being while appearing perfectly serious. Meet their first outlandish quote with an equally ridiculous offer of your own.
Guess what you think their minimum price might be and offer half. Instead of floating discount after discount at you, now they have to talk you up to the minimum, and that’s a very different game. One where you are in charge, not them.
How We Handle Sales Calls At XteriorPRO / Window Depot USA of St. Louis
We have our whole process down to a science. Upon the first contact with our company, we will gather some information about why you are calling and give you a general idea of how we do business. When your Needs Analysis appointment is scheduled, your Project Consultant will receive a packet outlining your problems and what you want to accomplish. At the same time, you will receive an email with more details about what we offer, the date and time of your scheduled Needs Analysis & Proposal home visit, and a picture of your Project Consultant, so you’ll feel safe letting them into your home.
The Home Visit
When your Project Consultant arrives, they will go through a 17 point Needs Analysis covering everything from the problems you are experiencing to the style and type of windows you prefer. They will also go over your planned budget and even special considerations you’ll need during the installation, like noise or space constraints.
Even better, if they determine that you don’t need new windows, they’ll tell you.
If you are all still on the same page, they will go ahead and measure your windows and check for rot and other issues that could affect the installation, and help you pick out the style, color, and type of your new windows.
They will then present you with a detailed proposal covering every aspect of the work, along with a reasonable quote for the entire project. It likely won’t be the lowest bid you’ll get, but it will offer the most bang for your buck.
While this process can, indeed, take hours to complete, with XteriorPRO / Window Depot USA of St. Louis, the quote signals the beginning of the end of the sales process instead of the beginning of a stressful, high-pressure sales assault.
You can either accept the quote or ask for some time to think it over. While there is a 10% discount for signing during the first visit, it’s not a do or die moment for you. We only offer the discount because saving us a second trip literally saves us money and makes our sales staff more productive, so we pass those savings on to you.
Why We Don’t Play Games
What you will never experience with us are gimmicky discounts that don’t exist or high-pressure tactics such as the ones described in the first two sections of this article.
When your time with our Project Consultant is over, you will be much more informed about your windows, our product, and your options than you were before they rang your doorbell.
If you sign, GREAT!
If you don’t, GREAT!
We love selling windows, but we love feeling good about what we do even more.
At XteriorPRO / Window Depot USA of St. Louis, we like to sleep soundly at night, so we’ve chosen to use an honest and open sales process instead of relying on tricky guys like our friend at the top of this page.
If you think you need new windows for your St. Louis area home, contact us at XteriorPro / Window Depot USA of St. Louis to get your free quote.