November 30th, 2010
Preparing for Life After the Tax Credit
It seems as if the door and window industry is heading for a record-setting fourth quarter. Just like last year, there definitely is strong sales momentum. There is an even greater sense of urgency and sense of responsibility among window manufacturers to get their products built in a timely manner for their respective dealers.
With the tax credit coming to an end, many window manufacturers have stepped up their output to help dealers deliver on the promise of getting their tax credit windows installed or “in service” as the tax credit verbiage reads before the end of the year.
In my last blog, I talked about the potential of another tax credit or even the Home Star legislation passing. But let’s go under the assumption nothing happens, and we are faced with getting homeowners to purchase windows without a tax incentive.
When the euphoria of that record fourth quarter wears off and you as salespeople, owners and manufacturers are faced with drumming up sales without a tax credit, are you prepared to tackle the challenge? I always have operated under the philosophy that when long-time manufacturers go out of business, it isn’t good for the industry. Yes, there is a certain cleansing of the industry that happens and occurs, but when an industry stalwart goes under, it hurts the credibility of our industry.
As a result, it is important that we all prepare for LATC (Life after the Tax Credit). As I get in front of existing dealers and prospects, they are telling me what they need to be successful in 2011. And, although price is mentioned, value-added services by the manufacturer seems to rank much higher. Of course, this research isn’t scientific by any means, and I am sure many companies could site many examples of price being the thing to “hang your hat on.”
You can go this route, and you will have plenty of company, but if we want to keep building a solid reputation for our industry and get rid of the “’fly by night” mentality many homeowners have for home improvements, it might be time to embrace or continue embracing value-added items for our customers.