Sunrise Windows, based in Temperance, Mich., has always placed dealer training at the top of the priority list but the company has ratcheted up those efforts even more in 2012.

“Coming out of the tax credit a lot of dealers were saying, ‘what do we do now,’” says Mike Mooney, vice president of marketing for Sunrise. “So they wanted training about re-honing their in-home selling skills and getting back to the basics of selling on fulfilling homeowner’s needs.”

He adds, “As the New Year gets started dealers take the time to re-focus their teams and are comfortable having their sales teams out of the field for a day or two. We’ve been able to work with dealers on a number of training programs.”

Some of the vehicles it uses are individual sessions with its territory managers, special training events held at its manufacturing facility and through the sponsorship of the 2012 Home Improvement Profitability Summit Tour with Dave Yoho & Associates.

Yoho chose five locations to host two-day sessions where owners and dealer sales teams could come and learn how to generate more leads, and other items through Yoho and his trainers. Sunrise has worked with Yoho in the past and dealers find it particularly valuable.

“We have always tried to multi-layer our approach,” says Mooney. “Yoho does a nice job of teaching in-home selling. He talks to the owners and managers about how they run their business, and then trains their home-selling teams on better selling practices.” Mooney adds that the company additionally trains dealers on how to “exceed expectations after the sale and turn it into a referral.”

“Many dealers rely on referrals as much as they do new leads,” he adds.

Mooney reiterates that now is the time to take advantage of educational opportunities. “Window dealers are focused on things that will drive leads and will get their sales teams ready to sell,” he says. “Now is the time to be doing this so ultimately companies will become more fruitful.”

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