Well, Labor Day is over and the fenestration fall selling season is just around the corner! Many window dealers have expressed concern that July and August numbers were not quite what they wanted to see, but, I say, don’t worry. It is the fall selling season that really counts. The kids are back in school, family vacations are over and it’s the time that homeowners start thinking about winterizing the house or completing the list of home improvement projects, many of which include doors and windows.

If you have not spent any time this summer training your sales staff, early September would be an excellent time to take a few days to get them jazzed up for the fall selling season. After all, this is the season when sales results can make or break your year! Sales training and support is crucial.

Try getting your seasoned veterans and top performers together and put them in the same room as your rookies. Next, set the stage for an open exchange of product knowledge and sales strategies. The old timers, who are often the top performers, will have some tried-and-true sales tactics to share with the younger folks. But that doesn’t mean the rookies can’t contribute as well … especially when it comes time to talk about strategies involving the use of computers, iPads, smartphones and social media. The point is, get all of your sales associates in one room and get a sales training session going that encourages the open exchange of ideas and strategies. Let their strong suites rub off on one another!

Mock sales calls are a great way to train everyone and let them hone their skills in front of their peers. Let some of them be the customer while others can be the salesperson at the kitchen table. You can use various scenarios such as the prospect who cannot commit, the one who wants your “best window” at your “entry window” price, or the one who needs special financing. And finally, there are the prospects who ask questions that are nearly impossible to answer such as, “if you had to purchase a door or window from any company other than your own, which company would that be?”

In addition to training, arm your sales staff with the best looking samples, literature and sales aides your company can crank out. This is one area that you absolutely cannot afford to cut corners, but sadly, it is also an area in which I have seen some mortal sins committed. I have seen window sales samples with poor welds, defective hardware or with discontinued features.  Your sales samples should be a representation of the best you can currently produce, and hopefully, also the kind of quality that your company manufactures on a daily basis. One thing  your samples absolutely should not represent is lower quality than you are capable of producing, leaving the salesperson to make excuses, such as, “well this is just a sample … our actual production will be much better than this.”

If I am a prospect and I see that you cannot make a sample that will dazzle me, then I sure won’t have any faith that what will be installed in my home will dazzle me, and when it comes to spending my hard earned greenbacks, I want to be dazzled.

So, train your salespeople, let them train each other and arm them with the very best tools that you can. They are your key to success in this increasingly competitive door and window market. It’s time to get your game on!

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