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Homeowners Perspective

4th December 2010

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Editor, Davinia Gill shares her recent experience of having her Ultraframe Orangery and Ultraframe Georgian style conservatory installed. She also shares her views of what a homeowner really feels and wants.

Having inherited a rather poor quality lean to conservatory when I moved into my house with my husband, we had been toying with the idea of upgrading for a while but, were put off by the fact that it would mean some major disruption to our lives, as it involved exposing our kitchen to the elements and demolishing my gym area. Eventually, the prospect of spending a winter freezing and stuffing newspaper into drafty windows, persuaded us to take the plunge and get the work done.

Now, because I work in the industry you would think that it would be easy for me, but it is only when you decide to have some work done that it becomes clear how daunting a task it is. This got me thinking how much harder it must be for the average consumer out there and conversely, the responsibility we have as suppliers to get it right for the retail customer.

So, after three very different styles of quotations, three different ideas about the design from an exact copy of what we had, through to the latest system available and varying product specifications, we sat down to make a decision. In fact this was relatively easy, as we decided to go with the company that gave us the most comprehensive quotation with every aspect clearly detailed, and whose quotation included a list of finished options which we could deduct from the contract if we chose to and who gave us a set of drawings showing us what it would look like. Their terms and conditions were clearly laid out in the contract and most importantly we were able to talk to previous customers and look at their work first hand.

What impressed us even more was that we were given a complete schedule of works and a diary detailing each aspect of the works, and when they would be carried out. Where they thought we weren’t being practical they offered us alternatives. I think overall we were made to feel that our wants and needs were listened to and understood and that we were given sound advice and practical solutions and that we weren’t fobbed off with a standard product.

Five weeks from the start date and we have a beautiful new Ultraframe Orangery incorporated into our kitchen and my gym is a stunning Ultraframe Georgian style Conservatory with multi folding doors and we are over the moon. Our chosen company, Selected Projects Construction Limited were superb. Their attention to detail was fantastic, the work ethic of the various teams was spot on, the service we received could not be faulted. Throughout the entire process we were kept informed of progress, the next step and each afternoon we were told what would be happening the next day and which team members would be on site.

From their point of view, they now have a really happy customer and a superb installation that they can show off to future customers.

Which leads me to the question:

How do you go the extra mile to win your contracts in our super competitive market?

Do you…

• Listen to the customer requirements
• Translate those into practical solutions
• Provide a comprehensive quotation with no hidden costs
• Come up with innovative designs
• Communicate effectively with your Clients by speaking their language
• Do what you say
• Project a positive “can do” attitude
• Deliver a 1st class product whether it’s a simply conservatory or a complex structure

All too often, when we shop for something it almost seems as if it’s too much trouble for the Salesperson to be “of service.” Our industry is full of technology that can turn a basic product into a stunning solution for clients needs and wants. Yet judging by feedback that I get from people, far too often we adopt a “stack it high, sell it cheap” mentality, when in reality a potential customer is committing their trust to us, to provide them with a top quality service and product, which leads me to ask…

How committed are you to your customer? Do…

• C communicate effectively with them – communication is the golden key that unlocks sales. Do you talk WITH or TO them?

• O organisation. Do you organise or agonise over communicating?

• M mental make up. What is the mindset of you and your organisation. Do you have a positive mental attitude? Does your organisation promote a “can do” approach to your customers

• I involvement. Do you get actively involved in creating solutions for your customers?

• T take charge. Do you lead the sale, actively closing, up-selling, suggesting solutions?

When you look at every book that has ever been written about selling, it all comes down to one point. HOW COMMITTED ARE YOU?

There is an old expression that a great American salesman, Joe Gerard, always used. In this current climate, it is even more relevant than it was 30 years ago.

Commit

“Until you commit you are only taking up space. Are you a space taker or a pace maker in your organisation? Do you soar like an Eagle or are you running around like a headless Turkey”

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