After customers sign on the dotted line, they need to have more than that contract in their hands. They need information about what will happen next, the product or products they've just committed to buying, and the company doing the installing.
Reps from TrueNorth Home Systems in Kennebunk, Maine, leave behind a folder that includes a project flowchart. The chart lays out everything from the welcome call to the re-measure to applying for permits and ordering materials. “This is how we differentiate ourselves,” sales manager Brad McCrum says.
Customers of Bee Window in Indianapolis get what co-owner George Faerber calls a road map — “because many people are not familiar with what is going to happen.” Faerber and his wife and co-owner, Pam, also give each customer a note. “We give them all our phone numbers and tell them that if they have any questions to feel free to give us a call.”
Avoid Misunderstandings … and Misorders Renewal by Andersen of Colorado in Colorado Springs tries to avoid future misunderstandings by putting everything in writing, co-owner Randy Shepherd says. “There's an exhaustive work order with specs on each window that are signed off on by the customer.” The salesperson draws each window, including details such as grilles, and there are check-off boxes for options such as hardware. This is a lot of work, but Shepherd says it's worth it to ensure that the right product is ordered. “Misorders hardly ever happen,” he adds.
Still Up in the Air Not every prospect will commit right away. So Superior Products in Littleton, Colo., leaves undecided prospects a detailed estimate. “We explain that we'll tear off the siding and will put in insulation and Tyvek. We go over choices of paint and talk about flashing, weatherstripping, and caulking,” owner Tom Higgins says. That level of detail positions the company as the expert. “Homeowners will ask the next guy a question and see that they know more than him,” says Steven Pitts, of ABC Supply, one of Superior's suppliers.
If Renewal by Andersen of Colorado prospects don't buy on the first call, company reps leave behind a copy of the quote; a 10-minute DVD about the company, the product, and the process of replacement; a catalog; and an invitation to come visit its design center. If homeowners come in and buy there, they get a $100 Lowe's gift card.