What do I look for when selecting a company for a home improvement product?Jen Clopino
When researching a home improvement product I rely on conducting research utilizing the internet and company websites to get information on the product(s) and/or services I am interested in along with learning more about the company.
I look for detailed product descriptions with reference to use and installation guidelines, etc. In the event I am looking for a product that would need to be installed, does the company I am researching offer installation services by a qualified installer, i.e., carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc.
My research goes beyond the company’s website. I check the Better Business Bureau to see the company rating, whether or not the company has negative claims and what their response to the claim or claims is.
If I have initiated a call to the company I am considering doing business with, do they provide references that I can contact to discuss the company’s products, installation, etc.
When visiting with the company representative I should ask questions such as:
How long has the company been in business?
What is the company’s warranty on the product I am considering?
Is the product I am considering made in the U.S.A.?
Does the company utilize qualified professional installers?
Does the company provide after sales service?
Does the company accept credit cards or offer financing?
These are just a few of the questions that we all should ask when dealing with in-home sales presentations.
Now that you have set a date and time to schedule an appointment. There are a number of barometers that you should consider to determine whether or not you will be doing business with the company. They are as follows:
Courtesy Call: Did the company’s customer service department give you a courtesy call in advance of the scheduled appointment to remind you of the date and time of the appointment?
Appointment Time: Did the company representative arrive on time? If the representative was going to be late due to traffic, etc., did his/her office notify you so that you were aware of the delay?
Appearance: Did the company representative present himself/herself in a professional manner? Did the company provide the representative distinctive outer wear (collared shirt, polo shirt, identification badge) that would visually identify the company?
Sales Collaterals: Did the company provide the sales representative with a presentation materials or software describing the product of interest so that you were able to understand the products features and benefits, to include, patented components that may be unique to the company’s product performance?
Determining the stability of the company: A good barometer is the following. The product presentation. I have always relied on the presentation as a barometer of the company’s stability. If the company representative is hesitant in his or hers presentation, then the company is not properly training their personnel. If the company representative is hesitant when asked questions pertaining to the operation of, warranty of, after sales service, etc. of the product or products I am considering, then I view that as a red flag to doing business with that particular company.
Determining the integrity of the company: Another area of consideration is the integrity of the company, a good barometer of a company’s integrity is how they may respond to your query of competing products and services offered by other companies. It has been my experience that when negative and demeaning comments are brought forth, it is an indicator to me that the representative is not well versed in his or hers company’s product offering and is relying on negative comments about competing companies to cast doubt in the customers mind and sway the sale in his or her favor.
Pricing and advertised discounts: Ultimately the sales presentation will culminate with how much the product costs. Many representatives pull a price out of the air. If the company is advertising discounts, financing, etc., the representative should fully explain the discount relative to the list price of the item you may be interested in purchasing. I have a greater level of confidence when I am presented with and shown the pricing structure for the product or products I am considering.
Hard sale close: The hard sale close will generally be put on the table when the sales representative feels that he or she will not be able to close and finalize the deal based upon the original price presented. They have been trained to make it a one call close no matter what. Remember, these are commissioned individuals who make their living by selling. If they walk away without a sale, they can’t buy shoes for their kids, or make the mortgage payment, etc. When the sales person tries to entice me with added discounts above and beyond the original quoted price that too me is an indicator that their pricing structure is suspect and the representative has been trained to sell at the highest price. Had I not conducted my research and asked questions, I might have paid a higher price than I should have.
In closing, we as consumers are relying more and more on the internet in researching products and services that we might be interested in. We should be mindful that the elements described above should be at the forefront of our decision making process. In-home sales has been a part of the American culture from the days of selling brushes, vacuum cleaners, etc. In today’s hectic lifestyle, for those companies we invite into our homes, we must rely on companies providing products and services in a professional and ethical manner.
An in home presentation should be a pleasant experience for all parties involved. I urged anyone don’t hide or fence yourself in, we are human beings, being social and learning from others is what our D.N.A. is all about. Invite that stranger to talk to you, they may learn something about you and you may get an idea that you’ve learned from them. Life is short, enjoy it and share experiences as this article has done for me.
Thank you One Water Systems.