Best-selling Door and Window Systems

Dealers weigh in; business practices play into the equation
Katie Gregg
March 6, 2019
COLUMN : In the Dealer's Corner | Sales & Marketing

While brand recognition may play a large role in a best-selling window or door system, the success of products is also partly based on the market a dealer is operating out of, as well as the market they have chosen to sell in, according to members of the Window & Door Dealers Alliance

Rick Locke of Windows, Doors & More, knows a good system is one that meets customer and project requirements. He says dealers can benefit by asking a lot of questions to fully understand project needs. In turn, dealers can use their experience and portfolio of products to propose the best solution. 

While dealers propose products that meet quality and performance requirements across the spectrum of specifications, it is often difficult for consumers to differentiate product lines. This is why a dealer must differentiate their business. 

What makes a best-selling company is as varied as the business models in the industry. Success, as seen in the eyes of the consumer, often comes down to how the business is marketed and what type of sales process they have. This can vary between the prolific window replacement businesses, distributors and companies that furnish and install high-end windows. 

For window replacement companies that typically sell direct to consumers, success lies in good lead generation and the ability to close sales. However, closing a sale looks different today. Erin Ennis of Energy Exteriors NW LLC, notes that the millennial and Generation Z populations shop differently. There is no longer a place for hard pressure sales, she says, but rather, strong best-selling practices are built on trust, personal connection and respect. 

Window replacement dealers can also differentiate themselves with private label products, quick turnaround on installation time, or financing options. Manufacturers can better support this segment with short lead times, accurate delivery and service support. 

Pure distributors, or those that furnish and install, may focus more on marketing brands and materials. Successful relationships under this model are often business-to-business, where creating and managing long-term relationships is of the utmost importance. For Scott Brown of Franklin Window & Doors, the manufacturers that contribute to his success are those that have a recognizable name but are constantly evolving their product offering to meet the demands of the luxury residential architectural community. 

No matter the business model, Ken Mariotti of Woodland Windows & Doors shares his experience that success often comes from having the best solutions to meet customer needs, as well as from being different and better than the competition in all aspects of the sales process. For Woodland, this mantra has led to repeat business, getting the next phase of windows, or to referrals. 

Jana Goodrich of Seaway Window, seems to have the “best-selling formula” down pat: quality products and services, combined with product support in the form of strong warranties and customer service that exceeds expectations from first contact through project completion.

Just as the fenestration market is complex and varied in its paths to market, so are the steps to creating and sustaining a best-selling business model. Hearing from peers and suppliers can help dealers fine-tune their own practices and boost sales. 

 

Katie Gregg is the associate director, WDDA Industry & Member Engagement for the Window & Door Dealers Alliance, the only national business organization advancing the interests of independent window and door dealers. She can be reached at kgregg@glass.org.