Customer-Focused Selling

By Ben Velker, Edgenet
December 6, 2016
THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

Shopping for windows and doors is rarely defined as a simple process. The options can be daunting, and more often than not, customers leave the process tired and apathetic. This must change to increase the positive referrals that the industry needs to thrive.

As discussed in last week’s Talk, the often overwhelming and lengthy pricing process is a big part of the problem. Even though technology has made product configuration quicker, easier and more efficient, salespeople still have to know how to walk customers through the process of balancing their needs against their budget.

Sales teams that understand how to use technology as a resource for value engineering—the process of balancing function and cost—renew their focus on the customer, not the sale. They teach customers when, where, why and sometimes why not to use a certain product, rather than merely supplying specifications. This distinction is essential for carving out a competitive advantage in the fenestration industry.

So, churning out as many window and door quotes as quickly as possible isn’t the best way to capture long-term revenue growth. While it could help with short-term volume, there’s a better opportunity to turn an apathetic customer into an enthusiastic one and to build a strong referral network that can multiply sales long into the future.

Building a word-of-mouth marketing campaign that proliferates with each new interaction is the key to getting entire neighborhoods, families and friend circles to hear your praises from a delighted customer. Positive online reviews are just as helpful. According a survey by Dimensional Research, 90 percent of respondents were influenced by a positive review. Moreover, 86 percent were swayed by a negative review—another important factor to consider.

Delighting a customer takes both technology and talent. The more of those in the industry who transition from a sales mindset to one that embodies satisfaction, the stronger the industry will become.

What do you think? How do technology and other sales tools play into boosting your word-of-mouth campaign? Is your referral network as strong as it could be or is there room for improvement? Weigh in on this week’s poll, post a comment or send an email with your thoughts on the subject.

Survey Results for 12/07/2016:
How strong is your referral network?
We have an incredible reputation and it shows through referrals.
We are building on our satisfied customers, but there's room for improvement.
We have a lot of work to do building word-of-mouth marketing and online referrals.

Ben Velker is Senior Vice President of Growth at Edgenet, a Software as a Service company that provides industry-leading retailers, distributors, websites and suppliers with the ability to manage and improve their product content. Before joining Edgenet, Ben spent more than a decade in window and door sales. 

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