Windows, Doors and… ?

Jim Snyder
July 14, 2015
THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

Fenestration is the backbone of many businesses that are supplemented by other, usually exterior-related, products. In networking with many dealers in the Window and Door Dealers Alliance at GlassBuild America each fall, a common question that comes up is, what else do you sell.

This is a natural question for many reasons. Dealers may be in search of more product variety because they already have a client base established from fenestration sales, already have the manpower to sell and install more, may need seasonal transition products to maintain workflow, or because they can combine numerous home-improvement projects in to one contract.

Some supplemental products are a better fit than others depending on regions and dealer resources. For instance, one dealer friend of mine from the northern climate told me over dinner he also sells basement doors. As a resident of Memphis, where there are essentially no basements, this would be a slow-moving product for many of my dealer friends in the south.

Other supplemental products require a completely different skill level to sell and/or install—think roofing, decks, fences, glazing or millwork. Would this be a line you would want to cross over? Whether you employ or contract, your installers could make the difference and enable you to do more. They could also complicate matters too much.

Conversely, some dealers choose not to diversify and focus only on fenestration. There are of course benefits to this as well: simple can be more efficient; a specialized business is a unique proposition, especially as a promotional tool; and the ability to offer more than one brand of fenestration.

This leads me in to my poll. Leave a comment if you feel the nudge, or email me if something’s on your mind.

For the sake of this poll, consider sunrooms (although full of fenestration), garage doors, basement doors and even skylights as a supplemental product.

Survey Results for 07/15/2015 :

How many supplemental products beyond "conventional vertical fenestration" do you sell?

1-3 - call us ambitious.

  

 

36.67%

 

None - simple, concentrated and specialized suits us.

  

 

33.33%

 

7 or more - we do it all.

  

 

20.00%

 

4-6 - we love variety.

  

 

10.00%

 
Jim Snyder is an AAMA-certified FenestrationMaster and InstallationMaster who shares his years of installation field experience as an industry writer, speaker, trainer and project/product consultant for dealers and manufacturers. A member of various industry organizations, Snyder also is involved in instructional document creation and revision. Contact him at jim@windowjim.com.