The Contractor Game – Home Improvement Sales Tactics NOT to Fall For
As with any industry, in home improvement you have your reputable contractors and you have your dishonest ones. Then you have a whole layer of contractors who, while licensed, employ sales tactics that we consider to be borderline. Why? Because many of them are designed to pressure customers into making quick decisions without the benefit of doing research and comparing prices. In this blog post we outline several of these home improvement sales tactics and why you should be wary of them.
Requiring that ‘all homeowners’ be present at the time of the estimate.
Why Do They Do It?
Home improvements such as new windows, a new roof or new siding are big ticket items. The decision of what to purchase and how much you are willing to spend is generally a decision that is made jointly between all owners of the property. Sounds reasonable to request that you all be present during the sales call, right? It is. What is not reasonable is to require it. In other words, to refuse to come to your home unless you’re all there is a red flag. They will tell you that it’s so you all have the information first hand. What they really want is to pressure you into signing on the spot. With all homeowners present, it is easier for the sales person to push for the sale on the spot.
Why We Don’t Do It
We do not require all homeowners be present for several reasons. First of all, we know how busy families are – work schedules and obligations like kids in sports make ‘extra time’ to take care of home improvements together nearly non-existent. Along with respecting your time, we also respect your intelligence. We know that you are capable of working with us, and informing your significant other on what was discussed. Lastly, we will never ask you to sign on the dotted line during the estimate process. In fact, because we need to return to the office, contact our suppliers and work up a well thought out estimate that provides you with the most value, in most cases we won’t provide a final price until a day or two after we meet. Therefore, there is no need to require that you all be present.
Asking you to allow 2-4 hours for the estimate.
Why They Do It
In short, to wear you down. The first tactic of requiring that you all be present leads to the opportunity for the sales person to overwhelm you both with information. Seemingly endless product options, features and benefits of the products you’re looking at, and copious amounts of installation information can take a lot of time. Some sales people will have videos, presentations, and samples to show. They will walk you around the home and show you various items and issues. By the time they are finished, you can’t fathom the prospect of doing this over again 2 or 3 more times while shopping. You’re just done and can’t wait to get this over with!
Why We Don’t Do It
Your time is valuable and so is ours. We have all of the information you want, but our job is not to assume you don’t know what you want or that you are a novice in home improvements. In fact, many of our customers, especially in today’s information age, come to us already having done their research on their own time. They’ve talked to friends and neighbors. They’ve done online research. They may have even visited home shows and showrooms and know exactly what they want. So why waste 2 or more hours of your time starting from scratch? On the flip side, if you are just getting started and want to pick our brains – great! We’re happy to do that. We want the process to be as worry free as possible.
Giving you a better price today than tomorrow, or not being able to guarantee today’s price beyond today.
Why They Do It
Once again, the name of the game for many contractors is getting a signed estimate on the spot. If the sales person senses that you are on the fence once the 2-4 hours you have spent together is finished, he may strongly encourage you to sign on the premise that prices may go up tomorrow. After all, manufacturers change prices frequently, right? Your sales person may even go as far as to tell you that he does not make a commission unless he gets you to sign. Oh the guilt! While that may or may not be true, his compensation should not be your responsibility.
Why We Don’t Do It
In order to provide you with an estimate that gives you the best product at the best price, we do not work up cost estimates on the spot. We work with various suppliers and will work hard to be sure that we order what you need at the best price. Our estimates are comprehensive and run through several checks and balances before it reaches you. Additionally, compared to high pressure home improvement companies, our profit margins are slim. We simply do not have room to miss a step by working up a quote on the fly.
S&K Roofing, Siding and Windows believe in honesty. We provide honest assessments, and give you honest pricing. An all-around No Worry experience is our goal. The next time you are in the market for an improvement to your home’s exterior, contact us for a free estimate and experience the S&K different. It will be Worry Free. Guaranteed.