D+AS MAGAZINE

FEATURES — Remodeling Study Reveals Secrets to Successful Sales

© 2004 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2004
Author: Scott O’Neill
Pages 66-67


Remodeling Study Reveals Secrets to Successful Sales
By Scott O’Neill
Garage Door Sales Professional

A 2004 National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) survey recently concluded: “Quality wins out over price as the most important aspect of a remodeling job.” The study interviewed homeowners across the country who had remodeled in the last five years.

Almost all homeowners surveyed (95 percent) said quality is very important in a remodeling job, while only 60 percent said price is very important. When asked to choose one factor as most important, 56 percent said both were equally important, yet 41 percent chose quality and 2 percent chose price.

As for why they selected the remodeler that they did, respondents’ most common reasons were related to quality: trustworthiness, service/dependability, and work quality. Price was selected by only 27 percent of respondents.

Surprised?

My Friend the Mechanic

I was on the phone recently with a friend who runs his own auto shop. He had mentioned that his business climate is really tough these days, citing a huge increase in competition and its affects on his price point. Many new one-man operations are competing against my friend, who has employees, insurance, overhead, advertising, etc.

In today’s era of faster-cheaper mentality, it is increasingly difficult to sell quality garage doors and openers, just as in my friend’s business. We struggle to survive in the shadows of the big-box store monoliths, while being bitten at the heels by the one-man “tail-gaters.”

But one principle still rings true in the midst of this increasingly impersonal environment: the most informed decision ensures the most satisfied decision.

The 3-Year Garage Door

I received a phone call from a would-be customer the other day. He said his last garage door (which is only three years old) had just failed, and he needed a new door … again. The company he bought from never informed them of the differences in door workmanship or offered any options for a better door. They just went for the quick sale of a cheaper non-insulated door.

Being in California, the customer thought nothing of insulation, and happily ordered the door, only to have it fall apart from being structurally weaker than a bonded insulated door. The family had kids, and the door couldn’t withstand the “abuse” of bouncing balls, bikes in and out, etc.

Wise, At Last

Now they were paying more attention to the longevity of their stay in this home. They were referred to our company by relatives who bought a higher-grade, fully insulated steel door from us. That relative told them to go into the showroom to see the product in person to really understand the benefits of a better door.

The couple came in yesterday and learned of the differences in door strengths. They ordered a much stronger, longer-lasting door system for almost twice the original amount they paid for the first door. As a result, they will be much more satisfied with the long-term operation, quietness, and reliability of this new system. This new door system will truly meet their needs.

This couple is a good example of the 95 percent in the NARI study. People are getting smarter in their purchase decisions.

Educate, Educate, Educate

Since most consumers are staying long-term in their homes, we salespeople must educate them about better-made, durable doors and openers for their projects. The customer might initially balk at the higher price, but they can see that buying one door in 20 years makes more sense than buying four in the same amount of time.

As someone once said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

Scott O’Neill has been in the garage door business since 1986 and a sales manager since 1992 at Madden Door, Martinez, Calif.

Chart:
Reasons for Selecting a Remodeler
Price 27%
Years in Business 37%
Offered Advice 57%
Reputation & Referrals 63%
Best Work Quality 69%
Service & Dependability 76%
Trustworthy 79%
Courtesy of National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)