Stating the Obvious
Don’t Forget to Make the Sale
by Tara Taffera
How can I make such a statement you ask? Some manufacturers
are introducing innovative products that push the envelope on thermal
performance; others offer quality products in all price points and materials.
But as the father-and-son marketing team of Dave and David Alan Yoho pointed
out in a recent seminar to home improvement companies, window retailers
often fall short when it comes to making a sale. (See page
44 for the full story.)
They’re not the only ones who have talked about the importance of great
salesmanship in recent months. DWMmag.com blogger Mark Milanese, owner
of Milanese Remodeling, often reminds companies in his blog that “Nothing
happens until you make the sale.”
Read the article for practical tips like these from Dave Yoho and his
son: “Don’t let your sales reps change the script;” “Your best closer
goes out first;” “Why don’t’ reps make the sale—lack of proper training.”
No doubt, however, it comes down to more than just sales reps making a
good pitch. You must have a quality product, and even that isn't always
enough in this competitive environment. So what have some companies done
to be more competitive? They have implemented lean manufacturing into
their plants and have saved significantly in items like custom charges,
have decreased lead times substantially and reduced waste.
Check out our article on page
30 and learn what lean isn’t. You'll quickly see that it’s not about
reducing employees and it is about reducing waste. And if you think you
know what waste is, think again. Steve Waltman, vice president of sales
and marketing for Stiles Machinery, says window companies have to stop
thinking of waste just as wasted materials.
“There is waste if you need four and you make five. There is waste if
you need to remake it—that’s the worst kind of waste. If you make it and
you can’t find it then there is a waiting waste. What if you have to wait
a day before shipping it?”
I encourage you to keep this in mind and brainstorm what you can do in
your plants to make improvements in this area.
When companies make these changes, Waltman says they will find: “I like
the new me. I like having people specifically tasked to do things and
do them well, etc. I like holding down material and freight costs.”
So why aren’t more window companies implementing lean? I would love to
hear from you on this issue. Have you thought about it but thought the
savings wouldn’t be worth the effort? Also, are you taking the time to
train your sales reps on proper techniques? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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