Boost sales in a slow market

Gerda Doors’ Danny Williams believes that even with the general election done, sales are unlikely to revive until 2025. However, pitching expectations a little more realistically, he believes, can boost revenue in the short term and set up new prospects for the future.

Where residential doors were once the add-on sale or even a ‘freebie’ incentive to sign up a house-full of frames, now they can be a significant sale in their own right.

Many installers, however, overlook the opportunities presented by selling premium resi-doors which can produce quicker, easier and more rewarding sales than predominantly reaching for whole house replacements in a sticky market.

“Many retail installers, especially older owners, still look at residential doors as incidental sales, using standard 44mm composites to answer their customers’ needs as part of a whole house replacement of windows, garden doors and front and rear entrance doors,” says Danny. “But by going upmarket, offering a door that is clearly far better than the basic composite 44mm offering, you can offer a product that will appeal to the homeowner that is affordable enough to satisfy their desire to improve their home but without extending them financially in the current climate.

“The benefit to the installer is that they still take a worthwhile order, whilst also setting up the customer for more work when confidence returns, hopefully next year,” he adds.

Danny began life in the window and door industry as a salesman and says that his instincts as such remain, despite now running a successful multi-faceted operation that includes window fabrication, commercial installation, IGU manufacture and now, the distribution of Gerda Doors: “I took on Gerda because it was so immediately distinctive and which answered my own needs at the time for a quality door that stood out from the rest. It has immediate ‘kerb appeal and it stands out aesthetically but especially when it’s explored by the customer. The feel of it, the way it opens and closes is so different. Gerda doors are superb showroom products,” says Danny. “Our retailers tell me that they are so easy to sell, and especially to upsell from standard composite doors.”

Danny believes that the pursuit of resi door sales in their own right will bring rewards however, especially in the current slow market: “A great residential door will change the appearance of a property more dramatically than the windows, offering the owner more bang for their buck,” he explains. “Going after residential door replacements using an upmarket and yet still affordable product such as Gerda, provides order values that are worthwhile chasing whilst remaining affordable for homeowners otherwise reluctant to part with large sums of money in challenging market conditions. Sell them the sizzle of making distinctive improvements to their home but more affordably than they anticipated, get them into the showroom for a look, and they will be hooked!”

As the UK distributor of Gerda Residential Doors since their launch at the FIT Show in 2022, the brand has enjoyed rapid take up of a national retail network, due to their quite fundamental difference compared to other premium doors, explains Danny: “Gerda doors are faced with steel or aluminium, something that immediately sets them apart. They are robustly constructed to ensure longevity and durability.

“They’re unmatched when it comes to resisting rotting and warping, ensuring the door remains beautiful for years to come. And weather-proofing is developed for harsh Polish and Eastern European winters, with thermal transmittance as low as 0.74 W/m2K for solid doors and 0.81 W/m2K for glazed versions. Which means they’re ready for whatever the market and Building Regulations throw at us, probably for the next five years or more.”

The Gerda brand is associated internationally with the manufacture of fine padlocks and bicycle locks along with door hardware and so is well established for its security credentials and Gerda doors are PAS24 compliant in the UK and SBD Accredited.

“We will work with retailers to create a unique sales proposition for retailers,” advises Danny. “We have the experience of other retailers to pass on as well as our own knowledge and resources, including lead generation. Resi door sales in their own right, with a product like Gerda, will provide great sales opportunities in a tough environment.”