Upselling to timber is easier than you think

By Wolfgang Gorner, group sales director, Allan Brothers.

With so many timber alternative products now available, and more coming onto the market all the time, it would be tempting to think that the biggest upselling opportunity for installation companies is in the composite sector.

As the sales director of the UK’s oldest timber joinery company, I would obviously take issue with that. The upselling opportunity, as I see it, lies in authentic timber windows and doors, tapping into the proven demand from key sections of the retail market for low maintenance, sustainable products with enduring kerb appeal.

According to the most recent trends report from the Wood Window Alliance, 52% of householders still believe that timber windows and doors provide the most character in a home, and 44% consider them to be both the most environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

That represents a huge potential market, which installers who don’t have a timber range in their portfolio risk missing out on altogether.

Nine months into this new role, and I’ve had plenty of time to talk to installers across the UK about their perceptions of timber windows and doors, and both the challenges and opportunities which upselling presents.

The vast majority of companies I’ve spoken to say that, while they recognise that there is ongoing demand for timber, what has held them back so far is lack of knowledge about the timber market, and uncertainty about how to choose the right supplier.

I’m delighted to say that Allan Brothers is now actively addressing that and partnering with a growing number of these companies to tackle their misconceptions, and give them the tools and support they need to upsell successfully to a waiting customer base.

The biggest misconception of course is that timber windows are a difficult sell because they require lots of maintenance. Those days are long gone. Modern timber windows and doors, like those produced by Allan Brothers, are highly engineered, factory finished products that come with a 30-year warranty against warping and rot and a 10-year warranty on the paint finish, enough to reassure even the most sceptical buyer.

The other misconception is that they are prohibitively expensive. Again, this is no longer the case. Timber windows and doors will normally be more expensive than standard PVCU, but they are generally comparable and sometimes even cheaper than the high end composite alternatives.

The latest Palmer Report has of course predicted a shift in the window market towards premium products, and taking on a timber range will certainly help installers make the most of that shift.

Aspirational homeowners buying premium products are often concerned largely with aesthetics, with how the windows and doors will enhance their property, and with the environmental credentials of the material they choose. Upselling to this type of customer with a beautifully handcrafted Allan Brothers product, which carries the FSC certified forest symbol, really is much easier than you might think.

The Allan Brothers range is vast and includes flush fitting casements and vertical sliding sashes alongside entrance doors, French doors and sliding patios, all made to measure at our Berwick upon Tweed factory to suit both traditional and contemporary properties. There are four stylish woodstains available and, with our own paint facility, we can offer customers any RAL colour finish.

As part of the giant Inwido Group, already the largest supplier of windows in Europe, I think Allan Brothers can justifiably claim to offer customers the perfect combination of traditional British craftsmanship and advanced Scandinavian technology.