Which type of salesman are you?

Christopher Brinsden, founder and CEO of Tommy Trinder asks if you are Closer, Sender, or Processor.

From discussions with more than 350 installation companies, Tommy Trinder has identified three main approaches to how installers quote and sell

Here, we discuss each of them.

Closer. The 1980’s stereotype of the double-glazing salesman, delivering a price then wearing the customer down with special discounts until they and finally give in and sign, still looms large in the public imagination. Yet from discussions with hundreds of window companies, Tommy Trinder has found that salesmen that price on the night have become a minority breed.

From our findings only around 22% of salesman deliver a price during the initial sales visit. Time pressures, complexity of product mix, and a myriad of site variables are cited as the principal reasons for not pricing live. However, pricing on the spot still has ardent fans and brings significant rewards for installers that invest.

For some installers, pricing on the night is against their fundamental principles, while others tell us they would not have it any other way. The fact is once you de-couple giving a price from pressure selling, the benefits to time saving and minimising error are difficult to ignore. Done professionally, it’s actually great customer service too. I doubt many customers who are given the option of ‘do you want the price now or in a week’s time?’ would choose the latter.

Sender. More than half of the salesmen interviewed by Tommy Trinder measure up, come away from the house, re-draw what they did on site and send an enquiry off to a supplier, or suppliers, who will provide cost prices.

The obvious benefit is that the installer has surety over the margin on the job. But the downside is the time it takes and the room for error inherent in transposing information.

Even when the prices come back from the supplier the work is far from done; spreadsheets are usually involved to transform cost prices into selling prices, and there’s often lots of copying and pasting of product images and spec to arrive at some form of document that can be sent on to the homeowner.

And if a customer asks for options, it can be back to the drawing board. The risk is that by the time the work’s done the lead has gone cold.

Processor. The processor also comes away from site to price. But instead of sending off for prices, he relies on re-entering information gathered during the initial sales visit into a piece of software, typically provided by his supplier, to generate costs.

This software sometimes generates a quotation for the homeowner too and the installer may use this to place his orders with his supplier as well. The system can be robust. However, processors run into problems when a job has to be sourced from multiple manufacturers.

And there are complaints, too, about the overly technical nature of the software. Many installers complain to us about ‘software fatigue’. They are fed up with juggling a plethora of apps, software packages and quoting solutions that have been foisted on them by their suppliers. All too often these software packages are designed to better serve the manufacturer than the installer; beset with an interface that is overly technical, and quotes that are loaded with jargon and fail to inspire. Essentially these are not pieces of software that are designed to help the installer sell.

Feedback from installers is central to development of Tommy Trinder’s Framepoint app; the business prioritises the development of new features and based entirely on installer demands.

Installers can send pricing requests to multiple suppliers directly from the Framepoint app in a click which saves re-drawing everything multiple times. Or, with Framepoint’s advanced pricing module, installers that want to sell on the night can pre-populate the app with price matrices for any PVCU, aluminium or timber product.

Our primary mission is to help installers save time, minimise error and wow customers. Having mechanisms to price efficiently is a big part of that.