Year of the salesperson?

Selling, remember that? It’s the process of keeping order books stocked by convincing prospective clients that we are better than the competition. And it’s not exactly been a priority for window installers in 2021. But in 2022 that’s set to change, argues CEO of Tommy Trinder Chris Brunsdon.

2021 ended on a cliff hanger for business, as the virus’s latest swerve heaped uncertainty on top of an already fragile economy. But whichever way Omicron plays out, the roaring demand for windows and doors witnessed in the year is unlikely to continue.

With the virus continually throwing us curved balls, planning has never been harder. Given what we know, however, it is possible to map out a couple of scenarios, both of which point to a tightening market for replacement windows and doors.

If Omicron turns out to be a false alarm, and something we can cope with, then daily life will begin to return to normal over the course of 2022. Consumers will celebrate new-found freedoms by spending on experiences over things. Pent-up demand for travel will un-wind with gusto as the public plot revenge vacations. The same goes for leisure, events and generally having a good time. Spending on the home will be so last year.

On the other hand, if the effect of new variant proves to more severe, and we see a return to social distancing, lockdowns or working from home, then consumer confidence, dismayed at the prospect of a pandemic long haul, is likely to plunge.

Signs of cooling are creeping in already with many window firms reporting a slowing in leads and orders over recent weeks as people and businesses shift to wait-and-see mode. Sensing bad vibes, the CBI has slashed expectations for Britain’s growth in 2022 from 8.2% to 5.1% for next year.

Some respite from the demand frenzy of 2021 may well be welcomed by the industry. And no doubt they’ll be sighs of relief as hard-pressed supply chains re-normalise. But then, as 2022 rolls on, it will be back to business and doing what we in double-glazing do best: sell.

We’ve very much tracked the Covid wave. When we couldn’t go out at all, Framepoint became the solution for helping installers sell without home visits. Demand for our app surged as double-glazing salesmen took to Zoom. Free sketching PVCU, timber and aluminium products with clients in real time via Framepoint became a new normal.

Many window firms found they rather liked taking orders without getting in a car, so much so that using Framepoint to sell remotely will endure beyond the pandemic for many hundreds of our customers.

Then came the demand tsunami. Installers, working all hours to keep up, turned to Framepoint in the need for speed. It was all about saving time, and reports came in of some Frampoint subscribers saving as much of 30 hours a month on quoting.

Looking ahead we very much see 2022 as the year when window companies will need to back to selling. In a tougher, more competitive market, Tommy Trinder’s mission will be to provide the technology installers need to stand out from the crowd, wow customers, and continue to win orders.