Tom Shafer

10 tips for surviving in-home window sales presentations

January 13, 2012

When you shop for residential replacement windows, a salesperson typically comes to your home. If you're not familiar with in-home window sales presentations, knowing what to expect, what to ask and what to watch for can help you make the best purchasing decision. Use these ten tips to prepare before the salesperson arrives:

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  1. If you own the house with someone -- anyone else who might share in the purchase and/or financing of your windows -- make sure you are both present. Savvy salespeople know the most convenient excuse for not making a buying decision is, "I have to discuss this with my husband." Reschedule.
  2. Arrange for someone to keep young children occupied, preferably away from where you are meeting, so they won't distract you or the salesperson. You don't want to miss any information that's crucial to such a big-ticket, buying decision.
  3. Listen attentively. You can learn about all of the features of the windows, how they look and how you can expect them to perform.
  4. Expect to see samples of the window. If a salesperson comes into your home without a sample, it raises a red flag about the product's quality.
  5. Don't hesitate to ask the salesperson about redesigning some of the window openings. Combining several adjacent window openings into one larger one, or adding new window shapes, can dramatically improve your home's appearance.
  6. If you need to finance your purchase, be sure to ask about your options. Be cautious, however, and know the company you are dealing with. A few home improvement companies might be in business primarily to lend money at high interest rates.
  7. Accompany salespeople when they go around your house measuring the windows, not just for peace of mind, but to make sure they don't miss any windows.
  8. Don't be afraid to show your salesperson quotes you've received from other vendors. You might even get a better price if they're anxious to close the sale.
  9. If you found your salesperson through an ad for "low, low" per-window prices, be wary. Those ads are designed to generate sales leads. Windows cost several hundred dollars each, and individual options can be priced separately.
  10. Remember that your salesperson has a life outside of their work. Don't expect them to make appointments at very early or very late hours, or to answer calls after work hours unless they specifically extend that option to you.

In-home window sales presentations are an opportunity to learn in-depth about the windows you're considering. If you follow these guidelines, meeting with your salesperson can go smoothly and provide all the information you need to make a qualified decision.

About the Author

Tom Shafer has decades of experience in window sales, marketing and product development. He's worked closely with window design engineers in testing, design, and building code interpretation. Past employers include United Windows and Doors and Norandex, MI Windows. He currently works at a home improvement retailer.

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