StormDo you remember the big storm in the UK last Christmas? I’ll never forget it, because the whole front of my house leaked.

I was working in my home office, when I heard the dreaded drip-drip-drip. Pushed by gale-force winds, the rain was seeping under the windowsill and landing on the power adapter for my iMac. Then I checked the front bedroom next door. Oh no! That windowsill was leaking too. I went downstairs to watch TV. Argh!!! So much rain was coming in that water was running down the walls from upstairs.

Clearly, the windows needed replacing.

I soon discovered that everything I’d heard about double-glazing salesmen is true.

One scribbled a quote on a compliment slip. The next day, his office phoned and offered a reduced price – unsolicited.

Another made a big show of calculating the price per window, immediately crossed out the total and wrote a lower price for no apparent reason.

I asked one if I could get references from local customers. He said: “I could point to any windows on your street and tell you I did them and you’d never know.”

Then I met Martin. He wasn’t the cheapest, but he was the most business-like of the lot – by far.

He emailed CAD visuals of each window, captioned with individual prices that were calculated to the penny. The quote included insurance and guarantees to reassure me. He told me: “The price is the price. I don’t haggle like the others.”

What’s more, he gave me a list of every job he’d ever done in the area, and invited me to contact any of them. One previous customer told me: “Martin did my windows 12 years ago and they still look amazing.” Another said: “After he did my windows I recommended Martin to my whole family. They are all as happy as I am.”

Guess who I chose to replace my windows?

No prizes.

What you can learn from this

  • Offer superb service to stand out from the rest, especially if you’re in a business with a poor reputation
  • Don’t offer discounts unless you get something you want in return
  • Be open and transparent (like my new windows, ha ha) about your previous customers

photo credit: ComputerHotline via photopin cc

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