Mark Atkinson, sales director, Hurst Doors, explains why home improvement companies may want to re-consider their approach to composite door sales.
You’re sitting down with the homeowner, they’re in your showroom or it’s a house call.
Then it happens. That moment of panic sets in. The beads of sweat start to form on your forehead.
They ask ‘what are my glass options? What sort of door furniture can I choose?
You know that your brochure isn’t up to date. That your supplier switched hardware or that you source glass from somewhere else and things start to unravel – because you can’t show the homeowner the door that you want them to buy – only a general sense of what it might look like.
Things go in one of two directions. The homeowner isn’t so bothered after all. You manage to fudge your way through it and then still get the sale (in which case you have to hope that they aren’t disappointed when its actually fitted).
Or – they start to drift away. Not unreasonably, they want to know and understand, exactly what they’re buying and if you can’t provide the answers, they’re going to walk away.
The reality is that pressure on household budgets now, and going into the new year, make home improvement sales tougher. Homeowners that are still spending are more discerning, and we need to become better at how we communicate our offer to them.
It’s something we’ve been working hard on. Investing in high quality lifestyle CGI imagery to help consumers reimagine their homes. We’ve also invested in video. We’ve used professional presenters to walk homeowners through design and colour options and considerations to help them to not only understand technical performance but provide handy tips to help them choose the door that is right for their property.
We’ve pulled it together in our new ‘You’re Home with Hurst’ composite door brochure. Homeowners can scan a QR code and access additional information while leafing through page after page of stunning lifestyle imagery.
It’s about much more than pretty imagery. It’s about giving homeowners what they want – technical information and product specific detail from letter plates and door knockers to glass.
It immediately changes the dialogue making what composite doors what they should be – an aspirational, not a commodity sale.
It also takes the pressure off sales. Not every one of our customers has a large sales team. Many sell, and fit.
The You’re at Home With Hurst brochure is a tool which you can leave behind with the end-user and it will do a lot of the work for you as an interactive sales tool – even if you don’t have a dedicated sales team.
And we’re not stopping there. We’re continuing to develop our retail support offer and will launch new digital sales tools shortly.
The points of differentiation on technical performance between the majority of composite doors is limited.
It comes instead from hardware, colour and glass choice, things that Hurst is majoring on, and in the way that its presented and marketed.
We are moving our offer and our customers offer forward and will set the standard for how composite doors are supplied and sold.
We’re underpinning that with great service. We have a 99%+ OTIF and have invested in a new edge bander and beam saw, alongside three CNCs, further enhancing product quality and increasing our capacity.
In a market where end-user expectations are changing, Hurst and our customers are changing with them.