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For windows and doors manufacturers and installers, it's all "about us"

By Wolfgang Franke, President & Creative Director, Words at Work Advertising & Marketing

The photo at left reminds the home owner of something that is not appealing – the installation process (noise, dust, disruption), the photo at right reminds the home owner that his or home will look better with new windows. Guess which photo window and door companies use most often? (Hint: it is not the one at right).

Here are a few tips for all the Toronto window and door companies that could get my business if they just stopped employing the following 1970s style marketing techniques

  1. Boasting about all the things that make your company great.  You are guilty of this if your advertising is full of we statements – “We are proud of…”  “We are the best”.  I do not care about any of these things.
  2. Understand that vague is the enemy of success.  Do not tell me you have energy efficient windows without also telling me how much energy I could save.
  3. I do not care if “you are in the area”.  You have to give me a real reason to choose your company.
  4. I am uninterested in your company if the person cold calling me fails to identify themselves immediately.
  5. If you are going to employ cold calling, invest some time and money in training of the people making the calls.
  6. Recognize that women make or influence most of the big decisions home owners make, including deciding when to buy windows and doors.   Women care about the same things that men focus on (price, quality, installation date), but they also care about something that most men don’t care about – how their house looks from the street.  Yet most window and door distributors in Toronto and the GTA don’t even mention how their product could improve the look of a home.
  7. Windows and doors are a grudge purchase, meaning most people would prefer to spend that money on something else.  This means you have to work harder to get a sale.  For example, home owners will be more likely to buy if you remind them that new doors and windows enhance the curb appeal of a home and that means they will likely be able to get a higher price for their home.
  8. It is not a marketing strategy to claim you are all things to all people.  To get my business, you have to differentiate yourself from the competition.
  9. Stop all advertising until you have established an elevator-test statement (ten words or less that establish your Unique Selling Point) and everyone involved in sales can execute that statement effortlessly.
  10. Show, don’t tell.  Instead of claiming your work is great, give me before and after photos that prove your work is great.

Let’s wrap up with the biggest single error made by window and door companies (and most other businesses).   It’s the belief that consumers are impressed by “we specialize” statements.

Check out the websites of the leading window and door manufacturers in Toronto and you will find endless “we specialize in” statements. This is useless because it is stating the obvious and really tells me nothing.   For example, do Apple iPhone ads include a claim that Apple specializes in Smart Phones?  No.  Does Pizza Pizza tell us that it specializes in pizza?  No.

Do yourself a favor by eliminating “we specialize” statements, which are all about your company, and replacing them with “you statements”, which are all about the consumer and what they gain by using your product or service.  It won’t cost you anything, but it will spike your sales.

You are welcome.