December 10, 2020

Is virtual selling here to stay?

by Guest Blogger

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Nowadays, you can do just about anything online – order groceries, get prescriptions delivered, book a table at a restaurant, hail a ride or purchase about anything you need for delivery in a day or two. You don’t need to talk to anyone or do anything, except click a button.

We are living in the age of uber-convenience. But what does that mean for home improvement professionals?

Since the dawn of time, in-home sales visits have been a mainstay for window companies. It’s where we make that personal connection with homeowners, showcase our product samples and build trust. Fast forward to 2020. While homeowners are more likely to engage in home improvement projects because they are simply home more, many are leery about allowing anyone from the outside into their bubbles.
After probably more than a century, the whole home improvement sales model was blown up in an instant. While virtual selling was on the radar to some degree as a nice to have, it was not the norm. And many were not prepared right away. It took some retraining, redevelopment of marketing materials and likely a new approach to marketing.

Somehow, most adapted and adapted quickly to tap into a higher-than-expected demand from consumers. But the big question is whether in-home sales visits are a thing of the past or if they will be as important to window companies when we come out on the other side of the pandemic.

This question was posed in a recent DWM webinar, “The Door and Window Industry in a Post-Pandemic World,” to panelists on both the manufacturing side and the retail side of the fenestration industry. And the responses were mixed. There are still homeowners who prefer the personalized in-home visits (as long as they are safely executed) and others who have embraced the virtual format.
But one thing both panelists agreed on was that virtual selling is here to stay, and I have to agree. Now more than ever, digital conveniences are embedded into our culture. The challenge for the fenestration industry is how we continuously adapt our old ways of thinking to the new world and the new needs of consumers – beyond the pandemic.

Of course, we will never be able to do our jobs 100% remotely – we will still need to be there to measure and install. However, the challenges ahead will be to enrich consumer experiences online, find new ways to build connections and trust and to make the entire selling process more convenient and adaptable for wherever and whenever customers want to work with us.

How are you adapting to the evolving wants and needs of your customers? We are a creative and resilient industry. I’d love to hear what companies are doing to adjust to the new normal today, and beyond. Email me directly at larry.johnson@quanex.com.
 

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: December 10, 2020 by Guest Blogger Filed under: marketing, strategies, virtual events