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GGP June 2015

62 P R O F I L E S & S Y S T E M S Communication is key to sales success Advancements in technology mean consumers are better informed about products than ever before. Howard Hirst, sales director for Liniar, discusses what implications this could At Liniar, we’re getting more and more enquiries through our website from consumers who have heard all about our product range and would like to be put in touch with an installer. Obviously this makes us very happy – but it also highlights a potential knowledge gap due to the nature of the supply chain when it comes to finished products. Challenges of the supply chain As a systems company, we’ve developed the Liniar PVC-U profile from scratch to be highly energy efficient, designing fabricator, installer and consumer friendly features into each of the products in the range. Our customers are window fabricators, who manufacture the windows and doors to Liniar’s exacting standards, then either install the products themselves, or sell onto trade or installers. This means that there can be up to four links within the supply chain before the products are sold to the end consumer – who is highly likely to have already carried out his or her own research about what they want to buy. Knowledge is power Do you know why one profile is more energy efficient than another? Do you know the Windows Energy Rating or ‘U’ values of the products you are selling? Do you know how to achieve even better thermal ratings by asking your fabricator to add enhancements such as the glazing “make sure you emphasise the reasons they should continue to buy from you” flipper or the thermal dam? This level of detail may not seem too important at first glance, but when faced with a well-informed customer, if you don’t know the answers to these questions, your credibility could be seriously undermined. Not only is it important for the fabricator to understand the benefits of the window system they manufacture, it’s arguably even more critical for the installer to know, and be able to communicate the unique selling points to customers. If you’re a fabricator, it may be worth considering how you communicate with installers at the point of purchase. Maybe you could produce flyers or posters, or rely on face-to-face communication by ensuring counter sales staff and even drivers are knowledgeable about the product range. Not only should you focus on the system features and benefits, but also make sure you emphasise the reasons they should continue to buy from you; from the high quality of your hand-finished products to your impeccable customer service and fast turnaround times. You could also point installers in the direction of useful resources such as installation guides and videos – as well as ensuring they know about the latest matching products in the range. Not only will this add value for have for the sales person at the front line. www.ggpmag.com June 2015 Continued on page 64 Howard Hirst


GGP June 2015
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