Triple Pane vs Double Pane Windows

When deciding on triple pane vs double pane glass for your new windows there are several important factors to consider.  There are differences in sound transmission, weight, efficiency and cost.  Here we’ll take a look at all 5 factors to help you make the best decision for you and your home.

double pand vs triple pane windows, cost, prices, noise and sound
When comparing double pane vs triple pane windows there are many factors to consider.

How about noise through triple pane vs double pane windows?

It is VERY common for replacement window salespeople to tell folks that windows with triple pane glass will reduce noise in the home.  In fact, switching from double pane to triple pane has a very small impact on sound.  You’d be much better served by going with laminated glass.  We go into more depth on this in our sound transmission post.  The long and the short of it is if you’re buying triple pane windows to reduce noise you’re overspending.

best replacement windows of 2015

Are triple pane windows heavy?

Well, yes they are heavier, but it shouldn’t matter to you.  A high quality replacement windows will have a balance mechanism to counterbalance the weight of the sash.  Regardless of how heavy the glass is the window should slide up and down effortlessly.  If your new windows are hard to open it’s either because the balance mechanism is not working correctly, the windows don’t fit in the opening just right or something else is impeding their motion.  The weight of the glass or the sash shouldn’t have an impact.

Along these same lines, some folks think triple pane windows will have a higher failure rate because of the weight and the fact that they have 2 air chambers.  This stems either from the days of old or from a salesperson pushing an agenda.  All nice new windows come with a complete warranty that protects you against any future problems.

How beneficial are triple pane energy efficient windows?

There is certainly an improvement in efficiency when comparing triple pane vs double pane windows.  It’s important to compare the window ratings including u-factor, shgc and visible transmission when comparing the options in order to understand the differences.

Triple pane windows will typically have u-factors that are about 20-30% better than a similar double pane window.  That’s a pretty substantial improvement.  They will also have better SHGC ratings as they tend to have two surfaces coated with a low-e coating.  These coatings will leave you with a lower visible transmission rating meaning it will typically be darker in a home with triple pane windows.

Are these increases in efficiency worth the trade off of increased cost and decreased light?  Only you can decide that, but with the cost difference likely being lower than you might expect more folks are picking triple pane options.

single pane, double pane, triple pane
Some folks even compare single pane with double and triple pane options.

Cost of triple pane vs double pane windows:

In my experience, when the topic of triple pane glass comes up some homeowners immediately say “oh no, we don’t need that!”  I find they tend to say that because they’ve received a quote for windows with triple pane glass before and the pricing was HIGH.  This led them to believe that pricing for all triple pane windows will be high.

As with everything relating to prices of replacement windows there are many factors at play, but the cost difference doesn’t need to be too substantial.  Perhaps $100 per window is a decent estimate.  So if you can get a great vinyl replacement window installed for around $350 with double pane glass then switching to triple pane glass would put you in the $450 neighborhood.  Sure, it’s more expensive, but it’s nowhere near the $800 per window that some companies try to charge.

Why do some companies try to charge $800-$1000 per window for triple pane windows? 

We’ll be writing a whole series on the tricky practices of some window companies out there.  The short answer is because people pay it sometimes.  If nobody was buying they’d either change their ways or go out of business.  Congrats to you for not taking the bait, but you can be sure there was someone behind you snapping it up.

These companies will likely tend to continue to struggle due to the fact that people are much more informed than they were years ago.

Remember, when deciding between triple pane vs double pane think about how long you’ll be in the home and whether energy savings over time are worth spending money upfront today.  

Other posts you might find helpful:

If you haven’t taken a look yet, try out our window reviews pages to get a better idea of the options.

If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to check out our list of the best window companies all over the country.  You can find it right here. 

Preservation Window Complaints – Is something wrong?

Preservation windows were designed by very savvy marketing folks. They’re intended to be sold by some of the highest priced replacement window companies in the country. They’re produced by one of the largest replacement window manufacturers in the country too. So why might you find Preservation window complaints online? The answer is pretty simple, mostly.

The cause is similar to some of the other manufacturers we’ve discussed. A common thread in Preservation window complaints has to do with the pricing. The sales tactics used by some of the door to door type salespeople can leave a lot to be desired.

This product line was developed by Associated Materials with the specific intention of being sold through the highest priced dealers around. Typically they’ll only offer them through one dealer in each city. Limited distribution is usually not great for customers but it might have an upside or two. Now if you’re a window dealer and you’re trying to sell products for a premium price this could be a good thing. If you’re buying windows it might not be so great.

A window contractor selling high priced windows will have his work cut out for him. He’ll typically need to tell some fancy stories. He’ll also often be a little tricky with the pricing to get people to buy. This isn’t unique to the window industry or to Preservation windows. It’s just a fact.

When you give customers tricky pricing and sales claims you’re likely to make some people unhappy. That’ll lead to Preservation window complaints.

Preservation windows complaints, price, warranty and cost.

Are Preservation windows good enough to justify the price?

This one is a little tricky as each individual dealer or contractor will set the retail pricing. It’s always possible that someone could offer a fair deal but you’ll usually see higher prices than might be warranted.

In general Preservation windows do use some higher end components. They’ll have things like upgraded balance mechanisms and non-metallic spacers in the insulated glass units. You might hear about fiberglass reinforcement or a sloped sill. Unfortunately for them it’s perfectly possible to find the same type of higher end components in most cost effective windows. As an example, my company tends to offer a much better value for very similar products. So, I know it can be done.

You can find more information on Preservation windows including info on the price, warranty and cost on our Preservation window review post right here.

Are Preservation windows good quality windows?

Sure, they’re perfectly nice but really not that remarkable. For example, according to the manufacturers data a Preservation double hung window has an air infiltration rate of 0.10 which is around 2.5x higher than another popular model made by the same parent company that my company offers.

They’ll also use thicker frames that block a little more light than other models. For some people this is a big deal, others don’t care too much.

The brochures, iPad demos and all marketing information for Preservation really are top notch. They do a great job of presenting the products and trying to justify the prices. In my mind they’re often not the best value around. They’re not a product I would buy for my house but different people make different choices.

Are Preservation window dealers all bad?

Defininltey not. I’ve known several of them over the years. There are perfectly nice companies offering Preservation windows. There are also not so great companies using the limited distribution of this product line to charge a premium price. For example there’s one Preservation window dealer in the Pacific Northwest that I’d suggest staying away from based on his interaction with my company over the years but that’s a story for another day.

So, how should I decide who to work with?

The window business is challenging, that’s for sure. Every company says they’re the best and they all say that everyone else is horrible. It can feel difficult to navigate, but luckily it’s really not that hard.

I always suggest starting with a company with a good reputation and a solid track record. Then listed to what they have to suggest. Ask any questions about it, ask about options both more expensive and less expensive. When you feel like they’re offering a reasonable value that fits your needs you should buy it.

It is not a good idea to fall in love with a window brand before yo’ve found someone to install them. That said, you can find the best window reviews on the internet right here.

To try to help in that regard we’ve compiled a list of great companies all over the country. We may not know anyone in your neighborhood yet but it doesn’t’ hurt to ask. You can find our list of the best replacement window companies right here.

Does More Expensive Mean Better When Buying New Windows?

Just a quick post today because I came across a funny YouTube video that I wanted to share.

Often times customers will think that one window product is better than another because it costs more. We understand this industry is challenging to navigate but it’s a mistake to assume that more expensive means better.

There certainly are super cheap windows that are basically garbage and there are more expensive options that are defininltey nicer products.

Unfortunately, with most window companies it can be hard to tell if your hard earned dollars are going towards better quality products and service or are they going to the salesman’s pocket? The best way to avoid over paying is to start by talking with a reputable company (like the companies we recommend all over the country).

Customers also often think that the friendly salesman that came over to their house is looking to help them. Unfortunately both can be pretty far from the truth.

Here’s a sales trainer or “coach” for the in-home sales business showing you what these guys do when they leave your house with an order.

Is he worrying about providing the best value to you or is he focused on selling for the highest price so his 10% – 15% commission is as high as possible?

This is what these guys do when they leave your house with a contract. Buyer beware.

How do you get new windows without the run-around from a pushy in-home salesman?

Check this section for our recommended companies all over the country. You can also find window reviews here and more info on common window sales tactics here.

Have fun out there!

How to Cancel a Window Order. Hint: Don’t Delay.

Every once in a while we hear from someone who has placed an order for custom made and windows and now they want to cancel their window order. Can you do that, how do you do it, are there costs to cancel a window order? Let’s find out.

Can you cancel a window order?

The short answer is yes, if you’re fast enough. If you met a smooth talking door to door window salesman yesterday you can still cancel your order. You typically have 3 business days to change your mind about anything sold by a door to door salesman.

The government knows those guys can be tricky so they give you the option to get out of any deal. Beware that in some states Saturday can be a business day so time is of the essence.

To cancel your order send them something in writing, an email to the main company email account works fine. If you don’t have that address you can send one to the salesperson. If he didn’t leave an email address (that was probably on purpose) you can send them a text or call their office to ask for the email address.

Beware, they’re prepared for you to try to cancel your order.

The slickest of companies are very used to people trying to cancel their window order shortly after signing up. They know their salespeople are pushy and often have customers feeling buyers remorse.

They’re prepared for your cancellation call and they’ll have a response ready to go. They’ll connect you with a “manager” who will likely offer you a super special deal to get you to change your mind.

Don’t fall for it. Your intuition was right. If you wanted to cancel a window order there was likely a good reason. Just stick to your guns and don’t deal with them. Just tell them you’re expecting any deposit returned promptly per state law. No matter how offended or helpful or mad or sad or glad they may seem it’s all just an act. Once you stick to your guns they’ll just give you your deposit back and move on to the next person.

They may even try to schedule another appointment to review your project, or see if they can find additional savings or (insert excuse here). Don’t participate in their games. It could be an excuse to get you to wait until after the three business days. If they overcharged you once you should find someone else to work with. There are plenty of fish in the sea.

If you’re contacting them within 3 business days there is nothing they can do. They must cancel your order and return your deposit. Don’t accept anything else.

You won’t be the first person or the last person to cancel an order with them.

What if it has been longer than 3 business days?

Unfortunately you might be out of luck, but there’s still a chance. Before an order has actually gone to manufacturing the sales company can cancel it if they want. They don’t want to cancel it at that point so they’ll try to resist and tell you it’s impossible but it’s not. They’re lying.

You can be sure an order has not gone to manufacturing if they have not yet taken the final measurements. The salesman might have acted like he took measurements but almost all the time that’s just for show. They don’t actually use his measuremetns for anything so that step doesn’t matter.

He does that just to look like he’s being thorough. We have an upcoming post on that so keep an eye out.

If someone has come by after the salesperson to take the final measurements then the order could be in manufacturing and at that point you really can’t cancel it. The windows are all yours.

Now before you window salesmen out there get all excited, it is possible that the salesman did take the final measurements. We had a rep in our of our locations who had prior experience measuring windows so we’d have him measure to skip a step for the customers. That is unusual, but it could happen.

Basically anytime another measuring appointment is scheduled then you know the order is not in manufacturing and could be canceled.

Once years ago when I worked for a window manufacturer I had a really sleezy customer who asked me to fake an order document for him so he could tell his customer that the windows were on order and could not be canceled. He told his customer that the plant started on the order based on the salesperson’s measurements and they only needed the final measurement appointment to work out the final details. That was a lie.

My company lets people cancel an order for any reason anytime before the manufacturing begins because I think it’s good karma. Most window companies don’t feel the same way. This is defininltey a funny business.

Can I return custom made windows or change my mind later?

Unfortunately that gets expensive quickly. We’ll be publishing another post on that very topic later this week so stay tuned. Sometimes people think you can try before you buy and that’s just not how it works.

If you have cancel an order from a pushy company wand want to find a better solution check this section find our company or other recommended companies in your area. You can also find window reviews here and information about the tricky window sales tactics that many companies uses here. We hope you enjoy the site!

Top 11 Lies Told By Window Salesmen

Sometimes window salesmen write in all upset thinking I’m picking on them about something.  Usually I’m not, but I suppose in this case I am.  I’m not picking on the knowledgable and helpful person who may disagree with me on something.  Rather, the uninformed rep who doesn’t know what he’s talking about but speaks with all the confidence he got it last week’s sales meeting.

Some of these guys just don’t let the truth get in their way.  Some only know what they’ve been taught. They may really believe what they’re saying or they may know they’re full of it.  Either way, it’s important that you know the truth.

Here are the common claims you’ll hear out there.  Click on them to find information and explanations that may make the salesperson’s thoughts seem a little more questionable.

Top 11 Lies Told by Window Salesmen:

  • These windows were made specifically for our company
  • Fiberglass windows are far superior to all other types
  • We use virgin vinyl while the other guys use regrind vinyl
  • Our installers are employees not subcontractors
  • We use foam in the window frames while nobody else does
  • We have the more layers of low-e in our glass
  • Our windows are fusion welded and others aren’t
  • Vinyl windows will warp and crack in your climate
  • Our lifetime warranty is great and others are “limited”
  • Triple pane windows are the best option to reduce sound
  • We have special spacers, glass, vinyl, parts, etc

If you’ve been shopping for windows you’ve probably heard some of these whoppers.  We’ll be updating posts about each of these topics in the coming days.  Check back here for updates and you can even bookmark this page to keep track.

If you have any suggestions for additional topics or examples of creative storytelling by window salespeople post a comment and let us know.  We’re always looking for great material for future posts!

In the meantime you may want to check out our section on the most common replacement window sales tactics.  Replacement window salespeople can be a never-ending source of amusement!

Other posts you might find helpful:

And, if you want to skip the hassle of dealing with salespeople like this you can find our listing of the best window companies all over the country right here.

What is the You Deserve it Close?

Now remember, I generally really like sales consultants.  I post videos like this because I think you might want to know what kinds of maneuvers are being taught by the home improvement sales trainers out there.

When you’re inviting a sales person into your house you may think they’re just there to measure the windows or to give you a bid.  In reality they’re likely to be trained professionals who have worked on their closing strategies and have practiced all of the possible scenarios so they can close the deal tonight.

Of course this is the old fashioned way of doing business, but it’s out there and it’s happening every day.

You don’t need to deal with companies that use these maneuvers, but it can be hard to figure out who the good guys are.  If you’d like you can check out our list of great window companies from around the country here.

For now, check out this funny video on the you deserve it close.  Maybe you should buy those new windows before you die.  Ha.

These guys are really still out there training salespeople at some of the largest home improvement companies in the country.  I suppose it’s good for my company that so many people still act like it’s 1970, but it’s bad for our industry as a whole when salespeople are too pushy and aggressive.

Have a question or comment, post it below.  You can also find our explanations of other common sales tactics and replacement window reviews here.  Want to get a quote from a reputable company?  Find our list of fantastic window companies here.

Why Do Most Salespeople Sound the Same?

You may not know this, but there are window sales consultants all over the country teaching salespeople the “best” ways to separate you from your money.

home improvement sales tricks

When you invite a home improvement salesperson into your house you may be getting someone who has spent years honing his craft.  He’s worked on various closing strategies, he’s practiced handling your objections, he has a plan to drop the price at a certain point after you’ve said no enough times.  He’s going to call his manager at just the right time to make you think you’ve really warn him down.

Every day people ask me why these companies require both the husband an date wife to be present for the quote or why window salespeople are all so pushy.  One of the reasons is that they all learn from the same sales consultants.

You may think you’re just having someone come over to measure your windows at 6:30pm when you get home from work without understanding exactly what you’re getting yourself into.  Before you know it you might have signed a $20,000 contract for windows that could have cost $8,000 after a 3 or 4 hour sales pitch.  It happens every day, don’t let it happen to you.

Now I should say that I typically really like sales consultants.  I like anyone who takes their work seriously and tries to do better today than he did yesterday.  Unfortunately I think some companies and salespeople spend too much energy on getting the order at any cost rather than providing a great value and that leads to our whole industry getting a bad name.

It’s certainly the case that there are many good people in the home improvement business, but it can sometimes be hard to separate the good from the bad.

Here I’ll show you a handful of videos about these closing strategies.  Notice the people in the audience, sitting there taking in this info.  These are the salespeople that work for many of the largest window companies in the country.  These are the people who could be sitting on your couch tonight for your free window quote.  Or maybe they just left with your deposit last night.

If you have any questions or comments about these videos or any sales tactics feel free to post a comment.  This might become an interesting section on the site!

What is the you deserve it close?

What will they do if you want to think it over?

Why do they want the husband and the wife to be there for the quote?

Have a question or comment, post it below.  You can also find our explanations of other common sales tactics and replacement window reviews here.  Want to get a quote from a reputable company?  Find our list of fantastic window companies here.

What is Price Conditioning and How is it Used Against You?

Ever heard of price conditioning?  Chances are you’ve experienced it, probably several times every day.  Here’s how it works.

Companies know that you want a “great deal”.  Who doesn’t, right?  Think of what happens every time someone you know buys a new house.  What’s the first thing they tell you?  They tell you all about how they got such a great deal.  Of course they did, nobody buys a bad deal (insert sarcasm here).

How do they know they got a “great deal” on that house?  They might compare the price they paid to the asking price, or to the Zestimate, or the price their sister paid.  That’s price conditioning. They got another price in their head, that price was higher than the price they paid so they must have gotten a great price.  It makes sense and it’s often not based in reality.

How is this used against you?

The odds are pretty good that you’re not a window expert.  You don’t know what custom windows like this cost, but everyone knows you want a good deal.  How can the company convince you that they’re offering a great deal?  Easy, they’ll show you a really bad deal and then show you how their deal is better than that.

Their deal might still be a long way from good, but if it’s better than the horrible price they showed you they’ll at least have a chance of getting you to think it’s a smart buy.

You got $40,000 worth of windows for $25,000 whoa you must be a great shopper!

You’ll see companies start with a very high price only to lower it right away with a “special sale”.  They might show you the regular price of $40,000 only to then let you know about the sale that is going on right now.  With the price at only $25,000 on sale you’d be a fool to pass up this deal.   Never mind the fact that you could get similar windows for $15,000 from someone else.

They know full well that nobody is going to buy those windows for $40,000.  They start at $40k, let you hit the ceiling, tell them to get out of their house, etc.  Then they talk you back down.  They let you know about the sale that’s going on now and the fact that they need one more order to hit their monthly goal.

They tell you that you might not have to pay that price to get $40k worth of windows.  If they could offer you a substantial discount on your order tonight would you be interested in hearing about it?  Of course you would.  Now you’re sitting back down and they have you right where they want you.  That’s price conditioning.

Do you want to hear a funny story?

One of our competitors in Maryland is a one of these old fashioned companies who uses all of the old timey tricks.  They do the half off installation and the buy 2 get one free and more.  It’s fun to listen to their radio commercials.

One of their reps met with a potential customer and gave her the full treatment.  Our rep was the next person in there that night and the customer was so upset at the other company she spent half an hour venting abut what a jerk that other guy was.

It turns out the other guy left a binder behind by accident.  In it he had probably 10 other “quotes” from brand name companies for ridiculous amounts.  Something like 10 vinyl replacement windows for $18,000, etc.

They were using that binder to try to overcome the objection about getting more quotes.  They know one thing you might say to avoid committing to their order is to say you have 2 other quotes scheduled.  They’re ready for that with their binder.  They’ll show you 5 other quotes that are much worse than theirs so you just might decide to buy their windows for $1,200 each so you don’t need to mess with window salesmen anymore.

After all, that’s a much better price than these other companies offer and you can see that for yourself right here in these quotes.  It’s not a great deal, but you might find it to be reasonable.

Why do companies operate that way?

Well, working in the home improvement business isn’t easy.  It’s especially challenging for companies with a bad value proposition.  They know if they give you time to shop around you won’t be calling them back.

You can see it in some of the comments on our other sales articles.  Salespeople write in to talk about how they need to close the deal today because customers never call them back.  The important point they’re missing is that people would call them back if they offered a good deal.  Since they don’t, their options are limited.  They can either get you to buy tonight or they can go home hungry.  Which do you think they’ll pick?

How can you avoid price conditioning?

It’s easy, you just need to keep an eye on what’s going on.  For example you probably wouldn’t buy a car without a reasonable idea of what that amount of money would get you from another manufacturer.  If you’re spending $30k on a Toyota you’d want to know what Ford would give you for $30k.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay more for one than another.  Get what you want, just do it with both eyes open.

In keeping with the car analogy does it matter that the Ford is normally $50k, but discounted to $30k if you buy today?  It shouldn’t.  What matters is what your $30k will buy you.  Do you like it more than the other options?  If so, but it and be happy.

Can I have one more real life example?

Sure, just today I was emailing with a customer who wanted external grids or Simulated Divided Lites (SDLs) in his windows.  This option costs a few bucks and it’s not the most popular, but some people prefer that over internal grids.

The pricing for the model he was looking at was $204 for the grids and he was shocked.  Keep in mind the total price for double hung windows, in beige, with Energy Star rated glass, professional measuring and installation by the manufacturer including the external grids was about $650 per window.

You’ll see folks commenting with prices much higher than that for typically white vinyl windows with internal grids all the time.  Unfortunately this customer was price conditioned by us to think that $200 per window for grids was ridiculous.

It can work both ways.  He saw our low prices for internal grids and somehow that made the prices for external grids seem too high.  He lost sight of the fact that $650 including a color, upgraded glass and external grids is not a bad number.  He was sure he “could do better”.

When considering your options its best to focus on the opportunity  cost.  If $5k spent with this company gets me this and it takes $7k with the other company to get me something similar than the first company is a better deal.  If the s

It can he hard to sort through the clutter.  Companies make it hard on purpose, but knowing is half the battle and now you know all about price conditioning.  Have fun out there!

Understanding Window Prices

Recently the owner of one of our favorite window companies told me that a customer who had found him through our site was confused or unsure about my pricing examples so I wanted to clarify things a little bit.

This potential customer met with the owner of the company and when he showed her how the pricing would work for her project she said that Dan at told her it would cost less and she thought he was offering a bad deal.  I know him to be an upstanding guy, so I need to try to fix this situation.

It’s important to keep in mind that when I’m throwing out examples of what a window project should cost I don’t know anything about your house, your old windows or the options you’d like in your new windows.  I know a lot of things, but I don’t know as much as the person who has taken the time to learn the details of your specific window replacement project.

As you’re reading my reviews it’s important to remember that most of the time when I’m talking about prices I’m talking about a plain, simple project with white double hung windows as that’s the most common scenario we deal with.

If your project requires extra work to fix a problem or if you’ve picked out windows with fancy options the prices will be higher.  For example, if you’re ordering triple pane windows with a nice exterior color, a woodgrain interior and etched glass it will cost a bit more than any estimate I’ve thrown out there as those are expensive options.

This is why I repeatedly suggest starting with either the companies that we recommend here.  You can be pretty confident that they’ll treat you well and give you an honest assessment of your actual project.

Folks do contact me with questions regarding specifics relating to their project and I try to help as much as I can, but without being directly involved in your project all I can do is guess.

I hope that helps to clarify any misunderstanding.  If there is ever anything I can do to help just drop me a line with the contact link at the bottom of every page.


In Defense of Salespeople

Since starting this site I’ve attracted a bit more attention than I anticipated.  As is often the case on the internet, there have been many people with questionable spelling skills who have criticized me for one thing or another.  For the most part I have a chuckle, forward their emails to my friends, and move on with my life.

However, there has been one criticism that struck a nerve and it has to do with salespeople.  Some of my most popular posts have been explaining the common sales tactics used in the shady corners of the replacement window business specifically and the home improvement business more generally.  I’ve tried to shine a light on some of the methods that salespeople use to get folks to overpay for new windows and judging by many of the positive comments, I’ve been able to help quite a few people.  That really feels great.

The criticism that has stood out to me has to do with the reasoning that because I’m exposing these tactics I must not like, appreciate or understand salespeople.  This bothers me for several reasons, but most specifically because I have a deeper respect for a serious professional salesperson than just about anyone you’ve ever met.

I’ve worked in professional sales for almost 20 years in several industries.  I’ve known great salespeople and sales managers and of course I’ve known the bad ones too.  There are several important misconceptions relating to what it means to be a salesperson and this feels like a good time to address them.

First, misleading someone into making a bad purchasing decision is not the job of a professional salesperson.  I’ll tell you why.

Sales is a craft.  It’s a hard job that many people are afraid to do.  It takes work and it involves failure; often quite a lot of failure.  The failure is different than a baseball player who strikes out.  That is done on the field in front of the crowd.  Everyone knows you put in the practice and tried hard.  You still might get cut, but your efforts are seen.

The failure that you’ll experience in sales is solitary.  It’s you sitting alone in your car on a cold rainy night listening to a voicemail from a customer saying they bought elsewhere.  It’s knowing you needed that sale to hit your numbers and remembering that customer shaking your hand and looking you in the eye just last week saying he was going to work with you.  It can take an emotional toll that folks with regular salaried 9-5 jobs just don’t understand.

Folks deal with that kind of pressure differently and unfortunately some choose to take the easy road.  You can lie or mislead your customers and if you’re half way good at that you can make a living.  Being good at deception doesn’t make you a good salesperson.  Why not?  It’s too easy.

James Brown once said there’s a big difference between a lounge act and the main stage.  If you need to mislead your customers to get a sale you will never make it to the main stage.  You may be able to pay your rent, feed your family, buy a nice car, and you may even pickup a few “salesperson of the month” trophies, but you’ll never really be successful if you base your success on lying to your customers.

After college I was a finance manager at a car dealership in Indiana.  We helped to arrange loans, sold extended warranties and other insurance products. During that time an undercover piece aired on a national news magazine show (Dateline or 20/20 or one of those).  The show exposed some shady dealings amongst finance managers and it included hidden camera footage.  It was pretty bad and as an insider it was completely unsurprising.

I knew that I never wanted to be the bad guy featured on one of those shows.  I also knew that some of our transactions were not always the type that would make my mom proud.  The pressure to hit our numbers was strong and we had to face the music in the managers meetings every month.  A professional salesperson faces a level of accountability that Jill in customer service or Mike at the sandwich shop will never understand.

I was faced with a choice.  I could keep doing things the way I had been taught and hope Stone Phillips never came walking through my door, or I could find a better way.  I hid a tape recorder on my desk (this is back when recorders actually had tapes) and I listened to my interactions with customers, the successes and the failures.

I asked myself if I would be comfortable with this tape being played on the nightly news and at first the answer was a resounding no.  To keep things short here I’ll let you know that I made it my business to solve that problem.  I sought additional information about my products, met with experts, and focused my efforts on selling the products that created the most value for my customers.  Within just a few months I was generating the second highest profit per contract in the dealership group, I was making more money each month and I was doing it with my head held high.  There’s nothing wrong with making a lot of money when you’re not deceiving people.

Unfortunately in the window business it’s not uncommon for a salesperson to be in a no-win situation.  There are many companies out there offering bad deals every day and the salesperson often has little to no say in the matter.  A company offering typical vinyl replacement windows at $1,000 – $1,200 per window is offering a pretty bad deal and that salesperson is faced with a difficult choice.  They can tell you it’s a bad deal and quickly find the unemployment line or they can follow the script and try to get paid.

In cases like that it’s common for the sales manager to recruit salespeople who are not familiar with the business.  That way they can teach them that all of their claims are actually true.  The inexperienced salesperson will believe this for a while which of course makes his job much easier.  You can see evidence of this in the comments on my posts.  We have industry people posing about how their windows really are so great that they are worth that cost.  I ask them what makes them so great and they say things like virgin vinyl, special glass, fully welded frames, “top quality”, or they just don’t respond.

In many if not most cases the salesperson actually believes that his products are better.  Why wouldn’t they?  Their boss seems like a knowledgeable guy and he’s explained all of this very thoroughly.  Once the salesperson realizes that many other companies are offering the same or very comparable products with similar installation and similar warranties at a fraction of the cost they’re faced with a pretty hard choice.  If they’re going to keep their job the only option is to lie to the customer, try to sell the contract and justify it as being a “good salesperson” in order to sleep at night.

The job of a professional salesperson is to understand the wants and needs of their customers, provide a solution to a problem and to do it in a way that represents a real value to the customer.  

Of course if you’re the salesperson you’re going to emphasize the positives and downplay the negatives.  You’re going to know what your competitors are offering.  You’re going to show that customer why your solution is the best solution and you’re going to continue to put yourself out there facing rejection every day.

You’re going to offer a professional demonstration of your products and you’re going to present information clearly and accurately in order to make sure that customers know you’re the best deal going.

If you’re going to make it to the main stage you’re going to work on your craft over and over and over again.  How are you presenting this option?  What caused you to lose that deal?  What caused you to get this one?  What could have gone better today?  You’ll need to put in a lot of work that never gets seen.

When your coworkers spend 2 hours in a Starbucks waiting for their next appointment you spend that time in your car listening to a recording of your last sales call and talking out loud to yourself as you’re role-playing a different customer interaction.  Does that feel awkward at first?  Sure.  Is it effective? Absolutely.  Is it harder than drinking a mocha latte and talking about football with your friends?  Yep.

When I started my company I knew I wanted to create an environment where success could be achieved without compromising our character and we’ve been lucky enough to achieve that.  We have any great salespeople on our team who work hard every single day to help our customers.  I know as the owner of a business I have the opportunity to control my own environment in a way that many people do not.

Ultimately if you find your self in a sales position that is a lounge act you have a responsibility to yourself and your family to find another job.  Chalk it up as a life experience, and put those sales skills to work in the job market. As someone who has hired a lot of people I can tell you there are great jobs out there regardless of what you hear on the news.  Staying in a bad sales job is nobody fault but yours.

Sales is a great profession.  It can offer earning potential unmatched by many other professions and it comes with a freedom and a level of control that many people will never experience.  Don’t be the guy out there lying to customers at 10:00PM about the managers special that expires today.  It really is unnecessary and it gives us all a bad name.  The really great professional salespeople in our industry make a whole lot more money up there on the main stage than any lounge act ever will.  I promise.

If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to check out our list of the best window companies all over the country.  You can find it right here.