Husband & Wife Must Be Present

window salesman scams and tricks

Ever heard a window company say they require that both the husband and wife be present for their quote? Maybe they said they needed all the decision makers or everyone who is on the paperwork for the house. Have you wondered why this would be?

The answer is plain as day, but it might not seem so obvious if you don’t have much experience with home improvements. To make it short, they want you both to be there so they can try to talk you into buying on the spot without taking any time to think it over.

Remember these companies have been in business for years, they’ve met with thousands of folks who were considering a replacement window project just like you are. They know if they meet with the husband alone he’s likely to say “I’ll talk it over with my wife”.  And the wife will likely say the same thing about the husband.  Or one partner about the other, you get the idea.  Once that happens there isn’t much the company can do to close the deal. They’ll likely still try, but they know their odds are significantly reduced.

best replacement windows of 2015

Why does it matter so much if someone buys on the spot or takes a couple days to consider their options?

For many companies it doesn’t matter at all. Keep in mind that every company knows how their offering compares to their competitors. They know if they are offering a great value or not. If they know their prices aren’t very competitive they know they need to talk you into buying right away. If the let you have time to compare you’ll never buy from them.  Of course they won’t tell you this, they’ll tell you this is the best deal anyone has ever seen on windows as fantastic as these!!!  Not likely.

How can you tell if they’re really offering a great deal? 

Tell them you want to think it over for a couple days or maybe even a week.  If they tell you this deal will be gone in a week for any reason (no matter how convincing it may seem), you know FOR SURE that it’s not a great deal at all.

A great deal today will be a great deal tomorrow will be a great deal next week.  If a company really is offering you a great deal they’ll be confident enough to let you shop around.  A company that doesn’t want you to shop is a company that already knows what you’ll find.

Why is a limited time deal necessarily a bad deal?

Because nothing changes in the window business on a daily or weekly basis.  The cost of the products and the labor and everything else is the same today as it will be tomorrow and next week.  Why then is their pricing changing so quickly?  Because they know that if you compare your options you’ll see it’s a bad deal.  They know if you see it’s a bad deal you won’t buy from them.  They know if you don’t buy from them they won’t make any money.

Most importantly they know human nature makes you hesitant to make a large decision on short notice.  You’re not likely to sign a $5,000 to $10,000+ contract without thinking it over.

How do they get folks to sign on the spot?

They use another aspect of human nature against you.  They know people are naturally hesitant, but they also know folks hate to let a good deal get away.

If they tell you these windows normally cost $1,200 each because they are so out-of-this-world amazing, but you just lucked out.  You happened to call them on the last day of the rebate when they only need 2 more orders to reach their quota and it’s the managers birthday so he threw a sale and the really want a model home to use in your neighborhood so you can get them for only $600 if you buy tonight!

You get the idea.  All of these specials and sales can sounds very convincing.  Just remember it’s all made up.  There is no monthly rebate quota, or managers special, or neighborhood discount, or military special.  They’re trying to get you to be so excited about this fantastic deal so that they can overcome your natural hesitation and buy without taking any time to think about it.

So back to the “both owners must be present” line.  

Now that we know all this does is increase the chance they’ll be able to talk you into something, you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

There are thousands of companies, large and small, in your area that offer replacement windows and doors.  You’re probably only going to get quotes from 1-5 of them.  Use this info to your advantage by not meeting with companies that say they want both of you to be present.  It’s perfectly fine if you both are present (in fact I would suggest it), but the requirement is the surefire sign that you’re going to get a drawn-out sales pitch and you’ll most certainly be better off without that.

 So now that you have the inside story on that, what to hear a funny example?

When I was visiting the flower and patio show in Indianapolis last year I walked buy a well known window company at the state fairgrounds.  I overheard them telling a potential customer that they needed her husband there at the appointment because they were afraid of being sued.  They told her (with a straight face) that they had been sued before because a wife had ordered windows without her husband knowing about it.  They said he didn’t want to pay for the windows so he sued the company.

I really almost started laughing.  Aside from the Mad Men feel of a comment like that it’s also completely false.  They were sitting there lying to this poor woman and she was completely believing it.

If you’re looking for a window company right now, the best advice we have is to join Angie’s List.  For just a couple bucks you can get a 1-month membership and it’ll be worth much more than a caramel macchiato in the long run.  You can find the best pricing for Angie’s List on the internet right here

If you’re already a member of Angie’s List or if you’re just not going to join (despite my ringing endorsement), you can find our suggestions for the best companies in your are right here.

Update: We now have more recommend LOCAL window companies than ever before.   Click here to see who we recommend in your town.  It's 100% free.  You'll thank me.  There is no better resource; you're going to love it.  See for yourself right here.  

102 thoughts on “Husband & Wife Must Be Present”

  1. This happened to us. We had one of these national companies out. Never again. Like you said after a 2 1/2 hour presentation, we were given the “hard sell” big time. The original quote was $13,800 and then when we said we wanted to think about it, the quote dropped $3,000 for a tonight only deal. When we said we still wanted to wait, the guy asked us what number would make us sign that night. Told him over and over we were not signing anything. It was hard to get the guy to leave. It was a bad experience. Live and learn. Needless to say, we did not go with this company.

    1. Thanks for writing. We hear about this kind of thing every day. It’s unfortunate because it gives our whole industry a bad name. It’s a little concerning that large companies still operate this way. This tells you that some folks must be buying it. If this kind of maneuver didn’t work they would all be out of business by now.

      I’m glad to hear you didn’t work with them. Even if the price gets reasonable at the end by working with them you’d be encouraging them to continue acting this way. Every little bit helps!

      1. You are wrong folks…

        Companies want both people (all decision makers) to be their to maximize everyone’s time. Every representative in ANY industry wants that…In our industry, each homeowner will have different input regarding, window type (slider, double hung, casement, other configurations), window color, install process, etc. Price is only one variable. We want to address all the concerns ONE time and not come back multiple times because both could not be home. Also, it is common for both homeowners to NOT be on the same page. So simple projects have be quoted multiple times.

        Of course window/siding/door companies like to do business the first night. Any sales person in any industry wants that. Doing business the first night really does save money by saving time. If companies to go back to every customer twice they see half as many prospects. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

        People buy “on sale” and on time…the Home Shopping clock, “weekend” car sale, President’s Day sale, year-end clearance …..etc., any limited time offer. No different anywhere.
        We have one shot when we are in the home. Once we leave, regardless of price, we have a 15% chance of getting the business. Why? Because people do forget things such as quality differences, warranties, etc. People forget 1/3 of what was discussed in 48 hours. Problem is….what 1/3.
        If a company shows you competitive quotes, if you like their product, if the price is reasonable, if you like their warranty, if you like their BBB review and Angie’s List Review, if they guarantee the lowest price in writing for comparable products, then why not do business with them if they save and you money that night? They save you money by saving you time. Simple concept.
        Finally, there is more to the project than just price. Not all windows are the same. And people do forget specifics.
        Cheaper is not always better. You get what you pay for.
        There are always resources to check…..BBB, Angie’s List, Cost VS Value report. etc. Do you homework THEN invite people in.

        1. I appreciate that this is a common view and you do a great job of explaining it. Thanks for taking the time to write. The problem is that if you have a great deal considerably more than 15% of people will call you back. If 85% of the people who take the time to evaluate their options do not pick your company you may want to consider how you’re positioning yourself. We’re considering offering an info product to help window companies do a better job of offering a great value. You can get on the list to be notified about developments here.

          1. As stated earlier, only 15% ever do business companies in our industry we leave. This is an industry norm. It is not just “the deal” but because of:

            –Sometimes people get confused after seeing multiple companies. We lost a job once because we discovered the prospect mixed up our lifetime warranty (everything covered, including labor as long as you own the property and is fully transferable) with another company. The other company got the business as a result because they liked “their” warranty. And they paid more for the job, and got a lesser quality window! That person had SIX companies come in.

            –People forget 1/3 of what is discussed within 48 hours. Which 1/3 will they forget? After a week goes by most only remember one thing…..the price….not the quality, reviews, install quality, value, etc.

            Again, it makes no sense to go on one person appointments. Those appointments sell at approximately 10% because the “other” person has to be consulted—who has not met you, not seen your product, not know what differentiates you…etc. Inevitably we will have to come back, regardless of the deal or value initially presented, and it will waste both the homeowners’ time and ours. We do less business going to the same appointment twice–you can only be in so many places in a given week.

            Often the other person can’t be there for no good reason. We once got to an appointment only to see the wife pulling out of the driveway. We got to the door and the husband said she was going shopping for a pair of pants. Really? We just drove a 1/2 hour to your home, at your request, to improve your home, and you could not be there? Maybe the pants were on sale and the sale was ending that day….get the point?

            –Sometimes the “other” homeowner who is not there has no interest in doing the project at all. They “let” the homeowner who is there see companies “to get estimates,” only to tell the other spouse—see, we can’t afford it (regardless of price).

            –If someone is putting something in your home, and opening up walls to do it, that is designed to last a lifetime, shouldn’t both people make time to meet with you if they are truly committed to the project? We are professionals, not hacks. We would want to be treated like any other professional.

            This site leads people to believe that we are all just “tin men” trying to trick them. When in fact people often confuse themselves and pay more for less quality. Again, if you like the company, like the product, like the reviews, are shown competitive bids, AND are guaranteed the low price for a comparable product–in writing– why not buy the first night? It is often said when selling a house that the best offer is usually the first one.

          2. I appreciate you taking the time to share your point of view. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me that someone would take time to think over a $5-$10k purchase. The idea that 85% of people who compare their options decide not to work with your company feels like a pretty strong indicator that you’re not offering a great value relative to your competitors. When faced with that truth your options are to come up with a better one day close knowing that you’re going to lose people who are aware of their options or you could find a way to offer a better value so that people who shop around find that you are offering a genuinely good deal.

            You’re not going to convince me that offering false discounts and “incentives” to get people to spend a lot of money without comparing their options is a great business practice. Of course you don’t need to convince me of anything. Good luck out there!

          3. Window Dog…You are mistaken. Nick…is correct. His figure of a 15% call back ratio may even be high, at least for some areas. NICK…is a Professional. He is not an order taker, and he is NOT a rookie who won’t be around next week. You want the lowest price? Go to Wal-Mart. You want work on your home? The Homeowner should be ready to do due diligence and to complete the homework I assign him…before I ever leave the driveway.
            The best negotiations are always “Win/win.” The customer gets exactly what he has been offered, (sometimes even more,) and the sales person also wins by demanding to be treated as a Professional and his/her time valued. I will tell prospective customers upfront, that they can tell me “No,” for a zero pressure sales call. That customer can feel free to tell me “Yes.” I will tell the customer, up front, that I do not make call backs. Those are simply not productive for me. I ask, in setting up the appointment, that all decision makers be there for the appointment. (again…Nicks stats are correct)
            Some prospective clients, cannot make a decision. That’s ok. You’ll tell me this before I spend my time and efforts. I, as a Professional, will then decide if I want to make a presentation, or not. Again…the best negotiations…are “Win/win.” I have instructed prospective clients to call me when they are ready to proceed…BEFORE I go to work for them. (I am a Professional, I do not perform unpaid labor) I have had customers who have actually called me back to gain another appointment, when I declined to do a presentation. (They could not/would not,) make a decision. Suddenly, they understand that there was no pressure, just honesty. I do go back on those calls, with a very high closing percentage. (I offer a good product, and great service)
            You can run off a lot of rookies, and play games with a bunch more. Call me, and you’ll be doing business with a Pro, who respects your time, and…his time. Can’t handle that kind of honesty? That’s ok. There’s a Wal-Mart down the street, and their sales people make minimum wage, for a reason. There are window companies that offer cheap windows. What makes a customer really angry, is to discover that those that offer cheap, must pay for cheap installations. Install labor will do NOTHING extra that may be required. Even a Great Window is a waste of money, installed poorly. It takes a lot of time and effort to EDUCATE a customer who knows very little of the differences between a good job, a fair price, or a cheap job, at a “bargain” price. I don’t work for free, and I have found that my prospects, when treated as intelligent homeowners, rather than just consumers, appreciate the breath of fresh air approach. Most Professionals I know, feel the same.

          4. Ha, that’s great. Did you just leave a Dave Yoho seminar? I love that there are companies out there acting like you do. It makes my company look that much better. Good luck out there.

          1. Sadly the windowdog is missing the point of nick. It not JUST HIS COMPANY…it is a home improvement industry statistic done through multiple surveys. Only 15% of consumer when seeking multiple estimates choose the “best product” the rest typically choose the last person in the house.

          2. Hi Joe, can you send over that study? I’d love to see that 85% of people make a bad decision. Until you send something real I’m not going to be very confident you’re telling the truth. Please do send I’m sure our readers would love to see your info.

        2. You’re absolutely right and these are valid reasons. Wanting both people there that are involved in making the decision is the right thing to do and a more efficient use of everyone’s time.

          1. But, forcing a wife to be there when she has NO involvement in the decision is a bad business practice. I had to be here with one group and I was very upset to just sit and listen and have no input. Not really much to have really, on siding. I would never butt in and change anything. I have more faith in my husband than that. I get off work at 6pm and I had to make supper. Well, I had to sit and listen instead.

          2. You don’t have to. Just tell the company you’re not interested. There are MANY companies offering the exact same products and services. There is no need to deal with a company that pushes you around from the beginning.

        3. But this does not justify salespeople outstaying their welcome. In one instance the sales guy turned up at 7pm and at 9pm I asked him to leave as it was getting late but he persisted with tying to sell us windows when we made it clear that we only wanted a quote and were not signing any contract. I made this clear to the company head office when the appointment was booked. At 11:30pm we finally got rid of him with some help from the Police as I didn’t want to risk prosecution for sending him through one of the windows he wanted to replace.

          1. I know what you mean we had the same problem. When we made the appointment we made it clear that we were not interested in doing windows right now but would be interested in a quote . We told the salesman that came the same thing. His appointment was at 10 he came at 10:15 by 1 o’clock my husband had a doctor appointment he needed to leave –he wasn’t interested kept trying to get us to commit told him again we were not ready right now want to think it over he said he could go to lunch and come back we told him no we still weren’t ready. My husband left – he stayed for another hour trying to convince me – his price went from approximately $7800 down to $4800 if I would sign today and do an endorsement for the company. Now I was really irritated at him just wanted him out of my house of course then his friendly attitude started getting a little nasty. When he was walking out the door he said I know you’re not going to go with our company- he was right no matter how good his price was and how good his product was I would not go with it because of him and I don’t trust a salesman who’s price goes from 7800 to 4800 so at $7800 I was really getting ripped off. The company was Power never heard of them before – their corporate office is in Pennsylvania.

    2. What is comical is all you think comission salesman like to waste there time with all you estimate collectors. If people donr buy on the first night they dont buy anytime in the near future

      1. Thanks for taking the time to write Bob. It’s interesting to hear the perspective of the “buy today” salesperson. I hadn’t expected we’d get that. Our typical customer buys within 2 weeks of meeting us. I think that’s because they can get a few more quotes if they want to and the see that we’re offering a pretty good value. Why do you think your typical customers don’t come back?

      2. I don’t find that statement to be accurate. I purchase many things. I shop, research, and return to purchase. Sometimes I upgrade because I have had the time to research. In fact, that is what I’m doing now. I have to buy windows. There isn’t a choice not to. But I want to buy the right window for me. I did the same thing with my appliances. I shopped, got a quote, came home, researched for a few days, returned to the same store, and my sales ticket was higher as I upgraded after reading comparison reviews. Just because your in sales, doesn’t make you a human nature expert. It’s probably the attitude of this mentality that keeps people from returning. Customers are not dumb. They can sense desperation. Desperation freaks customers out. Freaked out customers buy from normal and non-aggressive and product confident sales people.

      3. Bob,

        I never buy anything “that night”. I recently spent nearly $20,000 to replace the roof on my home. I took 4 bids. I did not go with the last person in the home (as suggested by a poster). My wife was not involved in the bidding process as she couldn’t care less about our roof. I would have steered clear of a company that required that we both be there. We took 2 weeks to evaluate all the bids and reviewed their ratings on Angie’s List (I’m a charter member and NEVER hire a contractor who isn’t well thought of on The List) and hired the contractor who offered us the most value, but not the lowest price. That’s it. Thanks to The Window Dog for reaffirming my process…

  2. I was floored to be confronted with this by a local window company the other other day. I just did a $30K roof replacement with none of this “both of you” rubbish and did a Google search to see how common this practice is.

    Thanks for the article. I have a new rule – if asked to meet with us both, scratch that company from my list. I don’t play games and I don’t want contractors I hire to play games either!

    1. That’s a great rule. It’s a surefire sign that you’re about to get a whole lot more sales pitch than you might be expecting!

  3. As a (company name removed) owner I hear from window salesmen from these kinds of sweat shops all the time (looking for a no pressure sales position). The salesmen with a conscience don’t like it because they know it’s wrong. At one of these places they are required to stay for 4 hours or until they get a contract or they get fired. They even have GPS trackers on their laptops to confirm they are complying. I don’t want that kind of pressure in my home either, let alone give it. Get your quote online. It’s pretty simple when you do it that way.

    With the internet what it is now-a-days, there is no need for a salesman to ever visit your home just to get a price on your replacement windows. Ever!

    1. That’s an interesting approach. We find it’s difficult to give accurate quotes online as many customers aren’t experts at the terminology and details of the project. We find a quick meeting to discuss specifics is helpful. Of course, there’s never a need for the 3 hour sales pitch!

    2. Yes Dan. There is no need to see and touch the product, operate it, ask any questions about the install process, etc. You can buy windows online just like buying a box paperclips, It is a commodity right? Laughable. Just like I would buy a car online without driving it.

      1. I don’t think I ever said that. My company meets with folks every day. Interestingly I was at a conference this weekend with the owner of a nationwide window company that never meets with their customers. They do business entirely online. He told me that at their main location they haven’t seen a customer or an installer all year. I don’t think that’s the greatest strategy, but it seems to be working for them.

        You’ve got to keep up with the times Nick. Insisting that both spouses be home and giving them a “today only” pitch is getting more old fashioned every day.

        1. Yes it is. That is why our business grew over 30% last year.

          Oh yes, I believe retailers will stop having “limited time” offers, Memorial Day sales, etc. And there are never any lines at stores for Black Friday—the one day deals. American never buy like that. Really now.

          1. I think you misunderstand me. I’m fully aware that mattress sales exist. Perhaps my difficulty with that type of business strategy is that I know the price of a window project today can easily be the same tomorrow. To tell someone it will be different tomorrow feels dishonest to me.

            I sold cars in college and I had a lot of fun with it, but when it was time to run my own business I decided not to manipulate people. You’re free to make a different choice.

          2. The only people who drop off quotes are the guys who sell specifically on price. If we all sold cheap, trash grade, $300.00 (or less, cripes) installed windows then yea, we’d just hand out as many estimates as humanly possible–who cares if both spouses are there.

            Companies that DO NOT sell garbage, however, need to sit down with the spouses to show them the difference between a high performing window, and the trash, or else they believe it all blends together. Couples often grocery shop together, why is so hard to ask for them to be there when they’re about to invest thousands of dollars into their home? Answer: it’s not. The only homeowners who shop that way are the cheapskates who don’t really give a care about what get’s installed in their house– ie your best customer most like.

            And let’s not even mention the fact that that several other industries offer limited time offers. Maybe your time is meaningless to you, but revisiting a homeowner several times is time that could be spent in more productive ways. The same logic can be applied to installation. Add 2 hours to an install = money. The same goes to drawing out the sales process. So yea, if we can get the job in less time, sure, we’ll take off a sizable profit chunk off the job. If not, well, here’s a 90 day price while you weigh your options.

          3. Thats the standard line. Which windows do you sell? I’d love to hear about what makes them so great. What do you think are the top 2 or 3 factors that separate them from the junk other companies offer? And what is your average per window price?

            Most people who post comments like yours stop talking when we ask questions so we’ll see if you’re willing to backup your rhetoric.

          1. Ha, just because I sold cars years ago? There are many good people in that business, just like there are many good lawyers. They’re not all bad 😉

          2. The $300/window installed was probably a vinyl double hung window with double pane glass with or without low-e glass and argon gas. The equivalent to a builder grade window or the cheap Home Depot window. The funny thing is, PVC aka Vinyl is the same vinyl in all vinyl Windows. To get something better, you have to use a better material (Fiberglass, a composite, etc).

            I used to sell residential home improvements, and usually once you leave the home, no matter how great your product is over the competition, with the best installers that worked for the company, not subs, the job would go to the competitor most of the time. Maybe one of the home owners didn’t like you, or didn’t have their 3 or more bids, or were concerned with affordability (you can only go so low). At $300 I made $6 a window 20 years ago in commission, at $500 I made $50 a window. I knew I could sell at $300 a window, but wouldn’t make anything, and risk the customer wouldn’t buy or still want a better price or the financing would buy down the contract, or I made a mistake calculating the job cost, and it could cost me commission. The window I used to sell had a frame engineered by GE and has since been bought out and eliminated by a fiberglass window manufacturer.

            The point is this, if someone is really interested in getting the work done, they will spend 3 or 4 or more hours to learn as much as they can about getting the work done. It’s the same for any major purchase. I’ve taken a few hours to buy a $600 dishwasher, why wouldn’t you do that to spend ten times as much on your home?

            Daniel giving estimates over the phone or web, is working purely on low price and volume, and will have the quality product to match as quality costs money, and is long remembered after the cheap price is forgotten.

          3. Thanks for the feedback Jeremy. I know that’s the line from those sales consultants and I love going to those seminars too. It’s just an old way of doing business and it’s not accurate. I feel bad for the old fashioned companies who are struggling to change in a new market.

      2. I bought a new Porsche (for my wife)on the internet without driving it; just spec’ed it, color, options, etc. She test drove it because the salesman believed that if she did, I couldn’t walk out without buying.
        Windows are a commodity that your touch & feel at a store. The real art is the installation, and no matter how hard, smart, diligent, etc. I tried in choosing a contractor I’ve been satisfied only about 50% of the time, and cost was NEVER an issue (it’s not “you get what you paid for”).
        I’ve paid $1,600 for 2 hours of work, and the guy doesn’t return 2 phones calls & 2 emails to answer a after-completion question after I paid.

    3. You are correct. Windows should only be bought on line. They are all the same. No one actually needs to see, operate or learn the differences with he company, product, etc. It is like bag of peanuts…they are all the same. ….and the install process does not need to be examined to determine if a total tear our is needed. How funny!
      I am sure there is a segment of the market that is suited to the online process but most intelligent buyers want to meet the people who are improving there home.

      1. And we are not manipulating people. We ran the numbers. Every time we have to revisit a customer cost us money. In addition to currently putting over 50,000 a year on my car, I can see less people if I have to go back twice…..less people, less revenue. So why not offer a discount when we first see them to cut down on gas, wear and tear and time.
        We show people other estimates from 10 other companies when we see them. We give them every shred of information too. Answer all questions. So what is left….Money. We offer it. They don’t have to take it. Our estimates are good for a full 30 days.
        And yes prices do change. Our manufacturing facility had an 8% price increase. So our estimates cannot be indefinite.

        1. I’m surprised that you don’t have a company car. I thought that was pretty standard these days. Which estimates from other companies do you show people? That seems a little questionable too. Do you show them quotes from other companies offering very similar products with the same options for less money? I would bet you leave those out. We’ll put together a whole post on that. Showing competitors quotes is a good one.

          Recently someone told me about a company that was telling customers that they were the only company in town that offered Super Spacer. Of course anyone in this industry knows that’s not true, but many customers probably believe it. I suppose the company would justify that by saying that they were trying to get the customer to sign up now so they could save on gas.

          Your line of thinking that you can see fewer customers if you see people twice only makes sense if your schedule was completely full every day. Even then customers would be perfectly happy to email you the paperwork or use a docusign type service. It really doesn’t hold water.

          I sense the frustration in your tone, but I’m not sure how to help. Good luck out there.

        2. A business can operate anyway it can . . . a restaurant does it with pricing its menu (not cheap food), not taking reservations (don’t want no shows), etc. Doctors charge a fee for no-show appointments.
          The market will decide if that’s what it wants, and tolerates.
          I can’t REFUSE sports programming on my cable, which is about 1/3 of the content cost (ESPN, etc.). When a game changer comes along, I’ll tell Disney (owner of ESPN) to go f_k themselves and in the meantime, I’m bending over.
          Good luck.

        3. After you have spent 3 to 4 hours at someone’s home with your sales pitch they pick out windows you give them prices you’ve done the measuring you given them a price. What would be the reason you would have to come back ? Everything should be in the quote you gave them you have a copy they have a copy of the customer decides to go with you – they give you a call and make an appointment to put the windows in no need for the salesman to come back.

          1. On the husband and wife argument, I see the point to have both present. I have encountered this with everything from time shares to bath and basement remodelers to burial plots. Couples’ opinions can differ, and at times, you are part salesman, part counselor. Also, psychologically, the partner who has spent the 2hrs to understand the product becomes more invested than the other, making consensus more difficult, particularly if the other partner was there for a competing estimate, because now it becomes “my contractor vs yours”. But on the topic of having to come back twice, I agree with the docusign comment that a return visit is simply unnecessary if the buyers are merely agreeing to proceed with the work as quoted and described. I suspect the concern is more around statistics around the sale falling through once the immediacy of the situation is removed.

        4. Having competitors prices…. I’m positive that allows “price fixing”. I am also positive there are anti-trust laws that prohibit that. Again I’m positive.
          And there s nothing wrong with allowing people time and not pressure them into a purchase. Because if it came down to it, the court would side for the customer. Again, I, positive on this as well.

      2. We all make typos and I’m sure one could find plenty on this site, but when making a comment about intelligence of your buyers I’d suggest you double check your grammar.

      3. Here is a review from a (Which is it? Intelligent or unintelligent) customer who got her quote online and was already a purchaser of windows (experienced in the art of receiving salesmen just to get a quote).

        Installed six windows… Member Comments:
        “I’ve had three different companies install windows. The first was a disaster and the second went okay. Zen Windows was the BEST! Wished they had installed all my windows. The windows were ordered and installed in a timely manner. Installers were great… same people that had originally measured the windows. Very pleased with the overall process.”

        NOTE: If she had wanted to “see” the windows, she could have at time of measure. But she didn’t. She had already seen them online. She didn’t need to see a blow torch demo or have someone explain all the details about low-E. She wanted great windows and got them. She wanted to know the price. She got that in 5 minutes. At a lower price. With LOT’S less hassle. No pressure. No pricing games.

        She seems to regard herself as an intelligent winner. I think she is too.

        1. No she would have been more intelligent had she bought all her windows from Zen. Most likely a promo for your company.

      4. One other observation about your comment:
        You wrote: “but most intelligent buyers want to meet the people who are improving there home.”

        You do realize that most window companies (the big ones anyway) send a salesman out to “meet” their potential customers. These are not the people that own the company or actually install the windows. In fact, they are more skilled in sales processes than window installation.

        Do you think that “intelligent” people know this? Do you think that “intelligent” people equate meeting a salesman to get their window info is better somehow than getting it in their inbox? Do “intelligent” people insist that their “window education” come from viewing a mouth utter the words as opposed to reading it online?

        If the online process is so inferior, perhaps you should take up your argument with colleges and universities as well as competing window companies. Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist should have consulted you before launching. Online retailers should close up shop or admit that they are preying on “unintelligent” people. Or at least they should have consulted Nick about it’s merits before doing so.

        The “in person” sales process will never go away. There are both intelligent and “other” gents that will always take preference for that method. But that does not mean that doing things via phone, fax, email, Skype, Facetime or website is “less intelligent.” It does mean it is “different” and it is a change. Some people, and even more so, companies have a problem incorporating “change.”

        A wise man of the ages once said, “The times, they are A’change’n.”

        1. Mike, the window dog seems to state facts. It seems people have needlessly become defensive. Weird isn’t it. Maybe guilty conscience

  4. I guess this is the reason that (company name removed) is the fastest growing window company in the USA. We have mastered the process of giving accurate quotes online… with the customer being fully informed and not having to worry about a presentation or a price switch later. 🙂

    1. Glad to hear it’s working for you! We always support ways to make the window business easier for folks to deal with. Great work.

  5. We just had a bad experience here as well. My wife had dropped off a ticket at a St Cloud based home improvement company booth. We were looking for replacement windows on our home.
    We got a call and sure enough they wanted us both there. They verified/reminded us the day before the appointment and again made sure we’d both be there. It was supposed to be an appointment for an estimate, but turned out to be a high pressure sales pitch.

    We were pretty green on prices and such. This was why we wanted to start with an estimate. We got the ‘you need to buy it tonight or the ”discount” won’t apply’ pitch as well. The woman did a great job demonstrating the windows and we did like them (Preservation brand). They quoted us 12826.00 (with discount) for 8 windows. Six of which were 32×72″. We foolishly agreed to the proposal as we had three days to cancel. She mentioned they were not BBB accredited, but had a 98% rating with BBB. A quick check and subsequent eye opener was the D- rating. I ran the numbers by my son who gasped. Then went and check around. Way, way to high. The ratings and comments all reflected a pattern of high pressure sales tactics.

    Needless to say we signed the cancellation forms and Priority Mailed them the very next day. I also spoke to the sales woman who was the branch manager (as well as faxed the company with the forms and a statement indicating we cancelled) and considered the matter closed… She started the why and was warming up for the argument, but I shut her down with just telling her we changed our minds and the decision was final.
    We mailed these forms well before the deadline third day. We saw that on the postal tracking site they had received the notice at the address on the cancellation form. Then the phone started ringing… different numbers – no messages. After too many calls, I answered one and sure enough, it was a person from the company saying he heard I was ‘thinking’ of cancelling. That was about the last complete sentence he got out. I told he we HAD cancelled and had satisfied Minnesota 325G.07 as well as the FTC three day cool down rule by mailing the signed and dated forms to the correct address and that I had receipts showing when it was mailed as well as when they received it. I mentioned that if he was in the business of selling these products – surely he was familiar with the law.

    Then came the ‘we need to send someone out to fill out cancellation paperwork’. I nixed that too by again quoting from the statute that we do not have to give them any reason other than we changed our mind and now we consider the matter closed. He bad me a good night and I sure hope that’s the end of it.

  6. Just found this site – great job. I wanted to share…

    I had a window company in Orange County, CA send a salesguy to give me a quote about 8 years ago…I was 8 years younger and naive I’ll admit. When he got there, he was the man with the gift of gab and reminded me of a retired grandpa – very soft spoken and “appeared” genuine.
    Wrote up the measurements and then asked me if I was ready to order. I was honest and told him, he was #1 of 3 estimates I planned on getting. He got me to initial the estimate – I made sure it was an “estimate only” – yes. He replied. He said he needed my initial, so he could prove to his boss that he was working and it would hold the price he quoted. I know what you’re thinking, but I here’s what I thought: Supposedly reputable company, nice old man, only initials… what could go wrong?
    Fast-word about 4 weeks later, I get a call from the window production company – “We are ready to schedule your final measurements and the window order can be completed”. WTF? I don’t know what you’re referring to, I haven’t ordered any. In fact, I haven’t even got the 3rd est yet. “Well sir, I have an order here. Maybe you should contact the sales rep.” Ok, I will.
    “Bill” – What order am I getting called about? HIM: Well, you said you’d be ready in a month?
    ME: I think you’ve made a mistake. And since I think you’re playing games now, you can take me info out of your company index.
    Bill: Well, I’m sorry to hear you feel that way.
    ME: Don’t be… I don’t deal with high pressured sales people.

    Fast-forward another week: “Yes sir. This is Blah Blah, President of Blah Blah Home Improvements. Understand there was a misunderstanding about your order.”
    ME: Yep. You’re guy lied to me and then tried to railroad me into buying windows from you. I even think there’s a bit of fraudulent intent and misrepresentation there.
    PRES: “Well, I’ve been in this business for 30 years and never been called a fraud before.”
    ME: Until today sir.
    PRES: “If you think you can cancel this order, I will have to refer it to our legal department. Since we are entitled to collect up to 35% of the quoted price on the contract.”
    ME: See what I mean. It wasn’t a contract. It was an estimate. Look at the paperwork. I had Bill write that across the estimate so it would not be confusing. In fact, why don’t you go ahead and send it to you legal dept… Or better yet, come to my front door and I’d be happy to explain it to you personally. Since I’m working Fraud cases, I think I might be able to shed some light on the subject and clarify things to you. Not to mention, I’d be happy to look you and your company up on any past complaints or ‘misunderstandings’ you may have had with other people in the past. How’s that sound?”
    PRES:
    ME: Thanks for the call. I look forward to you and your legal department contacting me again.

    Mind you, they had quoted me about 32K for 11, double pane windows and one bay window.

    This took place a while ago, before the info on the Internet was as readily available as it is today. Take you time, do your homework and don’t be afraid to walk away or call people out on their bad business standards, or BS for short.

  7. Similar story, but with Anderson windows. When I made the appointment I said there was no possible way we were buying, they said no problem. The guy came out for 2 1/2 hours, told us 22 windows would be $50,000, and then the back-and-forth began he ended with $32,000 but critical we sign right that second.when we said we would think about it and that this appointment was about building a relationship he yelled at us that he had been there for 2 1/2 hours and we were going to make him leave with nothing to show for it. It got so bad that we had to threaten to call the police. I was actually afraid for a couple weeks that he was going to come back.

  8. A bit off topic, but dealing with a basement waterproofing issue. I had multiple companies out already and had the three hour visit and same day sale offer with discount. Of course we had to be present as a couple.

    It has been a few months and they continue to call to re-evaluate, one of which I accepted and the same pitch on the fix was made but without the wife present. They were to re-evaluate other options, but stuck to their original solution.

    A second company who already made their first visit is scheduled for tomorrow. Their scheduling just called and is pushing for us to be present as a couple. I’m thinking of canceling but like the fact of entertaining their visit to gain additional knowledge of how they would fix the problem. A waste of time if I get presented the same solution like company A.

    Any advise during the visit tomorrow, if they will do it with only half the couple available?

  9. This just happened to me! I used Softlite’s website to request a contact from a vendor. The next morning, Bree (sp?) from Castle Windows in NJ called. She insisted that my husband and I both be present for an estimate visit so that they didn’t have to make a return visit if we had questions. Softlite just lost a potential customer!

      1. Because you work for them. Many companies will leave paperwork with the customers and then they can email it back when they decide to move forward. That would save you a trip. If you don’t like going to a customer’s house in-home sales may be a bad line of work for you.

  10. A large (33) double hung, wooden sash weight/cord replacement project here. Have to say the contractors were very good before my final suggestion but just feel compelled to note Home Depot as one of the worst pre-selection experiences ever. Threw out a “List” of 32.5K with a special “27.5K” 24 hour number. No single window cost, no list price sheet but, instead, an iPad with not to be seen info. Ran around measuring but would not tell me the cost/window. Later that night a confirming email with another price drop to 25K with 1K coming from HD after the fact. Huh?

    Two local and very highly rated contractors were about $200. apart with Harvey windows. Went to the showroom to see the windows. At HD they did not have the brand on the floor. Just a corner during the visit. When I alerted the HD rep I have gone elsewhere he said I should keep his contact info as I will need new windows in a few years. Nice, real nice. Plus HD was 30% higher after all these price drops. But, as he said, each job comes with “me”.

  11. The truth for most companies in my area is this. We are all looking for an opportunity to earn your business, whether it be that night or two weeks from then. I would be doing consumers an injustice if I didn’t show the window to both homeowners. While I don’t agree with offering false deals or incentives. There is nothing wrong with asking for someone’s business whether it is the same night or a month from then. The consumer has the ability to say no. And any respectable business person will gracefully accept that answer. The point is that if a couple needs time to talk about the project, that is great. We salespeople ask that you allow us time to present the information to make an informed decision. I got 4 quotes on my French drain, and I wanted my wife there for all of them. We spoke about it, and decided together based on the information presented. SPOILER ALERT: We didn’t use the cheapest guy either. We used the guy that took time and listened to both of our concerns.

    1. In my opinion, ‘high pressure sales’ is asking a customer to do something they don’t want to do. I do not WANT to sit and listen to a bunch of men talk about siding, or anything that I don’t understand. I trust my husband wil do a good job deciding on siding. Good grief!!

  12. I like that Phil jumped in.

    As a professional (window business owner) it is important to us (as a business) that we (at the very least) HAVE A CHANCE to earn your business. In my experience we only have a better than 10% chance if both homeowners are present. I don’t care if you buy that day, that month, or in a year – as long as we have a chance to earn your business that’s all that matters. We don’t force people to both be present and we see only one homeowner all the time but we explain to them (just like I did above) that all we want is a chance to earn their business at some point.

    In ten years I can count the number of times a husband or wife sat with us without the other and we ended up with their order. On the other hand if both are present we have (on average) about a 50% chance to earn their business AT SOME POINT. We are not about high pressure the same day – all we want is a chance 🙂

    You can do a lot of volume without high pressure, buy same-day tactics but you need to make sure that you leave every appointment with the best possible odds and that means (most of the time) that both homeowners were there.

    My wife and I do all major house-related (or other major expense) related shopping together because it makes sense – we’re partners.

    We’re not all bad. I love this website but I feel we (professionals) are often not cast in a good light.

    1. Thanks for your point of view John. I agree that it is easier if all interested parties are present so you can answer everyones questions. I feel the same way. The point we’re trying to make is that any company who says they absolutely will not meet with someone unless both a husband and wife are present are typically going to be a little pushy.

      Thanks for taking the time to write!

      1. The window dog has replied to me! AWESOME!

        I love you dude! You’re the best!

        It is always annoying when you’re the guy calling to set an appointment AFTER the company that was totally rude about both being at home.

        In general, and this is a big reason I like you, my (and I can assume yours as well) job is made harder by companies that do the type of stuff you outline on this site. I literally spent 15 minutes outside of a customer’s house this past JANUARY because he had such a bad experience with another company that he wanted to screen me before he let me into his home.

        If more guys did business like us I think we’d all be happier!

        1. Ha, I’ve gone through the exact same thing. You’re absolutely right that companies who operate that way make like harder for the rest of us. We just need to keep fighting the good fight!

  13. In 2002-2008 I sold windows for a good living, gave quotes that were fair, got orders after they shopped around, used follow up skills, happy customers. We did show a 35 % off! but it made sense! and we’d shave off a bit more if they asked, anyway life was good. The clients called us from some newspaper ad. Then in 2008 the phone stopped ringing, compNy sold, everywhere in area was affected. So nowadays canvassers create the lead and the hard sell is used, I can’t work for a company that wants me to close it on the spot, charge people $850 average window, $650 is what it used to be. One last point, the appointments are so poorly confirmed the company’s waste a salesperson time now, because half the time the people aren’t home… And they won’t let me call the client to confirm for fear the clients will cancel.

  14. This article isn’t entirely accurate. My (and most window companies) give three days to cancel the contract. We have the windows measured and in production on day four.

    Further, I have had multiple ‘tire kickers’ sign without their significant other present only to cancel and have their deposit refunded because their spouse decided replacing windows wasn’t a good idea. It’s a complete waste of everyone’s time. I (and many others) require all decision makers be present for that reason alone.

  15. The main reason why companies want to have all the decision makers present is so there is no confusion later on. One person may choose one product and the other person may not like it. There are different options that windows have; operation, grids, obscured glass, sliding doors or French, etc. I work for a window company and I can tell you we sell all the top window companies. They in fact compete with each other giving our company weekly and monthly discounts. For example, no up charge for custom patio doors, free low e3 glass for the month, or an upgrade to triple pane. If the company takes the promo away; how can the company honor that price?-Especially if its the last day of that promotion. There is a huge difference in price between companies in most cases. Most companies that are the low price leaders end up going out of business and reopening under a new name. Selling cheap windows means servicing them much more. And without charging the projected service cost for past customers, window companies don’t have the means for fixing them. Not all windows are made the same and there’s a big difference between estimators and salesmen. A salesman wants to keep happy customers to get referral business and estimators could care less. They don’t even show them the products that the customer is buying. When ethical companies want customers to “sign” the same day does not mean they’re a bad company. When most people see a window demonstration they forget 90% of the features and benefits and end up shopping for price, especially if they end up buying two weeks later. I’ve had multiple people call me a year after our appointment and tell, “Gosh I wish I would have bought from you then. I went for a lower price and my windows are falling apart and that company does not want to help.” The more quotes that you get the more confused you will become about the windows. Do your research before calling a company to give you a bid. Thanks for letting me share!

    1. Thanks for posting Alex. I can’t say I agree with you about requiring both people be there or using same day pricing, but I do agree that carefully reviewing the options not focusing entirely on the price are great ways to get a great end result.

      Thanks for taking the time to write!

  16. I am looking to replace all the windows and the patio door of my 30 years old house. I’ve enjoyed reading all your articles and feedbacks from other people here, definitely helped me a lot trying to understand the difference of brands and materials…etc. You have mentioned that your company is in this business, any chance you provide services in MA? thank you!

    1. Hi Jess, unfortunately we don’t, but thanks for asking! We’re actively looking for a great company to recommend up your way. If you find a winner let us know! For now I’d suggest starting with Angie’s List. We have special rates setup for our readers. You can find them here.

  17. Here’s a new twist on this tactic. This happened before I found your website.

    I completed an online request for a quote to replace windows in my home and received a call from a company in a nearby suburb. The lady on the phone was quite pleasant and very helpful in setting up an appointment for a representative to come out to give an estimate. During the call she asked if my wife would be present during the rep’s visit and I explained that my wife has no interest in such matters and I would be the one making the final decision. She stated that the company prefers to have both husband and wife present and I reiterated my statement. She then scheduled an appointment for the coming Saturday.

    The same lady called to confirm on the day before the scheduled appointment and, again, asked if my wife would be present and I, again, explained that she would not be part of the process.

    About twenty minutes before the sales rep was due to arrive, he called and said that he was running a bit late. He asked if my wife was home and I told him exactly what I had previously told the lady on two separate occasions. He was very pleasant during the phone call.

    I was outside on my driveway when rep arrived. He stepped out of his car, introduced himself and immediately asked if my wife would be joining us. I said that she was not home and, again, explained that she had absolutely no interest in deciding on such matters. He seemed a little put off by my statement so I commented that it seemed somewhat silly for a company to make such an issue out of having husband and wife both present during an estimate and that he might tell his supervisors that I said so. He then told me that it wasn’t his company’s policy but, rather, a “requirement” of the Better Business Bureau that the company only do an estimate when both partners were present. I was skeptical that the BBB would make such a demand but I didn’t push the issue.

    He then asked if I was prepared to sign a contract that day. I said that I would review his estimate and make a decision within a week. At that, he became quite irritated, returned to his car and said, in a very curt tone of voice, “You have a good day.” He then left.

    The following Monday, I received a call from the office lady asking to reschedule the estimate. I quoted the sales rep’s comment about the BBB requirement and questioned the validity of that statement. She apologized and said that, no, the BBB did not “require” both partners to be present but that they only “recommended” it. I said that I highly doubted her statement and she huffily replied, “Good luck with your windows” and hung up the phone.

    Because she seemed so certain of what she had told me, I wondered whether her statement could actually be true so I contacted the BBB via their website to set the record straight. Less than an hour later, I received a phone call from the BBB and was told that they would never make such a recommendation let alone a requirement.

    I later did some online research and found your web blog. I clicked on the list of windows sales tactics and there it was; “HUSBAND AND WIFE MUST BE PRESENT” with a full explanation of the reasoning behind that request.

    At that point, I got angry. Both the sales rep and the office lady had outright lied to me. I was thankful that at the age of 74, my fifty years of experience in business had given me at least enough good sense to be wary and that I had avoided doing business with a company that seemingly has no qualms about being dishonest. If they can’t compete without such tactics, I can only imagine the stuff they might pull once I had signed a contract.

    1. That is a fantastic example. I’m sorry you had to deal with the headache, but I thank you for taking the time to share the story with everyone. I’m sure our readers will find it to be helpful.

  18. I am starting the window shopping process. I ran into the husband and wife scenario when we got our new roof. I don’t remember if I told them my husband would be there or not. I then googled them and found the same type of stuff, husband and wife, 3 hours long, disappearing discounts if you don’t sign tonight. It was too late to cancel, so I met the guy outside and told him I already had two estimates and I’d heard his company was much higher. I gave him my absolute highest price to even entertain his sales pitch and he admitted he could never come that low. He wasn’t supposed to admit it, but realized he’d be wasting both of our time. I got my roof for 8k, he couldn’t have given me less than 16k! From then on I decided never to do business with that kind of operation. (they still come around trying to get us to do windows with them…one of those companies that sends college boys around knocking on doors…First word of name is “Power”)

    As far as having my husband home with me for 3 window quotes, or any quotes….not gonna happen. His time is limited and I am the researcher and info gatherer. If I don’t approve then it’s not gonna happen. He doesn’t research the types of roofs,windows, hvac, or the price of cars (he does know what kind he wants!). He just agrees when we need something and I get a few things together and we discuss them. If a company wants to wait for him, it won’t happen.

    I researched the roof, and the hvac. If he had questions I got answers. With the windows he will want to see them. They can leave samples, direct us to a reference or site to view them, OR make anther visit if they made the first cut. For the hvac, we did end up with a company that came out early, after I got competing quotes and got them to agree to a reasonable price.

    Don’t assume the “little woman” isn’t a decision maker. I doubt the person collecting the quotes will be the least informed of the couple. And, I prefer to deal with locally owned and operated, not franchised. I want to know who is responsible and where I can find them!

    1. I am a sales rep for a reputable home improvement company in my region of the country. The windows that we demonstrate and sell are simply of higher quality than those of our competitors. Having all decision-makers present is not mandatory, but is highly encouraged. There is 1 primary reason for this stipulation:

      There is a greater likelihood that a sale is made that same day or that it is made on follow-up within the following week. You might not like to hear it, but sales percentages drop dramatically when you cannot close a sale the first time out.

      Furthermore, all potential buying parties should have access to all the information. When you have the most valuable product in the marketplace, education is paramount because your price is typically higher. Parties who are not present most likely will not have access to all the salient information, which can hurt both the buyer and the seller.

      For example, I might explain to you that our windows are 100% Virgin Vinyl and are guaranteed and warrantied not to fade as a result. You might simply convey to the other party that the windows are all vinyl, a common and reasonable mistranslation. The other party thinks to themselves, “Aren’t all the windows we’re looking at vinyl? That seems like a silly point.” This mistranslation results in value lost in our product for the party not present, and it jeopardizes the likelihood of the sale occurring at a later time.

      Consumers, give sales reps the courtesy and do yourself a favor: if at all possible, try to have all decision-makers present for the appointment, even if you know you will not buy anything that day. If you are reading this blog-post, you are likely already aware of shady business practices in the industry. Be sure to ask lots of questions in an appointment. At the end, if you are not prepared to buy, no one is stopping you from saying no. Conversely, no one is stopping you from saying yes if you trust the company, their representatives, the product, and the service.

      Bottom Line: It is faulty logic to automatically assume that a company asking for all decision-makers to be present is nefarious and doesn’t want you to take time to think about your options.

      1. Hi Rev, thanks for taking the time to write. I always like hearing salespeople who really believe their product is “the best”. Which products are you offering?

        It seems unusual that you use 100% virgin vinyl to indicate that they’re the best. As you may be aware, there are only a handful of vinyl extruders in the entire country and they produce the vinyl extrusions for almost every window company. It’s likely that the vinyl in the windows you offer is the same vinyl in many other products. Are you aware of any reputable manufacturer that does not use 100% virgin vinyl? If so, have you seen anything to prove it or are you just taking your manager’s word for it? I’m sure our readers would love to know which companies do not.

        I do appreciate you taking the time to write. It’s interesting to hear the perspective of someone in the business. It’s not uncommon for us to hear from someone who genuinely believes something only to learn that they’ve been drinking the cool aid from their boss. If you have any additional info on the vinyl or anything else that makes your windows better than another we’d love to hear it.

        Thank for writing!

  19. Not for nothing, i can understand why window dog is saying companies that use these tactics are unethical. But i can also understand the perspective given by the industry guys, i do agree that on the first and most important meeting, you would want and should have all parties concerned there. Can it seem high pressure? Definitely! But make no mistake in an industry filled with miss-communication, using a tactic that decreases that does makes sense. With the added benefit of the possiblity of a sale that day…But if the company truly has your best interests in mind, they wont be high pressure either way. It seems window dog is honestly just completely against people using specific tactics even when there absolutely has to be good companies out there that have great products and service but still use higher pressure tactics… That makes a company that is higher pressure and does a ton more volume AND does top notch work with at least a decent warranty very dangerous to companies that take a more relaxed approach.. I can see both sides here

    1. Hi Bill, I appreciate your perspective. We’ve always found that if you’re genuinely offering a great value people will buy it without being manipulated with “buy today or else” type tactics. To me it’s an inherently bad sign when a company feels they need to operate that way to get business. It is absolutely true that reasonable people can come to different conclusions. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  20. I have installed windows for several years, but just this year went out on my own doing windows, siding and gutter. My best sales tactic has been to have product information in hand for the customer and leave them as much written info I can. I also separate my bid by labor for install and cost of windows. I have a 80% closure rate which I believe is a result of transparency in business practices. I’ve only had one customer squak about the labor rate. I showed him a receipt for caulking and foam insulation, a copy of my city business license and liability insurance telling him that there is a cost associated with my being able to install his windows. Current workmans comp for my state is 12.7% for window installation. He admitted that he hadn’t taken that into consideration. If people feel you are being honest, you will get their business. If you treat the fairly and honestly, you’ll get their friends and neighbors business.

    As for having both husband and wife present, I do ask but don’t require it. If I have to make two trips, it shows I am willing to do any it takes to care for my customer. I measure, submit estimate and ask them to give me a call when they are ready to proceed. Has worked out rather well so far. No pressure sales. Actually had one company (national brand name) that was $240 higher on 11 windows. Customer had heard of brand I was offering but was hesitant. I told them if they felt more comfortable with the national brand then by all means go with them. Bottom line was that they had to be happy with the decision. Husband called me two days later saying he researched my brand and had a check for the.deposit on the windows.

  21. Great article and debates here. We have a very high close ratio for windows specifically but I wanted to tell you that we never ask for the business. We educate the homeowner on choices that are available, we make recommendations based on our extensive experience, for both the type of installation and product choices, and we ask them to decide what’s best for them. We sometimes leave a written estimate and sometimes send it later. But it usually takes 2 visits or at least a few back and forth emails, before they tell us they want to proceed….and that’s ok with us. I sell how i like to be sold, which is no pressure and lots of education. There are many philosophies to in-home selling, this is just what works for us, and more importantly for me, what feels right!

  22. Hi there

    My wife met a door/window salesperson at the door and agreed to a visit for the purpose of receiving a quote.

    We do need a new door at some stage but I baulked at the ‘you must both be there’ line we are now receiving in ‘phone conversations. I looked up the tactic online, found this site, and am glad to find my gut instinct proven correct.

    I am a Cambridge graduate and am more than able to decide on the best deal, given a satisfactory explanation from well-educated and ethical salespeople. I don’t need the hard-sell and refuse to have someone attempt to pressure us into a ‘sign on the line now’ special deal.

    I want a quote, nothing more, and will shop around. I will not be pressured and anybody attempting to do this will fail to get anything more than a metaphorical boot up the arse and a quick exit.

    I work for myself and have people call all the time. I don’t expect them all to book in but give them the information they need and allow them to decide for themselves as to whether they see me or somebody else. My time costs money, just the same as a window man, and I give it to prospective clients because enough will book in to see me pay my bills and thrive. That’ what professionals do.

    So, this window company will not be receiving our custom and i’llbe calling somebody myself for a quote, just a quote and will not see anybody who insists that both people are present.

  23. Great conversation about a very controversial topic. I think the key is when a company INSISTS that all parties are present, that is an indicator that high pressure may be coming. I don’t see much wrong with asking for it, as it can save the time of having to repeat information and muddle up the reason for even being there which is to determine a proper solution to a problem, however, again, demanding it is poor form in my opinion.
    I’d also add that a company’s unwillingness to provide as much information as possible upfront, whether it be via website, email, or phone, is a red flag as well.

    1. I completely agree. There’s no question that it’s helpful to meet with everyone who is interested in the project so we can answer everyone’s questions. When a company requires certain people be present it’s a pretty big red flag.

  24. In Texas, we are a joint property ownership state where both or all property owners must be present when making decisions that affect or alter the shared property. Otherwise the company can get in serious trouble and fined.

  25. I love this! I called a well known window company to meet with a schedule a meeting with a “no pressure estimate” to replace all of the windows in my home. The first question: “Are you married? If so, we require that both of you be present.” I pushed back because as long as they are paid, if I choose to contract with the company, it is none of their business. I reminded the rep that this was a “no pressure estimate” and that I planned to get at least 3 quotes before I made a decision and I would NOT be making a commitment on the day of my meeting. I was done, stated that I would prefer not to schedule for an estimate and thanked her for her help. This company called me at least twice a week for 2 months wanting to know if I were still interested in windows. I stopped answering their calls. Thank you WINDOW DOG!!

  26. We are in the bidding process of building a new house. The builder works with a contractor that uses PlyGem, but we don’t like the reviews we’ve seen. The contractor has allowed us to choose another company. What is the best company for new construction windows at a reasonable price?

  27. A two-legger is obviously designed for a one sit sale. When I walk into your house I will seat you and your spouse exactly where I want. And the manipulation begins.

    I will go through a ten step sales process that will take three hours of your life and use anything you say against you at any time to counter an objection.

    If you don’t fall for the first price drop you can wait for the second. If you are stubborn, I will call the company owner from your home who will yell, scream and curse me just like at a sales meeting. He will expect me to close with a yard sign and another 5% off.

  28. I scheduled an appointment with one of those “the wife must be there” companies. I fibbed and said she would be and once he arrived I said she was stuck at work. He answered questions and gave lots of info but no estimate. He said if he gave an estimate and I didn’t take it, he wouldn’t be able to offer that price again. He did apologize on behalf of his company, and said the policy of requiring both spouses be present made him look like a jerk.

    1. It made him look like a jerk and it made the company look like a jerk. Typically when they operate that way you get a lower price after they leave. They call it rehashing their old leads. If you don’t buy today the “manager” will likely call tomorrow with another, lower, once in a lifetime type deal. My best advise is to look elsewhere.

  29. Years ago we had a Kirby salesman who tried every trick in the book to get us to buy. He promised my wife a free gift (that we never did get) just for coming out and she bit. He and an apprentice arrived at 7PM and stayed 3 hours trying to sell us a sweeper that was no better than the older Kirby we had sitting there. That was a great lesson as when a few years later the mill I worked for shut its doors and my wife and I opened an air duct cleaning business. Other than our website we don’t advertise. Our honesty, the quality of our work and word of mouth has kept us busy for the 15 years since and from day one we’ve never used hard sell tactics, gimics or discounts to sell a job.

    1. If you offer a good value you don’t need to try so hard to sell it. People aren’t dumb, they’ll pick the good deal. The folks with the bad deal know that which is why they know they need to work extra hard or they’re starve.

      Good luck with the duct cleaning biz. I met the guy who started Ductz a while back. Seemed like a good business.

  30. I worked in the industry, and we had multiple reasons for having all homeowners present, but the primary reason was pretty much the opposite of the article’s explanation.
    We didn’t want one person making the decision, signing a contract with us, and then calling to rescind the contract because their significant other didn’t agree to it. We went through many of these false contracts and just got sick of it. There was also the problem of renters trying to get work done when legally we needed the signature of the legal owner of the property to do work on it. At least we did if we wanted to be licensed and bonded, which we were. It’s frustrating that some companies use this as a scam instead of as a safety measure for the sake of the customers (not wasting their time) and the company.

    1. We’ve been meeting with anyone who wants to meet with us for years and we never have a problem. I believe that’s what your boss told you, but it’s just not true.

  31. I just found your website and read some of your articles and information – I found it very interesting reading some of the explanations of how and why many window /home improvement companies go to market. I have been part of a growing family owned Home Improvement company in the state of Pennsylvania. I have taught and will continue to teach our sales representatives how to approach and conduct consultant selling.
    Because we are not a one call close operation we sometimes lose a sale. But our cancelation ratio is less than 1% of our sales. We are in business to meet the needs of our clients fairly and with respect, we look for their repeat business and referral business. We make appointments in the home with husbands or wives or singles homeowners. Our close ratio varies by sales person from 55-70% – We are excited to tell homeowners what to expect from any company that demand that both homeowners be present for their 3 hour hard sell presentation. We don’t have a million dollar advertising budget and sales person training school to replace the revolving door of sales people that get frustrated and leave because their conscious is of a higher moral fiber than others in our industry. We are not looking to be the biggest in sales but the best at service, sales and installation. We consistently looks for ways to improve ourselves, which is why I found your website interesting and informative with ideas, that we can learn from.

    I agree with window dog that a company can give many explanations for why they need both homeowners but lets not kid ourselves. The only reason is to make the sale happen immediately. You can spin the tale many ways, which some of the replies I read were very creative, but it is still a lie. There are many company models that work in our industry, the differences are why are you in the industry. I find some home improvement companies are talented and want to help homeowners while making a fair profit. Others just want to take advantage of those that can be taken advantage and make their money. I guess it depends on what each person calls a success, is it based solely on money, no matter what you did for that money or is it based on conducting your business with your fellow neighbors and clients, fairly – not just charitably.

    At a sales meeting in Virginia an old man told me, ” You can sell a donkey as an ugly horse, but you knew it would never win a race, and eventually so will everybody else”

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