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.
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.