TIPS Sales: Technological Innovations Bring Sales Opportunities

© 2008 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Spring 2008
Author: Craig Smith
Page 68


Technological Innovations Bring Sales Opportunities

By Craig Smith

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a three-part series of sales tips on how to respond to changes in the garage door industry. Industry veteran Craig Smith is vice president and general manager of GeniePro Sales Centers.

The advancement of technology in the last decade has spurred many changes in the industry. Consumers today have more innovative product options than ever before. Our industry is now producing many innovations in garage doors, garage door openers, and opener accessories.

As a dealer, you are responsible for educating customers about this new technology. By asking the right questions, you can educate your customer about these options, make a sale, and create a customer for life.

Questions to Ask

Consider asking these questions to your next customer.
· Do you have living space above your garage? (Try one of the new quieter openers.)
· Do you have young children? (Be sure to get a pinch-resistant door and an opener with photoelectric eyes.)
· Do you occasionally enter the garage door on foot? (Get a wireless keypad.)
· Does your garage door make up a large percentage of the “curb appeal” of your home?
· Would you like your garage door to be attractive and different from any other door on the block? (Try any of the many new carriage door designs and colors with stylish windows and decorative hardware options.)

Understanding Their Needs

Not all homeowners’ decisions are driven by price. Understanding their needs for a variety of products and services is critical to your business. Manufacturers and salespeople who understand design trends and customer needs will increase their business.

The key is to proactively ask questions and listen to your customer. Ask about the architectural style of their home, their personal style, and their budget. This will allow you to customize your recommendations and offer options that they will appreciate.

The Green Movement

As consumers have become more environmentally conscious, they are more interested in the “green” aspects of our products. Manufacturers are using alternative chemicals to create products, and they are reducing waste during the manufacturing process. They are also using recycled products in the construction of doors and more environmentally friendly materials to create garage door insulation.

Consumers appreciate insulated doors because they deliver significant and tangible energy savings for homeowners in both warm and cold climates. Ask your customers if they value energy-saving features or environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.

What the Future May Hold

For a long time, most manufacturers offered the same products and accessories, so I have enjoyed seeing the innovations of the past few years. I expect many more changes to occur in the next couple of years.

I suspect that the volatility in steel will have manufacturers looking at different materials for door sections and hardware. I also think consumers will continue to take advantage of customization options and additional advancements in technology to express their individuality.

I believe we’ve only scratched the surface of the green movement, so I expect technology and innovation to really change the way we manufacture and sell our products. I think technology will also play a big role in future safety and security developments.

All of these recent changes have really rejuvenated the industry. I look forward to what the future brings—in innovation and new customers.

Craig Smith has more than 25 years of industry experience. He can be reached at 888-757-2687. Genie is part of Overhead Door Corporation’s Access Systems Division.