Restore the PassionApril 28th, 2011 | Category: Mark My Words
I recently installed some film on a friend’s townhouse over by the beach. It all started when she mentioned that she was taking a few days of vacation to sew custom slip covers for fabric-covered chairs in her dining room—a room that faces west and takes direct Florida sunlight from mid-day until sunset.
When she finished, she proudly showed me her work and although it was impressive, I was more curious why she would go to so much effort. Then she showed me the older sun-faded slip covers, which led to a discussion about UV fade and my work in the solar control industry—window film to the rescue!
I’ve been touting the benefits of window film for many years and, although I’ve seen it many times, this experience was a perfect example of how serious sun fade is from a consumer’s perspective. And, regardless of what I know about window film or how long I’ve been in the business, this was a reminder about how damaging effects of the sun generate legitimate selling opportunities.
It did not take long before I found myself giving a full-fledged passionate presentation for the product we all love. I displayed how the film worked and told her about product options, making sure I listed all the additional features and benefits—such as improved appearance, reduced glare, and of course, added protection against glass breakage.
When I was the director of marketing for Bekaert, we used to say that window film had a “bundle of benefits” and when you think about it, how many products can people buy that have so many added benefits above and beyond the primary one that motivated the purchase decision.
During our conversation, I felt my passion for the product energize as she realized window film was the perfect solution for the problem. Like most consumers, she was simply not aware of window film or its long list of valuable benefits (By the way, I made sure I did not over sell or create any unrealistic performance expectations in the area of fade reduction).
A couple of days later, I brought over a sample of a popular dual reflective film, solar specs and a BTU meter to show and tell the window film story. I’m not sure if it was the film-on-glass sample, or the BTU demo that did it for her, but at one point, all she wanted to know was how soon I could get the film installed, surely with the protection of her new slip covers in mind.
I’m not a window film dealer installing film every day so I took my time making sure I cleaned the glass thoroughly. I even included a cleaning of her outside windows because I have always felt that doing so is good way to increase the job completion “wow” factor and it’s an additional profit center for proactive dealers. In this case and since I was helping a friend, I didn’t ask for any money, but I did get a really great home-cooked meal out of the deal.
My point today is that we can easily get caught up in the day-to-day of business where it’s normal to forget just how valuable our product is perceived by customers because we see, feel and touch it every day. Here’s a perfect example. Years ago, Pizza Hut ran an employee motivation campaign that centered on a poster that showed a cartoon character of a young kid carelessly slinging pepperonis onto a pizza. The poster’s caption stated, “To you it may be just another pizza but to your customer, it is lunch.”
It’s always about perception and in our business it may be just another installation, or just another day’s work, but to your customer it’s a product that is bundled with benefits and value that they may not have known about until you made your passionate window film presentation.