Taking Window & Door Fundamentals to School

Hastings’ Customer Education Manager John Crane met with CADD students at Porter & Chester in June. The purpose of the visit was to lead a workshop designed to introduce the basics of windows and doors.

Porter_and_Chester_Institute_of_Stratford_1373492Early in June I received a call from Ken Gay, an instructor from Porter & Chester Institute in Chicopee, MA. He was wondering if one of the Hastings trainers would be willing to come in to speak with his class of CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting) students. After conducting a mini needs assessment with Ken, we decided that it would be beneficial for the students to learn more about fenestration and the potential products that they are using in their CADD work.

In late Jucaddne I visited Ken’s CADD classroom to facilitate a window & door fundamentals workshop combined with an Integrity introduction. We began with the basics; what purposes do windows and doors serve, what materials are used to craft windows and doors, and what are the positives and negatives to each material.  I made this an active discussion and pulled the answers from the students. They participated readily and enjoyed it as it wasn’t something they had really thought about previously.

Naturally, I turned the conversation to the growth of fiberglass fenestration products and laid the foundation for a mini-Integrity 101. The students saw the value in the Integrity product from the strength and low maintenance exterior, to the ease of installation, to the warmth of wood on the interior of the Wood-Ultrex product. We did a nice job of balancing the technical side of the product; modulus and tensile strength, topics they naturally gravitated towards combined with the emotional side of the product; options, colors, hardware, and casing. They learned quite a bit about options and how to customize an Integrity window to their needs. It was interesting to see the students in action learning. As 3-dimensional as CADD can be, I saw how the students reacted having suitcase samples, corner sections, and “Bend This” chains to play with and appreciate the tactile-kinesthetic component of learning. There really is no substitute to actively viewing and touching when learning about a product (or buying for that matter!).

Ken and his students showed me some of the work they have completed with their newest tool, Revit, a building design and construction software.  Very cool.

The students became believers in Integrity that day. I came away with a renewed appreciation in learning – both in observing the students and viewing some of the work they have completed. It was also nice to share our knowledge with the greater Springfield community. They have asked me to return in a few weeks to talk about glass and glazing technology. I am looking forward working with the students again.

John CraneJohn Crane,
Customer Education Manager
A.W. Hastings

 

The Sales Process: A Different Point of View: Part 2

Read “A Different Point of View: Part 1″ here.

Would it be fair to say that when approaching a consumer during the sales process your focus is on figuring out what it is that will motivate them to buy from you? You have a short window of opportunity to give them as much information as possible to influence their decision, so you are eager to tell them about the many different features of our product lines, our quality installation or your company¹s sterling reputation. Unfortunately, your eagerness can all too easily come across as “feature-dumping.” Soon, you’ve given the customer a huge amount of information — but what have you learned about them? Have you asked them about their project, their needs, their thoughts on what they are looking for?

There are two outcomes that take place as a result of our presentation: the customer buys or they don’t buy. We spend a lot of time trying to figure how to sell to them. For a moment, let’s focus on why consumers don’t buy.

(Find reasons 1-5 on why consumers don’t buy in “A Different Point of View: Part 1“)

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6. Lack of Options Available with Most Replacement Windows

Problem: Another reason that consumers don’t buy vinyl windows is because of the lack of options that are offered. Generally you may have a couple of color options and faux wood interiors (wood grain tape). These options leave much to be desired for the customer looking for a traditional, streamlined window.

Solution: Make sure the customer communicates to you their idea of a perfect window solution. A major advantage of selling the Marvin/Integrity line of windows is that we really can offer the perfect solution. It is easy to distance yourself from the pack by sharing the plethora of options we offer.

7. Lack of Trust of the Industry

Problem: Many homeowners are wary of selecting a contractor to work on their home. Have you ever heard any of these complaints? “They took my deposit and never finished the work,” “They started the job but kept leaving to do other work,” “What should have been a two day job took 2 weeks,” “I’ve been trying to get service but they never call me back,” or “I need parts for my window but the manufacturer is out of business.”

Solution: Make sure to point out that you represent more than an 800 number or a PO Box. You are a brick and mortar location with history, that is easy to find and willing to honor any and all service agreements. You are selling piece of mind. Don’t forget to mention Marvin’s 100 year history, another source of comfort. Marvin/Integrity retailers  only work with professional contractors or their own on-staff installers, and they will work consistently and quickly to stay on schedule and for the least disruption for the homeowner.

8. Our Lack of Understanding Their Goals

Problem: You can never afford to presume that you know what the customer wants. The only one qualified to know this is the consumer. Each customer has different hot buttons. Some only care about looks, for some it is the price and for others it may be service. One of our biggest mistakes is selling what you like, not what the customer wants or needs.

Solution: Take the time and ask questions such as “when it’s all said and done what do you hope to accomplish by installing new windows?” Then, listen to the answers. Offer a solution you think fits what the customers wants.

9. Price

Problem: Some consumers have a general idea of what they think a window should cost. Where do they get these ideas from? Maybe it’s from Uncle Louie who bought windows twenty years ago, an advertisement for a low price window or they may have had estimates from other companies. Once you allow the customer to compare your price without comparing products you lose…

Solution:  Be confident and don’t be afraid of our pricing. You need to understand that we are selling quality, experience, and longevity along with a window. Remove quality and the price goes down, lessen the experience and the price goes down, buy a product from a start up and the price goes down. Most reasonable customers will understand that there’s a price to pay for all of our features and benefits. You need to be able to transfer your belief in your company and products to the customer and once you do that it becomes easier for them to justify price.

10. Lack of Trust in The Sales Rep

Problem: Consumers need to believe you are sincere, knowledgeable and truthful. How many of us have walked away from a purchase because we didn’t like or trust the sales rep?

Solution: Ask questions relating to their projects and listen to what they are saying. Be honest when offering a solution and make sure it good for the customer and not just for you. Give them 100% of your attention and treat them like you would want to be treated if you were about to spend $10,000.

By simply understanding why consumers don’t buy and addressing these concerns, you will simplify your sales process. Remember, the best time to handle an objection is before it arises. And the best time to build trust and make a positive impression is within the first few minutes of meeting someone. Show you care about finding the right solutions to make the homeowner’s visions come to life – and you’ll have a better chance of closing the sale!

Harry Fanolis March 2014 - websize-5.jpgHarry Fanolis
Market Development
A.W. Hastings

Happy 103rd Birthday Ivan K. Hoyt!

It’s a very special day for the Hoyt and Hastings families – as Mr. Ivan K. Hoyt celebrates his 103rd birthday! Hastings would not be the company it is today had it not been for the tireless dedication and perseverance of Ivan and his late wife Florence – and today is a perfect occasion to honor that legacy.

The former Hastings president was featured in two local news stories over the past year. This past December, Mr. Hoyt was awarded the Golden Cane in Longmeadow, MA, where he is the oldest living resident. (http://www.wggb.com/2013/12/12/longmeadow-honors-towns-oldest-resident/)

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Ivan Hoyt receiving the Golden Cane and plaque in December 2013. (Photo courtesy of ABC40 Springfield)

As a lifelong Red Sox fan, Mr. Hoyt was also honored in April when the 2013 World Series Trophy came to visit him at his retirement community. (http://www.cbs3springfield.com/story/25276483/103-year-old-red-sox-fan-gets-visit-from-world-series-trophy)

Ivan Hoyt sitting with the 2013 Red Sox World Series trophy in Londmeadow. (photo courtesy of CBS3 Springfield)

Ivan Hoyt sitting with the 2013 Red Sox World Series trophy in Longmeadow. (photo courtesy of CBS3 Springfield)

Happy 103rd, Mr. Hoyt – and best wishes from all of us at Hastings. We thank you for the vision you had for this company, for your belief that we could rise above any challenge, and for your commitment to generations of our  employees. You have set the bar high – and we strive every day to live up to your example!

Ivan K Hoyt

Ivan K. Hoyt

Play Ball – Morgan Strong!

Bob Barker, a project manager for inside sales at Hastings, has organized the company’s wiffle ball team to compete in the Annual 9/11 Wiffle Ball Tournament at Fenway Westfield for several years. In 2013, Bob increased Hastings’ participation in the tournament by organizing not one, but two teams, so more people could play. This year two teams from Hastings, the Sliders and the Swingers, will travel to Fenway Westfield, but this time we’ll be competing in a tournament to benefit Officer Brett Morgan, the son of a long time Hastings employee. Read the Wiffle News newsletter from Bob Barker below to learn more about how we “Play Ball!”

Wiffle News – Hastings Eager to Represent

Photos: Left: Hastings Sliders (tan shirts) & Swingers (blue shirts), Right: Officer Brett Morgan

A.W. Hastings is playing wiffle ball at Fenway Westfield for the 5th consecutive year. Every year we talk about how this year will be different, about how we’ve got more players, about how we have two teams now, about how we’re playoff worthy. This year will truly be different for a very special reason.This year’s tournament is being played in honor of Officer Brett Morgan.

Brett’s Dad Mike Morgan has worked at Hastings for over 23 years. On January 19th of this year Officer Brett Morgan of the New Britain Police Department was critically injured in the line of duty. He was in surgery for 9 hours and although his recovery has been nothing short of a miracle, there are many more surgeries and challenges ahead for the young man and his family. Half of the proceeds from this tournament will go directly to the Brett Morgan Benefit Fund.

Hastings normally plays in the fall tournament at this quarter scale replica of America’s most beloved ballpark but since the Summer event is in honor of Brett, we changed our plans and have reserved slots for two teams to represent Hastings and show support for the son of one of our own. Brett and his wife actually played for one of the Hastings teams back in 2012 and we’re eager to return the favor and play for him now. If you’re looking for something to do the weekend of June 27th – 29th, this is definitely worth the trip.

So come out and cheer us on as we represent Hastings and the Brett the only way we know how… Morgan Strong


Injury Update

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Every ball club has injuries – it’s just part of the game. At Hastings, it’s a BIG part of the game. Here’s a list of injured players and where they stand today.

John Nolan – stitch in side – STATUS: recovered

Bob Barker – shoulder/elbow numb – STATUS: fully recovered

Deb Pelland – hip injury – STATUS: unknown

Jose Claudio – ankle injury – STATUS: 90% recovered

Dusty Hoyt – achilles injury - STATUS: 90% recovered

Mike Morgan – torn hamstrings(2) - STATUS: fully recovered

Brian Grady – collided with young boy - STATUS: both fully recovered


Rookies Demand to Play…Together

When rounding out the roster for 2013’s teams Coach Barker got an e-mail from a young prospect down in the minors who couldn’t play for the current team but vowed to make the team in 2014. Maureen Isherwood kept good on her promise and has been added to the 2014 roster.

The rookie isn’t exactly entering the mix quietly though. She and rookie Kim Viviano have signed contracts that specifically call for the two of them to be on the same team. Ish and K-Viv have boldly guaranteed a winning record if the two play on the same squad. So we’ll have to wait and see if the two can deliver on this bold prediction.

Some veterans of the squad were surprised at the boldness of the rookies but agreed it was refreshing. One old timer was quoted as saying “As long as they know they still have to carry our equipment to the ballpark, they’ll be fine.” Stay tuned…

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Visit www.fenwaywestfield.com for tournament info.


See the PDF of the Wiffle News wiffle news 050614.pdf – Adobe Acrobat[2]

wiffle news 050614

Wychmere Pool Bar Pavilion

2013 Integrity Red Diamond Achiever Award Winner George Gakidis of Gakidis & Stewart designed the Wychmere Pool Bar Pavilion in Harwich Port, MA as an open air gathering space with full views of the ocean and pool. He chose Integrity Wood-Ultrex IMPACT Casement, Awning, and Polygon windows for their durability against the coastal climate.

Read the full case studies at awhastings.com/project-profiles

The 2014 Red Diamond Achiever Program is accepting submissions through June 26th, 2014. This annual program is a chance for builders to share their projects where Integrity products are used to create a unique solution or on jobs with interesting stories. See the current 2014 entries and submit or nominate a project at integritywindows.com/Red-Diamond-Achiever-Award-Program.

Making a Difference With Project HomeFront

Earlier this month, Hastings’ Show and Exhibition Product Manager John Tyler and his daughter Emily had the opportunity to join a team of Hastings volunteers for Project HomeFront – a program originally founded by AmeriCares to help people in need in Connecticut rehabilitate their homes to make them safe and livable. John shares the experience of working with the team on two homes in Enfield.

“The homeowners so appreciate the support of volunteers. Paul, the son of the homeowner Lillian, had expressed to me throughout the entire day how lucky he felt to have such good people helping his Mom out. Paul said, “We need more people like those at Hastings in the world.”

Lillian is a very proud person and just could still not believe that this was actually happening to her. She felt that maybe some else was more deserving of this help. Not one to let a good deed go unappreciated, Lillian knew how to give back – from the heart. As Paul said, “Food is the best way to show your appreciation.” And let me tell you, it was delicious!

As I have said before doing stuff like this just gives you a good feeling all over, and my daughter Emily says “I can’t wait till next year’s HomeFront project.” That night after we had finished up the jobs I asked Emily she liked best about today. She replied – “The people, I love working with everyone!”  I couldn’t agree more!”

photo

John and Emily Tyler on the job site for Project HomeFront.

HomeFront is a community-based, volunteer-driven home repair program that provides free repairs to low-income homeowners in Fairfield, Hartford and New Haven Counties in Connecticut; and Westchester County, New York, enabling them to remain in their homes with an improved quality of life.

A big thanks to Hastings’ Patrick Carbone for another outstanding day of organizing this event – and kudos to John, Emily, and the awesome team of Hastings volunteers for making a difference in our community.

 

 

Time Out for Our Annual Meeting!

Today is Hastings’ Annual Meeting – the one day of the year when our organization gets together to share each other’s company, celebrate our accomplishments, and look ahead at the opportunities to come!  It’s a special tradition that we look forward to every year as we reconnect, re-energize, and reflect on what it means to be part of the Hastings team. Should be a great day!

We’re closing at Noon and we’ll be back at it bright and early tomorrow – see you then!

Willard Beach Project Profile

Shared on Hastings View last summer, this Willard Beach residential remodel continues to be a great example of the durability of Integrity’s Ultrex Fiberglass windows and doors in a coastal environment.


 

Homeowners on the coast are looking for products that will hold up against hot sun, salt spray, flying sand, and driving rain. When it’s time to build or remodel, a high performance, durable window is the key to ensuring the longevity of a seaside home.

A recent project in coastal Maine demonstrates how Integrity’s Ultrex Fiberglass windows were used to transform a home while protecting it from the elements and maximizing ocean views.

Willard Beach

This home near Willard Beach, Portland, ME makes use of the many benefits of Integrity All Ultrex and Wood-Ultrex windows and doors. Given the home’s close proximity to the water, the building materials used had to withstand harsh coastal conditions including driving rain, strong winds, high humidity, salt air and more. Ultrex Fiberglass resists harsh corrosives, remains stable in extreme temperatures, and expands at nearly the same rate as glass, resulting in windows that keep their seal and don’t leak.

Project Highlights

Name: Willard Beach
Location: Portland, Me
Project Type: Remodel
Building Type: Residential
Product Series: All Ultrex® & Wood-Ultrex®
Product Type(s): Casement, Awning, & Inswing French door
Architect: Kaplan Thompson
Builder: The Thaxter Company

For additional photos and project details view the full case study at awhastings.com.

The Sales Process – A Different Point of View: Part 1

Would it be fair to say that when approaching a consumer during the sales process your focus is on figuring out what it is that will motivate them to buy from you? You have a short window of opportunity to give them as much information as possible to influence their decision, so you are eager to tell them about the many different features of our product lines, our quality installation or your company¹s sterling reputation. Unfortunately, your eagerness can all too easily come across as “feature-dumping.” Soon, you’ve provided the customer with a huge amount of information – but what have you learned about them? Have you asked them about their project, their needs, their thoughts on what they are looking for?

installing-interior

There are two outcomes that take place as a result of our sales presentation: the customer buys or they don’t buy. We spend a lot of time trying to figure how to sell them. For a moment, let’s focus on why consumers don’t buy.

  1. Fear of Discomfort with Sales Process:

Problem: Most homeowners have heard of or have experienced less than favorable sales calls. “He came in and offered me a take it tonight or lose it offer” or, “He wouldn’t take no for an answer, so we had to ask him to leave.” Can we agree that in most cases consumers are on guard and want to avoid putting themselves in this position?

Solution: During their visit to your showroom take the time to explain how your company does business. Assure them that the process will be low pressure and painless and that ultimately only they know which decision is best for them.

  1. Affordability:

Problem: Since shopping for windows is not an everyday experience for homeowners it is not unusual for them to set unrealistic budgets for replacing all of the windows in their home. They pick a number – or they may not be sure what a reasonable budget is, since this can be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. Then, they may try to find a window solution that allows them to complete the whole project, often sacrificing quality for the convenience of getting the job done all at once.

Solution: Spend time and explain the differences between cheap commodity windows vs. our products. If your company offers financing, be prepared to give them an affordable monthly payment. They can use the money they budgeted as a down payment. Normalize a partial sale by letting them know that most people choose to invest in a quality window by spreading the project over time, rather than sacrificing quality.  Remember this: “I can’t afford these windows” is different than “these windows cost too much.”

  1. Loss of Daylight Opening

Problem: Customers are aware that using a replacement window often results in a loss of daylight opening especially when replacing casement windows. It’s not unusual for our competition to ask the consumer to sign a disclaimer acknowledging the fact that they can experience significant glass loss.

Solution: When selling against other vinyl companies, we have a distinct advantage because of the narrow profile of the all Ultrex Integrity windows. Make sure that when you focus on the strength of fiberglass, you point out the ultimate benefit is a narrow window frame with little to no glass loss.

  1. Aesthetics

Problem: Looks. In many cases people won’t replace their windows because of the overall appearance of chunky white vinyl. Many homeowners’ purchases are emotionally driven and they have a difficult time wrapping their minds around energy efficiency and comfort in lieu of a traditional looking window.

Solution: It is up to you to bring to their attention the fact that they can capture energy efficiency and comfort by using a Marvin/Integrity product while improving on the overall appearance of their windows.

  1. Avoiding Hassle

Problem: Some homeowners believe that replacement of their windows can lead to major hassles. Disruption of their daily routines, houses left a mess, and scheduling issues are only some of their concerns.

Solution: Take the time to explain your installation process step by step with timelines when appropriate. Let them know that you are aware of the potential pitfalls surrounding the measuring, ordering, scheduling and installation of windows and that you are there to guide them through the process.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this post!

Harry Fanolis March 2014 - websize-5.jpgHarry Fanolis
Market Development
A.W. Hastings

The Performance House

The Performance House is recognized as one of Connecticut’s “greenest” houses. From the outside, the traditional Nantucket style house looks no different than other homes in the neighborhood, but the super efficient home was built to meet, and in some cases exceed, Green Building Standards. Craftsmanship, attention to detail and the low thermal expansion rate made Integrity Wood-Ultrex® windows the right choice for the job. Learn more about the Performance House and the Integrity products used at awhastings.com/project-profiles.

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