Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Customer Perceptions

The windows of most homes in cooler climates have double glazing. It is one of the best investments that a homeowner can make – a significant percentage of a house’s heat loss goes out through single glazed windows. Twenty years ago, the majority of houses had single glazing and upgrading to double glazing was big business.

So double glazing was a great product, providing a genuine benefit that was in high demand. A dream job for a double glazing salesman, you might think.

Why, then, did double glazing salesmen have such a dreadful reputation? (for those of you who aren’t familiar with this, in the past two decades the reputation of the average double glazing salesman has been significantly below the position in which bankers and politicians find themselves today.)
Not great.

The reputation of the double glazing salesmen highlights everything that is wrong with selling:
  • Not listening to the customer
  • Not understanding the customer’s requirements
  • Knowing better than the customer
  • Annoying the customer
  • People didn’t want double glazing salesmen in their house because they were concerned that they’d never get rid of them unless they signed a contract.

Why am I highlighting this? Because we all need to learn the lessons of the double glazing salesman. Whether you are employed by an organisation or self employed you have customers (internal and external). In order to succeed, you must listen to your customers, understand their needs and attempt to satisfy them. Not think that you know best and carry on regardless. Your perception of the solution and your customer’s perception of the solution may be poles apart.

Sounds obvious? Yes, of course. But like many of the topics that I write about it’s obvious to all of us but do we actually practise what we preach? 
Rob Horlock has established The Mid Life Opportunity (, a community for people in Midlife. Advice and Guidance is available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join - click here

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