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The Importance of Having All Homeowners Present at the Initial Consultation

One of the objections I run into most often when setting appointments for anything from a Window Estimate, to a Kitchen, or even a Roof is that one homeowner or the other insists on meeting with our consultant without their spouse or significant other present.  It is not uncommon for a small debate to occur on the phone, and sometimes the potential client becomes so offended or enraged that they downright cancel the appointment!

It is a common misconception that all home improvement companies operate by preaching to a captive audience and pressuring them until they sign the contract.  So perhaps the homeowner is thinking that by meeting alone they are, in a sense, leaving themselves an “out” by keeping the “I’ll have to talk it over with my husband/wife” option close at hand.  This, however, is foolish for many reasons.

1. There is not just one price or one option to consider
If it was as simple as taking measurements and giving a price, maybe the “I’ll talk it over with my wife” approach wouldn’t be so bad.  All you would have to discuss then would be if you could afford the cost, and whether or not it is the right time to buy that new roof.  But, we have many different roof options, and when it comes to the Kitchen or Bathroom, infinitely more options to consider.
2. We are not able to address both peoples concerns
No matter how “on the same page” you and your significant other are in terms of an idealistic goal for what your new kitchen or bathroom would be like, you would be surprised at how many little things there are to consider – from hardware finish, to tile layout, even the direction the door swings in or out of the room.  The way we see it, everyone who will be using the room should have the chance to enter their input.
3. It is a waste of your time
Every time we go out on a “one-legger” (as they are so often pessimistically referred-to in the business) it is inevitable that we are going to go back a second time when both parties can be present.  It is probably 1 case out of 100 that the second person’s opinion is completely irrelevant in the matter.
4. Important information gets lost in translation
When we hire a new consultant, it takes months to train them on all the pros and cons of each individual type of window, type of glass, type of insulation, etc.  We would not expect our customers to retain, in an hour or two, enough to be able to intelligently explain everything to their spouse.  What happens instead is like a game of “telephone”, where information is relayed incorrectly or far less thoroughly.

5. You are not able to touch or feel the samples

This one is self-explanatory.  Have you ever bought an item after seeing only the pictures online, and when it arrived in the mail it was far different than you expected?  Have you ever gone on a date with someone after only seeing their pictures online and….well you get the idea 🙂  The importance of interacting in physical space with something before you buy it is incalculable!

Overall, although you may be available more often than your significant other and see the first meeting as a good “first step” towards completing your project, it more often than not will lead to more confusion, more time, more misunderstandings, and more hassle than if you were to just meet with our consultant together for the first time.  Then, the three of you (or more, depending on your situation) can work as a well-oiled machine, efficient and informed, which will be better for you and for us in the long run.We are available evenings and weekends to suit your needs – (586) 777-6633

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