Restrictions on travel and seeing people indoors are finally easing. But many installers who made the move to selling remotely over the last year, aren’t about to get back in the car anytime soon…

“Many customers prefer a remote demo,” says Mark Ramsay, MD of Kent based installer Kestrel Home Improvements. “As Covid eases, we plan to continue with remote selling in the long-term. It’s gone so well”

Like many Mark, who uses the Framepoint® app from Tommy Trinder, made the move to selling via Zoom during the pandemic. Not only did he find he save him time and money, but it also proved a real hit with homeowners:

During lockdown Framepoint® allowed us to embrace remote selling and keep building our pipeline; video conferencing and screen sharing to use the app with homeowners. Homeowners have reacted in a very positive way. When a potential customer makes an enquiry, we ask them to provide images of their home and we then ‘make over’ their property live online. It never fails to impress. Remote selling has proved very successful, and the remote enquiries keep coming in.”

For some installers selling without home visits has simply become a lifestyle choice; the ability to sell from comfort of your own office, showroom or deck chair, outweighing the trauma of fighting through traffic to get to appointments. Phil Barber of Watchet Glass, also a Framepoint® subscriber, explains:

“Not everybody wants us to sit in their front room for an hour discussing windows and doors. To be able to do that in the comfort of our office and still be able to present the products nicely and pick out the handles and the hardware; it’s very engaging.”

As well as bringing obvious efficiency savings, Chris Brunsdon, Founder and CEO of Tommy Trinder, argues there are also a number of underlying drivers that conspire to ensure remote selling is with us for the long term:

“People who have the knowledge and expertise to sell in the home are in short supply as double-glazing salesmen get older and aren’t replaced. Remote selling is in tune with the way customers want to shop. There is abundant resource available to train to do the job – typically ex-retail with modern customer service ethos – and let’s be on honest, it’s significantly cheaper.”

But the elephant in the room, argues Chris, is the climate crisis:

“The pandemic will pass, and climate will re-occupy centre stage and dominate the decade,” he says. “Selling remotely is carbon neutral. And driving, unnecessarily, point to point to effect tasks that could be done just as well online will fast become morally dubious in the public imagination.  This could happen quickly; think plastic packaging, eating meat etc. Environmentally we can only justify one visit pre-install; to check the sizes and sign off on the order.”

Activity on Chris’ Framepoint® app certainly tells the story. When the first lockdown came like most businesses, Tommy Trinder wondered what was going to happen next. Then sales and activity rocketed. Faced with the prospect of no longer being able to conduct home visits, installers turned to Framepoint® as their ‘virtual showroom’ – sharing screens, carrying out sales demo’s remotely and taking orders without an initial home visit. Volumes of quotes and makeovers on Framepoint® surged; In February 2019 less than £6m of quotes were done on the system, now more than £55m of work is being quoted via the platform each month.

“If you haven’t tried selling without a home visit already, we’d invite you to give it a go,” says Chris. “Share screens, free sketch your PVCu, timber and aluminium products with your client in real time and see them rendered in full photo-realistic glory. Touch, tap and share the results of colour changes, hardware choices, bar selections. Overlay your designs onto your client’s home live and wait for the ooohhs and ahhhhs. When you’re done, transfer beautiful quotes by email in a click. And, most importantly of course, take the order.”

Tommy Trinder offer a free guide to ‘Selling Without Home Visits’ – you can download a copy at www.tommytrinder.com/remote-selling