Desperation -Cause and Effect

I received a call from a customer that I left a window film bid with the other day. No, she wasn’t calling to schedule the job… darn! Rather, she was calling to find out why my price was so much higher than the other company that bid on the job. I really appreciate it when a consumer calls back wants to know “why” in this case. The last thing I ever want to do is put pressure on a potential customer in order to close a sale, no way! To the contrary, I want to give this person answers, not just fluff but genuine answers to their questions so that she can continue in her decision making process.

So before I could answer this question I had to find out what I was being compared too. To my stupefaction I was not prepared to be totally blown away by the statement I was about to hear. “I had another company come out and the salesperson said All window film does the same thing so you should just go with the cheapest price you can find” she tells me. “He said that?” I thought to myself… unbelievable! In all my years in this business I have heard a lot of desperate and utterly ignorant comments from my competition in hopes of closing a sale but this one ranks among the classics and one of the most concerning. I will explain why in a minute.

Now I had to ask what film was it that came in at the cheapest price, so I inquired and come to find out she was shown two different brands of metalized film with a dyed layer that did cost much less than the metal-free dye free film that I had quoted her. So I explained that the differences in film technology often affects the price of the job because some films cost us more to buy than others. I offered to come out and install the competing samples on her window next to mine (the competition did not offer to do that for obvious reasons) so that she could see the difference of one film technology compared to another. I went on to assure her that I do not want to pressure her into buying the film that I am selling, I just want her to see the difference and understand why I am so ashamed to hear that another window film professional has lowered himself to the level of teaching a consumer that all films do the same thing so really the only thing you need to be concerned with is finding the lowest price which he just happened to offer (-Btw it was really low).

Let’s break down his statement. “All window film does the same thing so you should just go with the cheapest price you can find.” There is a little bit of truth here that is surrounded by a lot of vagueness.

  1. Not all window films do the same thing. We have solar control films that regulate solar energy, UV, and visible light. There are security films that retain glass, anti-graffiti films that protect glass, and decorative films that enhance glass. These types of films do not all do the same thing.
  2. In this case let’s go with what I think he was referring too and that is “all Solar Control Films” do the same thing. True, they all regulate solar heat gain, UV transmission, and visible light transmission. Does mean that they are all equals? No, absolutely not! If we are to state that they are all equals in what they do then we are also inferring that they will all perform the same, have the same lifespan, and look the same years after they are installed. That is totally false and completely misleading. “It would be like saying that all vehicles do the same thing so you should just buy the cheapest one you can find…” or “all couches are the same so go for the cheapest one you can get.” How many people agree with that logic? Like automobiles and furniture Window Films are constructed differently with materials that vary in quality, appearance, and longevity. For instance, is a dyed film going to look the same in ten years as a ceramic technology film that contains no dyes? One will be purple and the other will not, but they both regulate the same 3 solar bands so can we say they are the same? No, we cannot say that. Films with UV absorbers in the adhesive only will lose their low UV transmittance far sooner than films with the absorbers in the polyester and the adhesive, can these be considered the same after one loses a considerable amount of UV rejection? Cheaper polyester can be cloudy looking compared to higher quality polyester making one film hazier than the next, are they equals? Some window films outperform others in solar energy rejection and some are designed to let more visible light transmit while at the same tie rejecting as much energy as a much darker film. Clearly and much to the contrary all solar control window films are not the same and obviously not the same price for good reason.

I am blown away by the desperation and lack of salesmanship that can be found in our industry. It is truly saddening. No, I am not trying to put any manufacturer’s products in a bad light because this dealer could have been representing any one of a number of window film brands. I am simply questioning business practices and those that support such practices. What I see is desperation in a segment of this industry… from the top clear down to the retail level.

Desperation breeds falsehood and this is often accompanied with unreasonably low price points that do not allow for healthy business growth and sustainability. This translates to numerous bad consequences for the consumer. The effects are far-reaching and eventually erode the credibility of our industry. For instance, what happens if the consumer we mentioned above purchases the cheapest film they can find assuming that they “are all equals” and then several years later it turns purple, or the adhesive begins to fail, or the UV rejection goes from 99% down to 93%? When they start seeing these things happen what are they going to conclude about “all window films” because after all, they are all equal? Here where the ripple effect comes in, think about it… she has had a bad experience with window film and she believes that they are all the same because that is what she was told. So what will she tell her friends and associates? The effect of one window film dealer’s desperate attempt to close a sale is far-reaching.

In my opinion anyone that makes such statements and at the same time considers themselves to be a window film professional is nothing but a sham. Shame on them! And shame on any company that knowingly chooses to do business with such dealers. Is that how you want your products to be represented? Yes, suppliers implicate themselves by association and many of you know full well what your dealers are doing on the street. I’ve heard the excuses, “we cannot restrict trade so we have to do business with these companies…” What a crock! You guys know how to deal with it but you choose not too. And what about the rest of us? Do we do business with companies that support our shady competitors? If so, then we become part of the problem as well.

It is time to bring accuracy and relevance to the fore and to stop supporting anything that undermines the credibility of a product that can make a tremendous impact on energy saving, comfort, security, and sun damage. Our products are a green solution when it comes to upgrading the performance of glass versus manufacturing a new replacement window. Window film has a much lower return on investment when compared to other energy saving solutions and can usually be implemented for a modest cost. There are many well-made window films on the market that can meet or even exceed the expectations of most consumers so there is absolutely no ethical justification or need to propagate falsehoods in order to sell these films to the consumer. Let’s do our part and clean out the bad apples and maintain a good name and a healthy industry!

-vc

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