Buying Thermo-Pane Replacement Windows and what you should know .. The Salesman Speaks Out

http://hubpages.com/hub/Im-Running-For-President-no-pants-politics

I've noticed that a lot articles are "how to" and tend to be very informative. It amazes me how much people know . "How to train your dog to use the toilet, How to grow a two hundred pound watermelon." There's no end. Quite frankly, I don't know how to do a whole lot I guess, so I stay away from trying to do this type of blogging. I got to thinking .. surely I know something informative ... Well, as it turns out, I do know something. So I thought I'd take a shot writing a "how to" piece.

As I've mentioned in previous Hubs, my background is in marketing. I've been a consultant for an NFL team, a University, and I've set up marketing programs for start up business, as well as business with marketing results going south. My start in sales began in home improvements while going to college where I eventualy earned my degrees in Developmental Marketing and Management Development. I ended up working with this fine company for fourteen years, before going into business for myself. Within twelve years from the beginning of the company's start, it became the largest vertical home improvement company in the U.S. The primary reason for success was due to the high quality of it's products and installation, aggressive marketing, and on going sales education. I started in in home sales, and worked my way up the management ladder before going into business for myself. The primary product of this company? Thermopane windows .

I'm not going to write this from a scientific or engineering standpoint as much as just talking some basics. I don't need Google to help me with this one. I've lived with this product from sale to installation. I'm the one the customer calls if there's a service problem or have a referral . After all I'm the salesman. I'm not an engineer, and you'll be buying your windows from me, not him anyway. He sits in his office drawing pictures. I turn those pictures into revenue.

I'm going to tell you what you need to know to make sure you get the most for your dollar while purchasing windows, but I'm going to tell you a little bit about the sales end also. It's necessary to give the big picture, and I get a chance to brag. Bragging is very important to TheManWithNoPants, because great salesmen have great egos.

I shattered every personal record associated with the selling of residential windows. You probably think I did it by being one smooth talking son of a bitch right? Nope. A great liar? Nope. Crushing them like a bug with high pressure? Nope. How then?

By maintaining control in the home, and giving them all the information. There is no transaction of any kind that is one hundred percent positive for the buyer. There are always down sides. If you can't close the deal, there is one of four reasons why. The customer doesn't need it, doesn't want it, can't afford it, or doesn't understand it. The later is usually the problem, and it's because they've been given the good news, but not the bad, and that's the critical information they needed to make the decision. Believe it or not, I never focused on sales, I wanted decisions, yes or no. It worked for me, I had a good product backed by a good company at a fair price. Although we were higher than anybody else, the difference in quality warranted the price, and I always told the people that before I told them anything else. There was nothing to hide, and the people knew they'd be treated with respect if they made a no decision. I can't be anybody but myself, and people have always sensed my transparency. (I'm an awful liar, I've tried it many times with no success.) Other salesmen with more experience than me could never get it. If you want the people to buy tonight, tell them that's what you're shooting for. Don't sneak up on them. If their house is going to have a fine layer of dust covering everything when the installation is finished, tell em! Don't let them find out for themselves. I never lost a sale by telling people what they needed to know, instead I closed the deal and made a friend for life. People run from what scares them. I was a closer, not a salesman. A closer is a Gladiator who has ultimate respect for his or her opponent and will play by the rules. A closer knows that it's not about selling everyone, it's about selling everyone who should be sold. Shoving stuff down somebodies throat who needs help paying the bills they already have is a bad sale and kills you in the end. I was in it for the long haul. My closing percentage never suffered because of letting some poor bastard off the hook. I never could get the pros to buy into it in spite of their tears as they looked at my commission checks. The truth is most salesmen function through the fear of losing a sale. How sad for everyone.

I think I'll do a piece that gives inside information about how it works with in home sales as it pertains to this product in the future.

Okay, first there are some good windows and some not so good windows, but the best window is only as good as it's installer. If you're shopping online, Service Magic is a referral company that screens it's contractors pretty thoroughly. In any case the contractor should be licensed, bonded,insured, and have references. Every company has some outstanding service, and they'll never give you an unhappy customer to call, so don't put a whole lot of stock into that last one.

Custom made. Most of the window companies can actually fall into the legal definition of this although the definition is very loose. Most contractors buy their windows from someone else who builds the window according to the specs submitted by the contractor. Most of these so called manufactures aren't really manufactures. They buy raw extrusions from the manufacturer, cut them down and assemble them. Bottom line, having them fit usually won't be a problem.

Materials. If you're thinking vinyl, think virgin vinyl, especially where there are weather extremes. If your thinking aluminium, think thermo break aluminium. Aluminum conducts heat and cold, but with the thermo break frame, temperature doesn't transfer from out side to inside. Also it's important that if it's going to be aluminium, make sure it's "aircraft" grade aluminium (t-66 or better.)

Double strength glass This is require in most places. Make sure they're using it on each and every window.

Argon Gas. Experts say the gas dissipates, settles and become a non factor. Some say it takes six months, some say a year, while some say it's null by the time it's installed. Although it boost commissions and profit, I always told my customers to stay away from it.

Low E Glass. This is good stuff, but only benefits the buyer on the sun exposed windows. You're wasting your money to use low e on the entire home.

Manufactures There are quite a few good ones. Anderson and Pella are good quality, but cost as much as a submarine. Some other good names are CertainTeed, and Alside. The Alside window's frame has fusion welded corners. It's a really good product. I used this window when I was in business and it's the window Sears used. I heard they're using another window now, but I'm not sure. The only downside is the frame is thick, making them a bit bulky looking. If you don't like the looks for your home, the CertainTeed window might be the one for you. It's not quite as well built as the Alside window, but is still good.

On one lite windows (fixed glass stationary windows like those skinny little windows beside your front door) I suggest putting a storm panel on these as opposed to tearing them out and replacing them. This will help keep the costs down without losing effiency.

Everybody hits the energy savings hot button as the main selling point. These windows are definitely an energy saver. I always told my customers that how much energy they save depends on the life style of the user. I've seen installations on homes where kids are running in and out, leaving doors open and such. Obviously the efficiency goes down in this situation. energy savings is important, but I wanted my customers to buy these windows for the right reasons. I always told them that they could invest the money they'd spend on my windows in an IRA, and come out ahead on a five yearperiod.

Here's what you get with a good installation of thermopane windows. The number one thing my customers reported as to what they enjoyed was comfort. The home heats and cools evenly with no hot and cold spots. Number two - Security. High impact glass held in with marine glazing, and an almost jimmy proof locking system, make breaking in a very noisy job. Number three - Keeps out noise.

When it's all said and done you're getting a product that will make your home more comfortable, add security and value, and if you live a long life .. will pay for itself.

I hear companies advertising window replacement for $299.00 per opening. This is bull. It's the old car sales tactic where they advertise a new car at an unbelievably low price. When you get there the salesman gives you the old " Oh, you wanted tires with the car?" By the time the ad on costs are added up, you have a dramatically more expensive window. The cost of a window depends on the size, but when you average it out, you had better plan on between $600 to $850 per opening for a premium window and installation.

If you're considering a purchase like this and have additional questions drop me a comment. If I know the answer, I'll give it to you, and my opinions are always given with enthusiasm. For some nice "No Pants Politics" go to ..  http://hubpages.com/hub/Im-Running-For-President-no-pants-politics

 

Comments 31 comments

daniel 6 years ago

Not sure when this post was first made, but I am currently thinking about re-entering the business as a factory sales rep. for residential window replacement. I made good money for a couple of years when I first approached this occupation, using methods similar to what you described. I never felt comfortable "sneaking" up on customers -- selling from a natural state actually increased my closing percentage. I hesitate to return to my old job only because I fear becoming a "bad" person. Is there a happy medium in your opinion? Do you offer any advice to the conscious-minded, but talented salesperson?


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 6 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Daniel,

Long term success in sales is just like long term success in running a business. If people are only a dollar sign to a person, their success is sporadic. Up one month and down the other. These people come and go, moving from company to company, always looking for greener grass. At times in business, you walk away from a job, because it's bad business for one reason or another. You walk away from short term profit, if it's bad for the long term. The same holds true in sales. In direct sales, the people who make it big, do so through good relationships. The people who make it big don't have a hard time staying motivated because they believe they make a living by helping people to make a good decision for themselves based on how well the product benefits or doesn't benefit them and their pocket books. If you are a closer by my definition, you will close every deal that's a win, win situation. Remember, you're there to give them everything they need to know in order to make a comfortable decision TONIGHT! My standard line before pushing the contract across the table is ... "Remember, John and Mary .. I need a yes or no, and we're friends either way. Just don't say maybe. That will cause my checks to bounce. Fair enough?" (smile and hand shake)

Salesmen are a dime a dozen. They sproradicly make big commissions by beating up the old and gullible. They live paycheck to paycheck, and never develop into a business owner because their inherant problem is they can't see beyond next Friday.

A closer closes everyone he's supposed to, and walks away from a bad sale. He sleeps good every night because he feels good about himself. He not only is making a fortune on whatever lead program he's on, but he's doubling up with ARC business. (add on, canvass, or refferal) The ARC business is always strong because of his relationships with customers. You find the salesmen gathered in a bar drinking and bragging. The closer stops by for one drink (maybe water?) and keeps to himself. The drunks want to buy him a drink but he declines, and thanks them very much, but tells them he's getting up extra early tomorrow, because he has some big plans. When they inquire as to what. He just winks and say's you'll see tomorrow. A closer is a leader, not a follower.

I know what you mean about going in there and getting dirty. It won't happen to you if you are your own man and don't allow it to. Remember it's a business, and the business that thrives is the one with a good reputation, and that comes wit hard work, goals, and dedication to the customer.

jim


daniel 6 years ago

I appreciate your response. Not only do I feel more confidant, but I also see how a healthy sense of pride can enrich the entire experience . . . I enjoy helping people, and will enter the field anew with this in mind. Thank-you for such excellent motivation; I am returning to an old opportunity with a new enthusiasm.

Daniel


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TheManWithNoPants 6 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Good luck Daniel. The home imporvement business is solid, especially in the unsteady housing market that we're going through.

jim


Michelle Moore profile image

Michelle Moore 6 years ago

I like your hub, very informative! Thanks


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 6 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

My pleasure Michelle, Thanks for stoping by.

jim


Johnny Pretorius 5 years ago

I'm interested in knowing more about your product, can you supply me with more info please..

Johnny Pretorius


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TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Johnny,

Just let me know what you'd like to know my friend, I'd be happy!

jim


Gary Lee 5 years ago

My double glass (thermopane?) windows are hot on the inside glass during the summer. In the winter there's moisture on the inside pane. What are the causes of these problems - other than cheap windows?


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Gary,

Are these older or newer thermopanes? In any case, they've lost their seal. If they're out of warrantee, there's not much you can do except replace them. That's expensive, and since you still have a dead air space between the panes, in my opinion, it's not worth the costs unless you have a lot of money you don't want. Sooner or later even that top of the line windows loose their seal, but with low - e glass, they are still an energy saver.

Thanks for the read and the question. Let me know if there's anything else!

jim


derfbu 5 years ago

The comments about Low E glass and argon are not accurate. The Low E glass keeps heat in during the winter by reflecting heat back toward the interior of the room. The Argon will diffuse about 5% a year.

Here is what is said at some reliable websites:

Window glass is by nature highly thermal emissive as indicated in the table above. To improve thermal efficiency (insulation properties) thin film coatings are applied to the raw soda-lime glass. There are two primary methods in use: Pyrolytic CVD and Magnetron Sputtering[2][3]. The first involves deposition of fluorinated tin oxide (SnO2:F see Tin dioxide uses) at high temperatures. Pyrolytic coatings are usually applied at the Float glass plant when the glass is manufactured. The second involves depositing thin silver layer(s) with antireflection layers. Magnetron sputtering uses large vacuum chambers with multiple deposition chambers depositing 5 to 10 or more layers in succession. Silver based films are environmentally unstable and must be enclosed in an Insulated glazing or Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) to maintain their properties over time. Specially designed coatings, are applied to one or more surfaces of insulated glass. These coatings reflect radiant infrared energy, thus tending to keep radiant heat on the same side of the glass from which it originated, while letting visible light pass. This results in more efficient windows because radiant heat originating from indoors in winter is reflected back inside, while infrared heat radiation from the sun during summer is reflected away, keeping it cooler inside.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_emissivity

Over time, argon gas may leak out of the space between the panes of glass. The amount lost depends on how well the window was manufactured and the quality of materials used. Argon leaks are usually caused by failure of the seals between the glass and the edge spacer. Also, some gas is lost because it diffuses through the seals. Even if the argon gas does leak, the window's thermal performance isn't affected much as long as there is no noticeable failure of the seal.

Tests have shown that if an argon-filled window leaks five percent of its gas each year, it will lose only 12 percent of its R-value after 20 years.

http://www.engext.ksu.edu/henergy/envelope/windoor...


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

derfbu,

Thank you for the comment. The company I started with out of college introduced the thermo pane to the residential market. I've been in the window industry for 35 years. I know what the engineers say. If you've ever been in business, you know that there's engineering facts and there's reality. For instance, what you say about argon gas loss at 5% loss per year is an impossible claim to make by anyone. Even decent windows like Anderson and Pella are known to lose the gas in shipping. It's a fact. Low E glass on shaded windows work as you said in theory, but not in reality. No noticeable difference. Being the president of a window company for a long, long time, I've lived with these windows from manufacturing to sales through installation, and through service. They put my kids through college, and treated me pretty well. I know what they do and don't do. I'm just telling people the bottom line here. You've done your research well, but the reason I wrote this is because people do the research, then learn the truth. I believe in these windows, including low E. However, the argon gas results do not warrant the extra charge. There's enough money in this business without ripping the people off.


derfbu 5 years ago

I certainly agree that there is sometimes a wide gap between theory and fact, but I would like to know where you get your data. You can not just make assertions out of the blue about these things...kind of like a religious statement: because someone "believes." Where do you get your data???

By the way, I do agree that the investment often does not justify the cost, but that is another story altogether. Just because that is the case does not make the facts any different....instead of telling people the low E does not work I think it would be better to say that the payoff is too long to make any economical sense.

There is simple proof that the Low E does in fact work. Have you ever seen the demonstration where they place a regular tungsten bulb on one side of a regular non E pane of glass and you place your palm on the other side of the glass and you can clearly feel the heat from the bulb? That is IR energy traversing the glass. Now try that with a low E glass and you can feel no heat. The IR is obviously reflect back into the room during winter. Again, the investment may not make economic sense but the reality is that the Low E does in fact work as advertised.


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

derfbu,

I didn't say low E doesn't work. I said I believe in low E. Just not on non sun exposed sides of the home. I said argon gas is the rip off. Yes, I've seen the demonstrations. I've preformed the demonstrations a thousand times. Yes it all looks good in the demonstration with a small piece of glass. I've been to the seminars. When you buy a million dollars a year worth of extrusions, you tour the plants, meet the engineers, the whole bit. My data comes from 35 years of experience with thermo pane windows. You don't have to believe a word I'm saying. That's up to you. I'm just telling you how it really is. You can read the books about hunting big game and learn a lot. But if you want to get it right, you'd better listen to a big game hunter who's been in the jungle. I'm not trying to be insulting, I'm just being honest. This is the "Inside Story." If you don't agree with me, that's cool. The buyer can get the same information you're laying out from any window salesman. It's all part of the in home demo. Again, I'm just telling the reader, the reality. It's the old .. "take it or leave it." That's all. Thanks for the dialog my friend, and good luck.

j


derfbu 5 years ago

Are you saying that low E keeps heat from going in to a building but not from going out, or is your basis that the economics do not make sense?


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Yes, the return is not worth the investment. It doesn't deal with ambient temperature.


derfbu 5 years ago

I appreciate your comments. And it is good to meet an honest man.


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Thank you sir. It was nice meeting you. I enjoyed this dialog, and good luck on the Hub Pages my friend.

jim


cmz 5 years ago

I was surprised to see you mention Alside as a good window. I was researching them lately, and found a LOT of negative ststements about them, so decided not to consider them. Now I am really confused.


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

cmz,

I've been out of the loop for a couple of years, but Alside DID make two grades. I'm assuming that's still the case. One is a builder's grade, and one's the premium. The premium is the virgin vinal and fusion welded corners. Things may have changed, but their window always served me and my customers well.

They have literally hundreds of thousands of jobs out there, and there's going to be some complaints. I'll do some checking though. Tell me what state you're in, and I may be able to refer you to someone I know. I'm out of the business, but I still know a lot of people. You DO need to be carfeful.

jim


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Man, you will be surprised to discover that I was Marketing Director for an insulation and window company here in Denver back in the 80s. I marketed R factors and cellulose.

My favorite story about my boss Dennis was his innocent and intense question, "Are you saying she was physically hot or thermally hot?" i loved that guy!

Voted up and useful. Are there still energy credits for window improvements?


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 4 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Storytellers,

I'd be very surprised if we didn't know the same people. Just about everybody in the window business came from Pacesetter, and most of us know each other. Especially from that time period. Thanks for coming by kiddo!

Jim


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Too funny!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Wow, very interesting window Hub loaded with tons of useful information!


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 4 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Gee Ardie,

I'm wetting myself over your gracious comment. You are considered a hub godess here at the Hub and I shall copy/paste your comment, print it out, and paste it to my forehead, and proudly display it for a week. (farting sound with mouth) What you need to consider is writing a nice hub about L. It's just plain facinating and I'm quite frankly over whelmed with it at the moment. Again, thanks for the warm moist support.

jim


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

MWNP, you are just too kind. Maybe I will take you up on the idea: Lights and how to save energy...wonderful idea.


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 4 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Yes, lights my my dear, by all means. Lights should be turned out as much as possible. The important thing is that you took the time to come, which just warms my ass. I will do my best to make you come often by writing good stuff cause I think that the more No Pants Hubs you read the more you will want to come. When you perform an act often, you become good at it. When you become good at it, you will want to perform the act often because it is such a joy to perform. Thank you once again very much for coming.

~ jim


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

You're so sweet :) You remind me of someone I used to know.


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 4 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Ardie,

I am one sweet piece of meat for sure. Thank you for noticing, girl. The things I can do with a thermo pane window would make your head spin.

I remind you of someone you USED to know? Did they die, or did you just forget their name? If they are deceased, please accept my sympathy. If you forgot their name, well ... " I forgot is the most reliable two words in the human dictionary.

In any case, it was so sweet of you to drop by again. My hub score has dropped due to inactivity. I've been suffering from a lsp condition which requires a lot of time in rehab, and the hub will just have to wait. (So will other things I'm afraid. (laugh out loud all over the place)

Thanks for taking the time girl. I know your many fans adore you, and taking the time to learn about thermo pane windows is just plain ... how should I say? ... special! toodle freaking loo my friend! don't be a stranger! Much L.

~ jim


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

MWNP, you are an odd one. However I am very sorry to hear about your latest condition. I hope it isn't too serious. Nah, who am I kidding? You deserve it and I hope the whole lsp thing never goes away. It would serve you right my friend. Now stop laughing and get busy writing more Hubs about home improves. Im thinking about buying a new door - any opinions?


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 4 years ago from Tucson, Az. Author

Ardie,

I must say, you ARE a spry one. I don't do home improvement anymore. Turns out, I'm just too freaking smart for the job. I've set my sights a bit higher, and have desided to rule the world.

Yeah, on the door thing ... My company put some nice doors on a sewing machine shop about 10 years ago. The doors are still looking like new. Perhaps I could give you the address, and you could go see. You could also pick some buttons and sew them onto your blouse. Perhaps you're breast feeding, in which case I understand the risque way you in which you display yourself. If that's the case, I apologize. Personally it makes me feel a bit "frisky" and I don't wear pants. The frisky thing is cool, but I find myself out there a bit if you know what I mean. I might suggest just taking your shirt off all together, run a white flag up the pole, and propose to me. This will put a quick end to my LSP condition. Have your people call my people, and we'll do a lunch at the airport of your choice. We can iron out the details then.

The LSP is actually a condition that, once I get it under control, will make me even stronger. I thank you for your heart felt concern in any case.

~ jim

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