We’re not in the 82%

There has been one thing that has bothered me about our house, pretty much ever since we moved in. There’s no window in our upstairs laundry room. There’s no good reason for there *not* to be a window there–there’s nothing of import in that wall, and a window there would be so useful for many reasons–especially light and ventilation. And somebody with our builder must agree with me, because the “new and improved” version of our house actually has a window in the laundry room, just where I want it.

So today we had a salesman from a local construction company come out to talk to us about putting in a window, thinking that we may want to look at having this done after the first of the year. Of course, there was also the added incentive of getting a gift card to the local grocery store for sitting through the spiel, but it’s something we were already thinking about doing, so the gift card was really just a bonus.

I have to say that in the almost four years since we had the fence salesman out, I had managed to forget how ridiculous these sales pitches are. First the guy carts in all of his suitcases of samples and toys, then, after only briefly looking at the space where the window would go, he sits down with his binders and “proves” to us why his company is superior to anyone else, (all of the millions of dollars they do in business a year, and all of the charitable donations they’ve made), why our current windows (that we’re not even looking at replacing), are crap, why their windows are the best ever (NASA strength triple pane glass filled with both Argon and Krypton!) and why we need to sign a contract *right now.*

He let us keep the twisted vinyl he heated with a hairdryer in a plexiglass box, which was supposed to show us just how inferior our current windows actually are.

And when I say now, I mean now. He was bound and determined that we would agree to doing this today. After his initial offer of $2800 (for one rather small window!), he came down to $2500, if we would agree to sign immediately. Of course, we weren’t going to do that–we had no intention of making a committment today.  And, on his way out of our house, in a last desperate attempt, he offered to “call his boss,” because he was pretty sure he could get us a fantastic deal of $1800 (which was actually not that much more than I was thinking it might cost, but I wasn’t going to agree on the spot!).

I don’t know who the genius was that decided that this a good sales model. I guess it must work, because we’ve seen the same basic set-up from two different companies selling two different products. And the tricks they do to show off their products are kind of humorous. But I don’t know anyone who would agree to spend thousands of dollars without taking a few days to think it over, look at their budget, and/or get a few other offers. Even if I *had* the money right now, there’s no was I’d make a decision like that on the spur of the moment. But the guy pulled out his fancy statistics, and told us that 82% of people who have a rep come into their homes for a demonstration sign that day, so obviously, we should, too.

I’d love to know how they came up with that number, but I think it’s a little lower tonight, because we sure don’t fit into that 82%!

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