- Company #1 had a nice form on their website that let me choose my own date and time for the estimate. Just a couple of minutes after I sent the form through cyberspace I got an email confirming my choice.
- Company #2 did not let me schedule online, but they had a nifty pop-up contact form. I entered my contact information, sent it off, and got a call back within a couple of minutes. The representative verified what I was looking for and suggested some appointment times. I chose the one that worked the best with my schedule.
- Company #3 had a similar contact form on their website. Once again my phone rang almost immediately. After greeting me, the representative started the scheduling process by saying "Our company policy requires both homeowners present when we come to the house. Will that be a problem?"
The first two appointments went off without a hitch. It was interesting to see how the companies tried to differentiate themselves. Of course each had the best products on the market, and their competitors was filled with flaws. The day before Company #3's appointment I got a reminder call, which again advised me of their company's policy. For the rest of the day I pondered how I should approach the topic when the sales representative walked in the door. Did I go on the offensive and insist on getting the information I was looking for, or apologize for being alone? Eventually I decided on a combination approach. As soon as the rep mentioned the topic I was going to apologize for Tony being gone, then immediately indicate I would record the presentation with my phone app so he could listen to it and be up to speed in on all the details.
In the end, the rep could have cared less that I was by myself. He was a nice guy, gave me a great presentation of his company and products, wrote out an estimate for me, and told me to contact him if I had any additional questions. He did offer a discount that was only good if the contract was signed on the spot (which I guess is the reason they insist both homeowners are there), but Tony and I wouldn't have done that anyway.
Five years ago today: Instant Garden