July 15, 2015
The Latest
Count Down to Window & Door Dealer Days

Window & Door Dealer Days—held in conjunction with GlassBuild America in Atlanta, September 16-18—is an opportunity for dealers to get together to network with like businesses. There is a distinct advantage to this event: it’s all about dealers—and dealers alone. There are ample opportunities to discuss dealer-specific, very applicable issues. Read More

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The Talk

Fenestration is the backbone of many businesses that are supplemented by other, usually exterior-related, products. In networking with many dealers in the Window and Door Dealers Alliance at GlassBuild America each fall, a common question that comes up is, what else do you sell.

This is a natural question for many reasons. Dealers may be in search of more product variety because they already have a client base established from fenestration sales, already have the manpower to sell and install more, may need seasonal transition products to maintain workflow, or because they can combine numerous home-improvement projects in to one contract.

Some supplemental products are a better fit than others depending on regions and dealer resources. For instance, one dealer friend of mine from the northern climate told me over dinner he also sells basement doors. As a resident of Memphis, where there are essentially no basements, this would be a slow-moving product for many of my dealer friends in the south.

Other supplemental products require a completely different skill level to sell and/or install—think roofing, decks, fences, glazing or millwork. Would this be a line you would want to cross over? Whether you employ or contract, your installers could make the difference and enable you to do more. They could also complicate matters too much.

Conversely, some dealers choose not to diversify and focus only on fenestration. There are of course benefits to this as well: simple can be more efficient; a specialized business is a unique proposition, especially as a promotional tool; and the ability to offer more than one brand of fenestration.

Which leads me to this week's poll. Leave a comment if you feel the nudge, or email me if something’s on your mind.

For the sake of this poll, consider sunrooms (although full of fenestration), garage doors, basement doors and even skylights as a supplemental product.

The Outside View