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Attracting the Next Generation


Earlier this year, we spoke with leading industry publication Total Installer to discuss a recent six-figure investment and the establishment of a brand-new training academy to help entice the next generation into the glazing sector.

Attracting the Next Generation

Here’s what they had to say in a recent article, published in the June edition of the widely read magazine:

Manufacturer of high-quality windows, doors, home extensions and conservatory products Conservatory Outlet has invested over £100,000 into creating a sales training academy, plus provided some top tips for new starters in the industry.

The company has responded to a shortage of new talent coming into the industry by pioneering a new programme that is equipping individuals with all the skills they need to hit the ground running.

It took several months to plan and supports part of a wider recruitment strategy to help the firm’s 27-strong network of retail customers attract a high calibre of sales professionals from outside the sector.

The first of at least 50 salespeople are going through the intensive training programme, which is a combination of factory sessions at key suppliers to improve product knowledge and ongoing virtual workshops to boost understanding of purchasing trends.

Greg Kane, Chief Executive of Conservatory Outlet, commented: “Our model is all about adding value to our customers and this is another example where we have been listening to what they need and coming up with a solution that will hopefully make a big difference.

“The network adopts a consultative approach to sales, taking time to listen to our clients and understanding what they are looking to achieve with their home. It goes against the outdated ‘double glazing sales’ model of pushy salespeople, but we believe it is the right approach to deliver the best possible product, the best possible service and the best possible experience.”

He continued: “This is why we took the decision to create a central Training Academy that our retail customers can tap into and put new recruits through, so they learn the basics, the knowledge of the products and the culture we try to live by.

“We believe it will take the stress out of recruitment for our members and will help attract new and exciting talent to our industry.”

The content covers the key features and benefits of all Conservatory Outlet products, as well as detailed technical information relevant to their position.

Sessions are being delivered onsite at appropriate factories, so individuals can see the manufacturing process from start to finish of windows, doors, conservatories, rooves and glass, helping them understand different types of styles to suit different consumer needs.

All training is being delivered by technical experts and sales professionals from Conservatory Outlet and its core suppliers. This is then complemented by interactive digital courses to reinforce and expand product knowledge and to ensure staff are aware of crucial industry updates and legislation.

ERG Scotland is the first member of the network to benefit from the new academy.

Ian Joy, Managing Director, added his support: “There is so much interest in home improvements currently that we need to increase our sales team and attract new talent into the industry.

“We’ve been chatting with Conservatory Outlet about this and are delighted Greg and his team have listened and come up with a way that we can tackle the shortage together. ERG Scotland has already enrolled new staff into the academy and will continue to help shape the delivery going forward.”

Alongside the feature on the new Training Academy, Total Installer also sat down with Nick Ransley, a Senior Design Consultant at Network member Clearview Home Improvements who shared the following top ten tips to those starting out in the sector.

  • Get up, dress up and show up every day. First impressions make a massive difference!
  • Learn how to do a measured survey as that will give you a vital understanding of projects and what is involved.
  • Identify problems early and solve them.
  • Ask questions and then ask some more.
  • Actively listen and absorb what you are being told. Take notes as the older you get, the worse your memory becomes!
  • Don’t make a ‘guesstimate’. Take the time to review the pricing.
  • Always deliver on your promises.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Maximise the benefits of technology, especially CAD design.
  • Enjoy your job, enjoy helping people and, importantly, enjoy the rewards.

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