What is normal?

I remember an occasion years ago when I worked for another greenhouse company receiving a phone call from a lady who told the receptionist that she had bought one of our greenhouses and was having difficulty putting it up. The call was transferred to someone who could help and a detailed and prolonged conversation ensued. After 10 minutes of talking the lady on the other end of the phone calmly said “I am now 95 years of age and I shall be at least 105 before I complete this greenhouse”. The operative suggested that she might like someone to erect the greenhouse for her. She declined! It takes all sorts!

Would you call this lady a typical customer?

Over the years we have learned that there is no such thing as a normal enquiry. This is not a slight against our customers. No, that would be unkind. I am sure that most of them are quite normal. Our customers are unique. We do not know their full circumstances or the environment into which they require the greenhouse to be built. But it is good to treat each of our customers as individuals. It makes our daily work much more interesting and rewarding.

The marketing experts would say to us that through profiling our past customers and analysing our products they are able to determine where best to advertise and promote our greenhouses. There may be some truth in this statement and that may well work for a conventional range of products but does that really take into account the complexity of circumstances presented to us by our potential customers? Our experience says not.

What happens when a standard product simply will not fit into the place you want it to go? What happens when someone has high expectations and the site onto which to erect their greenhouse is very demanding? When this is the case the emphasis can switch and it is no longer about us, the supplier, looking for the customer, but rather it is the customer that has to search for the right company. It is now less about the company’s marketing strategy and more about the tenacity of our customers and their ability to carry out real research on the internet and anywhere else they can.

On our Dovetail Greenhouses website we show each enquirer a large variety of diverse glass structures, in both our Bespoke and Victorian greenhouse range. We expect that in doing so our potential customers can envision how we might be able to accommodate their individual and unique needs.

How do we get a price for a bespoke greenhouse?

One question that is asked when we are first approached by someone wanting to buy a bespoke or special greenhouse is this. How do we go about getting a price? I am sure you can image that over time we have adapted our conversations with each enquirer so that we can quickly and with little effort find out enough information from them to formulate a clear idea of what they are looking for. Sometimes we find ourselves recommending an alternative solution to the one they had considered knowing that our suggestion is a better one than that which was initially being proposed and would solve their unique building problem. This is when experience can really help. We are not into heavy selling techniques, we will not send a sales person to site to brow beat our customers into submission to buy or products. We will visit our customers, but we only do this when we are invited to survey the potential site for the greenhouse. This means that the control over the sale is very much in the hands of our customers. We respect our customers and want them to be able to say very positive things about our greenhouses after the sale is complete. We want them to tell their friends what a great company we are and how nice it was to deal with us. A satisfied customer is worth their weight in gold and a recommendation from a past customer is priceless.