Owens Corning Basement Finishing System
This communication is being offered, publicly, to WARN anyone considering the purchase of an Owens Corning basement. The information provided is completely accurate because it is coming from several sales people trained in the unethical selling practices of the Owens Corning Corporation and franchisees.
Jim Worden from Owens Corning Corporation said that the sales presentation used by the franchisees was created at the corporate headquarters. Jim Wordens phone number is: 419-248-6881. He did say that some of the lies being taught to new sales people, by the Lisle franchise, were not acceptable and that he was going to make sure that the franchisee owner, Stephen Brooks, would be notified. The practices are still being used in training and in the sales process.
It seems that Mr. Worden is good at attempting to pacify but doesn't really care how Owens Corning customers are treated or if they are lied to. Stephen Brooks is located at: (are you ready for this) 2050 Integrity Dr. South, Columbus, Ohio 43209 and his phone number is: 614-737-9000 and the fax is: 614-737-9001. Scott Stolzenburg is the sales manger at: 2200 Ogden Ave., Lisle, Illinois 60532 and his phone number is: 630-963-4600 and the fax is: 630-963-4480.
Here is a list of lies in the sales process:
1.Owens Corning Basement Finishing System franchisee does not retain their own construction crews. (We were actually trained to tell customers that they were all the caliber of Bob Villa.) One of the sales persons in our training class goes to church with an independent contractor that installs the Owens Corning Basements and he is an independent; that is how we found out that we were lied to.
2.That all the sales personnel or as they call them: Certified Basement Designers are certified. Our certification amounted to our woefully inadequate training and taking a test which we were given the answers to so that we could pass the test; I still have my copy of the test answers.
3.When prospects are being lined up for an appointment they are told that the price is good for a year. Little does the prospect know that the only price that is good for a year is the super inflated list price not any of the discounted prices.
4.We were trained to slightly overcharge because that is a win for the sales person. It also makes up for any items forgotten by the sales person. If the sales person was actually trained how to price a basement then you wouldn't have to overcharge. Gary one of the seasoned sales reps told me that the sales manager, Jim, was notorious for overpricing jobs by thousands of dollars which was supposed to be a no-no. Jim is taking a sales managers position in another state so how much of a no-no could it be?
5.The sales presentation has 9 steps and is designed to close the sale on the one and only visit from the sales person. Here are the steps of the sales process the Owens Corning way: 1. Warm-up make friends with the prospect. (Prospects have a hard time saying no to their friend.) 2. Design go over what the customer would like designed for their basement and then tell them why they need to change it for the homes sales ability down the road. (The reality is that if bathrooms and walls can be eliminated then the sales person has a better chance of selling the job because it will be cheaper. The customer goes upstairs while the basement is designed and priced.
3.Company make the prospect feel that all contractors are scum and that the only company that can be trusted is Owens Corning. (This is really humorous since they don't even have their own construction crews so they hire scumbag contractors just like the rest of us idiots)
4. Investment during this stage the prospect is to be made to believe that the Owens Corning basement is a better investment than a traditional basement because it is Owens Corning. I even had the sales manager, Scott, tell me I should have told the prospect, which I didn't sell, that some realtors even put a sign under the Home for Sale sign that says: Owens Corning Basement, which he told me he made up but sounded good.
The reality is that a finished basement, whether traditional or Owens Corning, will increase the value of the home the same amount. Where the problem comes in is that if you pay an inflated price for your basement, with Owens Corning, your return on investment will not be as great and to sell your home you may have to increase the price of your home, to try and recover the cost of the Owens Corning basement, to a high enough point that you can't sell your home or you end up lowering the price and take a loss.
5.Product The goal here is to scare the living daylights out of you that you and your whole family will die of mold! Or that your home will be a tear down and you will lose your whole investment because insurance companies do not cover homes for mold anymore. The reality is that mold is very bad and can kill you but the chances of you being affected that adversely by mold is remote at best. The proof sources of mold contamination that the sales people were to use never specified that the mold started in the basement of the affected homes. The main goal of the product step is to get people to never want to use traditional materials in their basement finishing project ever. The Lifetime Transferable Warranty was actually only good for 15 years and the product is mold resistant not mold preventive. We never saw any kind of a warranty for workmanship or the product. I tested my sample panel by putting it in water and the fabric peeled off.
6.Pre-close this is the pre-close: Folks because each home is unique, we do not make anything before we get an order. It sounds to me like this project is something you will eventually do, if not now sometime in the near future, is that right? (Wait for customers response.) Seeing it's not a matter of if you'll do this projectbut whenlet me show you how to save a lot of money by considering it now. (Do not hesitate) Let me ask you, if I can show you a way to save a lot of money, come up with a price or even a monthly investment that fits into your budget would there be any reason, other than affordability, why you folks would't want to get the project started while I am here? If the sales person doesn't sell the job at the first appointment then they dont get paid a penny for their efforts. The sales process isn't over because then the recovery program kicks in, which is explained below.
7.Price & Payment this is the point in the presentation when you show the prospects the drawing and take your time telling them each item that they are getting with their basement. (They are trying to justify their pricing) Now the sales person turns over the drawing and shows the customer the price. This is the point when as a sales person I always had 911 dialed and ready to push send because almost everyone that sees the price just about has a heart attack. We were trained to tell them that they needed to keep an open mind because we had some great discounts to offer them.
The discounts are: The Showcase Discount which is 15% off of the list or retail price and a 1% rebate on showcase referrals. The next discount is the flexible installation price which is a 10% discount off of the showcase price. The flexible installation is used every week and each sales person is given a new flexible installation letter at the Monday morning sales meeting.
We were trained to act like Columbo and bumble around saying that they have this new incentive that just started and is available on a first come first serve basis; just one more lie. If the prospect doesn't want to purchase at this point the sales person is to call the sales manager, Scott, and let him know what a great community the prospects live in and how huge their basement project is and that they are excited to be showcase customers and that they can be flexible with their installation date and that they would never even consider putting traditional materials in their basement. Then you tell Scott that the prospects really want the basement but it sounds to you that the project costs a little more than they can afford to spend at this time. He then graciously offers another 5% discount off of the Flexible discount and a 2% referral fee from all sales made from any referrals including the showcase sales.
If the customer says no then once the sales person is outside with the prospect and the prospect thinks that the last 4 hours he spent in hell is over the sales person is to ask what the real reason is that they didn't purchase the Owens Corning basement (HELLO IT IS JUST WHAT WE SAID IT IS TOO BLOODY EXPENSIVE!!!). Then the sales person can offer the deal to the prospect for the retail cost times .67 which is called a loss sale close because there just isn't anything left to discount. One of the seasoned sales rep, Tom, was really good at spending 4 hours in a persons home and coming as close as possible to getting thrown out and then going through this process at the door. Now if you thought that WAS THE BEST THAT THEY COULD DO you were wrong.
At some point in the near future a gentleman by the name of Bill, from the recovery department, will call you and let you know that the inept sales person measured incorrectly and that the prospect was over charged. Now Bill can get the cost down to the retail cost times .62 and if you read the web sites that speak about what people finally ended up paying for their Owens Corning basement they could get it down to $28 per square foot which is still less than the factor of .62. The original sales person makes nothing on this sale and I am sure the sales managers all make the same as usual.
The franchisee from the Lisle, Illinois franchise must be a bigger pig than other franchisees in other parts of the country. I was even told by the seasoned rep, Gary, that the assistant sales manager, Jim, had found out that you could get an Owens Corning basement for $20 per square foot in other parts of the country.
8.Close this is where you go in for the kill and remind the prospect of all their positive answers given earlier in the presentation that closes all the escape hatches so that the only honest thing the prospect can do is purchase. If they don't they are liars and all customers are slippery liars and can't be trusted.
9. Button Up the goal is to keep the order because the prospect has 3 days in which they can cancel so if the sales person doesn't do a good button up then the new customer may come to their senses and cancel.
These are most of the lies and dishonest sales tactics that we can remember. It begs the question that if the Owens Corning product is so good why does it need to be sold in such a corrupt and quick manner?
We were duped into believing the lies and didn't even realize how many lies we had been told until we ran into people that knew about the distortions and lies and enlightened us to the truth. We were made to believe that there are no other products on the market that can compete with Owens Corning and that just isn't true; there are a lot of products and companies.
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