Here is a common scenario: You find yourself in need of a stair lift or another type of accessibility equipment.
You weren’t expecting this, but here you are. Now what?
You google “stair lifts”, “stairway glide” or “stairway chair” and, much to your dismay, you find what seems like hundreds of companies selling a variety of different products. You could closely compare it to the hundreds of billboards you’ll find on most any American highway and it can be about as mind numbing as trying to find a reputable and trusted attorney without any sort of reference or recommendation. Every Ad you see promises the moon and the stars and it’s impossible to tell who is who. So…
WHO DO YOU CHOOSE?
What it comes down to it, almost 100% of people would agree that TRUST is paramount in establishing who you buy from. But, how do you trust a company that you have had zero interaction with? You can base it off of how high they are ranked on google (and believe me, there are LOTS of companies that spend LOTS of money on Google) or how nice their website looks, but that will only get you so far. The reality is that you will have to make interaction with these companies to really get a feel for what they are offering and how their culture dictates their approach with you, the prospective client. It can be very overwhelming trying to decide which company to do business with but I want that to change.
I understand that whatever brought you to this place of needing a stair lift, it certainly wasn’t something based on a “want”, but rather a need. So my goal is to utilize my 14+ years of experience in this industry to help you navigate which company is the best one to go with and also help make you aware of pitfalls along the way that can prove to be regretful later. By understanding how most companies work and operate, especially when it comes to “selling you on something”, you will be in a better position to make the right choice.
By doing this, we will establish two very important things:
A. You will be able to confidently navigate through all the companies that are vying for your attention
B. You will be equipped in spotting red flags with knowing what most stair lift companies DON’T want you to know.
Shall we begin?
Five Things Other Stair Lift Companies DON’T Want You To Know
1. THEY WILL SAY ANYTHING TO GET THEIR FOOT IN THE DOOR: This is truer than anything else and probably the most important thing to remember. When you call in to a company they will often tell you anything you want to hear in an effort to get out to your home where they can put on a lengthy presentation. They practice “bait and switch” which is something that I honestly hate. For instance, they will tell you that they have stair lifts you can buy for $800.00 and when they come out to the home, the one that they quoted for $800.00 is suddenly gone and “what you really need is this one over here”, which of course costs a lot more money. I would be weary of people that promise you the moon and the stars… as the old saying goes “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is”. A good rule of thumb here is to realize that most companies that sell stair lifts will actually not ballpark you over the phone. This is because every situation is different and most times we have to find out which stair lift will work best for you. A reputable company will come out to the home for free and really to try to find solutions instead of throwing “guesstimates” out over the phone.
2. THEY WILL TRY TO CROSS-SELL OR UP-SELL YOU ON SOMETHING YOU DON’T REALLY NEED: Time and time again, we go out to a person’s home after another company has been there and the homeowner is beyond surprised with our company by two major things:
We didn’t do a long, drawn out, animated, hour to two hour long presentation: Most people, and I am sure you will agree, do not like a “dog and pony show”. Most of us just want to get to the biggest question “How much?”. It’s a common sales tactic to approach it in this fashion. Mainly because they are trying to overcompensate and justify the cost versus value of whatever it is they are selling. This should be a red flag because legitimate companies will come in to your home, take some quick measurements, and sit down with you and give you pricing and options right off the bat. No fluff, no games, no sales tactics… just straight forward, honest, what you see is what you get approach. Makes you wish all companies were like this.
We recommend options IF they are needed: Here is the truth… the more a salesman can up sell and cross sell you on, the more profit they will have to line their pockets. We have been able to come in and recommend two straight stair lifts for someone versus a custom made, top of the line, curved lift that they other company recommended…. and you know what? It saved our customer thousands of dollars in the process! You want to find a company that will be honest with what’s going to work best for the situation,and for you, and not just their bottom line.
3. THEY PLAY THE PRICING GAME AND WORK ON A SELLER PROFIT MARGIN: Every Salesperson is going to do their best to try and sell you something. It makes sense right? I mean, they make their living off of a commission and the more you buy, the more they make. Before they even step foot into your home, they know exactly where they are going to start on price and where they can’t go any lower. Anything in between is their sweet sweet commission. So be prepared to have a salesperson start REALLY high on price and then start in with the game of price: “If you buy right now, I can bring it down an additional $100.00” or “We have an order that was cancelled last minute and it’s yours for a lower price if you want it” or my personal favorite “Let me call the office and see if we can do any better on price”. Unfortunately, this means that you may or may not be getting a fair price. These types of companies will also do their best to not leave without you signing a piece of paper and leaving a deposit. Should you happen to change your mind… well, good luck getting that deposit back! There is a popular company that sells cars and promises a “best price first” and “no haggling” guarantee. Don’t you wish all companies were like this?
4. THEY GIVE FALSE URGENCY: This part of it really really bothers me. Primarily because there are a lot of stair lift companies that use high pressure sales tactics and tend to prey on the elderly. It’s not uncommon to have a salesperson at your home, putting on a long presentation, selling you any which way they can, and for all intents and purposes beating you into submission in order to get their sale! A typical way they use false urgency is by saying things like “If you order today, we can do this price… but ONLY today and ONLY right now!” or “My boss just let me know that we only have ONE of these left. He was going to sell it to another customer but if you want to buy it RIGHT NOW then we can sell it to you!” Do you see what I’m talking about here? A decision like this should NOT be rushed and should only be met with trust and understanding. A legitimate company will be there to find solutions for you based on need and will NEVER try to force you into anything or make you feel rushed in any way.
5. THEY ARE OVERLY PERSISTENT: I’ve heard horror stories of people that have had a sales person come out to their home and if they left without a sale, then the company would call back three times a day, every day, until the person either finally relented or threatened to call the police for harassment. This is no joke people… it really does get this bad. Dealers that are consumed with money and see this industry as a commodity vs service will do everything they can to get you to buy in an effort to line their pockets. Yes, even call you everyday, all day. The best companies are the ones that understand this is a big decision and give you time to process, while checking in on you from time to time to answer any other concerns or questions you may have.
IN CONCLUSION: I certainly hope you found this to be very helpful. You can now spot the following red flags a mile away and know that a company that has these is one to be avoided: Say anything to you to get their foot in the door, try to up-sell you like crazy, play the pricing game, give false urgency, and are overly persistent. We, at RampNOW, promise to NEVER play any of those games and will ALWAYS give you the respect and dignity of approaching it from a standpoint of wanting to help versus wanting to sell you something.
*** BONUS MATERIAL ***
Good Questions to ask during the home assessment:
1. DO YOUR EMPLOYEES WORK OFF OF COMMISSION?
2. DO YOU OPERATE OUTSIDE OF BUSINESS HOURS DURING AN EMERGENCY OR IS IT HANDLED BY AN ANSWERING SERVICE ?
3. DO YOUR OWN EMPLOYEES DO THE INSTALLATION / SERVICE OR IS IT DONE BY SUB-CONTRACTORS?
4. WILL YOU CHARGE TAX (IF THEY DO, THEY SHOULDN’T BE!)?
5. WHAT IS THE TURN AROUND TIME?
6. ARE YOU ACCREDITED WITH THE BBB AND OTHER PROMINENT THIRD PART REVIEW SOURCES?
7. WHAT IS YOUR WARRANTY?