Transparency in window shopping
BY BRANDI-ANN UYEMURA
For a man who sells windows, general manager Mario Garcia is as transparent as they get. “I thought, how am I going to sell windows? I’m too honest to be selling,” said Garcia, laughing. Honesty, along with loyalty and integrity, are values he instills in his staff members at Windows Hawaii, a division of 26-year-old Californian company Northwest Exteriors. And it seems to be working for him. Garcia said 50 percent of his sales are from referrals. “We have plenty of happy and returning customers.” In fact, he has a binder brimming with positive feedback to prove it. Things like, “willing to accommodate, personable and professional,” are mentioned among personal handwritten letters.
Garcia doesn’t just enforce these values at weekly company meetings, but he also demonstrates them in his sales approach. “People see that, that I’m being honest. I’m just telling the truth. When I go make a sale and we talk story, I’m going to demonstrate the window and it’s up to you to make the decision. No high-pressure sales,” he said.
That trickles down to his installation team. “We have a lot of good people working for us,” said Garcia. His lead installers and cousins Stanton Ribucan and JP Ribucan-Babb have been working for the company the longest and he says they often go “above and beyond” what’s expected of them.
“I like when the homeowners are happy.,” Ribucan said. “You know you’re doing a good job when the homeowners say, ‘Oh wow that’s so great!'” It’s the reason why he’ll do something extra for a client or spends his time thinking up new ways to do things better. “At the end of the day, at least when you go home you can say, ‘I did a real good job,'” he said.
For Ribucan-Babb, working with customers is the best part of what he does. “They trust us to take care of their home,” he said. He doesn’t take that for granted. One of the things he does is to make sure to leave homes in equal or better shape than they were before they got there.
All this attention to detail and customer service may seem like a lot of work.
“It’s a hard thing to do,” Garcia admitted. But Windows Hawaii, which has been here since 2007, is about initiating and maintaining long-term relationships, not one-time sales. And as he said, the pay-off is worth it.