What I learned yesterday from the Lowe’s Installed Sales Associate

What I learned yesterday from the Lowe’s Installed Sales Associate

By Scott Sambucci | January 21, 2013

I unhinged the door in our extra bedroom this weekend to move my son’s bed there. In the process, I wrecked said door. Yesterday, I visited the local Lowe’s store to buy a replacement.

For the record, I’m not terribly handy and I’d rather have a root canal than take on a home improvement project. No, I am not kidding about this preference.

William Blake must have been referring to home improvement projects in his reference to “doors” and “infinite.”

Here’s the conversation between the Lowe’s Installed Sales Associate and me. Notice how wonderfully she followed the sales process:

  • Asking questions to understand my situation and needs
  • Educating me on the steps to replace a door,
  • Providing me an easy choice to purchase their services instead of tackling this “simple” project on my own.
  • Allowing me to make an informed choice based on a clear cost/benefit account

(The conversation is paraphrased, though it’s pretty darn close.)

Me: Where are your interior doors?

Jennifer (the Lowes Installed Sales Associate): Right over here. What size did you need?

Me: 32″ by 80″

Jennifer: Hmmm…. That’s an odd size (looking at the pre-framed doors.) Usually they are 32″ by 82″.

Me: Well the opening is 80″. I just need the door, not the door and the frame.

Jennifer: Generally it’s easier to replace the door and the frame because the door is pre-hinged. When you buy just the door, you need to line up the door hinges and drill the holes to install it. If that’s not done correctly, you can end up with extra holes in your door.

Me: How hard is that?

Jennifer: If you’re handy, it’s pretty easy.

Me: I have molding around the doorway. If I bought the door with the frame, would I need to remove the molding?

Jennifer: Yes, but you should be able to salvage it.

Me: Well I just painted the room though. I’m not sure I want to muck with removing and replacing the molding.

Jennifer: One option to consider is the Lowe’s Installment Plan. For $199, we send out a craftsman to pre-measure the door opening. You purchase the door and fixtures and the installer delivers the door, assembles and installs it.

Me: How does that work?

Jennifer: You pay $45 today and we’ll have an installer come out and pre-measure your door. Once he’s done, you purchase your door and set an installation appointment which is usually just a day or two out.

Me: So I pay $45 for the premeasurement plus $199 for the installation?

Jennifer: Even better. Because you only need the door installed without the frame, the installation is only $169 instead of $199, and we deduct the $45 premeasurement fee from installation fee. This also includes a one-year guarantee on the installation.

Me: How long does the installation take?

Jennifer: For a professional, it takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

Me (Knowing that one hour of professional time is at least eight hours of my time…): Okay, let me call my wife and see what she says.

Jennifer: No problem. Let me give you a card. I’m here until 6pm today and tomorrow from 10am to 7pm. If you give me a call back today, the installer will receive the premeasurement order first thing in the morning and they’ll likely give you a call before the end of the day to set up the appointment and get started.

I’m calling Jennifer back today at 10:01am on the dot. I would called last night, but got caught up with dinner and it was past 6:00pm before I realized it. Thank you Jennifer. I’ll happily pay $169 to save myself 8+ hours of frustration and insurance that the door is installed correctly.