On the training course we had been indoctrinated into believing that Alpine were the best: even though they were expensive, the products were top notch and installed by the most professional fitters (who would turn up in super liveried vans, cover the furniture and carpets in dust sheets and leave the customers in an ecstatic frame of mind from the super service they had experienced and the pristine condition of their homes).
The windows and doors were custom-made and there was an 8-12 week delivery. My orders started to flow, the first a pair of patio doors to a lovely couple in Newhaven, East Sussex. I got a telephone call from them – they had been deeply worried when the fitters had turned up in a non-sign-written minivan with the patio doors on a roof rack.
The fitters had driven to the south coast from London, blagged their way into the house with some story about their proper van having broken down, and proceeded to bish bash the new patio doors in. They were on their way back up to London again within four hours. I raced around to the customers’ home to find them distraught and confused; they had totally bought my sales patter and were very shocked at the alternative experience, even though the actual job wasn’t too bad and in truth there was very little to complain about. However I apologized, phoned my area manager, and asked him to go and placate these people and also explain to me where the promised liveried vans and professional fitters were.
INSIGHT 9:-Alpine training was about the brilliant company they imagined it to be instead of the poor company it actually was. This inevitably led to a very high turnover of staff: they (the staff) were going to find out the truth anyway, very quickly, and if they cared, leave.