Advising, supplying and caring for stairlifts has always been one of TPG’s specialities. However sometimes a stairlift is not the correct fit for the customer often for the following reasons; as they’re not able to purchase one, they’re not at the stage where they need the full support of a stairlift yet or for cosmetic reasons. However an innovative product StairSteady, created by Ruth Amos as part of her GCSE Resistant Materials project to solve a real world problem, is an ideal solution when faced with these problems. It is much more affordable compared to a stair lift and allows independence for those who don’t need complete support, just a helping hand. As Ruth said “People don’t go from being stair able to needing a stairlift overnight … The StairSteady fills a gap, but also is complimentary to existing stair solutions.”
Starting off as an idea in the classroom the StairSteady first earned Ruth ‘Young Engineer for Britain’. In December 2013 the British Healthcare Trade Association recognised it as the ‘Best Established Product/Service’.
According to Alastair it is more about being seen as a ‘solutions provider’ rather than just another company that sells stairlifts. He also believes that, having run a successful retail business for some years, it is an opportunity to introduce and guide a relative newcomer to the correct, ethical selling and wholesaling of a really innovative product. “All too often a good product can be overlooked and an opportunity missed because the wrong guidance had been given or the wrong choices made”.
On his decision to take a role in the Stairsteady business, Alastair told us: “Whilst TPG are a major seller of stairlifts, we do often come across a number of objections to people placing an order. Things such as ‘ It costs too much’ and ‘Look how much space it takes’ are common and can be overcome with explanation of the benefits a stairlift can bring.” He added: “However, sometimes we are met with phrases like ‘I am not ready for the lift yet’ and ‘I will contact you again if I get worse’. In these scenarios the Stairsteady can be the ideal solution and can be viewed as a safety measure to prevent the struggle with stairs from resulting in a fall. We would suggest that it is similar to using a walking frame, just on the stairs.” Alastair also uses a promotion that make sense too. “To put customers at ease we also offer to trade in the Stairsteady at some point in the future, should they feel a stairlift becomes necessary. From a commercial point of view this secures the client for the future as they must come back to you to get that trade in value.”