Without a doubt, the best sales performers in the home improvement industry are those with one product to sell. Believe it or not, there are salespeople selling $2 million a year in nothing but guttering and gutter protection. How? It's all about focus. The gutter protection reps who sell millions are the ones who get up every morning looking for two houses that need their product.

New Product? New Sales Person But suppose you take on a new product line. How do you get salespeople onboard with it?

First, be aware that when you ask your salespeople to sell another product, they're going to sell the one that's easiest to sell. That might not be the product that's most profitable to your company. Many a siding/window company got into the kitchen, bath, or room-addition business. The lucky ones were able to get back out. The one-call closers got a chance to close some of those big-money jobs, but weren't prepared for the problems that came with them.

If you bring on a new product, hire some new salespeople. If you have a salesperson or two who you want selling your new product, start a new division.

Learn By Doing Sometimes a company changes products. If that happens, provide your salespeople with the best product training you possibly can. But don't forget the hands-on experience. I've worked with many new reps who had never actually seen a presentation made. That's like asking someone to play golf without ever having seen the game. All the classroom training can't substitute for the salesperson seeing a sale go down from “hello” to “goodbye.”

Final note: Salespeople must believe. I was once on a sales call where the homeowner kept asking the salesperson to show them how the product worked. The salesperson changed the subject. I later asked, “You didn't want to sell them, did you?” He said, “No, I didn't. That product doesn't work.” Make sure your sales staff is completely committed to any new product you take on. —Phil Rea has conducted more than 13,200 in-home sales calls and trained more than 1,750 salespeople. He shares his sales strategies each month with salespeople across the country through his MasterMind Program. For more information, call 866.441.7445.