Credit: Illustration: Ryan Snook

Selling home improvements has never been a five-day, 40-hour-a-week proposition. Most home improvement salespeople work five-and-a-half to six days a week. However, the way their workload is spread through the week varies from company to company.

Rogers Roofing, in Hammond, Ind., sets appointments seven days a week and almost any time of the day or evening. That said, an individual rep generally makes calls just six days a week.

“We run our leads at the convenience of the consumer,” says vice president and sales manager Ed Rogers, “because, in today's economy, with both homeowners or both decision makers working and with different schedules, you never know when they're going to be around.”

This flexible scheduling is also important as a way to positively differentiate the company from its competition, he adds. “I want to make the client realize we are the company that goes one step further,” Rogers says.

FREE TIME At Toledo Door and Window, an inside coordinator schedules appointments for a minimum of 45 to 55 hours a week for each rep, generally spread over six days, explains Bob Bollin, president and owner of the Ohio company. Currently Toledo Door and Window isn't running Sunday appointments.

Bollin issues three to five leads a day per rep, depending on the time of year. Reps are required to run leads within 48 hours, provided that the client is available. As long as those leads are covered, sales reps get time off during the week, he says.

“If they're running evening appointments a couple of nights a week, we will float them some free time on a Friday afternoon or a Monday morning, when the demand is down,” Bollin says.

LET REPS CATCH THEIR BREATH Fewer selling days has proven to generate more sales at Tri-State Siding & Windows in Davenport, Iowa, according to owner Andrew Sallee. For the last six months his reps have made calls Monday through Thursday and some Saturdays, he says.

“When they run [leads] six days a week, they get burned out,” Sallee says, “and they don't give the leads they've got 110%.” So Sallee stopped setting appointments on Fridays because a lot of homeowners just aren't available then, he says, and the salesmen were missing too many Saturday appointments.

Sales at Tri-State Siding & Windows are up this year, at least in part because of the change in scheduling sales calls, Sallee says. “I have one salesman who did $585,000 last year and a guy who did $550,000. They are both on pace to do $800,000 this year, and that's working two Saturdays a month.”

One basic reason salespeople perform better: “It gives them a life,” Sallee says.