Contrary to what you might have read or watched on television, we are not in a recession. The housing market has faltered but it is still considerably larger than it was a decade ago. Employment is at an all-time high.

So what's the problem?

The media purveys doom and gloom — and worse, some of your prospects may have bought into it. Even while most homeowners continue to live the good life, you and your salespeople could be encountering an attitude that, although it's unsupported by facts, can nonetheless have an effect on your company's sales volume.


It's true that leads are down. So examine the two concepts of marketing: “take” and “make.”

Most home improvement contractors engage in “take,” relying on getting more or better leads than their competitors. They often overlook the other option, which is “make.”

In “make” marketing, canvassing turns into creating instead of looking. Salespeople are taught to take nebulous leads and process them into sound prospects and reliable sales volume.

Think about what prospects desire — energy conservation, low maintenance, upgrades, more space — and implant these into your marketing and sales messages.

Our economy will continue to support aggressive and creative marketing and sales techniques. When you get negativity from prospects who rely on the media, use facts and supportive selling techniques to counter it. Teach and train for a positive attitude, and have your salespeople carry that message into the prospect's home.


A recent survey indicates that a majority of home improvement companies are either slightly off or dead even with last year's volume. Twenty percent of respondents were ahead of last year in both volume and profit. It is up to you, the company owner, to decide which camp you are in.

—Dave Yoho is president of the oldest, largest, and most successful consulting group serving the home improvement industry;; 703.591.2490.