January 2007 Table of Contents

Featured Articles
Welcome to the Monkey House

You can turn distractions onto opportunities for creating relationships and building trust. Read more

Second Chances

A crippling accident put this California window contractor behind a desk, and that's when he saw the full potential of his business. Read more

Close Questioning

Trial closing means employing persuasive communication from start to finish. Instead of walking into the house, shooting the breeze, talking weather and sports, telling the prospects everything great about the product, then giving them a price and asking for their business, you're continually persuading your prospects to commit, and you're doing that from the moment you walk through the door. Read more

Remodeling Cost vs Value Report 2006

Recapping the REMODELING Cost vs. Value Report. Read more

Sites to See Sites to See

Today just a handful of home improvement companies are generating 25% or more of their leads from the Web, in some cases, strictly from the company Web site. But the fact that they do makes it clear that the Web holds huge promise for home improvement companies seeking a fertile (and low-cost) lead source. Read more

A Price You Can't Refuse

Every day, reputable home improvement companies contend with contractors who operate on anorexic margins or skimp on job specs to offer gullible consumers a price they feel they can't refuse, though they know in their hearts they ought to. Read more

Referrals 101

All referrals are not created equal. Some are valuable and some, frankly, are a waste of time. Minor distinctions make one kind of referral great and another more like a blind date than a sales appointment. Read more

Going Live

When she makes phone calls, Carrie Stock, officer manager for Ray Johnson Home Improvement, often finds that none of the options offered by an automated answering system quite fit. That's one reason why Stock believes it is more efficient for a prospective customer to immediately connect with a live person right away. Read more

Hire Smart

Here are some tips and techniques to make it more efficient, and to prevent bad hires. Read more

Exit, Stage Left

Often, turnover is a sign that your hiring, training, or compensation must be modified to improve productivity, but you'll never know what to change if you don't conduct exit interviews with departing salespeople. Read more

It's a Wrap

If you evaluate your fleet graphics as you would a billboard campaign, you'll find that strong graphics can be an excellent investment. Read more

Full House

Everyone knows that two heads are better than one. But how do you make sure both husband and wife will be at an appointment? No strategy is sure-fire, but there are effective ways to convince couples to commit to an appointment. Read more

Soft Touch

We suggest four ways to educate the prospect before your salesman arrives. Read more

Point of Pride

Leads are hard to come by, and in the sunroom business, where product prices range from $20,000 to $50,000 and up, they're especially dear. "If you're going to be successful in this, you'd better be creative," says Gordon Fairbanks, a TEMO dealer and owner of Fairbanks Construction, in Ocala, Fla. Read more

Hey, Coach!

Coaching is a method of sales management characterized by a highly hands-on relationship between sales rep and sales manager. Unlike sales managers who focus on metrics or telling salespeople exactly what to do, the coaching sales manager's focus is on developing people. Read more

Sell the System

To evaluate a rep's performance, sales managers typically review contact reports, make post-sale phone calls to prospects, and watch for clues when role playing in regular sales meetings. Read more

What Is Selling?

Many people misunderstand the selling process, seeing it as manipulation, chicanery, or worse. Read more

Salesman Said

What do you do with a salesperson who, in the heat of the presentation, consistently promises goods or services that the company either can't deliver or isn't aware of because they're not written in the contract? Read more

Who's a Drip?

There are many kinds of chimney, ranging from classic brick to metal "stovepipe." But for many roofing companies, chimney repairs stop where the roof and chimney meet. Read more

Clear Choice

Advantages and disadvantages to selling one brand of window versus several. Read more

Brand Thing

An interview with Rick Menendez, co-owner of Sudden Impact Marketing and vice president of sales and marketing for Melani Bros., a $16.9 million home improvement company in Yorktown, Va. Read more

A Simple Question

Many companies have, from time to time, introduced programs offering bonuses for self-gens. Some have gone so far as to double the commission on these leads, figuring that a 10% lead cost is a bargain compared with the 15% they might otherwise be paying. But guess what? Few or no takers. Here are some reasons why. Read more

Find out who made this year's The Replacement 100!
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