July 2007 Table of Contents

Featured Articles
Dialing for Dollars

A slower economy offers challenges. Here's one way to meet them. Read more

Steady Job Steady Job

Contractors who hire full-time salespeople say loyalty and teamwork balance out the extra costs in taxes and benefits. Read more

In Writing

Who wants job descriptions? Not most entrepreneurial home improvement contractors, whose first job description was simple: Do everything. But job descriptions can be essential in helping contractors ease the inevitable growing pains of a successful business, human resources professionals say. Read more

Openings Openings

The want ad in the local paper is the classic way to look for employees, but don't overlook the potential of another tool: your Web site. Read more

Customer Challenged

OK, sometimes things go wrong. How do you manage the negative emotions that flare when they do? Here are four steps to building a better business through customer-centered service. Read more

Data Safeguard

Computers crash? Investing in backup systems for your company's data is like buying any other kind of insurance - a must. Read more


Hundred-dollar bills tend to be noticed. That's why Pete Fitzpatrick, owner of roofing, siding, and window company P.J. Fitzpatrick, in New Castle, Del., took the liberty of replacing the "C-note's" portrait of Ben Franklin with one of his own to encourage more referrals. Read more

Remember Me

You're spending a ton of money every month on advertising. And if your ads are doing their job, the phone's ringing and plenty of qualified leads are being generated. But how do you make the phone ring even when you're not running ads? Simple: branding. Read more

Who's Driving?

Hate traffic jams? You're not alone. But one place where the sight of heavy traffic is not disheartening is on your company Web site. Apart from the marketing you do to promote it, there are two ways to generate hits on your site: pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). Read more

Call Your Broker

Replacement contractors say Internet lead providers need to do a better job qualifying what they sell. Read more

Who's Calling?

Like most home improvement contractors, Charles Gorse says that inbound leads offer greater sales potential than outbound telemarketing leads, i.e., follow-up calls to contacts made at shows and events, or flat-out cold calls. Read more

On Tour On Tour

How are windows made? Actually seeing a home improvement product being made - window, door, shingle, or sunroom - can give reps the knowledge and enthusiasm to sell more effectively. Read more

The Big Flop

This is not an assault on those who use a price drop as an incentive to close. The issue is "The Big Drop." This practice dates back to the late '40s and early '50s when -- in an effort to sell roofing, siding, and storm windows -- sellers would offer a discount, maybe 10% of the quoted retail price, to get the order. If you are a proponent of this selling style, you need only review the manner in which you get rescission. For most canceled sales, price is the reason. Consider the number of people you don't close because the abundant discounts don't seem credible. Read more

On the Fence

You've been in the house what seems like all night. All buying parties are present and are showing signs of impatience. You've given them a price. They quietly balked. Now what? Whatever you do, don't get pushy or condescending. If you do, it's over. Read more

Low Pressure

Deck builders find less and less demand for pressure-treated wood. Read more

Many Things

For roofing contractors with a database of satisfied clients, the prospect of adding a new product or service is appealing. You replaced the roof; now what can you sell them? Read more

Made in the Shade Made in the Shade

Enter the new world of awnings made of canvas in custom colors. They're also retractable. Push a button, they roll outward to shelter porches and decks. Read more

Staying Power

High-end siding products last a lifetime -- or until the consumer decides to change the appearance of the home. Read more

The 91% Guy

An interview with speaker, sales trainer (and home improvement company owner) Rodney Webb. Read more

Trail of Tears

What makes a ripe opportunity turn sour so quickly? Read more

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