January 2008 Table of Contents

Featured Articles
Great Detail

In the past, when you walked into their homes, prospects might have known what three-tab shingles were. You probably would have had to explain that architectural shingles are heavier, can take more heat, and look better. And then they'd want to know if there would be a Dumpster and whether or not the plants would get ruined. Read more

Extreme Takeover Extreme Takeover

The Window Replacement Company of Virginia didn't look like a great buy when Joe Henley purchased it in September 2006.Henley says that by the time he took possession, production had grown inefficient and management had become somewhat lax. Read more

Just Cause

Last spring, Alure Home Improvement, on Long Island, mobilized teams of installers to help construct a recreation facility at Clearpool Education Center in Putnam County, N.Y. Filmed by ABC-TV and broadcast on the network's Read more

For Hire For Hire

Scott Barr, owner and general manager of Southwest Exteriors, in Texas, was surprised a few months ago when he went to check on a siding job and found the crew asleep in the flower bed. They were taking a nap, he says. Read more

Extra Credit

You're in the thick of hiring a sales or marketing manager. Should you run a credit check? Read more

Add It Up

Have you had this experience: A "new" product comes along and you decide to add it to your current offering of home improvement items. The product is well accepted by customers, and your people make sales. Then you notice that your profits are remaining stagnant or are going down. Read more

Fat and Happy

Kip Lee has a term for the ailment afflicting the salesperson who writes $200,000 one month and can't sell anything the next. The owner of Coastal Empire Exteriors in Savannah, Ga., calls it Fat Wallet Disease. The polite term is "economic leveling," the tendency to work to some self-imposed limit. Read more

Coupon Power

In 1895, C.W. Post, the breakfast cereal guy, established a marketing tradition by offering, in a newspaper ad, a small square of paper that could be redeemed at the grocer's for one cent off the price of a box of Grape-Nuts. Read more

Jingle Fever Jingle Fever

Chances are good that you know the tune bracketing the 800-number featured in the commercials of Empire Today. Thirty years ago the Chicago-based home improvement and home furnishings giant set its 1-800 number to six notes sung by a mixed male-and-female a cappella group. Read more

Appointment Prep Appointment Prep

When well-known industry sales trainer Phil Rea makes his first sales call of the day, he still gets "a little jittery" even after 36 years and some 15,000 in-home presentations. To minimize jitters, he prepares by listening to training CDs in the car. "On the way to the appointment, you need to be working," Rea says. "It's part of the job." Read more

People Skills

You have a sales manager -- or maybe it's you -- who manages sales. But what's that job all about? Read more

In Writing

Considering hiring a sales manager? Whatever you want that person to do, it's important to put it in writing before he or she is hired. A job description should be the key document in determining the person you hire. Read more

Roofing Riddle

Customers used to ask if Weather Tight, a Milwaukee siding and window company, did roofs. The answer was no, but the company could recommend someone. Read more

Get Organized Get Organized

Mark Curry sees the garage as home improvement's new frontier. Which is why, six months ago, he launched Those Garage Guys, a company marketing a modular system for bringing order to chaos. Garages, Curry says, are "the biggest junk drawer in the house." His system can turn 400 feet of garage into a neatly arranged space with hooks, shelves, baskets, and cabinets for around $6,200. Add flooring, and it's about $10,000. Read more

Door to Door

We like doors," says Ken Moeslein, CEO of Swing Line Windows/Legacy Remodeling, in Pittsburgh. "And a lot of our competitors hate doors." Read more

Not so Sunny

Sunrooms are a big-ticket item. One sale can make your day, but a sale rescinded can just as easily ruin it. "There's nothing worse than getting the phone call that the prospect's changed his mind," says Larry Chavez, president of Four Seasons Sunrooms in Phoenix. Read more

It's an Outrage

Michael Morgan, of business consulting firm Morgan Success Group, in Colorado Springs, Colo., is an expert on outrageous marketing. He'll be speaking on that subject on January 21 at the Replacement Contractor Executive Conference in Phoenix. Read more

Seal Failure

The windows were 15 years old. The tracking was off and the locks were shot. Two were fogged over. Seal failure. Read more

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