Are you giving your customers options?

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I’m surprised by the number of contractors who only offer one recommendation. (Or no recommendations, just a report on conditions found!)

I think that’s a mistake. If you’ve done a good job listening to the customer, you’ll have a good idea of what they’re looking for and what they willing to invest right now. But unless you’re a perfect mindreader, you won’t have it exactly right all of the time.

There are a lot of reasons why presenting options makes sense.

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Moments of Truth

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helping hand up a rockEverything you do is either going to help your marketing or hurt it. Likewise, everything you do is either going to help you make your next sale or get in the way of that sale.

Your next hire.

How well you train them.

How they answer the phone.

Whether they drive on the flowers or not.

The quality of the air-sealing you do.

Whether ...

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Not in a Home Performance Peer Group? You’re Missing Out!

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Dog Pack“What sort of gross margins should I expect from our insulation division?”

“How can we boost our installer recruiting?”

“What do you think of this marketing plan?”

How did moving to a 4-10 work week affect production?”

Pop a question to the network of home performance contractors about ASHRAE 62.2, or what’s wrong with the utility program they work in, or whether or not ...

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Basic Accounting: How much profit did your business make?

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How much money did your contracting business make?

Let’s say a company grosses $1,000,000 per year. After paying all the expenses to cover the costs of the work performed, and the expenses to keep the lights on in the office and such, there is just enough left over that the owner, who does sales and runs the business full-time, can draw $100,000 in salary.

What’s the profit?

Too many people say 10%. Yes, $100,000/$1,000,000 is 10%. If the owner played golf all ...

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Who runs your business? You? Or “the program”?

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At the Helm, N.C. WyethTo say the least, things look pretty volatile on the federal front. Volatile? How about crazy? Dysfunctional? In any event, it doesn’t seem prudent to be optimistic that we’ll have much in the way of coherent federal energy policy that supports the most cost effective resource–efficiency. Tax credits? Don’t hold your breath!

The good news is the bigger activity on the efficiency program front has generally been–and ...

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A “sales coordinator” is the foundation of a strong sales program

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425-gc-2008-mikeLeads are very important—indeed the lifeblood of sales and ultimately revenue. And yet, too often home improvement contractors don’t treat leads as the valuable assets they are.

A few contractors I’ve worked with over the past month had what I see as a common pitfall in contracting companies, especially companies large enough to have a full-time sales advisor. Namely, each ...

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Energy-Efficiency Program Folks: Do You Understand the Numbers that Drive a Contractor’s Business?

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raft of the medusaWhy is recruiting contractors to participate in energy-efficiency programs often such a challenge?

Part of the reason is that too often programs are designed and implemented without enough attention to the numbers, in dollars and cents, that drive a successful contracting business. If the numbers don’t work, the business doesn’t work. If the program risks making the numbers not work, ...

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In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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king_splash2“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

—MLK from ‘Letter from Birmingham, Alabama Jail’, April 16, 1963

I hope you’ll find a way to lift someone up. Someone you pass in the street. A customer. A co-worker. We’re all ...

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Quality, Standards, and…Sales Management

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Roadmap - Northwestern VermontI’ve had the privilege of working quite a bit with John Tooley over the past couple of years. If you’ve attended one of John’s training sessions, there is a good chance you’ve heard him talk about quality, and standards as a key foundational element of quality.

Now, I suspect that most people in our industry think of ...

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