How Efficient is Your Home Efficiency Business?

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Muda in home performance - Waste reduces value and hurts profits

We talk a lot about “efficiency” and “reducing waste” in homes. But what about efficiency and reducing waste in our home improvement businesses? Can we do better–become more profitable and deliver more value–by getting leaner?

Lean home performance is an approach to design delivery systems, whether we’re talking audit, air-sealing, or air-conditioning, to minimize waste of materials, time, and effort in ...

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Does Your Pricing Come up Short?

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Three contractors in four weeks, each with some serious pricing problems that where hurting their businesses!

Last week, I pointed out that getting more sales doesn’t necessarily fix everything. There is some scary reflection of reality in the statement “We lose money on every job, but we make it up on volume.”

Next month I want to tackle the cost side of things–in terms of reducing costs to boost both profitability for you and value for your customers. Even then, ...

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Sales do NOT fix everything!

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You’ve heard the saying, “Sales fixes everything”, and Guy Kawasaki explains how.

The problem is that sales do NOT fix everything.

Don’t get me wrong. Sales are important. If you’re not selling, everyone can stay home. And as Kawasaki and others will point out, sales mean cash (well, assuming you collect the cash), and cash buys you time to fix problems (but you still have to fix the problems–the cash doesn’t). ...

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Panning for Gold: “Leads” During the Slow Times

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panning for goldAlthough there was snow here and there, and even some bitter cold, it really hasn’t been a long, hard winter. And for many of you, the shoulder season is already looming. Even when weather drivers slow things down, you still need sales. Fortunately, you may already be sitting on some real nuggets.

A slow time is a great time to reach back ...

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The Home Performance Forum: Rebirth of the best online residential EE/RE/BS discussion!

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If you blinked or coughed, you might have missed a very important announcement at the National Home Performance Conference last week: The launch of the new Home Performance Forum (homeperformanceforum.org).

The Home Performance Forum discussion group launches

For ...

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The Two Very Best Things About HPC’s National Home Performance Conference Last Week

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The Home Performance Coalition’s National Conference last week in Nashville was the biggest ever. Maybe the best ever, too.

The best thing? The people. I love you people. Your passion, enthusiasm, and intelligence inspire me. You are hardworking and full of energy. And yes, you are fun, too! (Some of y’all can dance!) Thank you! Thank you for who you are. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for what ...

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Sales “Secret”: Ask Good Questions (and Listen to the Answers!)

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Iceberg consultative salesContractors,

How do you know what your customers really want?

There are a lot of very smart people in the home performance and HVAC industries. We know how homes work. Unfortunately, we’re often too quick to jump up on the soap box and start preaching to potential customers rather than listening to what they have to say.

This hurts us. We sell fewer projects. ...

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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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