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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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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