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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Selling home performance? Start with what they already know.

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“High-Performance HVAC”, “ACH50”, and the latest digital manometer are cool at a home performance conference. For most people, including most of our customers, though, these concepts are a bit too far removed from their experiences and understanding. Too many in the industry jump to the building science end without starting from something more familiar to the layperson whom we hope will buy it. And that is a huge mistake. How can we translate the great but unrecognized value of ...
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4 Traps to Avoid in Selling Home Performance

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You want the sale. We all want the sale! Maybe you’re very hungry to post some numbers or push to hit the plan. That’s OK. But don’t let that get in the way of good approaches. It’s easier to stick with a good process when you’ve got ample leads, a solid pipeline, and you’re been hitting the numbers. So, try to stay ahead and…use effective lead generation, maintain your pipeline, and stay on top of your plan and what ...
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What you’re missing in the furnace (or windows or solar or…) call

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missed opportunityIncreasingly contractors are sensing the tremendous opportunity to add a broader array of “home performance” services to their business. Gearing up to deliver is an investment in training, equipment, and processes that might easily run $100,000 of initial investment if one fully accounts for the time and effort. Once they’re ready to go something all too frequently happens. Silence. A common ...
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Women athletes, the Olympics, and how to crush the competition in your contracting business

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For those keeping score by country, the U.S. crushed the competition in Rio with 121 medals. China was second with 70, Britain third with 67. They wouldn’t have done it without the women (61 medals), who earned more than the men (60).

There are some important lessons for contractors here.

First, by supporting women, women can thrive. The U.S. supports women athletes at all levels better than anyone else.

What if we did that in the business world, too? What if we helped ...

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Grow leaders: ask your team questions, let them solve problems

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Do you want a high performing team? One important step to take is to stop doing their work for them.

For many managers, the first inclination is to tackle every problem. And if an employee asks a question, to immediately answer it. Often, you’re better off resisting that urge.

When you jump in and answer the question, you don’t give you employee a chance to to think through the problem herself. She misses on on the problem-solving process and the chance ...

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Building Quality with Intention

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Quality - Foster QuoteQuality doesn’t come from an inspection after the work is done. Instead, it is built in, from the beginning.

It must begin with intention not just on the immediate outcome, but as part of a process of continual improvement, always searching to increase value.

In the home improvement world, make sure that value includes not just how well you’ve air-sealed around ...

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