Latest Articles in Dealer Perspectives

  • My first foray into the window and door business was in early 1984.  Many things have changed in the sales arena since then, except for one: the challenge of converting a lead into a sale.  The first step in the sales process is to find a prospect interested in your products and to set up a sales appointment. With the appointment comes the challenge of converting the homeowner's... more »
  • At the International Builders' Show in Orlando last February, I found myself querying numerous manufacturers on their biggest challenge. It was unanimously improper installations. This is not news, but verification of an age-old problem that continues to occur. It’s not out of control, but when a complaint arises, improper installations are usually the culprit. Why is this? If steps are... more »
  • How do we accomplish everything we need to do to keep our businesses on track and running smoothly? That’s a pretty big topic you could write volumes on. We use a number of strategies to keep our pipeline filled. Networking: There are lots of ways to network. The most important thing is to actually get out there and do it. We are members of a local Business Networking International, which... more »
  • Many of us as window and door dealers have managed to sustain our business in some of the worst economic times in history. Some dealerships in our markets did not and closed. My company has locations in three markets–Tampa; Cleveland and Milwaukee–so I have some idea what is happening on more than one dealer location front. I do not claim expertise, but hopefully I can offer a little... more »
  • Does this sound familiar? You spend every waking minute at the office striving to improve your business operations and market share, but you lack sufficient data to determine how you stack up against your competitors. In essence, you’re flying blind. Or, you’re at the other end of the spectrum, drowning in so much data you can’t determine where to begin, or which charts, graphs... more »
  • When we set out two years ago to establish the Window & Door Dealers Alliance, we never envisioned the kind of impact we would have in such a short period of time. Some of our many highlights from 2011 include turning back the lead clearance testing rule proposed by Environmental Protection Agency, securing language in the HomeScore Energy program criteria favorable to window and door dealers... more »
  • Older buildings, especially those located in our historic cities, provide significant opportunities for dealers, especially for companies that have seen dramatic decreases in their residential business. Considering the scale of the opportunity and the slow pace of the housing recovery, many dealers may be considering entering this niche. If you do, be careful. Commercial sales can represent a big... more »
  • The home improvement industry has come under close scrutiny for what some regulatory bodies are calling deceptive and misleading sales and employment practices. Unfortunately, many companies have already faced massive fines, penalties and legal fees. This column is designed to build awareness of some of the possible legal problems that dealers can encounter, as well as offer some cautions and... more »
  • There is an adage that goes something like this: What you don't know won't hurt you. Well, I'm not sure how true that is. It leaves an awful lot to chance. And as businessmen and women, we independent window and door dealers can't afford to leave too much to chance— especially in this economy. One perfect example of the dangers of leaving something to chance is the Department of Energy... more »
  • Adding clearance testing to EPA lead paint regulations
    As if 2010 wasn’t challenging enough dealing with a stagnant economy, window and door dealers and remodeling contractors also had to comply with new government-mandated lead-based paint regulations. Many of us took classes, learned the proper techniques for working around lead-based paint, cleaning procedures and disposing of the debris. On some jobs it wasn’t too bad. Others were... more »