Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • The Legal Department
    We don’t need new laws; we just have to enforce the ones we have…” This line has been applied in innumerable ways to issues which have been the subject of a cry for more legislation. Sometimes, the furor results in old laws being enforced with new vigor. It’s good to know when that happens. We are seeing newly vigorous enforcement of an “old law” that has come... more »
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    Windows with Laminated Glass Provide Multiple Benefits Attractive to Homeowners
    Homeowners will do most anything to keep their family members and hard-earned possessions safe. They appreciate the enhanced aesthetics and lower utility bills that today’s attractive and energy-efficient windows offer, but a home that’s considered safe and secure gives them total peace of mind. Today, dealers can meet this need with replacement windows incorporating laminated glass... more »
  • You can hear the following from dealers and manufacturers all the time: “With all the electronic access to information today, why is the customer taking longer to buy?” or “We know they’re going to buy, we just don’t know when.” Today’s extended buying cycle is frustrating for sales and marketing people who don’t know how to adjust to it and deal... more »
  • It is important not to lose sight of the long term and fundamental strength in the residential housing market. Admittedly, it is difficult to see this silver lining through all the doom and gloom publicity about the housing slump. It can be even more difficult when we now hear talk of recession.  Maybe certain politicians are, for reasons of their own, saying we’re on the precipice of... more »
  • Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I love a dealer with an angle. It’s tough to develop a focus, a niche, a personality for a business—so when I run across a really good angle, I’m definitely doing a little happy-column-dance. This month I’d like to introduce Windows Plus, a replacement retailer based in Northern Virginia. The dealer’s is a story like many... more »
  • With marketing dollars scarce in a slowing economy, it’s a very good time to take a fresh look at grass roots marketing referral techniques that won’t break the bank. Word-of- mouth or viral marketing has been growing and is even becoming more formalized with the formation three years ago of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Grounded on the proposition that people like to be... more »
  • If I offered to hand you $15 or let you flip a coin to earn either $20 or $10, which would you choose? Taking a chance might mean I only fork over $10 to you but playing it safe means you give up the opportunity to walk away with $20. In this example, the difference is only whether you’re buying me one round or two, but what if the stakes are much higher? How risk tolerant are you when it... more »
  • Most window and door companies tout the fact that their products are energy efficient. Many want to go further and say their products are green. But what does that mean? Is it a product’s U-value or solar heat gain coefficient? Is it some recycled content, certified wood or lead-free PVC?  If you’ve covered all those elements, can you say your products are green if your company... more »
  • Direct marketing expenditures continue to grow. The Direct Marketing Association estimates direct marketing spending increased 4.4 percent in 2007 to $173 billion, despite negative developments in the housing and automobile markets and rising energy costs. As direct marketing spending grows, it is also evolving. Traditional print efforts are seen giving way to multiple forms of interactive... more »
  • Many of us in the building materials business have read this book before. Housing starts and permits plummet, sales drop and it is time to start the belt tightening. When it comes to cutbacks, they usually come in the following order: * Training* Market research* Marketing programs (dealer, consumer, builder and remodeler)* Sales support and/or customer service* Sales... more »