Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • Bolyard Lumber Changes with the Times
    The Bolyard Lumber team has embraced change with out-of-the-box thinking, evolving to better serve its long-time customers. The company transformed its hardware store into a specialty showroom to better compete against big box retailers. It’s tough to remain nimble as a company. When you’ve spent years making decent margins on what you’re good at, you sometimes wake up... more »
  • Penguin Windows Installs to the Letter
    For Penguin Windows, the installation is the culmination of the entire window replacement project. To handle the company's volume, the installation teams strive for consistency from job to job. Penguin Windows has made a machine out of window installations. Pumping out as many as 500 jobs per month, the Mukilteo, Wash., replacement window company knows that consistency is the ticket to... more »
  • Professional Builders Supply Walks the Walk on Customer Service from Top to Bottom
    Van Isley and Kevin Kusilek display the Professional Builders Supply customer commitment in their showroom, along with letters and accolades from satisfied customers. Whether in windows or doors or pretty much any product purchase, most consumers have felt the frustration of getting lost in the labyrinthine customer “service” department of a company, unable to get their... more »
  • Old Mission Showroom is Physical Manifestation of Company Itself
    Old Mission sales staff demonstrate windows and doors installed in simulated house settings. Jim Cesario, owner and president of Old Mission Windows, is a firm believer in the theory of “it takes a village” - at least when it comes to selling windows and doors. Cesario’s company has designed a showroom that mimics a village home setting, with separate buildings housing... more »
  • Heritage Door Kicks Niche up a Notch
    Heritage Door & Window focuses on replacement doors to help homeowners upgrade their entryways. Anthony DiCunto (left), owner, and Jason O'Hara, showroom manager, contend that doors require a different skill set than replacement windows and have built the business by offering focused product knowledge, pre-finishing services and quality installations. Most of the time in this... more »
  • Shepley Wood Product Aims for “Spark in the Eye” Customer Service
    Tony Shepley believes that in any retail transaction—at the bank, the grocery store, the coffee shop—you know within a matter of seconds how the transaction will go just based on the employee’s eye contact. “I want to look in someone’s eyes and see the spark and see that they’re willing to exceed my expectations,” he says. This few-seconds rule certainly... more »
  • Don’t assume your customers are all alike. You cannot truly help your customers until you understand their business models. Instead of selling the features and benefits of your product, ask questions and listen to discover ways your customer faces their competitive challenges. You will then distinguish yourself as a resource who can help them increase profits through better salesmanship.... more »
  • If you have taken time to prepare a presentation in chapters (like the sections of a well-organized book), your delivery will flow smoothly. You will no longer be thinking. You will deliver a heartfelt presentation at a level of unconscious competence. This week’s tip comes from Rick Davis, president of Building Leaders, Inc. and author of the book, Strategic Sales in the Building Industry... more »
  • A manufacturer contacted me not too long ago to see if I had heard any news about one its local competitors. The reason he inquired is that he was seeing an influx of people from this competitor looking for jobs at his operation. While I hadn’t heard any news in this particular case, and I wasn’t much help, it reminded me of something said to me not too long ago. “If you can... more »
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    Baltimore—While many remodelers and replacement dealers are struggling in the current economic environment, some are growing. In conjunction with last week’s Remodeling Show here, Ply Gem Windows brought together a panel of Great Lakes window dealers that continue to see their sales increasing to share some of their keys to success. “We decided we were not going to participate... more »