Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • 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 »
  • Tips to protect manufacturers and dealers from improper field testing
    It is an ever-increasing occurrence in the window-and-door industry-a manufacturer or dealer receives notice that a field test has exposed a leak. The repercussions which may flow from this depend largely on how the leak-identifying field test was conducted and how the manufacturer or dealer reacts. A "properly" conducted field test can be loosely defined in a legal dispute as one which... more »
  • By the time you’re reading this, the Beijing Summer Olympics will have long since closed. But as I write this, we’re deep into Olympic obsession mode (at least my household is). I know the Olympics themselves are now yesterday’s news, but if you’ll indulge a gal a bit, I’m hoping to strike up a conversation about China. About four years ago, not long after I first... more »
  • It's no secret that small and large businesses are shifting marketing resources from print to online activities that can add value beyond lead generation. Local search marketing, including pay-per-click advertising on search engines, is the leading interactive medium for retailers and dealers. Growth in revenues at newspaper and local television station Web sites indicates many companies are... more »
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    Manufacturer launching new cellular product line targeting wood window buyers.
    With the MIyota way, boards around the plant allow workers to track performance and look for improvement. Chris Rothermel, assistant manager at MI's Gratz plant, says employees now embrace the concept. What does it take to be green? Like many other manufacturers, MI Windows & Doors has been working to answer that question. What it has discovered is that it had already taken some... more »
  • Last March I suggested in this column that the handwringing over the housing slump and the general recession that many were sure it would bring were overwrought. Let's see, some six months later, where all that stands.In essence, the jury is still out. True, the housing crunch and its economic downturn have reached epic proportions and remain the highlight of campaigns for Presidential hopefuls.... more »
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    Canadian manufacturer looks to woo new customers with good talk, and a good walk
    Window City is out on the dealer dating scene and ready to commit. Having served the greater Toronto area for more than 15 years, the Vaughan, Ontario-based window and door manufacturer has invested millions of dollars to automate its production facility, vertically-integrate its business strategy and take its image to the next level with an aggressive marketing initiative. With nearly a... more »