The Talk

  • March 22, 2016
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    The Automation Trend

    Fensterbau Frontale provides international perspective
    There are many ways to enumerate the Fensterbau trade show held in Nuremberg, Germany, last week. One can gauge the enormity in miles walked (24), company exhibits (796) or the single-day attendance record (38,568, including attendees to the collocated Holz-Handwerk show). But the number that strikes me is 37—the number of countries represented by the exhibitors. The experience was truly ... more »
  • March 15, 2016
    THE TALK...

    Joint Employment… Again

    Could your company be a “joint employer?” Don’t know? You’re not alone.
    We addressed the joint employer issue some months ago. Since then, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Dept. of Labor issued a formal Administrator’s Interpretation of “joint employment” under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This AI 2016-1 provides guidance for determining whether a horizontal or vertical joint employment exists. We offer the basic information below, but ... more »
  • The Industry Millennial

    As a recent journalism graduate and classified millennial, I can tell you that entering the workforce is a difficult transition. Even though four years of college gave me a diploma (and, consequently, a few decades of debt), what it did not teach me was how truly different the professional world would be. Our college courses encouraged collective brainstorming, group projects and class ... more »
  • What’s your Elevator Speech?

    A good sales strategy takes advantage of each phase in the sales cycle. But how do you get consumers interested in your product in the first place? The upcoming spring home shows offer a plethora of buyers who are actively seeking. You may already have a great product and a well-designed booth for your local show, both of which are necessary to attract the buyer’s eye. But another key to ... more »
  • February 23, 2016
    THE TALK...

    Website Hacking is on the Rise

    Why You Should Get Serious About Website Security
    Some business owners think hackers only target big companies or fancy e-commerce stores. To some extent, this is true—individual hackers typically focus their efforts on large, lucrative targets. However, the vast majority of hackers create automated scripts and programs that crawl the web in search of vulnerable websites. Most small-business websites get hacked in this automated ... more »
  • February 16, 2016
    THE TALK...

    Attention-to-Detail Industry

    If you take a step back and compare the fenestration industry to other construction-based industries, attention to detail is what can drive profitability or erode it away. Take a look at roofing, siding or even flooring—most of these industries have requirements for attention to detail with regard to the selection process but can then usually order 20 percent more materials to ensure ... more »
  • February 9, 2016
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Perfecting your Pitch

    Many manufacturers offer various marketing materials that dealers can use to their advantage. These often include brochures, technical data, product samples, color selectors, demo kits, presentation outlines, pitch books, training opportunities and wearables. But, as a dealer, what do you need for an effective product presentation? It’s important to build a program that speaks to what ... more »
  • February 2, 2016
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Email Tactics to Close the Sale

    Marketing is what you make of it. At its best, it is a way of demonstrating that you care about your customers and about alleviating their pain points. Marketing can also communicate comparative advantages. Good marketing closes the sale. But you have to reach customers where they are. And, to win consistent business, you need to do more than just compete on price. You have to sell them on ... more »
  • January 26, 2016
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Diving Right In

    Working as a newspaper reporter, I got used to giving myself crash courses in new topics. In a given week I was expected to become an overnight expert in any of a number of topics and be ready to write about them the next day. When I was offered my new position as assistant editor for Window & Door, I applied those research skills to learning the window and door industry. Words like ... more »
  • January 19, 2016
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    An Online Marketing Strategy that Works

      Click the infographic for a larger image.Most business owners agree that having a great website and overall presence online helps generate leads and grow sales. Most also agree that their company’s website is one of their most valuable marketing assets. But many do not have an online marketing strategy.Instead of jumping from tactic to tactic and trend to trend, take your ... more »