Quillen Bros. Windows strictly sells windows and doors. A true specialty retailer, the company owes its discipline in large part to owner and founder Bob Quillen, who boasts a background in the Marine Corps.

Every aspect of the business that’s key to performance is benchmarked and tracked. Ask Quillen a question and the answer is like reading a management report, only he doesn’t even have to look at one—it’s all in his head: “Shows and events [are] 56% of my business, previous customers are 20%, referrals are right around 8%,” he says when asked about how his company’s leads are generated.

The canvassing program he launched “is coming in at 7.8%”—as in marketing cost—he says, “and that’s where my growth is coming from.” This is nothing to sneeze at when even the most experienced canvassing companies have seen the cost of keeping vans in the field spiral wildly out of control.

Quillen Bros. recently opened a branch operation in Fort Wayne, Ind., and even though Quillen says that there are “a humongous number” of home improvement companies in the area, the company accumulated $1.3 million in sales last year. Quillen fully intends to soon be a major player in all of Indiana, not just Fort Wayne.

The company also has shown steady growth in net sales per lead issued. In 2009, it was $1,620. Last year, an issued lead equated to $2,088 in revenue.


  • In 2013, 47% of demos (where a product is presented and a signature on a contract requested) were closed—a figure that has remained consistently high for the last five years.
  • Personality profiles are carried out for each employee. “Every job in this business requires a certain personality type,” Quillen says.
  • To foster a “learning environment” in the workplace, employees meet regularly to discuss readings from books on leadership. “We read these as a company,” Quillen says. Recent reads include Financial Fitness and Principle-Centered Leadership.
  • Employee performance is the measure of Quillen’s skills as a leader. “Their grade card is my grade card,” he says.