By Phil Rea. A: I once said I thought women would be represented in remodeling sales the way they're represented in real estate sales. Why hasn't this happened?

A good remodeling salesperson should be loyal, enthusiastic, honest, dependable, teachable, friendly, thorough, have good personal habits, and a genuine interest in the client.

Many women fit that description. Not that many men do. Perhaps the one trait women lack that companies want is the "killer instinct." Are women more sensitive to excuses? Maybe. Does managing them require more finesse? Possibly.

Given a choice of having a sales force of 100% females or 100% males, I'd take the females. A mix, however, might be just right for most companies. Women can relate to 90% of the population, while males relate to about 70%. Ask yourself who gets along better with people, the male or the female in your house? If you don't have women on your sales team, recruit some. It'll make the males work harder. --Phil Rea is president of Phil Rea and Associates, a firm offering sales consulting, motivational speaking, and a monthly newsletter. (866) 441-7445;