Q: My competitor is telling prospects that we're overpriced and can't control quality because we install with subs. How do I counter those negatives?

A: Here's what I'd say: "Whoever told you we're overpriced told you exactly right. We are overpriced, along with every other product out there. It's hard to believe what gas, food, cars, and everything else costs. Our cost of doing business has gone up too.

"I wish I could do something about materials prices, but we have zero control over that. What we can control, to some extent, is labor. After years of experimenting with both subcontractors and employees, we've found it advantageous to hire the best subs to produce our work, for several reasons: We don't have to pay them for vacation or when weather interrupts our jobs, nor must we provide health insurance, retirement, tools, or trucks. We pass that savings on to you.

"But the biggest benefit is that our subs provide a better product. Each carpenter, unfortunately, is not equally gifted at all the projects we're asked to perform. Our subs, on the other hand, specialize in installing this product."

See what they have to say to that. --Phil Rea, Phil Rea & Associates, offering professional speaking, a money-making newsletter (Sales Pitch) , and a powerful monthly sales meeting by phone to more than 1,500 remodeling salespeople nationwide.