Although it has been in business since 1966, Kerzner Remodeling and Construction still faces stiff competition in the active Oconomowoc, Wis., remodeling market. In fact, the Milwaukee National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) chapter is the largest in the nation, with a reported 800 members.

As the company's sales and marketing guru, it is Nick Kerzner's job to keep his sales staff one step ahead of the competition. Through monthly sales meetings, an emphasis on education, and adherence to the golden rule, the company has carved a niche in its busy market.

Nick Kerzner is responsible for keeping his company, Kerzner Remodeling and Construction, competitive in a busy market.
Nick Kerzner Nick Kerzner is responsible for keeping his company, Kerzner Remodeling and Construction, competitive in a busy market.

Kerzner offers some simple guidelines on getting the job while keeping your price margins in check:

1. Remember the golden rule, and don't bad-mouth the competition. As any good contractor knows, you rise above the others by making the client aware of your strong points.

2. Recognize the importance of continuing education and certifi cations. Our company has a number of certified Lead Carpenters, a Certified Remodeler, and a Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler on staff.

We make clients aware that remodeling is a practice, much like medicine. The best in the field are the most experienced. If you had to schedule a surgical procedure, wouldn't you feel more comfortable with a doctor who has performed the procedure many times? Similarly, a remodeler who has completed many additions is more likely to perform better and cause less stress when doing your addition.

3. Draw on your industry recognition. Make clients aware of your industry awards and explain why you won them. We tell clients that we have won awards by focusing on design and craftsmanship, and remaining on budget. More than likely, the client's will share these same concerns.

4. Show them how you arrive at your price. Don't be afraid to show the numbers. If a lowball contractor finds that a job is a loser halfway through, the project can suffer from poor craftsmanship, substandard materials, and a long, stressful journey to completion — if he completes it at all.

Most clients will understand your price if they can see and understand the numbers.

5. Forget the other guy's price. Too many contractors focus on the competition. This can result in a quick ballpark price and cut the sales process short because we assume that we won't be able to compete in that arena. Remember that, typically, your client's concern is value, not price. Educate them about the benefits your company offers, so they will not equate price with value.