It's tempting, when the phone isn't ringing, to blanket neighborhoods with dollars-off promotions, but discounts aren't always good for business.

Door-hangers that take $400 off a complete bath remodel are “our best source of advertising,” says a Maryland bathroom specialist. He uses the promotions year-round but says they're especially vital in the down market, speculating that they spark curiosity to visit the company's Web site.

Others see danger in the money-off approach. High-end remodelers are not selling widgets or pizzas, but professional services, says Patrice Olivier-Wilson of Biz-Comm, a marketing firm. Discounts can devalue your reputation and tend to attract people who shop purely on price, she says.

Lesley Powers of Powers Construction Group, in Lisle, Ill., says discounts make some people assume that everything is negotiable. Plus, “If you wheel and deal, doesn't that tell the customer you were asking too much in the first place?” She and her husband assuage price-conscious homeowners by offering to review other bids against theirs on an apples-to-apples basis. They often see that other proposals aren't as inclusive, instantly making them better clients, she says.