Closing a deal successfully means you have to differentiate your company. “The fundamental weakness in so much of remodelers’ marketing is that it all sounds the same to the prospect,” says Mike Jeffries, managing partner of Rivers of Revenue, based in New Providence, N.J. “So [prospects] figure they can hire anyone and get the same result, and they make a decision based on price.” To change that, be specific” — in phone calls, meetings, and in all your sales and marketing. Position yourself as the expert to raise your trustworthiness quotient.

Say This Not That
We won a Grand Award for basement
renovation from the 2011 Remodeling
Design Awards, for example.
We’ve won several
awards for craftsmanship.
We use “X” type of material because it has greater strength for the application, for example. We use the highest-quality materials.
We’ve built “X” number of projects similar to yours, and here’s our portfolio to show you. We have lots of experience with your type of project.
Here’s our list of 20 references, and we encourage you to call them. (“Off ering 20 references rather than the usual three,” Jeffries says, “is an indication that you have more satisfi ed clients.”) We provide references.
We return all unanswered calls within two hours. (“If you call a supplier, how soon do you want an answer? Now. Don’t your prospects deserve the same consideration?” Jeffries asks.) We’ll call you back as soon as possible.(What the prospect hears: We’ll call you back when it’s convenient for us.)
We carry $3 million in workers’ comp, and liability and vehicle insurances. (“Even if a competitor has $1 million in insurance and the coverage is nearly the same, the perception is that you have more,” Jeffries says.) We’re fully insured.
Here’s our clean-up checklist that our supervisors sign off on every day. We clean up every day.
We have written procedures for each major type of work we do. For example, to install your cabinets the way they should be, we have a 15-step process. (“This tells prospects you’re not winging it,” Jeff ries says. “You have a method to ensure it comes out right every time.”) We have established procedures and processes to ensure a quality job.

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.