When John Schmotzer graduated with his degree in education in 1977, there were no teaching jobs to be had. He'd installed windows as a part-time job while in college and thought an education degree perfect for selling home improvement projects. "As a teacher, you make a lesson plan, you demonstrate, and the goal is to get students to pass their tests. As a salesman, you develop a lesson plan, and if they pass the test, that means they've signed the contract."

Company representatives phone all clients a year after project completion to see if clients "are still happy and if there are any other problems." They also ask for referrals. Referrals and repeats make up 55% of the company's business.