When he got out of college, Scott Siegal moonlighted on weekends with a roofing crew while holding down a day job as a mortgage broker. “I thought: Those salespeople are making a fortune,” he says.

So he bought five roofing companies and in 1997 rolled them into one called Maggio Roofing. His approach to selling was haphazard and randomly successful. “We had no systematic approach, no documentation, no real proposal. It was just: ‘Here’s the price,’” Siegal says. “For years, sales stayed stuck.”

All that changed after Maggio Roofing joined Certified Contractors Network, a peer-driven consulting group, and adopted CCN’s two-step closing system, which combines a measure visit with a follow-up call where the proposal is presented. In an industry often tarnished by fly-by-night companies, Maggio Roofing hands customers a 15-page proposal and conducts an on-site pre-construction conference where staff walk clients through a PowerPoint presentation about the job.

In 2008 Siegal had “the worst first quarter” he has experienced. In response, he made big changes in buying, marketing, and selling that slashed expenses and increased sales by double digits, enabling him to post a healthy net profit.

- Jim Cory