Two design/build remodelers used to contracting $400,000 to $500,000 projects discovered that to win smaller jobs, they needed to downsize their approach, whether in a presentation binder or in direct mail.

Meanwhile, neither feels his new approach works against him in winning large jobs.

Jerome Quinn of SawHorse in Atlanta changed the size of photos in his presentation binder. He heard visitors to his home show booth, examining his presentation binder with 8x10 glossy photos, say they didn't think the company would come to their house. In the middle of the show, Quinn returned to the office, picked up 5x7 copies of the same photos, and put them in a smaller book. Response to the smaller photos was more positive and inquisitive. "There's a certain level of overkill by having this knock-your-socks-off photography," Quinn says. SawHorse now uses the smaller pitch book exclusively. "We saw a huge benefit to putting in the smaller pictures, even if they were of the upscale jobs," he says.

John Keohane of Keohane Construction, Dedham, Mass., took the same approach with direct mail. He had been mailing envelopes containing three photo cards of past jobs, labeled "Photos Do Not Bend." While it got attention, he repeatedly heard from prospects who thought he only did large jobs. Now he has printed 6-by-8-inch postcards of kitchens, baths, and interiors and is mailing them at bulk rates, more cheaply, and in greater quantities than the envelope packet. He mails about 1,800 cards a week. Over five months, he has gotten 120 leads and recently signed $150,000, $100,000, and $50,000 jobs.