For 60 years, residents of the coastal towns south of Boston and on Cape Cod have come to Hingham Lumber for building supplies. A native of the Boston area, Jennifer Verre arrived eight years ago and both sells the products–including brand names such as Marvin, Andersen, Velux, Medallion, and CertainTeed–and assures their installation. Here's how she helps Hingham compete.

"You have to be savvy about your product ... make people feel confident in what you're selling and that you're going to get them what they need."--Door and window manager Jennifer Verre, Hingham Lumber, Cohasset, Mass. Photo: Jonathan Kannair How We're Organized. "Besides me, we have a service tech, three inside sales people, two sales support people, and an installed sales coordinator."

Her Work Day. "I get to work at 7 a.m. because the contractors are here first thing. The support staff are here first, and the service techs are getting everyone set for their day. The salespeople are here at 8 a.m. With the support staff, I make sure that everything they need is ready to go. We have an office right behind the showroom."

The Process. "Once we've made a sale, we hand things to an install coordinator, who deals with the installer and the customer. The coordinator has a sales support person who makes sure we're meeting our contracted dates, and to assure the measuring gets done and the parts are coming in."

Commissioned Salespeople? "I don't care for that. I've seen that in various jobs I've done before. It can work against you."

Shifting Priorities. "One of the things we're talking about is qualifying. The market has changed, so we have to do a better job at that."

If I Ruled Installed Sales ... "In the industry as a whole, we don't use education. I think people should be looking more into educating themselves. It's become so much more complicated to sell, and you need to know what you're doing."

Why Do This Job? "I've been in this industry since I got out of high school. There's always something new and challenging. To work for an independent lumberyard, especially one that's smaller and family owned, I don't feel like a number, like some of my friends. I feel like part of a family."

–Craig Webb