Protect Your Business and Your Prospects By Not Leaving Your Plans and Proposals Behind
The information you include in your proposal comes from your many years of experience and education. For this you deserve to be compensated. I would also suggest your proposal probably only contains a level of detail adequate for you and your team to build from. In reality your proposal may not have adequate detail for others to build from. This may be the best reason to explain to your prospect why you won’t leave it with them unless they buy from you.
If you leave your proposal and specifications behind and the home owner in turn uses them to engage with another business bad things may happen. Although you may not be doing it on purpose or for any devious reasons, by allowing the possibility that other contractors will work from your proposal, inexperienced contractors and homeowners may be making incorrect and costly assumptions. I am referring to assumptions about what is or should be included to do the job correctly, and to comply with building codes as well as safety requirements. By allowing such things to happen you may be putting other contractors, the home owners and or the success of the project at risk.
I also suggest you consider the possible liability you take on by creating specifications, in particular project plans, and leaving them with a prospect that does not do business with you. By doing so you may have put yourself into a position where the prospect or another contractor actually works from them. If they have challenges when building the project and decide those challenges were caused by your plans and or specs, they may have legal rights to sue you. Even if they technically don’t have legal grounds, what if they do sue you? Regardless of whether you feel you are innocent or guilty, you will need to cover your own legal expenses if you end up in court. Most likely you will not be able to re-coup your legal costs even if you are found innocent. If you are found guilty you may actually be required to pay the legal expenses incurred by the person suing you.
If you decide to take this risk, I highly recommend you obtain Errors and Omissions insurance coverage or Professional Design Liability coverage. Discuss these insurance policies and how they work with your insurance provider.
Some big picture thoughts for remodelers to chew on before deciding to leave their work behind:
- I suggest you are in the business of selling remodeling, not giving away free designs.
- Some consumers will contact you just to steal your knowledge. Avoid being used as an unpaid consultant.
- Don’t let your proposals, specifications and plans facilitate the ability for “Bubba” to get the job rather than you.
- Not every lead you get should or will be YOUR customer.
- If you think you have to leave your work behind because every other contractor does, you are wrong.
- If you have not had professional sales training you may be leaving your plans and a lot of money on your prospect’s table!
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