How much background research do you do on prospective clients before you agree to go into business with them? The answer, hopefully, is that you do extensive research. Greg Brooks, a former editor of ProSales, offers several great suggestions for how you can make sure that you end up with a new client without getting used and abused in the process.
- Be a Detective: Go to one of the jobsites when you will be the only one there. How is the project progressing? Does the jobsite look well organized? Is the jobsite clean? Take photos so you will have something to consult later.
- Speak with a Sub: Go back during the week and talk to the subcontractors. Use neutral questions. Begin with the positives you see at the jobsite and ask about those, then ease your way into asking about the questionable things you see with questions such as, "That’s an unusual solution. Why did you do it that way?"
- Pretend You're on House Hunters: Take a walk-through of one of your prospective clients' model homes with a Realtor. Everything the Realtor says is what the builder asked the Realtor to say about the home. This will give you a chance to evaluate your prospective customer's design style and will give you a chance to check out the marketability of his finished projects.
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