You get a call. A client has some plumbing tasks that need to be done in their home. Before proceeding further, you should disclose some things before they sign a contract when you start a project.
It is always best to have everything spelled out in advance. This will prevent any miscommunication on what exactly needs to be done. This in many instances is very difficult as there are many unknown variables in most plumbing issues. You should endeavor to spell out any possible situations as practical. Having done this you should have clarified many things and prevented misunderstandings that cause dissatisfied customers.
Here are 10 things you should explain to your prospective client before you sign a contract.
- Explain your License.
- Show them the required insurance.
- Show them your bond.
- Show them references.
- What do you specialize in?
- How much will it cost?
- What schedule are we working with?
- How can you be reached in an emergency?
- Disclose in writing any warranties or guarantees?
- Explain what caused the problem.
Tell your customer about your license, any exams and certifications you have. Most States and or Cities require Plumbers to be licensed. There are usually exclamations and apprenticeships that must be completed before a license is issued.
You should have at the very least have a Plumber’s General Liability Insurance Policy. This will give prospective clients peace of mind that you have insurance in case something goes wrong. I would also suggest you get a blank certificate of insurance from your insurance agent. Get this certificate laminated and show it to prospective customers when you are preparing estimates. This simple act will make you look more professional. You will get more work even if you are not the lowest estimate when a client feels you are more professional than your competition.
Everybody is always asking if the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured. Every other company van on the road extols the fact they are licensed, bond, and insured. Again most States and Cities require plumbers to have a bond before a license or permit is issued. If there is no bond requirement where you operate, a Plumber’s Bond can be obtained for less than $200 so you call say you are licensed, bonded, and insured. Again just like your insurance, get the bond laminated to show prospective clients.
You should have references that clients can contact of people you worked for in the past. It is advisable to have at least about five priors clients available for prospects to contact and ask some important questions.
It is relevant to point out that every plumber may not be able to handle all plumbing-related tasks. You should point out any specialized work you can provide before signing a contract.
Make sure you have all costs associated with your project well laid out from the start. Explain that once you start other problems may be exposed. It is in your best interest to go over these possibilities in great detail as most disputes generally revolve around costs exceeding estimates. It is time well spent explaining these possibilities upfront.
It helps to spell out in writing the date by which the project would be completed. Timelines are useful in assessing the pace of projects and ensuring timely completion.
You should ask your client how they can be reached in the event of an emergency.
It is advisable to put in writing any warranties and guarantees on your work. These should be spelled out in clear and easy to understand language to prevent any future disputes
Explain the cause of their problem. Also, provide any tips that may be helpful in preventing a recurrence of the problem.
These simple tips can be extremely helpful in growing your business. They will also relieve you from the stress by lowering the possibility of having complaints from dissatisfied customers.
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