Dan Holohan is a longtime friend of mine and a renowned teacher and consultant to the home heating industry. His Web site, www.heatinghelp.com, is a treasure chest of advice and information for contractors and consumers alike. Do yourselves a favor and check it out.
At one place in his Web site, he writes a magnificent proposal letter and gives permission to any contractor who wants to use it - for free. Dan was kind enough to let me offer it to you as well.
This letter is aimed at residential heating contractors and will need some tweaking for your business clientele - especially if you cater to commercial customers more than homeowners. As drilling contractors, you may want to substitute “on your property” for “in your home” in many places.
You can add, revise or delete any of the 21 items as you see fit, but the basic principles discussed here have counterparts in almost every contracting business. Many of these items pertain to company policies that most contractors don't have, but should. Take the hint.
Dan Holohan's wonderful way with the English language can help you land some jobs, just as it does for his heating contractor constituents. Here is the entire letter:
21 things you can expect from us as we begin your job
Thanks for considering us to do the work in your home. We really appreciate the opportunity to serve you. We realize that you've probably asked several other companies to bid on this project. They may or may not explain to you what's going to happen during the time they're working in your home. We thought we'd take the opportunity to tell you a bit about what you can expect from us.
1. Having work such as this performed is like having “major surgery” done on your home.It's not something you do regularly and you probably have concerns about what's going to happen. We'll go over the details of the actual installation with you further and in person before we start the work. Most of all, we want you to be comfortable with us.
2. First, we promise not to arrive at your home before 8 A.M.We realize that you have to get your family off to school and to work. We promise to work around and respect your schedule. After all, you're the customer.
3. When we do arrive at your home, we're not going to make a lot of noise that might disturb your neighbors.We won't start unloading equipment and dropping it in the street. We won't shout at each other, and we won't play loud music on the truck's radio.
4. We also want you to know that we keep our vehicles in top shape.You won't be hearing a loud muffler first thing in the morning. We'll be as quiet as can be. Promise!
5. We won't park in your driveway without your permission.We recognize that your driveway is your personal space and we respect that. If we park in the street, we'll make certain that we don't leave any dangerous tools or equipment lying around that might present a hazard to your children or to your neighbors' children.
6. We'll cover the walkway up to your home with drop cloths to protect them while we carry equipment in and out.We'll also cover the floors and stairways in your home that we'll be walking on as we move between our truck and your job during the day.
7. If we have to carry out old equipment, we'll wrap it in plastic first to make sure no debris winds up on your floors.We'll take great care if we have to move any furniture out of the way to get equipment in and out of your home. And we'll wipe our feet and make sure we don't track in mud.
9. Our professional licenses will be current and the technicians who work in your home will be fully bonded.None of our people will wander into parts of your home where they have no business being.
10. We have a no-tobacco policy in our company.You can rest assured that none of our people will be smoking or chewing tobacco either in your home or anywhere on your property.
11. We also have an alcohol-free policy in our company.None of our people will be drinking beer or any other alcoholic beverage during the day - whether they're in your home or away on a lunch break.
12. We won't use your bathroom without your permission.This, too, we recognize as your personal space. If you should decide to give our technicians permission to use your bathroom, we can assure you that they will leave it as clean as they found it.
13. And we promise not to use your hand towels.We furnish all our employees with hand cleaner and paper towels. They won't leave a mess.
14. We won't use your kitchen or bathroom sink or your glassware to get a drink of water.Our employees will bring their own beverages with them, and they won't leave their empty bottles lying around during the course of the job. We like to keep our work area as neat as possible.
15. We'll be planning your job carefully to ensure that your water, heat and electricity will be off for the shortest possible time, of course.No one likes to be inconvenienced. We recognize that, and we'll plan accordingly.
16. And don't be concerned about our people using your telephone.We're a modern company and all of our trucks are equipped with two-way radios. Our technicians also carry cellular telephones and beepers. If we need to reach them, we'll get hold of them in one of those three ways, not by calling them on your home telephone.
17. And in the same spirit, we promise that our employees will not be receiving any personal calls on your home phone during the time they're on your job.It's your phone, not ours. We understand and respect that.
18. We won't play music while on your job.We're not the sort of company that shows up with a boom box. We like to work as quietly as possible. If you have small children who take naps during the day, please let us know in the morning, and we'll take care to be especially quiet during those times.
19. We will not use foul language in your home.Even if we drop something heavy on our toes! We make it our policy to treat your family members with the same respect we would expect others to show toward our family members.
20. If you have a family pet, we promise to be very careful when we go back and forth to our truck.Many of our people own dogs and cats, and we know how quickly a pet can scoot out the door. We're sensitive to that, and we'll take great care as we come and go.
21. When we're done working, we'll clean up thoroughly and to your satisfaction.We'll go over the job with you and make sure you're happy with our work. We'll take all our trash with us when we leave. If any debris has scrap value, we'll ask your permission before removing it from the job. We won't leave any of our refuse in your trashcans.
All in all, we're going to treat you with the respect you deserve while we're working in your home. You, after all, are the customer! Thanks again for your consideration. We look forward to serving you in a most professional way.