Here’s a way to separate yourself from the pack when marketing your services.
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 might need some
tweaking for your business clientele – especially if you cater to commercial
customers more than homeowners. Drilling contractors may want to substitute the
word “property” for 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 they do his heating contractor constituents. Here is the entire
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
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’
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.
8. We will, of course, have complete liability and comprehensive insurance
coverage when we show up to work at your home. If one of our employees gets
injured while on your property, it will not affect your homeowner’s insurance
policy. And should we accidentally damage your property (it hasn’t happened
yet!) we want you to know that our insurance will cover that damage up to $2
million dollars. We are a responsible company.
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.
Smart Business: 21 Things Customers Have a Right to Expect from You
July 1, 2008