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Stop Wasting Time - The Guide to Smart Pre-Qualification

Are you tired of spending countless hours on estimates that go nowhere? As a contractor, your time is valuable, and it's crucial to ensure that you're investing it wisely. In this article, we'll discuss how to identify the right clients for your business, save time on estimates, and build stronger relationships with your customers by implementing a smart pre-qualification process.

Picture this: you have two phones - one red, one green. The red phone represents clients who waste your time and aren't a good fit for your business. The green phone, on the other hand, represents clients who are ready to work with you and appreciate your expertise. By implementing a pre-qualification process, you can ensure that you're answering the right calls and investing your time in the clients who truly value your services.

One effective pre-qualification method is a five-step process designed to identify the right clients for your business. In this article, we'll cover each step and explain how it can benefit you as a contractor.

1. Identify Pain or Pleasure

Clients reach out to contractors for various reasons, but they all boil down to one of two motivations: pain or pleasure. To determine which category your client falls into, ask open-ended questions and listen carefully to their responses. By understanding their motivations, you can tailor your approach and offer the best possible solutions for their needs.

2. Establish a Budget

Asking clients directly about their budget often results in vague or dishonest answers. Instead, use a technique called "bracketing" to establish their budget range. By presenting two scenarios and asking clients to choose between them, you can gain a better understanding of their financial expectations without putting them on the spot.

3. Ensure Flexibility

When you visit a client's home for an estimate, there may be unforeseen factors that affect the final cost of the project. To protect yourself and ensure that you can adjust the price as needed, establish a "yes or no" process that allows for flexibility in the initial quote. This not only ensures a more accurate estimate but also prevents clients from using the "need more bids" excuse to delay their decision.

4. Confirm Decision Makers

Ensure that all decision-makers are present during the estimate process to avoid the "I need to talk to my spouse" objection. By addressing this upfront during the pre-qualification phone call, you can save time and avoid frustration.

5. Collect a Consultation Fee

If a client isn't ready to commit to your services, at least ensure that you receive a consultation fee for your time and expertise. This not only compensates you for your efforts but also establishes your value as a professional.

By implementing the pre-qualification process, you can:

  • Save time by focusing on clients who are serious about working with you

  • Build stronger relationships with clients by understanding their needs and motivations

  • Sell your services at higher prices due to better understanding of clients' pain points and desires

  • Increase efficiency and grow your business by focusing on the right clients


Implementing a smart pre-qualification process can revolutionize your approach to estimates, allowing you to focus on clients who truly value your services and expertise. By investing your time wisely, you'll be well on your way to becoming an uncommon contractor who stands out from the competition.

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