We’ve had some recent online discussions about how much specification and drafting work should be done on a complimentary basis before the sale? Some believe that as remodeling salespeople we should hold our cards close to our chest, and sell our projects based totally upon what we have done for others. Our reputation and portfolio should be adequate enough for the client to make a decision to move forward with us.

I believe that our work developing the WHAT question is the most important, and needs to be revealed.(after all, isn’t that what our trades need to know?) WHAT are you capable of doing? WHAT are you proposing you do? WHAT grade level of fixtures are you proposing? Isn’t this important information that our potential customers need to have?

Once we, as professionals, begin answering the HOW too early on, aren’t we really solving their remodeling challenges? When our engineer sees our proposed opening, asks us a couple of questions about what’s above and says “you will need approximately a 30# beam” over the opening, based on his experience, that to me seems to be the WHAT. When he gives us a worksheet, calculations, and HOW to fasten the wood to the steel, we definitely should be sending in a check.

It seems no different when we are writing specs, doing simple drafting, and annotating our pictures for review. Aren’t we just telling them WHAT they need to know? We know HOW, and that confidence should show through, so that our clients will move ahead with us.[NARI-CT]