A reader asks: "Do you have any suggestions for dealing with a prospect who continues to provide incomplete and faulty measurements? We are struggling with maintaining an account that we bid based on the data provided. No, we did not double check the data since the prospect insisted that we give them a quick turnaround. Help?"

Outside traffic can be deceiving in many ways. First of all, a law firm may have a few clients each day but it is oftentimes very important that the lobby, entrance and meeting rooms be spotless at all times. Another building may have construction workers with dirty boots coming in and out all day processing paperwork. Although they will expect a minimum level of cleanliness, they really just want a reasonably clean rest room, paper supplies and soap. Unfortunately they may track in a lot more soil, mud, sand, etc. unless a well thought out walk off mat system is in place.

The point I want you to get is that the use of the building and the tenant count is very important to determine the labor necessary to maintain it. The expectations of the property manager (high profile lawyer versus construction office) also comes into play. Weather, age of building, day versus night cleaning, floor types (think carpet or VCT or quarry tile) will have an impact on what it costs in labor and materials to service any account. I highly recommend you document the actual SF (square footage), fixture count and your costs to the Property Manager as an opening salvo in renegotiating this contract for a win/win outcome.

Your eagerness to please the prospect and naiveté in assuming that you could give a quote without properly assessing the actual site may cost you dearly unless you can renegotiate the tasks/frequencies and our total charge for this contract. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.