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?"

There is plenty of room for blame in this incident. First of all, it you do not have time to do it right, do you have time to do it over? In your desire to acquire the business you missed a fundamental step: that of doing your homework first. After our conversation, it was determined that you still do not have a clear picture of how many square feet are involved in this account. You do not know how many square feet are carpet, hard floor that needs finish, hard floor that does not need finish, restroom fixture count and what the population of the building is. Without this data, you are truly flying blind.

As to blaming the prospect, he/she may have actually been in a hurry assuming that you could make the contract work regardless of information. He/she may have actually used this strategy to put you at a disadvantage. They certainly are not showing professionalism in the data they provided. An example is that you have to use very high standards for the Day Care center while the data sheet shows zero square feet for that area.

My recommendation is that you conduct a building audit as soon as possible measuring the entire area by floor type or possibly by use. For instance, a basement storage area with concrete will not require the same attention and the missing Day Care carpet and hard floor.

We will continue this discussion in a future article. 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.