A reader writes: "I struggle with all the requirements that potential customers expect me to submit. Why can't I just give them some references and a good price rather than jumping through hoops?"

Your concerns are troubling since it is indicative that you do not understand what the prospective customer is looking for in their custodial service provider. Your prospective customer is simply trying to weed out the professionals from the "Mom and Pop operations" that are accustomed to focusing on price and promises that they oftentimes cannot keep. In the next few articles we will review some of the key aspects of a professional service.

Many contracts will require the implementation of a "Quality Control Plan" or system designed to identify performance issues early on. It also is intended to document and track recurring issues that can usually be dealt with by means of training, closer supervision or other changes to change the unacceptable outcomes.

Unfortunately there are too many "fill in the blank" quality templates that people use in order to fulfill the submission requirements. Although these forms can be modified to reflect the actual contract site under question, I have actually seen forms with "fill in name here" submitted by well-meaning BSC (Building Service Contractors) trying to meet a deadline and failing to closely review the wording before publication. Not only does this type proposal make the submitter look less than professional it sends a message to the prospect that they really are not taking the requirements of the contact and specifications seriously.

Does everyone want the best value they can get? Yes. Value is usually considered a competitive price but also some assurance that the BSC can actually meet the requirements and intended outcomes.

We will continue these thoughts in the next 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.