Overwhelmed trying to find good help? Three easy steps to qualifying a professional


Ever wonder how to make a call to a professional that helps you figure out how the pro does business and get a fair (though not rock-bottom) price while building rapport with your pro and not alienating someone who could help you with quality service (who could save you lots of money and grief in the meantime)? You may be hiring a building contractor, website designer, childcare provider, or CPA -- this guide gives you a great way to start the qualification process.

I’ve provided business writing services for over 10 years and fielded lots of inquiries. Here’s a guide to not asking annoying questions but still get the information you need:


What you might have said before reading this three-easy-steps guide: How much is an XYZ project (e.g., kitchen remodel or website)?

What the pro hears: Price is my only concern. I know absolutely nothing about purchasing this service, haven’t bothered to do any research, and you will spend lots of times educating me and selling me on your price.

What you should say instead (with or without having done research): Can you tell me about your service and your pricing?


What you might have said before: This will be an easy project.

What the pro hears: I want you to do this project right away as you can easily work it in to your schedule because it’s so simple. (Or, I’m high maintenance but I think I’m low maintenance.)

What you should say instead: Can I tell you about my project?


What you might have said before: I already have a lot done.

What the pro will hear: Not only will you have to do the work you normally do, you’ll have to fix what I did wrong. Still, I’m expecting a lower price since I’ve saved you time.

What you should say instead: Will it help any if I have already done X (selected my cabinets or designed the navigation)?

Note: If you get irritation instead of cooperation, you haven’t found a pro and need to make another call.

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