10 Steps to RRP to Gain Customer Confidence

Plain and simple: Lead Safe Work Practices is another barrier between you and your customer. And, like you, your customers aren’t happy. More than one of us has heard our customers and prospects say: "What are you doing, ripping me off? There’s another contractor who isn’t charging me for any of this. I’ve never even heard of RRP!" Or they say: "I don’t want to hear about lead in my home. It will lower its value and I’ve already lost enough value with the housing bust." Or: “Wow, adding that much money for mandatory lead containment has made the job cost too much. I can’t afford to do the job." A lot of the resistance comes from ignorance of what this all means, or fear of the unknown. It can’t be comforting to think of workers showing up with hazmat suits, and covering a home with plastic. The best approach begins with a service identity where you describe the benefits of your service. Think of the Broadview Security ads on TV where home security is made to feel like a good, safe investment. Protecting a family against lead contamination should feel good too. You need to determine what your sales process will be in the home. In fact, you should prepare presentation materials to lay out your service. This would be in addition to your product literature and any other promotion presentation materials. Talking to many contractors who have struggled with this, we have outlined a 10-point approach to help you figure out your best method. Determine the age of home, if possible, prior to first call. (See ForRenovationPros.com article the week of May 16 "Pre-1978 or not? Finding the Build Date ) Discuss Renovate Right Brochure, and why determining whether lead is present (or not) is a Federal mandate, often backed by state regulations, and how you are required to do certain things in a home where lead paint may be a danger. Obtain a signed permission form to do preliminary lead test with either approved chemical kit. Also have them sign the form confirming that they received the Renovate Right Brochure. If lead is detected where the renovation will take place, inside and/or outside, review your lead containment service process with them. If appropriate to make the point how dangerous lead dust is, using the Sweet ’n Low packet example and maybe also, have them watch the USA Today Video. Discuss the basis of the mandated surcharge for lead containment, and hold off final quotation until lead test by the Certified Renovator. They will understand the concept of a surcharge because it is similar to the lead battery disposal fee or oil recycle fees they pay when servicing their cars. Once you have a tentative commitment, schedule the Certified Renovator (who is only person allowed to do the official determining test) to make the final test and take any measurements that might be necessary. Leave copies of any signed RRP required documents with them. When you have the final pricing and work schedule, deliver the final contract with confirmed pricing and details for the Lead Safe Practices Surcharge. Deliver the copy of the official lead test. Have them sign a Surcharge Acceptance form. Review again what they can expect. Discuss the disposition of the family as the containment area is established during the renovation. Explain you will minimize the inconvenience. Leave them copies of all RRP and sales related documents. Contact the homeowner during the renovation to calm any fears or misgivings the actual work may be causing them. It is best to counsel them the first day, halfway through, and when your workers are finishing up. Complete Final Lead Cleanup with the official Verification card. Deliver confirmation to the homeowner. Deliver copies of the lead safe practices job records, and a copy of an official lead free verification and copies of any photos taken during the process. Place “lead clean” stickers on each are and/or item disturbed and cleaned. Answer any final questions. Review the process once more and have the homeowner initial the Final Completion Form. Leave them a “lead clean” certificate detailing exactly where you worked and the final lead clean (not free) condition of the area. Tell them this is for their house records. Ask for letter of satisfaction/recommendation for use on the next job.