You've likely encountered a situation where a client wants to keep your detailed paperwork while waiting for bids from your competitors. For example, here is a note Stone recently received from a contractor:

How would you handle this situation? You know a client is getting 3 bids, you've made your presentation with your detailed, multi-page contract outlining your approach to the job etc., but they still want to wait until all bids are in. But they want to keep your detailed paperwork "to look over". Do you leave it with them? Or, do you simply provide a one-page quote with them?

You should say no, and here's why. The client likely intends to shop it around.

"Generally speaking, when potential clients don't want to make a commitment but want to keep your paperwork, they intend to shop it around," Stone writes. "That is not always true, but it is true enough of the time that I don't think you should leave anything (except marketing materials) unless you're willing to let your sales to leads ratio slip to one in seven, eight or nine sales calls."

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