As a self-proclaimed “service-oriented person,” Jeff Talmadge, owner of Talmadge Construction, in Aptos, Calif., feels that the best part of the remodeling industry is “all the people I get to have contact with.” He enjoys the process, not just the product.

To fully realize the process, Talmadge has tweaked his lead sheet so that he can get at the heart of who prospective clients might be. “The office manager normally takes the lead and fills out the sheet online,” Talmadge says. “Then I can ask her what their attitude was; whether it seemed like they were just shopping price.”

The sheet, which Talmadge freely admits “is an amalgamation of many others' lead sheets,” in particular that of recently-retired Oakland, Calif., remodeler Paul Winans, uses a point system. For example, a client referral gets 4 points; an addition gets 5 points. To qualify, a prospect must garner at least 25 points. “If not,” Talmadge says, “we call them and let them know we're not a good match and we'll hook them up with someone who we think can meet their needs.”

Talmadge has used the form in its current incarnation for the past two years and says it has helped make sales calls more like friendly meetings. “By looking at the lead sheet, I'll find out who [the prospect] works for, how old their children are, if one of them plays tennis ... anything to connect with them that might make us friends rather than just business associates.”