Tim Englert doesn't have time to sift through each of the 400 leads his company receives every year. The owner and main salesperson of Tim Englert Construction in Wadsworth, Ohio, says that in the long run, inaccurate information and poor lead quality will be a "tremendous drain on your time and ability to earn income."

So he came up with this lead sheet, designed to cut back on the time he wasted chasing dead leads. Whoever fills it out (usually his office manager, Debbie Holmstrom) assigns a "score" to each lead (the score sheet is on the back of the form), based on the project, source, and overall feeling about the call. Englert has been using the form for some time, so he can't quantify the time and money it's saved him over the years, but it should suffice to say that he's no longer "running without a direction" when it comes to chasing leads.

"I won't go out on a call unless I know how they heard about us," Englert says adamantly. Past clients and referrals get the most points, while leads coming from the Internet or Yellow Pages score much lower.

The company has an extensive Web site, and Englert says he encourages potential clients to educate themselves before he makes his sales pitch. The site address is listed as a reminder to the person fielding the call to mention the URL specifically.

Englert says he prefers if the client hasn't worked with a designer yet. "If it's our design, we understand it from beginning to end." He adds that many "professional" designs are actually filled with problems.

This question gives Englert an idea if the project can feasibly be done and also allows him to weed out any homeowners who may be too focused on money. "I'll throw some average prices out, and if at that point, they have a budget that's significantly different, that's an issue that may disqualify them," he says.

Click here to view the sample form in PDF format.