Questions are an important part of any client-pro relationship. But certain inquiries can come across as offensive, and damage your chances of winning the job or getting positive reviews. Avoid asking these three questions to ensure you win the job, and keep it.

1. “How are you going to afford this?”

You may not mean to sound rude, but to many homeowners, questioning their ability to pay for a project is extremely offensive. If you have doubts about a potential customer’s ability to finance a project, run a credit or financial history check. These tools should give you an idea of your homeowner’s ability to pay for a job without asking impolite questions.

Ask Instead: “How would you like to schedule payments?”

2. “Are you married?”

Always keep any conversation between you and a client strictly professional. Asking personal or inappropriate questions can embarrass homeowners and make them feel uncomfortable — and even threated. Even if a client offers personal information, it’s a good idea to stick to project-related topics. It’s also a good idea to avoid political and religious topics as well.

Ask Instead: “Who else is involved in your decision making?”

3. “Can I see your other bids?”

Asking to see the other proposals will cause homeowners to wonder if you’re offering your best price. Doubting your bid can also reduce a potential customer’s confidence in the quality of your work.

Ask Instead: “Do you have any questions or concerns now that you’ve reviewed my bid?”

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