Generally speaking, when potential clients don't want to make a commitment but want to keep your paperwork, they intend to shop it around. Say no. You need to have the strength to tell them, "Here is how we work!" Explain how you approach their type of job. You should get paid for helping to design their job, doing the estimate, getting all the supplier and subcontractor quotes assembled, writing up all the necessary paperwork and helping them get their selections done before you create the contract for the work.

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