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Newsletter October 2005

Dear Karen,

As a community service, the Law Offices of Karen M. Riggio, LLC publishes a complimentary e-newsletter designed for business owners and independent contractors. Each month, we offer valuable tips and practical, real life answers to today’s common contract issues and collection problems. Feel free to e-mail us your suggestions for future articles.


When Unexpected Issues Arise

In spite of a clear, detailed contract, disputes can, and occasionally do, arise for any number of reasons. There will be times when unexpected issues occur when the job is under way. You discover a problem behind a wall. Materials are backordered. Bad weather delays the project. The homeowner requests an aesthetic improvement or wants additional work outside the scope of your original contract.

The job will go much better if there is mutual respect and cooperation. Good communication can go a long way in preventing any disagreements between you and your client. As a first step, you should sit down together to discuss the problem calmly and seek a solution that you both can live with comfortably. This is usually the fastest, least expensive and ultimately, most satisfactory approach.

Gather the facts so you can clearly explain the additional costs. Provide the homeowner with a price estimate based on labor and materials. Be sure to follow-up your discussion with some written communication – a simple letter explaining the additional work required, when it will begin, and all associated costs. This will eliminate surprises and enable the homeowner to understand upfront how the additional work will impact their project budget

Tip of the Month
Guest Column by Gene D’Agostino, VP of TEM Associates, Inc. Gene helps people sell more effectively. He is a recognized expert on the subject and regularly trains salespeople in the fine art of making sales. To learn more about TEM’s Sales Development Services, call 860-563-0480

5 Common Mistakes that Can BLOW Your Sales!

While there are many ways to “blow” a sale, the following reflects the most common sales mistakes:

  1. Taking instead of Listening
    Too many salespeople monopolize the time they have in front of a prospect with their talk, only allowing the prospect to listen to them. The result? No order... or the mystifying “I want to think it over.” Keep the prospect talking about what he or she feels is wrong and how good it will feel when their problems have been corrected.

  2. Presuming instead of Asking Questions
    Salespeople must ask questions early in the sales process to insure a complete understanding of the prospect’s perspective and the problem as he or she defines it. Don’t sell a solution before you understand the prospect’s problem

  3. Not Getting the Prospect to Reveal their Budget up Front
    Knowing if there is money planned for a project will help the salesperson distinguish between the prospect who is ready and able to commit financially and one who is not.

  4. Chatting About Everything and Avoiding Starting the Sale
    Building rapport is necessary and desirable. But far too often small talk never stops and the sale never begins.

  5. See Themselves as “Beggars” Instead of Doctors
    Some salespeople don’t view their time with a prospect as an opportunity to see if the prospect is qualified to do business with their company. They often find themselves hoping and wishing (sometimes even begging) for the opportunity to just “show their wares”. The salesperson must view his or her questions as equivalent to a doctor and conduct a thorough examination.


Since 1983, Attorney Karen M. Riggio has helped thousands of clients create clear and concise written agreements and avoid potential business disputes. Her practice concentrates in business and commercial law, and provides experienced legal counsel in contracts, debt collection, dispute resolution, and real estate. For more information, call 203-968-8715 or visit www.kmriggio.com.

© 2005 Law Offices of Karen M. Riggio, LLC
Concentrating on Business and Commercial Law
Connecticut • New York


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Law Offices of Karen M. Riggio | 20 Sherwood Road | Stamford | CT | 06905