How can Landscape Architects & Contractors protect their professional landscape designs?
Often times, landscape contractors are faced with the task of sharing their proposals and design ideas with prospects remotely. While it’s always the best idea to present these items face-to-face for the best opportunity to close the sale, sometimes it’s just not possible due to scheduling conflicts or the prospect’s wishes, etc.
So the question is then, how do you share this information while protecting your design work?After all, there are few things more frustrating than driving by a project you bid on 2 months before, but didn’t close, and seeing another company building the project that you designed.
Security concerns combined with large file sizes makes for a perfect situation for file sharing solutions—Hightail and Dropbox are two great options. These file-sharing systems offer great convenience, while also providing increased security.
By setting an expiration date on your shared files, your prospect will only be able to view the files you send for a set number of time—days or hours, whatever you prefer. Ask the potential client, in advance of sending the files, when they will have the opportunity to view them. Then set the expiration date for a day or two after that. This also provides a sense of urgency for the prospect, potentially shaving time off of your average sales cycle.
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Next, implement the view-only security setting on your shared files before sending them. This feature will greatly reduce the chances of your prospect downloading the landscape design plans and sharing them with other contractors bidding on the project or deciding to use your plans to install the project without the help of a contractor at all.
Landscape design work is a skill of art and science and requires professional landscape design software. The proper design of outdoor living spaces requires extensive training and many years of hands on experience. The fact that many landscape construction firms are giving this service away for free is unfortunate, and ultimately damaging to the industry as a whole. At least by taking the correct security measures, companies working to keep the industry’s integrity intact will be able to safely share their design proposals with potential clients remotely.
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