It is incredible how different everyone can be in this industry. Not that it is always a BAD thing, because these little differences set us apart from the others or give us an advantage over the others. I speak of “the others” as inspectors in each of our areas. I bet that on a whole everyone probably has the same thing going on.
We all have to do our due diligence whether we are newbies or seasoned vets. We have to keep up with what the competition is doing. And research to make sure we are still on track.
When I have called around to the different inspectors in my area asking what they charge and what they offer, (I never keep them on the phone long) it is amazing what I hear. Some guys just give me the price and when I say “thanks” they just say “your welcome” and that is it. They make no attempt to set themselves apart. These are the same guys who just happen to be the lowest priced inspectors in my area. I don’t think that is a coincidence!
Another one quotes me the highest price of all in my area and still does not say anything about what they offer or how they are different.
I asked one guy if he offers Thermal Imaging and his response was “no” and when I said thanks he said “yup” and HUNG UP THE PHONE BEFOREI DID! I will now always be aware of this and will make it a point to never hang up the phone before the caller does. A little thing, but could be big in the eyes of a customer when they call. Perception is reality and we have to manage that to make sure we are being percieved in the right light.
One inspector, on the low end of the spectrum, offers a 6 month guarantee on his work. I didn’t get into the specifics on that but thought to myself “not a bad stratgy for a low price”.
After calling all of my LISTED competitors I came to the conclusion that the ones I would feel the most comfortable with are the ones that let me know, up front, what they inspect and who they are. I remember reading on a different thread about someone thinking that you shouldn’t have a script to follow. I believe Russel said that the best salespeople have a script and know it so well that when they are using it they make it sound unscripted. These FEW inspector firms, in my area, that use this technique, made me feel 200% more comfortable then the ones that just quoted me the lowest price, apparently hoping I would use them because of it.
Knowing what your competition is doing and saying to potential clients is an important thing to know.
I know that people do things differently, and you have to do what works for you. I think that minimalism is important in some areas. You don’t want to get carried away. Sometimes you can say TOO much. I believe in the KISS method (Keep It Super Simple) or (Keep It Simple Stupid), Whichever works for you. However keeping it simple and being too short on the phone are totally diffent things.
These inspector firms that explained who they were and what they do were the ones that were able to build rapport with me on the phone. They made me comfortable by letting me know what they inspect and how they do things. They BUILT VALUE into their program which definately helped me to decide how I wanted to present myself to my potential clients when they contact me.
Keeping It Super Simple and Building Value in my program through DIALOG with my customer should help my close more deals in the future.
I feel Dialog is important because you have to be able to interact with your customer in order to build rapport. Not just telling them what you do and saying “goodbye, fell free to call me if you need me”. Asking LEADING questions to get the customer to agree that your program is the one for them.
I will certainly come up with a script that I will memorize and use for each person. I beleive that you need to be consistant with what you are telling people. That is where the script comes in. You don’t want to tell one person one thing and then another person something else. Being consistant shows your professionalisim. Tailoring the rest of the conversation with the potential client will build the rapport needed to land the deal. And if in fact they do continue calling other firms, they will remember that you actually SAID you have something to offer, while the other guys just shot them a price.
WOW! I sure am rambling! Sorry!
And back to the price. In my area the spectrum is from $190 flat rate up to 3000 sq.ft. to $300 with no addition information provided. The majority of the prices are around the $250-$275 and out of the 32 Yellow Page Listed inspectors only 3 of them went into detail about what they offer. 7 were disconnected numbers. 13 just told me the price and that was it. And 9 were No Answer.
Which is another area of concern I see. I realize we all get busy and can’t always get to the phone. But man! If I was a buyer looking for an inspector, and when I called nobody answered, even if I left a message, I am still going to go down the list and call until I get someone. Maybe it is just me, because I am impatient. But I feel that we should think that every potential client calling for an inspection IS impatient. We all know that at this point in their real estate transaction, they want it done quickly so they can close on the home. They only have so many days. They want to talk to someone, NOW! I suppose that is one area I can give the “quick price, no info” guys credit. They atleast answered the phone. They had a shot at getting the business. Even though the reason for them answering the phone was probably due to a lack of being busy. The ones that never answered, lost their shot at business. I guess that is ok if they are doing too many inspections as it is, but if they are not, they are missing the chance to sell themselves. Which is what it is all about in the end.
I don’t want to make these mistakes as a new inspector I need to make sure I am doing EVERYTHING right. Or I won’t stand a chance.
These are just my thoughts and I hope I didn’t offend anyone because that was not the intent.