So I answer the call of prospective client, talk with the guy a half hour and seems he’s sold. He wants a Mold inspection too which I do. Set a time and date and all seems well. Guy calls 2 hours later and says he’s cancelling to go with another inspector who is $35 cheaper. I’m sick of this. I keep getting low-balled out but NACHI says to raise the prices! I’ve not changed my prices in 4 years and the housing market is crap here. Just fed up!
Hang in there!
Being beaten out by 35 bucks is tough for sure and I can never understand how a prospective client wants to haggle over such a small amount.
You could beat the guy who stole your inspection at his own game and offer more inspection options. When you get that call back telling you the guy up the street does it for x amount of dollars less you can let your client know you can also do it for x amount of dollars less with a basic inspection.
I am never the lowest guy, so not rubbing salt in your wounds , but you may need to work on your phone voice.
Also you are referring to an axillary inspection which may be prone to a price shopper.
Why would a mold inspection need the higher priced guy.
It is easier to justifiy being a better Inspector than being better at spore samples.
If you are losing a job for $35.00 you are doing somehting wrong on the phone. I dont usually loose jobs, but last week I lost one to someone who was $100.00 higher than me - because he had a secretary and the client liked that.
I tell my secretary to ALWAYS refer price shoppers. They will freak out when you start giving your competitions phone number out. I tell them if you want price then I am not the guy to call. If you want QUALITY, then I am your man. Price shoppers are usually the biggest pains in the butt and they call back 9 years after the inspection complaining that their roof leaks and I never mentioned it in the report. I know in some areas its hard to make a living with the market, I was told by a guy who is ASHI #72 and FABI #4…so he was on the ground floor of inspections. He said NEVER lower your prices, just offer more for the money…Maybe a 90 day warranty (cost you $15 buck per inspection), If your report is superior, explain that. People always say…My god it took you 3 hours and the bill is $900! I tell them it took me 10 YEARS and my bill is $900. I didn’t learn this trade in 3 hours! People only see the time of the inspection they never look beyond the experience, insurance, tweaking of your reports, class, education, this message board…I have found my Niche where I live and it works for me. If you charge more and deliver more, people will use you. But if you charge more and deliver the same or less. Then why use you? Have an experienced outside inspector look at your operation, they may be able to give you some great ideas! An unbiased second opion ROCKS and it will amaze you what you haven’t seen in the past…Just an idea…Take care and good luck.
As always, in my humble opion.
Maybe this is the time and market to not be bigger and better!
I’m getting pretty tired of price shoppers also. They call up wanting all kinds of stuff and then want it for nothing. The problem is, someone’s giving it to them and that someone is on their way out the door come tax time.
Face it, times are tough and people need to watch their pennies.
I think there are two options. One is to perform every possible service that you can and do it on every single job. Charge what it takes and send people down the road if they want something else.
Second is to perform the best SOP inspection that you can, put the best possible price out there and quit trying to do all the extra stuff. Maybe you’ll get volume and make up for the difference.
Make a plan and market it. Do volume in the local area and keep your overhead down. Don’t try to work both sides of the fence.
You’re either going to have to serve a hamburger in 60 seconds or concentrate on a full course sitdown meal. The important thing is that your client must know that they’re going to the drive through.
Or on the other hand you can take the slow market, spend more time with your client and get e-mails like this one I received this morning:“Thank you for the very thorough explanation! I appreciate it more than you know! What a true professional Mr. Andersen.”
Also, warranty at www.MountainWarranty.com
Also, read www.nachi.org/convert.htm use price as a sales tool.
You need to differentiate yourself on auxiliary inspections, just like you do home inspections. Ya, if an inspector just take a Prolab course and calls himself a mold inspector than their is no difference than another inspector who took a Prolab course. Whenever you decide to get into an auxiliary inspection, analyze your competition throughly. If you are not going to be the best in that field in your area than it probably won’t be worth your time. Inspectors need to stop looking at auxiliary inspections as extra income, instead look at it as a specialty. When people start calling you an expert, make sure you charge as one. It works for me.
Good point, and since I do not do the aux , my opinion may be the same as a potential clients.
Now sell me!
My actual thought is that a guy taking samples is the same as another guy taking samples. (just send the results) whats different from you buster.
Also, with regard to ancillary services, don’t forget to add them here: www.nachi.org/ancillary.htm
I will venture and say that you did not lose the inspection because your competitor was $35 cheaper…even if he was.
Your potential client found that he provided more value at less cost.
If “you talked” to the client for a half hour, as you said…you lost him before he even hung up the phone. If you ask your client a few leading questions and then carefully listen to him (instead of talk)…it will take you 3 to 5 minutes to book the appointment…or for him to move on to the next inspector.
Let’s use Nick on this threadas a good example. Start at Post #13. (Sorry, Nick, but it is an immediate example to make a point).
Here are Nick’s customers telling him what they want and need. Is he listening, or is he instead telling them what they should have and why he is such a better provider than his competition? Is Nick selling anyone…or are they simply biding time? Do they see a real benefit in what Nick thinks they should have - or in what he is telling them he is providing?
Your potential client wants to know how you can meet his needs - and you will not learn what they are by talking. Only by listening.
These are slower times I agree, but I can honestly say I have more business today, than at this time last year. Mainly because of my reputation as a deal killer. My years of doing the right thing, not the easiest is paying off. Most real estate agents and savvy buyers know whats involved in a home inspection, due to the internet and home shows, so you need to sell yourself along with your business.
How do you quote a definitive price for a mold inspection without actually going to the site to do an assessment to advise the client on how many sample you would suggest be taken?
I tell clients that it costs Blah-Blah-Blah per sample. Then get a description from them about the problem the are concerned about. I then explain to them about the principles of sampling an what would be the absolute ideal sampling method for their particular situation. Then let them make an informed decision based on my recommendations. If they want to cut down the number of samples…that is fine by me. But you better bet that I inform them that it will decrease the size of the true picture of what is really going on with their mold problem. I always get 2 to 3 more samples than what I originally quoted as my bare minimum for a screening. It’s all in the way you present it and make them realize the more samples that you take…the more information if can provide to make remediation recommendations. As with any statistical analysis…the larger the sample size…the more accurate your data set will be.
Salesmanship is always going to be a big part of ancillary services. Know your product or service better than the next guy and you will probably make more money and serve the client better than he ever would.
That brings me to another point. If you are going to offer other services…don’t think of them as ancillary services. The term ancillary reminds me of something that really is not that important, but you will do it anyway. Become a specialist in every service that you offer and present it that way every call you get. Mold, radon, termite, water quality, septic systems, chimneys, yadda…yadda…yadda should not be SOMETHING ELSE you offer. They should be a valued expertise service that you are proud and confident to provide in addition to your home inspection services.
All this talk of selling is why I never went Agent.
I just help people.
The original complaint had to deal with being beat out for a mold inspection for $35.00 from a competitor. The more samples you take…the better picture you are going to get of what is really going on in that particular situation. To me…that is better serving your client that just taking the standard three samples that most courses will tell you that you NEED to take. I make typically $125.00 - $250.00 more than my local competitors for a mold sampling, but my clients and I feel like I am providing a better service than the local guy who wanted to do it less and make a quick buck. It’s not all about selling…it’s about being an expert in everything you do and serving the client to the best of your ability and their interest.
I would never sell anything to a client that they did not need. You can ask anyone who has ever referred work to me. I have turned away many of client because I knew that I was not going to serve their needs or wants. But what I can do, I will do to the best of my ability to serve my client and not short change them or give them limited information.
The client was creating the time of the call with questions and so forth being a first time buyer. My $35 difference was with the H.I. not with the Mold tests. At least I assume he was comparing H.I. to H.I costs not H.I to my H.I and mold.
It used to be people called and you booked. Now with the market and so forth people call wanting the best price thinking nothing of the results of what they are really paying for. They just hear dollars. I try to explain thats it not like buying a Sony TV from BestBuy or Circuit City and you get the same TV. Anyway its just all irritating. When the called ends the call with ‘I need to talk to the wife’ what am I supposed to do? Strongarm the guy?!
If you read between the lines.
Helping people is the best way to sell.
Nothing in the world sells better than caring .
Keep telling them what you are going to do for them over and over again. Best thing I learned from some older successful business people is to never give them a price until they are practically begging for it. Sell yourself and the price won’t matter. You shouldn’t be worried about raising or lowering your prices based on your competition. Worry about how you are much perceived value they are getting or the extra couple of dollars. Be confident in your abilities and convey them to every call that comes in.
Honestly…the difference of $35.00 getting the job or not probably boils down to about 30 seconds of telling the client something they really want to hear instead of a generic speach most people wind up giving to their client calls. Question your client over and over again and listen to what they are telling you. Make your services to them personal and I bet it will land you the job even if you charge $135.00 more than the next guy.
Granted…you are always going to get people shopping for the lowest price. Those kinds of clients are the ones that are getting a home inspection because someone else is telling them to. They really don’t care because they really don’t know what is involved. I am going to take a WAG and assume that most of these are for lower priced homes or foreclosure properties that someone wants to scoop up. Those are going to be the tough sales. From my experience, those are the run down homes that are going to take forever to inspect and another forever to write up th report because the property is in such bad shape. Not the kind of work I really want to do!
You may not get every job…but that can be a good thing sometimes.
A client bickering over $35.00 is probably going to be a much higher liability than what it is worth and you can bet they will be willing to file a complaint or sue if they are not happy. Count your blessings that you didn’t land the job…It probably saved you a few bucks.
Offer choices and you’ll never be low-balled again!