Who Answers The Phone

Should your wife/secretary answer the phone or you?
I know inspectors who let their secretary (who is also their wife) answer business calls even if they are just sitting there watching TV together. Who do you think should answer in that case?
I guess what I’m really asking is do you think potential clients are more likely to book if they talk to a secretary or the inspector?

Who ever is able to close the sale should answer the phone.

I am the only one who has ever answered my phone. Occasionally, I have passed it off to my wife to book the appointment after I have already closed the deal.

I carry two cell phones: one for business, one for personal. If your wife is trained, have her answer. However, try to talk to a future client whenever possible. Often, as in driving, let it go to voice mail. Place the proper greeting on your voice mail. Most people understand and leave a message for you. Call back as soon as you can. If you have no time to write down the info, just have them send you a text or email; mention that on your greeting. During inspections, I often text a reply rather than talking and having a client listen in during an inspection.

Whenever I’m hiring a service of any kind, I prefer to talk to the person who will do the work. That way I know I get accurate answers rather than guesses.
On the other had, some people may be impressed by having a secretary answer…sounds more like a large successful business.
BTW, I always answer my phone for business calls (special ring). It only goes to voice mail for 10 minutes while I’m in the shower or 5 minutes while I’m having sex (wink). One client offered me kudos because I was the only one of three calls that actually answered the phone…the rest went to voice mail.

And on the other, other hand… many people are not impressed with faux, large, “prima donna’s” that pretend to be successful businesses, and will run the other way at first chance.

Moral: Never pretend to be what you are not. It always comes around to bite you in the a s s!

I agree, I answer my own phone, I’m a one inspector business. IMO The same goes for other promotional material. If its only you, say “I” not “we”. Be who you are, I think folks like honesty above all.

In fact, i have beat out competitors when a deciding factor was the prospect was talking to the guy who would be doing the inspection, as opposed to scheduleing it with a company person and getting whoever to inspect.

As many of you who have known me for years can attest… I not only answer my phone… I answer every email personally. That’s anywhere from 700-3,000 InterNACHI emails a day. I’ve never gone a single 24 hour period without answering all my emails since Al Gore invented the internet. Not once. Not even Christmas.

With the amount of inspections you do I am surprised you answer your own phone. Do you return calls between inspections?

I was wondering when you take a vacation how do you answer the phone or set up your voice messages. I am taking a 4 day break in the near future and I will be in an area with poor reception.


Believe it or not, most of my appointments these days are scheduled by text and email.

I try to answer my phone even during the inspection when I can. I usually don’t answer calls from out of my service area or out of my state unless I am between inspections - many out of area calls are from vendors and other inspectors, but I always return calls to other inspectors.

For short, 3 to 5 day vacations, I will generally answer my phone and/or return calls during my time off.

For my longer vacations (such as my trip to HI this coming December :mrgreen:), I change my message to something like this;

“The office will be closed from [date to date] and I will be unable to return calls during that time period. If you would like to schedule an appointment after that date, please send your request via email to inspectorjeff at sbcglobal dot net. Inspections will be booked on a first-come first-served basis, so please indicate your preferred date. I will be responding to emails each evening while the office is closed.”

John if you need to ask I already know the answer.

Heck ,not everyone has a good phone voice so let the wife do it.

I do Inspections…
Others answer the Phone and Schedule…
has worked for over 10 years…

I specifically remember getting an email from Nick on Christmas Eve. There may been another on Christmas as well.

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Not to nit pick Juan, but you were e-mailing Nick years before you joined NACHI? Or are you just making a point? If so Nick is really dillegent on answering e-mails, even from prospective members.

My wife does if I am driving. otherwise its me. she actually answers far more professionally than i do… of course, I can answer all the questions and she can not.

Me always if possible.

Scheduling is very important to me.

Only I know exactly what I have coming up. Only I can answer questions that pop up that I remember the answers to.

If someone else does answer then I usually have to return the call anyhow.

I do know if I do not answer the phone when it rings they go right down their list and call the next guy. If he answers then I could lose the perspective work.

Folks seem to love it that when they call they get me and I normally can solve their problem right away. I always have the laptop and pull over often to book appointments.
If i’am in the attic I either call them back or have them send me an email with the info I need. I actually answer most of their questions even when I am in hot as hell Florida attics.

Nick is very good at responding to my emails. I do not email him often, but when I do he usually responds right away.

I was reiterating Nicks point about Christmas. I was planning on joining and he was promt to respond…even on Christmas Eve.

Me or our secretary, whoever isn’t busy.