Have you ever gotten off the phone with a prospective client and thought to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t said that”?
What about slapping your forehead due to the realization that you forgot to tell them something important — something that might’ve helped close the deal?
We’ve all been there. But if you want to start landing those clients over the telephone, you’ll need to start implementing a process.
In this post, we’ll explore why using a script is a good idea, go over a template script you can use in your own business, and give you a few more techniques and resources to put to use when you’re out there trying to land clients.
How to close a home inspection deal over the phone
You already know that to grow your business, you’ll need a firm idea of your brand, your target clients, and what sets you apart from your competitors. The next step to building a solid client base is crafting a technique for interacting with them and closing those deals over the phone.
When you’re on your sales calls, make sure you’re in the right mindset so that you can properly represent yourself. And of course, you’ll want to make your calls consistent. That’s where using a script comes in.
What are the benefits of using a script?
Many home inspectors make the mistake of letting the client direct the conversation — but if you let them lead, they may not know all the right questions to ask. They may only be interested in price, for instance, rather than the things you know really matter: your qualifications, experience, and the services you offer.
Instead of letting the client direct the phone call, you can have a script that leads them through a helpful decision-making process. And by having a list of questions to ask about the property ready, you can demonstrate to them that you know what you’re talking about.
A script can also help you stay on message. You won’t have to flounder for things to say or remember everything you need to tell the potential client.
You’ll also show them that you care enough to take the time to get information about the house ahead of time, rather than just saying “I’ll see you at the appointment.” Working from a script can show the client that you’re a professional who takes their job seriously.
And finally, a script can take the guesswork out of the interaction and help you avoid the fear that you won’t know what to say. If you know the conversational legwork has already been done for you, you’ll likely feel calmer and more in control of the situation.
The danger of using a script: you can sound… well, scripted
While a script can take the anxiety out of your phone calls, try to avoid reading it out word-for-word. Why? People are good at knowing when someone is reading instead of speaking off the cuff.
Design your script more as an outline rather than something that you’ll plan to read from, verbatim. To get the most out of using a script, think of it more as a rough guideline with all the key points and information laid out for your convenience.
Below is a basic script for home inspectors to use when answering a phone call from a potential customer. Keep in mind that it’s a general template, so feel free to adjust it as needed based on your individual services, background, and style.
Smith’s Home Inspections, John Smith speaking.
Hi. How much do you charge for a home inspection?
Sure, I can help you with that. To give you an accurate quote, I’ll need to ask a few questions, if that’s okay.
- What can you tell me about the home, including the square footage, number of beds/baths, age, location, etc.?
- Does the property have [any special things in your area that you look for, like older electrical systems, septic tanks, etc.]?
- Do you have any questions or concerns about the property?
- How did you hear about us? [Real estate agent, website, referral, etc.]
Okay, let me give you a bit of background about myself and my company.
- I’m licensed in the state of —— and also hold several certifications and memberships, including ——.
- I’ve been doing inspections for —— years and [explain other relevant experience]
- Another thing that makes my service unique is [list special services, such as drone inspections, interactive online reports, 360° images, etc.]
My standard fee for a home of that size and type is [dollar amount], which includes [list services offered, especially any ways you go above and beyond]. What is your preferred day and time to schedule the inspection?
I was thinking —–
I think we can swing that. Looking at my calendar, I have ——— available. Does that work for you?
Yes, that should work.
Excellent! [Get their full name and address of the home to be inspected, as well as their contact information and anything else you need.]
Awesome. I’ve got you down for [X date and time] and I’ve recorded your information. Do you have any other questions for me?
Not at all.
Perfect. Thanks for giving me a call, and I look forward to working with you this coming ——! I will be sending you your online agreement via email for you to e-sign, so be on the lookout! Don’t hesitate to reach out by phone, email, or text If you have any questions before or after the inspection, okay?
Thanks, I will. See you then.
Advanced phone sales closing techniques for home inspectors
Now that you have a script, it can’t hurt to develop more professional phone skills to get a lead on the competition.
Of course, you should always make sure you’re following proper ethics for home inspectors, including being objective, professional, and discreet. But there’s a bit more to sales call etiquette than simply being ethical; you’ll also want to address your client’s concerns and show them you’re invested in the deal.
Make your client feel heard
When you’re on the phone with your client, it’s important that they feel they’re being listened to. Follow proper phone etiquette for building a relationship with a customer and closing sales, including the following:
- Speak in a friendly, open manner with a conversational tone.
- Don’t rattle off your script too fast.
- Never interrupt them.
- Don’t stick to your script rigidly; if they say something that deviates from your train of thought, go with it (but try to bring the conversation back around to your script outline naturally)
- Use affirming language (like “That makes sense” or “I understand where you’re coming from”) to show them you hear and understand what they’re saying.
- Repeat phrases back to them when answering their questions to show you’re truly listening. For example, if they ask “Will you use a drone to inspect the roof?” you should say “Yes, I always use a drone to inspect the roof” instead of simply “Yep.”
Go that extra mile
When dealing with prospective clients over the phone, it’s important to set yourself apart from other home inspectors with your closing technique. Let your passion for what you do come through in your call; think about how your service helps people, and keep your focus on that.
If your prospective customer feels that you care about helping them regardless of whether you get their business, they’ll automatically feel warmly toward you — and you’ll be more likely to get their business in the end.
This relational way of looking at marketing is part of the inbound marketing methodology, and it can be helpful in any industry, including the home inspection business.
For example, if they seem unsure about what a home inspection entails, explain it to them. Offer to send them a sample home inspection report so they can understand what’s involved. If you show interest in helping them without making it sound like an overt sales pitch, they’ll be more inclined to trust you — and then trust you with their business.
Should home inspectors try cold calling real estate agents?
Cold calling is the term for trying to gain a customer by calling them — or, in a home inspector’s case, calling real estate agents — without having made a connection with them before. They haven’t filled out a form on your website or given you their contact information in any way; you’re contacting local real estate agents out of the blue in the hopes that their clients will need your services.
Cold calling has been a popular technique for decades, though HubSpot reports that only 28% of cold calls turn into a conversation. According to marketer Charlie Cook, the success rate for cold calling is about 2%, and many people who pick up the phone find poorly-done cold prospecting obnoxious or even rude.
While cold calling may not have the highest conversion rate, newer businesses with less reach often need to rely on cold marketing to generate clients. After all, if you haven’t built up a reputation or network in your community yet, it’s hard to get referrals or high name recognition without having a few real estate agents on your side.
For new home inspectors, it’s often best to use a mix of approaches, where effective cold calling is only a piece of the puzzle.
Tools and resources for closing a home inspection deal over the phone
It’s helpful to have a support system when you’re trying to build your business. Closing deals over the phone can be time-consuming and tricky, especially for new home inspectors.
Professional organizations often offer resources for home inspectors looking to up their salesmanship game, like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), which offers education, media kits, and business resources.
Also, keep in mind that some people will feel put on the spot if you try to schedule a booking immediately over the phone. HomeGauge offers inspectors ScheduleNow, a free online scheduler that your customer can use to book their inspection using their computer or mobile device at a time that’s most convenient for them. And even better, ScheduleNow automatically syncs with your calendar, appointment details, and the inspection report.
One note: if you do ask prospective clients to book the inspection themselves, don’t just give them your website URL and leave it up to them. Get that client’s email so you can send them the link. Ask for a phone number as well. That way, if they don’t take action, you’ll have a way to follow up with them to see if they’re still interested in your services.
Be prepared with closing techniques that set you apart
As a home inspector, your time is valuable. You don’t want to waste precious minutes stumbling through a phone call with a potential client, and you don’t want to spend hours cold-calling prospective agents with no results.
That’s why it’s so important to develop an effective script that helps make your process a little more uniform and deliver a better call-to-close ratio.
Feel free to use the script template above to fit your needs and your company’s unique selling points — and don’t be afraid to incorporate advanced closing techniques, resources like an online scheduler, and even a little cold calling into your sales process.