Home Services “Estimates” versus “Pre-Inspections”- which is better?

KickStart: “Words are important. If you cannot say what you mean, you will never mean what you say.” George Bernard Shaw

Yep, in business the words we use with prospects (and clients) can have big consequences going forward. For example…

I see many Home Service Businesses offering “free estimates”. Me? I disliked this word “estimate” so much I banned it in my own residential services company!😡 Here’s why…

don't focus on priceThe word “estimate” focuses your prospect ONLY on the cost of your services!

Now, is price an important factor in a prospect’s buying decision? Absolutely! BUT…

Is price the ONLY thing your customer considers when choosing who should work in their “inner sanctum”, their home?🤔 Of course not!

NOTE: Instead of “low prices” studies have shown homeowners are much more focused on a residential service company’s reliability, quality, reputation (can you say “5-star reviews”) and above all, their “trustworthiness”.💖

So, instead of “giving an estimate” I strongly suggest you implement the phrase, “Performing a Pre-Inspection”.

And of course, as part of this detailed pre-inspection you will be delighted to include a detailed work order with exact, written prices!

Here’s how to make the change-over from “estimates” to “Pre-Inspections”

1. Advertising and marketing. Even on a fully wrapped service van it is a simple process to overlay “FREE estimates” with “Schedule your Pre-Inspection TODAY!” Ditto on any future print, media or online marketing.

HINT: There are pros and cons of charging an upfront fee for a professional “Pre-Inspection”. (This fee is normally credited toward the cost of your services if and when the homeowner books the job.)  The good news? With my suggested “Schedule your pre-inspection TODAY!” wording we’re keeping your options open! I’ll analyze both of these Pre-Inspection options in a future QuickTIP…👍👍

2. Incoming leads. Hopefully prospects will already have been prepped by your marketing. But if not, when a caller asks, “How much do you charge to…” your Phone Format should reply with, “I can help you with that. May I ask you a few questions?” and your employee will use Valid Business Questions to “convert” this lead into a booked job!

RESOURCE: In my 3-hour, online Winning over your caller! LIVE seminar you’ll receive 100’s of ‘Lead Conversion’ systems to easily book prospects that contact you by text, email, Facebook, website chat or even… the phone! HERE are our upcoming class dates…

always consider downstream revenue3. Staffing. With Pre-Inspections you have a LOT riding on booking the job! It’s not just the immediate work- when you “Fail To Close.”  Even worse? You also lose the “downstream income” from this client. (Don’t even get me started on the $1,000.00’s gone forever in lost “Cheerleader Referrals”!)

You’ll also need to add the “right people to perform these critically important Pre-Inspections. (Check out one great recruiting resource HERE.)  Plus, you’ll need to give your sales team a step-by-step system to win over nervous, skeptical homeowners! My work is never done… SIGH!😊


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