COVID-19 has recently caused two huge tectonic shifts in American culture. (Steve’s true confession: I came up with this QuickTIP topic just so I could use this wonderful phrase “tectonic shift”!)
The first big “tectonic shift”? The new buzzwords: ‘No Contact’or ‘Contact Free’. (You can also use ‘contactless’ even though Mr. Webster says this isn’t a word… YET!) Plus the second huge culture change is…
The coronavirus has made it totally acceptable (even desirable) to conduct business ‘long distance’ through online meetings and video chats. So customers now have a reason (excuse?) to avoid dealing face-to-face with … ANYONE! (Including YOU!)
NOTE: Remember that even in non-COVID-19 times the services your company provides are viewed by customers as a ‘Tolerated Irritation’! And yet…
HERE are seven reasons why it is essential to do a ‘pre-inspection’ for a first time customer… BEFORE you arrive to do the job. NOTE: I hate the phrase “give you an estimate” so much I’ve banned it in SFS Training!
Instead, in our SFS Training I teach my students to do a careful ‘pre-inspection’ of most (not all) first time customers to A) set ‘clear expectations’ and B) sell themselves. The result? ‘A’ and ‘B’ combined will lead to C) a booked job! Therefore a question arises…
Can you use this new ‘no contact’ phobia to avoid wasting time driving to pre-inspect new prospects? YES! Simply…
Use Whatsapp, Facetime, Google Duo, Skype and Facebook Messenger (or other online options) to do a pre-inspection ‘video walk-through’ with your prospect.
NOTE #1: Your prospective customer doesn’t want to download yet another app to walk you through their job! This means your office should offer all the major video chat options.
NOTE #2: More and more customers are savvy on video chats. However, they may require some technical hand holding to ‘reverse their camera’ on their cell phone, etc. This will let you easily see the work (and potential problems) involved while also building a professional relationship.
Remember, your prospect is all primed to buy when they call you. So except for complex commercial or restoration losses the best time to close the customer is on the initial phone call!
Let’s tweak our standard SFS Phone Format using video chat as a pre-inspection tool! (The dialogue will be in italics with my comments in parentheses.)
You (enthusiastically): Good morning, this is _______________ with Jon-Don Cleaning. How may we help you?
Prospect: Yes, I’m calling to see how much do you charge to clean a living room, dining room and hall?
You: Absolutely. I can help you with that. (This positive response is a great Moment of Truth for your caller.) May I ask you a few questions? (Logically in order to ‘help them’ you need information so even the most difficult caller will reply…)
Prospect: Uh… sure. (You now have their ‘permission to proceed’!)
You: Have we worked for you before? (If they answer “yes” then just look up their previous work orders and book the job!)
Prospect: I don’t think so.
You: Is the work in or near (the market area you serve)? (This is a another great ‘qualifying question’ as in why waste everyone’s time if they live outside of your area?)
Prospect: Yes, I live in town.
You: Now are there any special ‘areas of concern’ I should note down on your work order? (Of course they have “concerns”! These “concerns” are why they called you in the first place!)
Prospect: Well, I am concerned about the dirt and wear in my back hallway…
You: Hmmm… It would be helpful to actually see… (insert their concerns here to justify your next request) I know most of us are doing video calls. Do you have Facetime, Whatsapp or Messenger on your phone?
Prospect: Oh yes, I’m on Facetime video calls all the time with my family.
You: Great. Then let me hang up and Facetime you back right now. This way we can do a quick walk-through to check out the wear in your back hallway and any other concerns you have. If you have an iPad our walk-through will be easier from your tablet.
Prospect: OK. That works for me.
You: All right, I’m going to sign off now. Give me 30 seconds and I’ll Facetime you back. Bye-bye!
WOW! The above exchange took 1:39. (I timed it!) Trust me. This minute and a half on the phone will save you a LOT of driving time. It also will be MUCH more convenient (and safer) for you AND your customer!
What’s my next step, Steve? I thought you’d never ask! You now need to step-by-step ‘pre-inspect’ this potential job! Let’s talk about this real soon! (And don’t forget to join our Strategies for Success: Growing Your Business Facebook Group!)
Meanwhile, STAY SAFE AND WELL! (Much easier to do with a ‘no contact’ pre-inspection!)