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References such as when a potential client calls and asks if I have any references such as previous customers that they could say hey, how'd he do?

Has that happened? The reason I ask is that I'm in my 8th year and I can only remember being asked once, probably 6 years ago. In that case I told the person that I couldn't just hand out phone numbers or e-mail addresses of my previous clients but I would send him some after contacting them and getting the go-ahead. I then e-mailed a few of my more recent clients, asking permission, and sent him those that replied.

To be honest, if someone asked today, I would probably just tell them to look at my site and, if that wasn't enough, sorry. So much of my work now comes from referrals that I get a little cranky if I'm asked too many questions. Actually, thinking about it, I might just be getting a little cranky...period!

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lol... Thanks,

I dropped building to a "side" part-time and am in my... 5th month of inspecting, and I received a call about an inspection along with about 5 minutes worth of questions one after another. I passed the inspection up because of a question that scared me a bit.

I did learn today every time a certain inspector in my town gets an inspection from a realtor, he sends the realtor a pie. Interesting.

Matt

I think the blonde lady standing between me and what im readin is kin to my wife... =P

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Yup 16 years and still the #1 question is typically "How much?" and #2 question is typically "how soon can you do it?" Sadly, only about 5% to 10% even think to ask about background, so I volunteer it, which usually closes the deal.

I think maybe five or six times in my entire career someone actually asked for references. Sounds crazy, but that's a fact.

I don't even do the brochure and cards deal. I haven't for years. I have them, and hand them out when asked, but I don't stock holders anywhere.

The biggest things to do: 1. Don't miss something big. 2. If you know you screwed up, do the right thing.

It's all word of mouth. An outstanding job is your best and most lasting advertisement.

And, like others, I have an in depth resume, education and certification list on my site.

Les, you're kidding, right? I can actually count maybe six or seven times out of 10,000+ that I didn't get paid. I can count a few time a year when I have to be a real pain in the ass dealing with the "I forgot my checkbook crowd." But I wear them out until it's worth it to pay me. [:P]

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You're probably referring to testimonials.

The ones on my website are unsolicited excerpts from post inspection email correspondence. I never paid much attention to them until last year, when I realized their invaluable worth.

Dig up your emails and mine the gold within. Send a sample of your intended publication for permission.

If you want to go one step further, buy a video camera and ask your client for a 15 second testimonial then publish it on YouTube.

It's one thing to say you're great, but another to say it on your behalf.

Two more ideas that I've never tried

Send out an e mail after your inspection

Dear Lisa:

Thank you for allowing us.......

Your feedback about the home inspection process is very important to us.

If you have feedback you'd like to share, please reply to this e-mail or feel..........

Or

Include a Feed Back card with your inspection.

Testimonials are a powerful advertising tool.

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do you guys actually work for just anyone off the street?

how do you know they are serious about buying? It might take a day or two to check them out, but I sleep better knowing they will pay me.

Well, but I kindly explain to all my customers that if they don't pay me on the spot, they'll wind up on the wrong end of my Taser, which I never leave home without.

I've only been asked for references a couple of times, and didn't take time to make phone calls so phone calls could be made. Both callers sought elsewhere.

I do think, though, that having references on my site sort of legitimizes me and my business for people who've gotten my name from a previous client or from somewhere like Angie's List.

Since phone books are becoming more and more anachronistic, people more often than not Google me or my company name to find my number. If they take a quick look at my web site before calling, we've already been introduced before the conversation begins.

My hit-tracking program shows where a web-site visitor originated from, and also what she typed into a search engine to find me. The web hits typically precede the phone calls by less than five minutes.

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.............. If you want to go one step further, buy a video camera and ask your client for a 15 second testimonial then publish it on YouTube.

It's one thing to say you're great, but another to say it on your behalf. .......

I couldn't imagine putting my clients on the spot like that. I'm sure most would be willing to do it, but it's still an imposition that they didn't bargain on. Besides, most of the ones I've seen are a bit cringe-inducing.

[utube]

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I do think YouTube can be a great tool, but it's a tool I haven't figured out how to utilize yet. From surfing YouTube for inspection related videos, I've found that one no else really has either.

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