I hope that this post finds everyone happy and healthy. I would like to open today with a well-known saying: “All the world’s a stage.” Depending on how old you are (and your musical interests), you may believe that this saying originated in a song by the rock band Rush. It’s actually a phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players…” The speech goes on to compare the world to a stage, and life to different acts in a play.
No matter what your business, each of our clients is different, with different needs, different preconceived notions and different ideals. And while every home inspection can be distilled down to the same basic tenant – someone is buying a property and we are inspecting it for deficiencies – every inspection is slightly different from the last. Every person that we perform an inspection for is a unique individual, and we need to be cognizant of this fact while performing the inspection.
I’ve always found it interesting that we describe our professional function as “performing” an inspection. Performing is defined as the act of presenting some form of entertainment to an audience. How often have you purchased tickets for some entertainment event (a movie, a play, a concert), and left feeling like you wasted your hard-earned money because the performance didn’t live up to your expectations?
The same potential for disappointment exists with our home inspection clients.
The mantra that I attempt to instill in home inspection trainees is that when you perform an inspection, you are on a stage, putting on a show. The inspectors that put on a good show, and leave their clients with the feeling that they got good value for their investment, will likely have a successful career. The bad actors will forever be relegated to second rate roles in the show: always around the stage but never in the spotlight.
To be successful in the inspection industry, you must be able to read your client and determine what they are looking for from the inspection process. It pays dividends to invest some time, taking your clients along with you for the journey that is the home inspection. The more involved the client is in the process, the more satisfied they will be with the results. When the client sees the work that goes into the process, the results will be more recognizable to them, and they will (ultimately) have more empathy for the job you do as an inspector.
It’s equally as important to be able to read your client, to determine their mindset and recognize their expectations. While some people will crave and thoroughly enjoy the interaction, some people simply want the finished product and will shy away from this type of communication.
Harvey Fierstein, Tony award winning American actor and playwright said “What looks absolutely fabulous in rehearsal can fall flat in front of an audience. The audience dictates what you do or don’t (do).” Always remember to play to your audience. When you deliver what your client is anticipating and desiring, and ensure that they do not leave feeling like they wasted their money on a performance that did not live up to their expectations, you will become successful and ensure your place in the spotlight.
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