When you become a Certified NRCIA Roof Inspector, you become an expert. Your certification brings authority to your work, and it is often under-utilized by inspectors. Here are tips to help build your credibility when working with clients.
1. Look and act the part of a professional
We avoid judging books by their covers, but everyone still makes snap judgments on first impressions. That is why it is vital to make sure you project your expertise.
+ Arrive 15 minutes early to prepare for your upcoming appointment. If you know you may be late (traffic, unexpected events, etc..), make sure to call your client and inform them that you will be late and give them an updated ETA.
+ Wear and tuck in a collared shirt that displays your NRCIA patch (need additional patches? email us at email@example.com).
+ Organize your tools. Whether it is the tools in your truck or the tools you carry in your belt, keep things tidy.
+ Treat the client’s house like it is your house: always wear shoe covers and be diligent when going through exterior doors keeping pets in and pests out.
+ Follow up with requested materials and reports as soon as you can. The recommended turnaround time is 24 hours.
2. Introduce yourself as a certified inspector
When meeting or calling the client for the first time, introduce yourself with your NRCIA credentials. The client will feel reassured because they know they are working with an expert.
Example of a poor introduction
Hi. I am Bill, a roofer with Bob’s Roofing Company.
Example of a great introduction
Hi. I am Bill, an NRCIA Certified Roof Inspector with Bob’s Roofing Company.
Introduce yourself and your company with a smile even when on a phone call. Your smile will come through in your voice, and it will establish a friendly and professional encounter.
“Expressions that one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back” – Dale Carnegie: How To Win Friends & Influence People
3. Complete the right type of inspection
Listen to your clients carefully. Understand their needs and their goals. Then use the information provided to correctly identify the service they need and the price of your inspection. Your expertise is valuable; charge for your services accordingly. Every customer wants quality work and understands that extra attention to detail costs more.
Knowing when to recommend different inspections will help address the client’s need and ensure that you are getting paid the true value of your labor. Correctly identifying the service type will also save time during the inspection and reporting process. Refer to our pricing guide and our inspection type decision tree for more help. These resources are also great to share with your assistant or support team.
4. Tell don’t sell
You are their roofing consultant. Educating your clients about your work and their roof system is more effective than selling them jobs. If you can effectively communicate with your clients, address their issues, and provide the proper solution, you will not need to rely on selling as much. Show how your services can help solve their problems. Trust that the inspection process and your professionalism will do the work in securing jobs.
This is key for inspections when the client is not requesting roof work, just a third-party roof inspection. Your assistance and guidance in solving their problem will give you the advantage over competitors. If you try to sell them something they expressly do not want, you will hurt the opportunity and potentially your credibility with the client.
Lastly, inspectors should try to show clients the problems they observed before they leave the inspection site. Briefly walking the client through each point helps the client understand your work. This helps to build better trust and communication between you and the client.
5. Communicate effectively
Avoid using technical jargon with clients. Inspectors should use simple terms that are easy to understand.
Additionally, it is okay to not know something. If this happens, let clients know that you do not know the answer, but you will research the question and get back to them. Honesty, humility, and transparency go a long way and help you avoid embarrassing situations. The last thing you should do is talk about something you do not know. Whether it is pricing or problems, pretending to know something will only hurt your relationship with the client.
Answer all questions before leaving a job site or ending a call. Let the clients talk through their questions and practice active listening. At the end of each call or conversation, take care to explicitly state or write the next steps.
Closing Inspection Example:
I appreciate you letting Bob’s Roofing Company help you with your roofing needs. If I have answered all of your questions, I will return to my office to begin working on the roof inspection report. You can expect to have your inspection report within 24 hours. I would love to answer any additional questions after you have had the time to review our report. Have a wonderful day!
6. Trust yourself
You are a Certified Roof Inspector. Lean into who you are, and if you complete your work following the NRCIA process, everything else will fall into place.
It may take some time to navigate what educational jargon to use and the proper way to relay critical information, but your client is hiring you because of your expertise, your reputation, and now your accreditation.
Be confident in yourself, your knowledge, and your services, and know your worth because it is valuable.
Have questions? Want to talk to an NRCIA instructor to discuss roofing or inspection issues? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org