Growth. A term that most all small business owners strive towards. Sure, there are some inspectors who only want to work part-time, or only want to be a one-man shop. I applaud them for setting boundaries and expectations for themselves and remaining true to who they are what they want out of their work. They aren’t wrong by any measure.
I, however, want to grow. I want to build. I want to be constantly challenged. I want to be out front and interact with staff, clients, Realtors, and other service providers in our industry. As Pro-Tech Inspections has grown beyond anything I could have ever imagined, we have scaled at a pace faster than I would sometimes prefer. But we scaled and this is due largely in part to having the proper systems in place. It also is due to not only having the right people on the bus but having them in the right seat on the bus and all headed in the same direction.
Many growing inspection firms have hired a “Business Development Manager”. I suppose that’s ok for some, but just as one person wants to stay a one-man shop – I do not subscribe to hiring a “Business Develop Manager”. My reasons are simple.
- Anything that happens is ultimately my fault. I don’t blame our staff, I don’t blame the Realtor, I don’t blame anyone. Blame creates division and does not accomplish the task.
- If I’m to blame, then I need to be the person to accept it, to be accountable, to be the person facing the situation.
- Many times, a problem (I never have problems by the way, only opportunities) is based upon not setting the proper expectations. Clients and Realtors alike deserve to know what and who they are getting.
- If I’m defining the path, goals, and methods of delivery for Pro-Tech Inspections then no one can communicate that better than me.
- No one is as passionate about what we do as I am.
- Again, if we let someone down – no one is more accountable than me.
My belief is that no one can “sell” our company the way I do. It’s my vision and my voice interacting with our Clients, Realtors, and prospects. It may be done through Frieda, or Jacki, or any one of our inspectors – in fact, think about it – regardless of which inspector you are working with we use similar language, the reports mimic one another, and on-site descriptions are almost verbatim. That’s coaching, education, knowledge, and training that begin with my vision and direction and is permeated throughout our culture and approach to our work. One thing we as a team have been able to accomplish to scale this quickly is “duplication of services”. Frankly, that’s my single secret to success. It’s why we train the way we do, why learning to write our reports is so difficult, and why we are trusted by nearly 3000 Realtors across South Carolina. It’s why after 6 years of business we have maintained a 4.9 of 5.0 in our online reviews. People know what to expect and proper expectations are set.
I know many of your families, children, grandchildren names, businesses, and goals. Heck, I know when some of your spouses are having surgery and text or call to check on you both. That’s not Business Development. It’s a personal relationship built (like a home – pun intended) upon mutual respect and care over time – not developed. Have you ever looked at the definition of develop? 1. grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced, or elaborate. That’s not at all organic and sustainable growth which is the cornerstone upon which WE have built OUR reputation
For those reasons I will not hire a full-time business development manager who is not or never was an inspector. I want a direct personal relationship with each of you. I don’t want someone else going out there and representing me unless it’s one of our inspectors or client care staff who believe in our work and understands the why of what we do so uniquely. I want our entire company to know you and not to exploit opportunities where another inspector dropped the ball, or a salesperson made a pitch. Business Development Manager’s use sales techniques and tactics to get your business. Often, differing from the work the inspector actually does. They don’t climb on roofs are crawl in crawlspaces every day. For the same reason, we use cheap flyers, web presence, past work, and word of mouth referrals – not a sales professional to visit your office each week with swag.
Our work speaks for itself, and any of our inspectors can speak for our company. They to work to get to know you and deliver a superior product based on our work and not fancy words. When I do come to your offices, I’m in jeans or shorts and tennis shoes or boots. I couldn’t be pretty if I tried, so we have to do good work every day and every inspection. I must convey my message and expectations to our team and you to deliver a clear and concise message over time – and then we, must collectively deliver. So, who better to convey the message to you? That’s the only way to know what you are getting. A Business Development Manager cannot deliver that message.
In fact, many companies not only hire people to drop by your offices, but they pay folks to manage their blogs, build teir websites, post on social media, etc. In fact, if you don’t believe me – Google the local inspectors you know. Almost guaranteed somewhere on the first page, if not in the main title block you’ll see “Peace of mind” or “We deliver Peace of Mind” somewhere prominent. That’s the current trend by the companies providing these sites. I say we’re different because we are. No one has a a website like us because I built and manage it myself. Same with Facebook. I control and deliver our uniform message and USP (Unique Selling Proposition) on how we are different.
Lastly, when it’s our inspectors you are working with directly – you are more comfortable calling them or having them speak directly to your client regarding the report. And when there’s a problem, the Business Development Manager isn’t going to fix it. It’s the company owner. In the case of Pro-Tech Inspections, that’s me.
So, I’ll keep coming to your office delivering our corporate message myself. A message you can count on – because ultimately, it’s my call.
And for obvious reasons, no one stands behind their work the way I do.