How to Avoid Common Phone Mistakes That Kill Leads

How to Avoid Common Phone Mistakes That Kill LeadsMichael Gaida / Pixabay

Phone calls are the life’s blood of most water damage and disaster mitigation businesses, so it’s important that you know how to avoid common phone mistakes that will prevent you from converting leads into jobs.

Not Being Available

One of the most common phone mistakes is to not answer the phone. No one likes late night calls or having holidays and special occasions interrupted, but if you don’t answer their call someone else will.

Real World Example:

One of our water damage partners got a call the day before New Year’s Eve. The homeowner had booked an appointment with another company for New Year’s Day but was desperately looking for someone to dry out their home before a big New Year’s Eve party.

Our partner agreed to come out, got a signed contract, and started work right away. While it may have been inconvenient timing, it turned into a huge job worth more than $100,000. Obviously not every job will be this lucrative, but you will never know if you pass on the job or don’t answer the phone.

In most cases, you can set the appointment without needing to completely cancel your plans if you manage your customer’s expectations correctly. By stopping out quickly for an inspection, you can land the job while still postponing the majority of the work until the next day.

Example Script:

“I will stop out shortly for a free estimate. If you agree, I’ll be ready to fix the issue and get my equipment setup. I’ll then return in the morning with my crew to complete the job.”

If you do miss their call, it’s critical that you call them back as quickly as possible whether or not they leave a voicemail. You won’t always get the job, but isn’t it worth trying?

Giving an Estimate Over the Phone

Another common phone mistake is to offer an estimate over the phone. Customers looking for a price are most likely not ready to buy. Even if they have an urgent issue, they are unlikely to make a decision. Focus on setting the appointment, because it’s much easier to close the deal when you can start work immediately.

Example Script:

“I won’t be able to give you a reliable estimate without inspecting the situation first. However, I can be there shortly to survey the damage and provide an accurate estimate. I will work with your insurance company and I’m ready to start work immediately.”

While you may lose a few leads with this technique, it’s unlikely they were viable jobs in the first place.

Customers are Concerned About Your Location

Some customers may ask where your business is located. In our experience, they are really trying to determine if you are locally owned. A common mistake is to try to avoid their question or redirect the question back at them. The best thing to do is respond honestly. Tell then where you are located, let them know you serve a wide area, and that you’re happy to come out right then to offer a free estimate.

Example Script:

“We’re located in Fairview Park, but we serve a wide area. I’d be happy to come out and offer a free estimate if you’re available now.”

If you are locally owned and operated, include that as well.

Example Script:

“We’re a locally owned and operated business in Parma Heights, but our service area is very wide. I’m available to come out for a free estimate now if that works for you.”

The key is to make sure you let them know you serve a wide area and that you’re available now. While you may still lose a few leads, customers in an emergency are most likely going to set the appointment once they know you can come out right then.

You should train everyone who answers your calls how to avoid these common phone mistakes to ensure you’re converting as many leads as possible. For more best practices that will help you land more jobs, watch our free Converting Phone Calls into Jobs webinar.

Land High Value Water Damage Jobs Just By Answering The Phone

Need more water damage leads? Our top performing partners turn eight out of ten calls into jobs and generate an average revenue of $5,000 per job. Stop wasting time and money on underperforming marketing strategies and get conversion ready water damage leads today.


  1. Mike Flowers says:

    Stop proposing FREE estimates for water damage.
    It is bad business

    • Jeff Rooks says:

      Hey, Mike, can you elaborate on why free estimates are bad for business? In our experience, the industry is becoming too competitive not to offer a free estimate. HomeAdvisor, Google, and Amazon are all giving consumers free pricing estimates in advance and not offering a free estimate will likely turn customers away. Perhaps we’re missing something though, so please share your thoughts. Thanks, Jeff.

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