Stacking Deposits for the Win: Elevating Restoration Operations

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In the bustling, high-stakes world of insurance restoration, where moments matter and every interaction counts, one strategy stands out for its simplicity and effectiveness: “Stacking Deposits for the Win.” This approach, rooted in the power of incremental agreement and building trust, can transform the way restoration contractors engage with clients and team members, ensuring smoother project execution and heightened customer satisfaction.

Imagine this: a home devastated by water damage stands as a testament to the havoc nature can wreak. The homeowners are stressed, their lives upended, and they look to you for solutions. At this critical juncture, every positive interaction builds trust and paves the way for a successful restoration. But how do you stack these deposits effectively?

Making the First Deposit

From the moment you park your van and approach the property, the clock starts ticking. You have less than seven seconds to make a first impression that counts. Your demeanor, your professionalism, even how you knock on the door—all contribute to that critical first deposit. As you greet the homeowner with a warm, empathetic smile and a reassuring handshake, you’re already setting the stage for the journey ahead.

You ask, “May I come in?” This simple question serves as the second yes in our stacking strategy. It’s not just about gaining entry; it’s about establishing a respectful, professional tone from the outset. Inside, the homeowners are likely overwhelmed, their minds racing with questions and concerns.

Once inside, the real work begins. As you listen to their story, showing genuine interest and empathy, you’re making your next deposit in the trust bank. “I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this,” you say. “Our top priority is to help you through this difficult time.” This statement not only acknowledges their distress but also assures them that they are in capable hands.

With their permission, you walk through the house, noting the damage and asking specific, open-ended questions. “Can you show me where you first noticed the water?” or “What concerns do you have about the restoration process?” Each question is designed to elicit a yes, building a rhythm of agreement and cooperation.

As you discuss the restoration plan, transparency is key. You explain what will be done, why it needs to be done, how it will be done, and the expected timeline. Avoiding technical jargon, you make sure the homeowners understand every step. “We will start by extracting the water from your home to initiate the mitigation process. Once we remove the excess water, we will place specialty equipment to begin the drying process and prevent further damage. Typically, this process takes about 4-5 days. Do you have any questions about this process?” These clear, affirmative steps are crucial. Each interaction reinforces their trust and confidence in your abilities. They need to be able to explain to a friend or family member, “Here’s what happened, here’s what’s happening now, and here’s what will happen next.” This clarity helps them feel in control and reassured. 

Stacking Deposits & Making Withdrawals 

Throughout the project, maintaining a neat and professional appearance is non-negotiable. From wearing uniforms to respecting their property with door mats and booties, every action demonstrates respect and professionalism. Asking for permission before opening doors or moving personal items further underscores this respect. These actions, though small, accumulate to create a seamless, positive experience for the customer.

There’s a psychological aspect to stacking deposits. According to Freud’s principle of “repetition compulsion,” people tend to repeat behaviors. By securing incremental agreements and positive interactions, you tap into this tendency, making it easier for clients to continue cooperating. Each positive interaction is a deposit in the trust bank, which you can draw upon when challenges arise. For instance, if you encounter a problem, like a delay in material delivery, the homeowner is more likely to be understanding. You’ve built up enough trust to handle setbacks gracefully. It’s like having credit in the bank; you can make a withdrawal when needed without causing distress.

Of course, not every interaction will be smooth. There will be objections and concerns. When this happens, acknowledge the objection and seek clarification. Ask open-ended questions to understand the root cause. “Can you help me understand your concerns about the timeline?” Address these concerns directly, providing additional information or reassurance as needed. Offering alternative solutions can also help overcome objections and move the conversation forward.

Throughout the project, the concept of “commander’s intent” ensures that every team member understands the overarching goals and objectives. This clarity helps maintain alignment and focus. A set cadence of briefings and debriefings is essential to address progress and challenges, ensuring everyone is working towards the same vision. [For a deeper dive into this concept, check out this KnowHow on Commander’s Intent and watch Chris Nordyke and Brandon Reece discuss it in-depth on the Head Heart and Boots podcast.]

Conducting the Final Check-In

As the project nears completion, it’s time to finalize agreements and confirm client satisfaction. Review and address any outstanding issues, ensuring all details are clear. Obtain final approval from the client, expressing appreciation for the opportunity to work with them. “Thank you for trusting us with your home,” you say. “Did we live  up to our promise of providing 5-star service?” This final check-in not only closes the project on a positive note but also reinforces your commitment to exceptional service by directly seeking feedback on their satisfaction.

The journey of a restoration project is fraught with challenges, but by stacking deposits, you ensure every step is a step towards success. Ultimately, what we allow is what we create. Are we controlling the chaos and leading through the process, or are we merely experiencing the chaos? By embracing the power of incremental agreement, we steer the process towards order and success, ensuring that each project not only meets but exceeds expectations.

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Scott Maysura

Scott is a senior consultant at Floodlight Consulting Group with over 20 years of experience in the restoration industry, including ownership in restoration startups. He collaborates closely with clients to drive business growth and success by developing and implementing strategic plans, systems and processes. Scott brings strong business acumen, extensive commercial large loss experience, operations management, and significant coaching experience to the Floodlight team. He has worked in every key role in the industry, from a technician to owning a restoration and consulting company. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a diploma in Small Business Management, and is a Triple Master restorer in the industry.

Scott resides in the beautiful state of New Mexico with his wife of 17 years, Christine and their 2 dogs – Harley and Astrid.

Email Scott at: scottm@floodlightgrp.com

Listen to the Floodlight Head Heart and Boots Podcast on Apple iTunes and Spotify.

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