Written by Ari Greenbaum, co-founder of conXpros
If the answer is anyone other than YOUR COMPANY, it is time to re-evaluate the service or services you are currently working with. Correct me if I am wrong, but the reason you invest your hard-earned dollars into home improvement leads or home services leads is to get a return on your investment. So why does it often feel like you are simply a statistic contributing to the growth and profits of the lead generation company and not yourself? These are questions you should be asking yourself and in response, search for the answers. Better yet, seek to identify the signs and indicators that reveal the true motivation of any lead generation company. Of course, there are no lead generation companies that are charity organizations, we are all in business just like yourself, to make profits. However, there are different approaches to this concept that also help identify the right company to meet your needs.
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
I have been and will always remain a huge fan of Zig Ziglar. I still listen to his seminars in awe of how clear he saw and expressed his ideas. He has many well-known quotes, but this one has been my favorite and the driving concept that forged the way we created and operate conXpros. I have shared articles and ideas in the past that provided insights to the home improvement lead generation world. I have shared general ideas how to choose the right lead generation company. Articles focused on the comparison of shared vs. exclusive leads. As well as an under the hood look at the lead credit policies to help determine what the lead company is really about. All have been with the intention to offer perspective and a sense of reality in this often less than scrupulous industry. Every home improvement pro needs leads to sustain the growth of their business. But it is important to find the companies that truly have your success as their primary focus. Some companies attempt to project cutting edge technology. Others offer creative incentives and gimmicks to get you to find favor in them. Dashboards and apps get created with “cool” features, almost like it is a video game. While others rely on their brand. No matter which way you slice it, most contractors would gladly give up the above-mentioned features to know with certainty that the lead generation company they work with, genuinely cares about your success ahead of their own. I have been on the other side of the equation. I have worked with lead companies as a client, so I know firsthand how it feels to spend your money with a company that seems to care less about your success and more about how much they profit.
Just about every home improvement lead service out there will tell you that you can “control the types of projects you get requests for” and the locations of those requests. Of course, that is an important feature, but EVERY lead service offers that feature! However, one feature I never found in any lead generation company I have received leads from was the ability to control WHEN I received leads. This led to a curiosity and desire to find out if in fact there were companies that offer this type of true control. I did some searching on Google and was shocked by the results. I not only searched for any information available, but I also visited the sites of most of the better known services offering leads for home improvement and home services. I visited the sites and clicked on every link possible to find my answers on the contractor facing sections of sites such as HomeAdvisor, Porch, Modernize, Networx, eLocal, CraftJack, HomeYou and a few others. Interestingly, the majority only offer the “pause” feature as a way to control your lead flow. So essentially, you are “open for business” unless you pause your account! I tried to find information in the FAQ sections (on the sites that had them) or in any literature they provided to a contractor looking into their services. The closest thing I found was on HomeAdvisor, where they suggest that you can set your budget to control lead flow, but what if you only want a certain number of leads per day? This type of thought is not so uncommon for home improvement pros, especially for seasonal businesses such as landscaping, HVAC, concrete, roofing, etc. It is possible that all or some of these lead services do offer control of when and how many leads you receive, but one thing is certain…they do not want you to know about it!
So what does this potentially indicate about these companies? The objective of EVERY lead generation company (including my own, conXpros) is to fulfill the budget and needs of each client as quickly as possible while trying to maintain the quality of the leads delivered. By not offering options to control when and how many leads a client will receive, what does it tell you? Are they interested in understanding & meeting YOUR needs? Or are they more focused on capturing your money? The problem gets created when the reality of home improvement pros comes into play. Not every company is equipped to service leads coming at them in rapid fire. Everyone agrees that the optimal time to contact a lead is immediately upon receipt. How is this possible if leads are sent to you at late night or pre-dawn hours? I am not suggesting that leads that come at these times of the day are inherently lower quality, but it does make contacting a homeowner challenging when you need to wait until a reasonable time to call them after the sun comes up. What if you only conduct business Monday-Friday? I guess you can try to remember to “pause” your account at the close of business every Friday afternoon and “activate” it at the start of business every Monday. That is a lot of responsibility, especially when you consider the fact that if you forget to pause, you will receive unwanted leads at unwanted times (and be responsible to pay for them). Or if you forget to activate due to getting caught up in the Monday morning chaos, opportunities go to your competitors instead of to your company. Bottom line, each of these scenarios are unpleasant and cost YOU money, all while the lead service is calculating their revenue generated.
I can say with conviction that every one of these services is fully capable from a technical perspective to offer the ability to control when and how frequently you get your leads, yet they choose to do otherwise. It is your money and your leads. Shouldn’t you be able to dictate the days and times to receive leads? Additionally, shouldn’t you be in control of how many leads at maximum you receive on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? My thoughts (and the thoughts of the leadership at conXpros) is OF COURSE YOU SHOULD!!! Just like any lead generation company, we are not perfect and do not make every client happy. We built our system to provide our clients with the control they need to succeed. One of these features is the ability to choose when they receive and how many leads they receive, and we make this information available to anyone checking us out. Not all contractors operate the same. We wanted to offer service to the owner-operator as well as the large regional/national companies. This article is not intended to toot our own horn, rather to help provide some perspective about the motivations of the different options available for online lead generation for home improvement contractors. At the end of the day, you need the service to make you money. But when determining which company shares the same objective you have as their top priority; these indicators and insights should help you to know where to look. You must make the determination for yourself based on what you feel meets your needs the best. Based on my experiences from both sides of the equation, transparency, integrity, and like-minded objectives are the factors that are at the top of my list. Invest your money wisely & where you feel that you will get the best return on your investment.
Another Ziglar classic sums this concept & article up perfectly…
“If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”