Written By Ari Greenbaum, co-founder of conXpros
There are many factors that will determine your success with Home Improvement Lead Generation, but none greater than how fast you call the lead. I have been working with home improvement contractors for over 14 years. I cannot recall a single company that found success with contractor leads and did not call immediately upon receipt of the lead. Yes, you heard correctly, NEVER!
What does immediately mean?
I have been asked this question (or some variation of it) many times in the past. “As long as I call within 10 minutes of getting the lead, I should be good, right?” At the risk of sounding obnoxious, I typically respond “not if you are serious about success with the leads you spend your hard-earned money on!” The reality is that most people do not fully understand what it means to contact their leads immediately. I will use the common definition of the word immediately:
at once; instantly.
“I called immediately for an ambulance”
I love the usage example used by this dictionary, “I called immediately for an ambulance”. I must confess, I have seen a ton of movies & TV in my lifetime. Any scene that has someone getting injured and others rushing to help, the FIRST thing someone screams out is “CALL 911!!”. This happens before a single hand is laid on the victim. What can we take away from this? Treat your leads like they are emergencies, call immediately. Just like the ambulance is the best possibility to save your life in a situation like this, your best opportunity to speak with a new lead is immediately.
Most lead generation companies for contractors generate leads from online sources. This is helpful information that offers insight to the mentality of the consumer. I am not an expert on human behavior, but I am a consumer like anyone else. When I shop or search online, I have an expectation of immediate results. Think about it, we leave web pages that take more than a few seconds to load. Google search returns up to millions of results within microseconds of hitting enter. Delivery/shipping services (like Amazon) are all moving to same day delivery options. This is the world we live in. We as consumers require instant gratification. The homeowner submitting the lead is expecting the same immediate response.
There are 2 varieties of contractor leads that are typically offered: shared or exclusive contractor leads. The necessity to make the immediate call with shared leads (leads sold to multiple companies at the same time) goes beyond the desire of the consumer for instant gratification. This type of lead is sent to as many as 5 other people (varies per lead generation company). If you are not calling the lead instantly, you are destroying your opportunity to simply make contact with the homeowner. If you do not make contact, you cannot get the job. Pretty simple mathematics. Additionally, the first company to call the homeowner gets the added bonus of showing the potential client that you are eager to help them with their need.
Obviously, you will not always be the first to call when competing with other companies who also want to make that fast contact. For this exact reason, many home improvement pros seek lead generation companies that offer exclusive contractor leads. This does solve the problem of competing to be the first call. However, this often gives the contractor the idea that they do not need to be as urgent in making the initial call to the homeowner. This approach could not be more wrong. I would argue that if you are not calling an exclusive lead immediately, you are worse off than not calling a shared lead upon receipt. Go back to the understanding of today’s consumer I shared above. They desire immediate action. What do you think the next action from a homeowner needing help or quotes will be after they complete an online application and their phone does not ring with a recommended company? Do you think they will patiently wait around for the call to come? Or is it more likely that they go to the next ad or listing they see from their search results, submit their request, and get the help they expected? The answer is obvious and provides the reason why calling immediately is MORE important when working with exclusive contractor leads vs. shared leads.
Take the appropriate steps to ensure your success. Make sure you are setup to receive and call your leads immediately. Many home improvement pros do not have large companies with a team of callers ready to attack leads as they come in. So what should an owner/operator or smaller company do to succeed? Most home improvement lead services have a “pause” feature. If you are the only one in your company receiving the leads, pause your lead flow when you are walking into an appointment or will be unavailable to make an immediate call. You are better off not getting or paying for the lead, than delaying your response and losing the opportunity and money. There are other ways to ensure that the homeowner receives the contact point from your company. I have shared ideas in the past about incorporating text/SMS into your arsenal. Using a system that will automate texts to your leads upon receipt at least allows you to show the potential client that you are genuinely interested before they move on to find help elsewhere. If you are not a sole proprietor, identify a second person to receive leads and call. What is the worst thing that will happen? You will both make the call at the same time? I don’t call that a problem, I call that smart! Bottom line, if you are using lead generation services, you must take the steps to be successful. Use the suggestions above or other creative ideas. Regardless of what strategies you use, making immediate contact must be top priority.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from making it your mission to call your leads (regardless of shared or exclusive) immediately. This does not mean within a few minutes or as soon as possible. Immediately means “at once; instantly”. There are other factors I will cover with upcoming posts in this series, but there are none that will impact your results with home improvement lead generation success like having the need for speed.