In this episode, Ari Greenbaum interviews April, Director of Lead Services at conXpros as they discuss the importance of knowing how homeowners feel and how that will have an impact on your results as a home improvement contractor.
Stream it here:
Ari: Welcome to The X Factor: A Home Pro Sales podcast. This podcast is about all things sales to help home improvement pros generate high-quality leads and close more deals. I’m your host, Ari Greenbaum and in this podcast, we’ll talk about different tactics, tips, and resources to help you grow your business while interviewing experts in the industry.
First, a little housekeeping. If you can go ahead and rate us on Apple podcasts, the little purple icon, give us a five-star rating. As I always like to tell you leave us a review, let us know you’re enjoying the podcast, and we’d love the feedback. So, I want to just jump into what we’re going to be focusing on today. And I’m shifting gears completely from what I’ve done in the past, of either having pros, or, people out in the field, or even internal, I’ve had guests before with our director of account management, Rachel, but having another internal guest, but with a whole different slant on things.
So I’m very, very excited about today. But we’re gonna focus on the importance of knowing how homeowners feel, and the impact that will have on your results by understanding what the other side is feeling. Today, I want to welcome April, she is the Director of Lead Services here at conXpros. She is a veteran in the business, not just here conXpros, but has been in the lead generation business, working together with me, for a long time. So she has quite a bit of knowledge and expertise, I’ll let her introduce herself and what her roles are.
But again, she is someone that is dealing on the other side of the equation quite frequently with the homeowner side and has a very, very deep understanding of that. So April, I don’t want to introduce you completely without you introducing yourself. So if you could just introduce yourself, give people an idea of your background, so they understand why you’re here and share all this juicy stuff you’re going to talk about today.
April: Yes, yes, thank you. Thank you for having me. So I’m very excited to talk about this because I think it’s super important. I’m April, I’ve been in this business for close to 12 years. I started out in sales, not really knowing too much, but became very successful very quickly. And really put a lot of thought and dedication into that part. And then seeing that I wanted to grow even more so got into the other side of this business with leads. We’re on the backside with dealing with leads and homeowners and, verification, and really getting to learn all aspects of the business.
Ari: I appreciate that. Just to give you guys a little idea here about what April does internally at conXpros to help you understand where a lot of the feedback is that she’s going to share. The ideas she shares are going to be coming from April running multiple departments, but one of them is focused on what she mentioned, verification. They’re calling out to every single lead we deliver to clients. She has been doing this since we were just little baby company and as we grow it, she now has a team that is doing this, but has either been on 1000s of calls or listens to 1000s of calls, and still does. She has a true understanding and appreciation for the other side because of these conversations with homeowners. There’s a lot of feedback and insights that she could share with us and really help pros tuning in here to understand the other side. When we understand that then we have a better opportunity to succeed with it.
April also has many other tools, as I mentioned, one of them is working with lead credit requests that come on our leads that get out to people that are not of quality, and processing those. She also has a ton of insights in terms of feedback and is able to compare what that feedback is to internal information. It’s pretty insightful and amazing stuff. So to give you a little bit extra background and where her expertise is coming from. She’s just not just a great person but also does have quite a bit of knowledge and data at her fingertips that most people don’t have.
To get started in this concept, there’s so much I’m sure we could talk about. There are so many things as far as ideas of how people can improve and be better. But if we had to narrow it down, what are the top three things that you would recommend based on what you’ve heard and what you’ve learned? With that mindset of understanding the homeowner better, what would be the top three things that you would want pros to understand to help them do better?
April: Yes, thank you for sharing everything because it’s kind of a lot sometimes. So yes, I would say probably one of the number one things is follow-ups. You hear that, I hear that all aspects on contractors where they are saying they could be following up, or they’re waiting for them to call back because they left a message. And then we’re hearing from homeowners of, even whether it’s recordings and things of that nature, I’m listening to where, yeah, I did hear from that company. However, I was walking into a meeting and told him, I will call him back or, life got busy, and then I just never called them back, but I never heard from them again. So that’s a big thing. With just following up, I would say, and, with today’s, technology, I would say, everybody is turning technology-wise, everybody doesn’t scroll through the phone books really to find someone or they’re not just delivered anymore.
Ari: A lot of people are so busy just in life. So sending a text or sending an email, it’s super, it’s super, super important. And it’s, sometimes people prefer a text or an email that I’ve seen come through emails that I’ve sent out, it’s a huge thing, homeowners email and back. And they’ll be like, Yes, I heard from them, they are coming, and tell them about their projects. Or they’ll email or text back, didn’t hear from them. So just if that Pro is sending maybe that follow-up with that text, or, “Hey, I left you a voice message and didn’t know if it now’s a good time to talk” or send an email just doing those extra few little steps, not, like overbearing, but extra few steps of following up, it’s very, very helpful and can go a long way.
Ari: That’s super helpful information for people to understand. The homeowners do have lives as well. And so, sometimes life takes over, and it doesn’t mean that they are not wanting to get back to you. It’s just sometimes that is what happens, or the other sides of it, again, like you just shared here Why didn’t you call me back? , why did you try to reach me again, I know, we’ve talked about this in other podcasts with other people, understanding the importance of diligence in going after people, letting them show, let them know that you are interested in their business.
But from the homeowner perspective, that’s where, again, I just want to make sure, we’re helping guys understand this as best as possible. If you had shared, an example, I’m sure there are tons of examples identical to this and many stories that you can share. But as far as, a homeowner saying, Hey, I did get a call, or even answered a call said, I’ll call you right back, or I’ll call you back later, as a human being as a normal person, I would say, okay, well, I left a message, and that would be normal, or the person said, they would call me back. So the balls are in their court now to call me back.
But what it sounds like you’re suggesting is you can’t just leave the ball in their court, the ball is always or should always be in your court as the person that is trying to help this homeowner, as the pro says, yep, do you have any other like storage? If stories like this, I mentioned, you mentioned, like some examples, but I know there’s like anything specific.
You’ve told me so many crazy stories over the many years of doing this together. Oh, my gosh, this is crazy. This guy would have had this job, if not, and I feel terrible always for a client that didn’t like to have like any specific ones that stood out to you that would help people to understand like, what goes through a homeowner’s mind just what happens?
April: Yeah, it was, it’s crazy that you say that because I was listening to a call the other day. And it was from one of the verification calls, and they had a call with the homeowner. And it was about, they weren’t eating junk removal. Okay, the homeowner was and however, she was getting her baby to sleep in the protocol. And she said, oh, call me back in 30 minutes and, she’ll be ready. The lady was talking to the agent, and she said, they never called me back and I needed it done. So they had put another request in and she had found someone else and, it’s just, maybe the pro got tied up or different things could happen. But we see that a lot. And unfortunately, it happens. So that follow-up is important.
Ari: And that’s one where, again, someone didn’t leave a message but, I know there are many stories as well you’ve shared with me that are similar, but where the pro did call, we get confirmation, “I heard from so and so. But they left me a message.”
What about those cases because again, obviously, they connected. Maybe their mindset is the person said to do this, and that’s one piece. Hey, they didn’t call back or but what about the other case where he just, as well as anybody and not ever reaches every inquiry or every lead on like the first opportunity? So ones like that as well? Because mean, I know there have been so many similarities and these are probably repetitive, but unfortunately, we hear these all the time.
April: When pros are leaving those messages for those homeowners, they do say, well, I left them a message, but they didn’t call me back, don’t wait for the homeowner to call you back. Don’t wait, don’t wait, because homeowners, they will they get one, one track mind, sometimes they’re like, Oh, I’ll call them back when they see something, something else will trigger their mind. And they’ll call somebody else.
Ari: Out of sight, out of mind kind of thing. They intentionally don’t want to call people back or something. It’s just the reality of humans.
April: Exactly. And they can forget. And so, we see a lot where that does happen. And it does suck for the pro because we want to, anything of, be able to connect, those homeowners with the Pro. So they are closing jobs, and they are successful. And they. So that’s the name of the game. Exactly. So
Ari: Their mentality has to shift. There are a lot of people in today’s world that has shifted already. And they are relentless in their calls and follow-through procedures. But unfortunately, as you’re describing, there are still so many people that do not understand that Yeah, and that’s exactly why, I felt you’d be a perfect guest to share some of these insights. Because there are so many people out there, hopefully, they’re tuning in right now that understand, they could be doing so much more just by minor changes, and we’re not talking about what you’re suggesting is not super time-consuming or energy-consuming.
That is just saying, go and make an extra phone call or at their worst case, we’re talking a few minutes at most, and the amount of business that you will secure will massively increase based on again, this is feedback from homeowners. That’s fantastic, fantastic, juicy stuff.
April: The advice, I would give more so is, once you leave that homeowner a voicemail, I would turn right around and send them that text and say, Hey, this is, so and so I just left you a message, just wanted you to have my information at hand, call me back whenever you’re free, whatever the case may be just always staying in their face is very important, but not overbearing. Excessive could be a turn-off, for sure. But it’s always just always doing the follow-up. That’s for sure.
Ari: So I mentioned, there’s probably a ton of things other than what we’re going to talk about here today. But what would you say is like other big ones, like I would say that top three or whatever you want to call it, but the other big ones that are nice and juicy, and, would impact, pros operate?
April: There’s so many, I could say, just care, and it’s a huge thing with homeowners, when I listen to calls, are on a call myself. Just had one the other day of it was reported. It was when I was processing for lead credits, and it was being reported for noncontact and noncontact. But it also stated that the number was not in service, try again. So, I caught it and talked to the gentleman, and asked him about his project. And he was super excited about it, and his flooring project. And he was just very excited, and I was excited because he had just bought his house. And so being excited about their house, being excited about their project because people care about their family, people care about their home, and they want to know that you care about their home too. And when homeowners can feel that from a pro. They’re more there, they create a bond together because they want someone that’s gonna take care of their baby, just like a brand new mother leaving, they’re picking a nanny or a daycare, they want to, leave it with someone that cares.
Ari: That’s kind of weird, does that happen? Mostly because obviously you talk to homeowners and there are different stages of the cycle and where they’re at. Where does that happen is that, right from the start, that that’s something that you have heard feedback on that there’s not that warm and fuzzy feeling or caring feeling, or is it more like in person when they’re getting there for estimates? Or is it both? Just to get a better understanding? Where does that process happen?
April: I would say it’s more, it can be both, but more so in person. I say both because sometimes, when I’ve, when I’ve listened to calls and recordings and stuff when the Pro is just, maybe they’re, they’re not as excited they are, saying who they are, and, how can I help you, but just know, real enthusiasm to want to, super excited to hear from that homeowner and to know about their project, homeowners could not get that feeling. And that leads them to say, okay, maybe, I’ll talk to this person, they can come to my house, and maybe it’ll be different. But I’m also gonna get number two, I’ve heard that on recordings, where, versus listening to a recording versus when maybe a pro is not, had a second cup of coffee yet, versus a pro that has had, maybe three cups of coffee. Yeah, so I could say, like, on a phone call, with the same, with homeowners,
Ari: I’ve been in sales, and doing a sales podcast. So I love it, breathe it, sleep it, it is one of my passions. No one needs to be a genius to know that you need to build rapport. And the rapport is exactly what you’re describing. It’s so funny because pros think that reporter is just hey, this is who I am. This is what I do, and my professionalism. But in reality, this is what you’re describing. And that’s, I’ve experienced it in all aspects of sales, not just home services. , again, kids got to feel that you care. And if you’re not excited, you’re not interested. Yeah, that is critical. So that’s the feedback you’re hearing and I know, I’ve listened to many calls from you and we do also inbound leads. So we’ve heard, homeowners talking and interacting in a full conversation. And some are exceptional with it, and give that as I call it a warm and fuzzy feeling, caring to feel. And then there are others.
That’s, it’s super dry, the Sahara has more water than what these conversations have. And so what you’re saying is that it’s feedback also from homeowners when you guys are speaking to them, is that when, like, again, either they’ve hired someone, whether our person or not. And the report back is why they hired someone else, that’s a lot of what you’re hearing is that person gave me a feeling that the people cared. That’s just wanna make sure I’m understanding and hearing at all.
April: Absolutely. Another story is, about me, I recently just bought a house and had a lot of different types of work done in my home. And, I had, three to four different people coming out. And, there are some people that, we’re just, like, okay, like, very dry, but then there are also those people that came out that were super fun, super excited about my house, they loved it, and then they couldn’t, they had their visions for things that I was doing in my home. And that made me excited, because I’m such a visual person, and I love it. , and I love ideas and how we can make things great, So that’s the person that I went with. And, that person wasn’t the cheapest wasn’t, the most expensive, but they were pretty expensive. But I went with them because of, the feeling that connection I had with them.
Ari: They care about your project and your home and all that. And you mentioned that and that’s a, I don’t want to sit here and say this needs to be a number three on a top list of three. But I think we sort of lead into what number three is, which is, again, understanding what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about a homeowner, and in that term itself, and you just mentioned is like you care, it’s your home, you own it. Right? Yeah. So yeah, and I don’t want to put words into your mouth as a top three. And if that’s not the top three, there’s another third one you want to focus on, we could go in that direction. But it sounds like that is on its own. It’s a topic there on its own, which is say like understanding who the person is and how they feel. Can you elaborate maybe on that a bit, from what you’ve heard and your understanding? Again, as you said, you’re a brand new homeowner, and you’ve been through this, as you just said, will help you understand what those feelings are.
April: We have families, I have a family, I have children, I love them, they are my world and I’m a first-time homebuyer, and so, now I have this home. And I’m like, almost giddy about it, so I love, I love my house, I spend all my time here, And so that feeling of love, I need to know that someone else is going to care for it as I do.
Ari: That’d be a bit challenging. And I’ve learned, when those pros are excited and can give you ideas, give me ideas about the project, they’re going to land a lot more projects, unfortunately, three other pros for mine didn’t land it, because that care, that feeling, that bond wasn’t there like that they were the best fit for my project.
Ari: There are certain things, like family, there are certain things that are most important to people in life, and family, obviously is always at the top of the list, but it’s always right up there as either a one b if that means someone doesn’t have a family of their own, then it’s the only one is home. And that is your home, it’s where you live, and at the end of the day, there are emotions attached to it, it’s not your business, or yes, there might be some attachment to some emotions, but in my minimal attachment, it’s business, okay, either working, it’s not. But at the end of the day, this is your home, it’s a beautification, it’s how you feel, and there are emotions connected to it. And I believe that’s one of the biggest takeaways from like, all the stuff you’re sharing here. There are a lot of very helpful information tidbits, but at the end of the day, kind of understand who we’re talking to. And we’re talking to a homeowner. And if we’re just going about it as a business interaction, then that’s how they’re going to feel. And if we’re going about it as no understanding they’re human, this is what they care about and are passionate about love, many different emotions attached to it.
Again, we can relate to them on that level, that’s the report, and they can from a sales standpoint, that’s the name of the game, you build rapport. There are things that people buy on the service, they buy on the company, as well to trust an app, and they have never heard anyone say differently in sales people buy you, and then more than the product or service as a salesperson, or whoever’s representing that product. And at the end of the day, that is a report, if you’re not giving that warm and fuzzy feeling, you might have the best product, the best service in the world, and the best company behind you. But it doesn’t mean that they’re gonna get that product or service in their home, simply because you didn’t connect with them. And that’s a shame. Because, again, everyone’s losing, you’re losing as a pro, obviously, but that homeowner is missing out on the best service from the best company. And that’s really what becomes sad to me when you have a pro that is like that, and not understanding it. So I think that is invaluable information, understanding, and not just approach things as a business transaction, but rather as a human transaction. This is really, really very valuable stuff.
April: Yeah. And it’s really interesting, also, talking to these homeowners. I’ve built so much rapport with homeowners. And, as you mentioned earlier, I oversee our verification team, and our verification team builds a big rapport with them, too. And, they could be calling about a specific project, that they requested and confirm it. But it’s so amazing what report can do because my team could, they could also be talking to them and see that homeowners knew more than what they said.
That’s an opportunity that pros, when they’re following up, and, can’t get them right, yeah, they love the message, back to number one, still follow up because they might not, by calling or texting or emailing because that that that homeowner might need more than just, service a plumbing service is done, they might end up wanting all new pipes or some electrical work or new HVAC, you never know, of how much more you can get. And I say, for the pros aspect, they never gonna know like following up by text, email, phone calls and building that rapport. It might not it might be a small project in the beginning, but it could be a project for…
Ari: Referrals as well. Who you can refer to as the people that treated you well and got a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s exponential and hard to calculate, all the impacts it has, just want to make sure I summarize, for people here. We’ve talked about a bunch of things here, but all some very simple things, but before even doing a summary year, you mentioned something super interesting your age You’re at the end of the calls your team is on. And I know we’ve worked together and, I’ve had many meetings with you and understood the frustration sometimes or challenges that happen, within your team. And, when there are people that are making verifications, but are not with that warm and fuzzy feeling even on that alone, when you talk about reports, not just with the Pro or the contractor, it’s right there.
We know from that side alone, it is just the human nature of it, that people again, clam up, or they open up. And it is almost always in that warmth of how that call is being handled. And, we’ve coached people, obviously, all this for a reason. Because at the end of the day, it’s a human connection, regardless of whether it’s a verification, which is more quality assurance than anything else, or a pro calling to help them out. It’s all the same. I mean, we’re making the human connection. So I thought that was also a nice little extra thing at the end there when you mentioned that to say this is across the board. It’s not just hey, with pros, anyone is having a human connection with someone and especially with a home.
April: Those details when they’re on that call, whether the pro was on that call, or verifications on that call when you start asking those details about that project, that’s when that homeowner gets super excited when you’re asking those types of questions. Let’s go in on what are we doing, at your home, they really open up because they like to talk about it, and it comes back to the report. And they love it. They love their house and they want to talk about it.
Ari: 100% it is their baby. And that we get someone going, it’s like a wellspring of information. And people start opening up and talking, who knows where it goes. But, you got to be able to do the first part first. And that’s, again, I want just to make sure because we’re talking about different subjects, you’re making sure people understand and can digest some of this. Number one is never waiting for them to call you back is what I’m hearing, whether they’ve said they’re gonna call you back, or you left a message doesn’t matter.
You’ve got to be on the I’ll say aggressive side, not where you’re aggressive, and you’re calling nature but in terms of being on the offensive, we’re calling out, we’re not waiting for them to call in, or call us back follow through. And the reasons why just to put it in simple terms, human beings get busy, they get distracted, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to talk to you doesn’t mean they don’t want to have a chance to get an estimate.
It just means other stuff happens. That is why we’ve got to be diligent about following up, otherwise, they will use other resources. That’s the first thing that I know we heard the other pieces that really all tied together and it’s almost like a to a and B to a degree it but it’s about building rapport and understanding the homeowner who they are, what their needs are they care they need to be cared for. They need to have that connection with someone that feels that they care about their most important prized possession, their home. And again, that building a rapport, all those other wonderful things that it leads to that we’ve just, obviously discussed and covered quite a few things.
So again, awesome, awesome information do appreciate you taking the time out to join and, go over things from a different perspective, from what we normally are focused on here on the podcast. But I also want to thank our listeners for listening to the X Factor, A Home Pro Sales podcast, I hope that it brings you value and helps you take your sales game to the next level.
Be sure to subscribe so that we can catch the next episode. You’re able to do that here with your action items as a listener, wherever you are listening right now just hit the subscribe button that way you catch the next episode. You can always follow us on Instagram and on LinkedIn @conXpros. And if you didn’t catch that, check out the description for all the social media links. And if you have any questions shoot us an email we’d love to help you out: email@example.com Again, thanks for tuning in, and happy hunting!