In this episode, Ari Greenbaum interviews Dave Hansen of ClientTether, as they talk about how to effectively use a CRM to meet your sales goals.
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Ari: Welcome to The X Factor, a home pro sales podcast 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 sales experts in the industry. Before we get into today’s episode, just a little housekeeping. If you could rate us on Apple Podcasts, that purple icon, give us a five-star rating, leave a review, and let us know you’re enjoying the podcast. We’d love the feedback.
So today we’re gonna be talking about a very important topic. Not that any topic we’ve discussed here is not important, but there’s one thing to prospect but then there’s a whole other thing to nurture, contact prospective clients, and develop them into actual clients. So I am honored to have a guest today that I am very fond of personally and also have worked together on a business level—a true expert— especially on this aspect of the sales process. So I’ll let Dave introduce himself. But Dave Hansen of Client Tether, the president of Client Tether is our guest today. And I am really honored to have you today. Take it away and introduce yourself. Tell us a little about who you are.
Dave: Sure. All right. Yeah. Well, I appreciate you inviting me onto the podcast. And, and since you’ve done it, I’m going to do it too. Just we’ve had a great partnership with conXpros. And I think you’re the right guy for this podcast. So hope you guys are listening in, or listening to next episodes because Ari knows the industry from every angle, which is why I appreciate the chance to speak on sales and strategy and things like that. So by way of introduction, you’re welcome. I grew up kind of Midwest guy been in tech and sales for a long time. First sales job I was self-employed at five going door to door. That’s a funny story. But I will skip that in this podcast.
Ari: But down the road, we can talk about door-to-door stuff. Always a fun thing to do.
Dave: So I run a company called Client Tether. And we were built by a gentleman that founded multiple franchise home service business models, five-star painting Painter One— he’s coached and grown a ton of different businesses. And so built our whole platform as a way to address a lot of the issues he saw in the industry—people weren’t following up on leads, it was hard to get in touch with them. CRMs were too complex for typical home service companies and no one wanted to use them, they’re a pain in the butt. So that’s kind of the origin story of Client Tether. And we work with, you know, hundreds and hundreds of home service companies, franchise systems, and do a lot of coaching personally, I’ve been a sales consultant, run a lot of sales departments. And, and we help a lot of folks to really increase their lead conversion. So hopefully that helps as a kind of an intro for me.
Ari: That’s fantastic. And I’ll further plug Client Tether. I don’t mind the shameless plugs, it’s okay. Again, we’ve referred many clients over the client to others, we do believe strongly in what Dave’s system does offer to our clients as far as Home Improvement pros. So I know it firsthand, myself and through our clients experiences and knowing how powerful it is. So there’s if this is the topic, I felt there was no one better than someone that is the president of a company that has a home improvement-focused CRM system that is built for contracting pros. So to understand this at the highest level, so maybe before we even get into it. Some people here might not even understand what a CRM truly is. Do you mind just helping on the basic level? People understand that? And then obviously, we get into the details in the juicy part of the conversation.
Dave: Yeah, I love that, of course. And in fact, it’s good to ask this question, because more and more, you’re being a sales automation and CRM platform like I see a lot of platforms are like, “Oh, we’re a CRM,” and I was like, “You’re a Trello board, like how are you a CRM?” But it’s pretty common for people to say, well, because you can store some records in our platform… Now we’re a CRM. Let’s talk about what this means. And I distinguish but I don’t mean to demean anybody.
A CRM is a record management system where you not only keep track of like contact information, but it should be a productivity tool that helps your organization scale. What I mean by that is, you know, it should be the tool that you receive leads through and start to engage those leads from the get go. So you can scale your conversion rates and your schedule rates and then should be a tool that helps you follow up with leads to close more deals. Once you’ve issued a quote or delivered an estimate to a client should also be a tool that helps you continually engage your customers post-sell, or after you lose a deal to try to get them in the door or to try to get them in the door again, or to try to get a referral from them.
The CRM should be the hub of your client engagement process and the home service space. That’s that’s an area where a lot of folks kind of struggle They do a great service and deliver it. I have hardly met any service pros that don’t do a good job at their craft. But running the business side of things— this is where CRMs really have their have an important role.
Ari: So diving right into that—on the topic of sales, and the CRM is not only for sales, there’s other aspects of it, too. But how do you see that fitting in? And you mentioned a couple of things, whether it’s texting, emailing, but how do you see that in the sales process being almost an essential piece of it at this point, and how it differentiates from people doing this manually or on their own and just trying to hold it together? You know, what is your experience has been, and why it’s so beneficial to everybody, not just large companies, but even an owner-operator?
Dave: Oh, yeah, it’s especially important to owner-operators. Here’s a challenge that I’ve seen is a lot of people think of CRMs as salesforce.com. It’s a great CRM—I’ve been an admin of that platform for about a decade in different different companies that I’ve helped run. However, in the home service space, it’s a totally misfit tool. That’s like saying, “I’m driving smart car to the truck rally,” like, come on. That’s a terrible metaphor but the point stands. They’re both vehicles, but you’re not going to try to tow a trailer with a smart car, you need to go get a Duramax or your RAM or something and haul it with something that’s designed for it.
So even in the CRM space that a lot of, I’ve seen Home Service Pros cringe when you say CRM, because they hear expense, and they hear complexity that’s not going to fit my business. And so you’re truly what was a CRM done, right, it should be an X factor, (we’re gonna play off of the podcast name a little bit), meaning it should be a multiple of the human input, right?
So I’m, I’m a sales guy, the leads are coming in most Home Service Pros, they’re getting leads out of their inbox that comes in from, you know, from conXpros from whatever lead source or website they’re getting leads from, and within a couple of hours, they’ve seen the lead, then they manually follow up with the lead the CRM in our place. In our case, we’re also a sales automation platform coupled with the CRM, there should be we should be able to create scale, and systematize processes that and then get analytics to see what’s working, what’s not, and then give you the ability to do engagement with your clients at scale. That’s what a CRM should be accomplishing for you. And if it’s not, throw that thing away.
Ari: How does it do that? That’s the key. A lot of people, you know, maybe just like you said, understand the CRM is just a nice way to manage, you know, their client data. But you know, how do these things work? I mean, obviously, every CRM is different. And you know, every system is going to be different. But you know, in general, if someone was going to put this into work into action for them, what would be the key components are looking forward to CRM, to make sure they’re really moving that sale along the process, doing it with best practices, et cetera?
Dave: Good question. So I’ll get really granular. The first thing conceptually is your CRM should be easy to use, right, but let’s just talk about that. It’s got to be anybody, you know, your front desk gal, or guy, your technicians use the owner, your spouse, if she’s helping with the business, whoever’s involved in the business, right, they should all be able to understand what’s happening and operate and perform functions in this era, without needing, you know, 40 hours of training and, and that’s what scares people about CRM. It doesn’t need to be that way.
But let’s talk about tactically what you do. And let’s just start there are three main buckets of client engagement, the way I look at it, there’s initial lead engagement, there’s, you know, conversion of getting them to buy. And then there’s also like, what happens after they buy they have what’s my retention strategy, my ongoing nurturing campaign? So that when you talk about effective sales in general, and this is regardless of CRM, you need to have a very rapid lead engagement strategy, right? You should be touching every lead that comes through your door.
Ari: Time to market is what I’m hearing. I mean, that’s the central piece here, the longer you wait every second that goes by, I mean, I’ve had many conversations or blog posts in my time about speed to lead. So that’s what you’re talking about here is the quickness someone can respond.
Dave: Yeah. So you guys are experts in lead generation. You get the lead hot—you hand it off to a pro that’s saying, “hey, I need this kind of a lead.” And if that pro sits on it for more than five minutes or they wait 10 minutes there… their likelihood of actually getting that person on the phone and converting them to a scheduled appointment drops to the floor , like a 10x drop. And so it’s all about the speed to the lead, to preach in your terms. I say the same thing. That’s crucial at this stage of the engagement. There are two reasons.
If I’m the lead, let’s say I am a homeowner. So let’s say I need to go I want to get my yard work done. I need somebody to read the landscape of my backyard. Once I’ve decided I want to do that project have already done all the research. Google talks about this as the zero moment of truth. Today in the economy of information, everyone’s done their research and they know kind of what they want. They’ve already found the Floor Planner who does the designs on Pinterest and now they’re just trying to find somebody who they feel they can trust to do it. And so, because of that, though, usually if I’m looking for a landscaper, or a rock wall guy, I’m going to have three to four people I reach out to.
So rule number one in converting and closing deals is, usually, it’s over 50%-60%, of what predicts who wins the deal is who gets there first in-home services. I’m sure you’ve preached that same doctrine.
Ari: I experienced that firsthand as a contractor, so I know, all too well.
Dave: Yeah. And so because I’ve already made a decision; I want to do a project. Generally, in some sectors, there’s a lot more tire kicking, but for those who are going to buy, this is the predictor. And so but I’ve also because I’m a savvy consumer, and more and more, the homeowners are younger and younger now, which means now millennials and people that that are there, the group and tech to sell they do. So they’ve gotten, they fill out four forms, and then hopefully somebody gets back to them first. So you’ve got to be first to it, if at all possible. And you’ve also got to stand up, you’ve got to do something to differentiate yourself. And I’ll tell you, the thing that differentiates our clients over their peers and their competitors, is the way they engage. If you can be the person that engages them on a medium where they want to talk and provide value, you’re going to win the deal more often than not. You also get that scheduled appointment.
If you’re in an industry where you need to be doing a quote and official quote on-site, stage one, get that appointment set right away as soon as possible. Stage two: get there on-site and give them a quote. And stage three is trying to get them to sign an approval while you’re there. And if not follow up with that quote, because all of these little things are things your peers are not doing well. And so if you can just be the one that communicates better than everyone else, I promise a huge impact on on your reputation on happiness of your customers, and also on your close rates.
Ari: 100%. So so the importance of the CRM and coming into play in that process is that and, correct me if I’m wrong, is more the automation, or accountability is a better term for it. Of… Having these functionalities, like you said multiple media’s reaching out to someone. So a CRM then can reach out and multimedia fashions whether like you said before text, email, and then even a phone call. So you could really hit all bases. So that’s really where the CRM comes to play is more like if I’m hearing correctly, accountability. To make sure this happens, versus doing it manually, where everyone’s a human being, there ain’t no robots out there. And the reality is, it’s never going to be exactly the same and perfectly scheduled. So that is really what you’re hammering home as far as the CRM and the enablement side of it.
Dave: Yeah, that was a meandering path. To answer your question, to be crystal clear on it now is a need to define this process to deliver consistent results. And just to your point, because we’re humans, we don’t. So you need a system that’s going to enforce it and automate as much as possible so that you can consistently deliver, this service package of engagement that you really need to have defined. And also the accountability factor, you need to have a system that shows you know, the communications and the not because you need to hold everyone accountable. Like did you call in five minutes, but because you didn’t know when you talk to Mrs. Richard or Bob— what was that conversation about? And when my technician Steve shows up to you to help service the deal… Do we have proper record keeping, so we didn’t lose something in translation and show up and paint the wall green rather than blue and then tick somebody off?
Ari: So a CRM is not only the sales, there’s also a client experience factor as well because this ties the whole company together. If it’s not the salespeople doing the work? In most cases, it’s not the case.
Dave: Yeah. 100%. That’s exactly right.
Ari: Yeah. Makes it makes a lot of sense. So, and again, obviously, this is all sales, you know, I don’t want to have you give the secret sauce, because you guys have your own formula. What best practices would you recommend to clients? Is there a certain formula that you can recommend, as far as a boilerplate when using a CRM? So to speak, on things like how frequently to text. Many salespeople overkill the texts as well as emails. You can hit someone and bombard them or do it the right way. Any advice you’d have for folks based on the 10s of 1000s, probably hundreds of 1000s of leads, you guys have processed, if not millions? You have a lot of data at your disposal. So I would love to know that and I’m sure our listeners, that’s a really valuable tool.
Dave: 100%. Happy to share. In fact, it’s funny because the secret sauce shifts a little bit. So let me talk about a concept and then we’ll get into some specific examples of what I’ve seen work super well, and it’s not 100% universal, it depends upon these things.
So one, the immediacy of the service changes things a little bit. For example, restoration companies, plumbers in winter or summer peak, right? When they’re when there’s a service needed in any of those spaces. You better be on it quick. So there’s an expectancy from that lead source, that person the homeowner who’s reaching out saying, “Hey, I’ve got my water heater, it just blew up, and my basement is flooded.” If you’re gonna text them three times in the next 20 minutes, they wouldn’t be ticked about that. That’s okay. Because there’s kind of a social and unwritten social contract that hey, I’ve got urgency. It’s okay that you urgently contact me. But if I’m a landscaper, right, if I got a lead for a landscaping group, like nobody has an urgent landscaping need. Maybe there is one out there, right?
Ari: Maybe give me the July 4 party. It’s not happening. I mean, they’re putting the lead for July 3, they needed it now. Full sod installation they needed all.
Dave: Right, but you know, but you’re being a little facetious, but be right, it would be inappropriate to have a cadence is that aggressive? Right? But in less than, let’s say, kind of a middle-of-the-road like painting, not necessarily an urgent need ever for painting services. However, it’s okay. It’s okay to be somewhat assertive, but not overly aggressive.
Ari: That’s a huge point, Dave, I love what you’re sharing. This is huge. I don’t think a lot of people do they just take a blanket thing, they read an article, or whatever it is, okay, this is the cadence, just do this. But what you’re sharing is immensely insightful. When you’re talking about a service. There’s more of an urgency, as you said, they’re not going to be upset with the rapid-fire. I never even like really correlated that myself. And that’s fantastic. Because it does make sense, you know, a guy looking to put a roof on his house. You know, it’s not because it’s leaking or just got torn off. And he has nothing other than a tarp. Okay, yeah, it’s like, it’s gonna have to happen tomorrow, you know. So there’s a process like you’re saying, and the bombardment could turn them off. That’s really cool. Cool insights.
Dave: And let’s get more let’s get a bit deeper, though already began, I appreciate that. The only, I think, to your rule about roofing is if you’re a storm chaser and you’re in like a hurricane path. Pretty high urgency.
Ari: They’re very competitive as well.
Dave: Yes. Exactly, exactly. So but let’s talk about now, general cadence is like, what do we see work the best. And this is where to be real frank, I’ll be a little self-promoting here. Most platforms can be jammed, right, they can email follow-up. And then they give you a reminder, maybe you’re a task. But what we have found because we built in automated texting and calling and emailing and task reminders, and even send a box of brownies in the mail Jiwon.
But what we find is there’s synergy across the different media. And this is an example. A general engagement for day one of the lead is immediate email with information link to book an appointment. If you have something like that if you don’t go get Calendly guys and like have Calendly connected to your calendar. So anyone who gets your email, if they see it, can book an appointment. This is especially important for like after hour leads that come through where they actually might read your email, you shouldn’t be texting them at 11 o’clock at night when they fill out that form, right. So if you do texting automation in some other way, with plugins or add ons, you better but you got to make sure it’s got the ability to control business hour communications, but that’s a topic for another day.
So an immediate email a text within about two minutes. And I say two minutes, because not immediately only because it now it’s a little bit more human. Like if I fill out a lead form, and I get a text within 10 seconds. I know it’s automated. And I know I’m dealing with a robotic process, maybe even a chatbot of some kind. And that turns me off a little bit. So what I found is immediate email two minutes later send out a personalized text message. That’s simple. And you have to if you’re texting for business brief, brief TCPA plug here, you have to be compliant with certain things.
But if you’re doing your own lead gen, I bet you 80% of the pros out there do not have opt-in language on their website forms. And I have to correct them every time I work with them that no, no, but that there are you can’t be texting them. Period. Not even manually. Hey, Bob, it’s Jimmy. You can’t be strong on it. That’s for sure. And if you’re in Canada, the castle laws are pretty similar. So but let’s talk about what’s next.
So assuming you’ve got all that in place, text after two minutes and then make the phone ring you need to be on the phone at four minutes. That is the ideal time. About within about two minutes, about 80 to 90% of all text messages are read. We also have this market shifted the last couple of years that Apple has been pushing it Google has been pushing this Do Not Disturb anti-Robo dialer or spammy call think well, what it does, technically is if that person’s contact record is not in your contacts on your phone, then it’ll automatically move it to voicemail. This is obnoxious and at least half the country is doing it may be more maybe like two-thirds. So they fill out a form saying I need you to come and give me a call on my roof. You call them back in a timely manner. Go straight to voicemail. They have no idea who you are, because I’ve never seen your phone number before. A day or two later they might hear the voicemail is that oh shoot I should probably call them or you go to voicemail. If it’s a millennial, their voice inboxes freakin’ full because that’s the thing that they do. And then and then you claim you’ve got nothing.
So it’s important to text first because even if it does go to voicemail, they’ll know who you are. As soon as they see the phone call come through like oh, he just texted me and they’ll actually call you back.
Ari: So letting them know, “Hey, we’re a real company, we’re gonna be calling you.” A little bit more recognition on that phone call when it does come. So that sequence of text then call is a critical piece.
Dave: Yeah. Now we get into nurturing right, like a little bit of initial engagement and nurturing a lot of the folks I work with some of the painters and the others, like, it’ll be you know, that kind of a sequence. And then it’ll be maybe a 30-minute phone call, like a later there’ll be a phone call or a reminder to call, same day, it’s reasonable to call. “Hey, you’ve reached out to me and said you want my services. I tried to reach out to you gave him 15 minutes to half an hour. I reached out to you again.”I f somebody’s frustrated with you because of that, I would find a new client, right?
Ari: Yeah, not everyone’s the right client.
Dave: Yeah, not everyone’s my right client either.
Ari: Yeah,it is what it is. But what I’m hearing is obviously, staying persistent, but not overdoing. And that’s where I get the feeling. Sometimes you’re overdoing it with certain categories and task types. So is there a limit? Like how frequently I mean, obviously, you said on the initial engagement, that first day, that’s the most critical day getting contacted. But like on day two or beyond, you still have this kind of engagement?
Dave: Oh, 100%. In fact, that’s where you kind of shift from initial engagement into nurturing. And nurturing is an important part of the process. I’ve seen stats that show if, if you are if you have an effective nurturing program in place, you can close 33% more deals from your lead flow with half the costs. And I think I’ve seen data that would validate that that’s the case.
But let’s talk about what nurturing is— because nurturing is providing value first and foremost, and staying in touch with the customer. And I’m gonna say it that way, one more time, because most people think of nurturing as, “hey, I’m just checking in, hey, I’m just checking in, hey, do you want me to come by your house? Hey, you asked that question.” But if you do it right, and you want to, you want to be perceived as a professional, not just some dude, some truck in a truck that’s going to come in swinging a hammer at your house. Like, it’ll make you stand out.
If you the next morning, you shouldn’t have a follow-up text. I usually go by 8:15 in the morning, and send out a quick text. “Hey, it’s Dave. Sorry, I missed you yesterday. Have you got time to talk today?” A very human simple text. And then I might have a reminder show up. So I remember to call them at some point during the day when I’m when I’ve got a minute. And then the next day, I might send out an email. “Hey, it’s Dave, a couple of things you may not know,…” You know, if you’re especially in the south, like a lot of folks do, “you start getting that black stain on your roof, that’s actually something that’s going to start deteriorating your asphalt shingles if you start to see stuff like that, or the drips down the side of the house.”
Ari: An educational message coming along with it.
Dave: That’s exactly right. Here’s the purpose, right? One, you want to be perceived as an expert by your client trust is the currency of exchanges, right? So they trust you. It’s like, oh, I didn’t know that about my house, or I don’t have that problem. But I’m glad he said that. My dad’s house is like that, you start giving them really practical advice or coaching them on things that are relevant to the services they’re probably trying to buy from you. Now you’re in a position where, let’s say you’re a plumber, hey, just you know, the average lifespan of a hot water heater is about 15 years, I’m making this up by the way you plumbers all know better than I do. But if you’re older than that, you know, when we come by to do services, another thing, whatever you need help with. And let’s take a look at that. If they’re a little older, just I can give you an idea of how much time they might have left. If you start giving them tips and also inserting that I don’t know if you caught that a subtle service upsell maintenance package like—
Ari: Planting the seeds. That’s for sure.
Dave: You got to do you’re welcome to ask for the action, right? Like, hey, let’s schedule some time. When can I come by your house? Click on the link below and book some time with me. That’s a totally professional, reasonable email. And no one’s going to be annoyed by that email. But if my email in the inverse is “Hey, Steve, I haven’t heard from you yet. Yeah, give me a call. “Like if you just ask to ask you don’t give like, it doesn’t work so well.
Ari: And like I’ve been in sales a long time and I’ve preached to many people sales is all about giving. It’s not about taking it what can you give to someone? How can you help them? And that’s right in line with that mentality of just giving and pouring out to someone and helping them achieve whatever they need. I’m serious initially. And as I started getting into calling and nurturing already, you know where it’s getting past that first day. You know, that’s still almost falling into you know, they still make initial contact with songs. We haven’t reached that really connected yet. But the term nurture as well.
And that’s where, you know, I think a lot of people, at least from my own knowledge, miss the value of what a CRM can bring, because the human and I’ve done it myself without a CRM, we’re not going to follow up to three months, six months a year down the road and nurture are something we have a lot of other things that are more relevant pressing right now to attack. So I know you’ve mentioned the word nurturing and I just want to make sure we’re not missing that piece of this because to me, that’s a huge piece of the puzzle of the long-term nurture. But also, what have you seen? I mean, have you seen, like certain metrics to just indicate, you know, for every ten, every 100, you know, long term nurtures, how many converts is being done correctly, you know, with a CRM with a trickle, because at the end of the day, that’s business and a lot of guys, I believe, just toss away business when it’s not an immediate project to do. Not important. But there is value, I mean, a tremendous value there. So can you speak on that at all?
Dave: Yeah, I’ve got a little bit of data from a recent pilot we did with somebody. I don’t have it open right here. But I know the gist of it. So and this is with someone who was, was reengaging deadly, there’s a stack of dead leads. And it was a small pilot, she said, “hey, I want to do I just wanted to go to 40 old leads that are dead as a doornail. And I want to nurture them, I want to try to revive them.”
Ari: And this is just a hot tip from Dave, guys. Everyone has been in business for over a year, what’s your close rate on those leads?
Dave: Usually, you’re probably in like the 10%-15% of your pretty good close, right? Overall of leads coming in. If you’re 5% or below, we got a lot of work to do.
But that means 85 to 95% of all of the leads that you paid for, through digital marketing or through conXpros who had a need, haven’t bought from you. And some of them were bought from somebody else. And some of them didn’t buy it all because they got a quote from somebody that scared them or, you know, the kid was sick and had to spend money on someone else or something about a motorcycle, right? Whatever their reasons why money problems, get in the way, if I got a roof problem, my house doesn’t heal itself, that roof problem is still there. So I got a plumbing problem. Plumbing problems are still there. So I guess the point is old leads are a goldmine.
Those are people who have expressed interest and have a need for your service. And it didn’t go anywhere yet. And so you can just take those leads, all your conXpros leads, and start re-engaging those leads. And I’ll get to answer your question in a second, I promise sorry. And you can create tons of net new revenue out of that. And there’s more. And now this is just a quick tip from the day.
Employment is freaking hard right now to get people to come work for you to get people to apply. But you can do the same thing with old applicants, old employees, you got openings, I can’t need someone to come and help me cut down trees, open up your list of everyone who’s ever applied, drop them in a nurturing sequence and engage them and I’ve had people do things like that. And let’s talk about results. So on the employment side, I had somebody who did that. And then like 27 qualified candidates apply in like 24 hours. And they hadn’t had that many people apply that were qualified and like the last six months,
Ari: It’s a big problem for most guys in home improvement that run teams is finding qualified new help, right?
Dave: Yes. On the lead nurturing side— let’s talk about that. So this gal that we did this, this project with, she affordably she wanted to do small tests, and of those leads, and she was actually selling franchises.
Ari: So this is not home services. But these are harder sales guys, they’re like one higher dollar value.
Dave: Yeah, so off the industry metric average for people that have crappy CRMs that pull the data together, I’ll just say that it’s like one and 100 to one and 200 will actually buy. Can you imagine about 1%, or half a percent lead, the lead close rate on your investment? It’s tough. So here’s the deal, we took 40 leads, and dropped them into a re-engagement campaign. And one of them she had one person buy, she’s already almost 2x, the industry average from net new leads was her old dead limbs, right. And she had, in the first 60 days, she had closed one, which is a fast close, by the way. And she had like two people that were in the final stages of reviewing contracts. And she had like four people that were highly engaged and interested in the process and like another dozen people that she had had meaningful conversations with and disqualified in the 60 days.
Ari: If my memory serves me, we’re somewhere around 45 to 50% was in contact with which is massive. And then out of that converting one for sure. Others that are a contract already with others. That’s pretty impressive on by like an 8% of those dudes come through an 8% conversion rate, not just a conversation. That’s fantastic. So this is something you’ve seen, just with this, because I mean, you guys work a lot of Home Improvement pros, you see this in the home improvement space as well, that long term nurture, maybe not that that kind of an extreme result, but that’s massive. But you know, even out of every 100, there’s only one or two that trickle through it and spend money, so to speak.
Dave: Yeah, and this is the thing that’s a sunk cost for you, right, like you’ve already spent the money on the lead, but people undervalue the value of this database of their building of contacts that are interested in their service. So it’s usually a higher rate, to be honest with you in home services.
Here’s the thing. Seasonality affects a lot of these businesses. If you’re a painting company, you do exterior work and landscaping and you’re above the Mason Dixon Line, right? You’re gonna start getting cold weather and you’re gonna lose some of your work. Right, Shawn? So seasonal reengagement strategies? Homeruns, like, I see a lot of success with that I coach people on that just nurturing leads. And here’s an example of that first contact lead sequence, we’re just talking about, like, how do I get in front of these people? How do I systematize? We didn’t even talk about the flow.
But I usually recommend a two-week engagement, right. And then after that, I recommend you put them into about a 12-month engagement, where you slow down the pace, you’re not going to reach them every day, every other day, it’s gonna be about once a week for the first couple of weeks, and then you go to every other week, and then you go to once a month, and you go to every other month, and by the end of the year, you’ve probably contacted them 15 times, at the end of the year, at most. And what happens though, is you’re providing value, you’re giving them tips and tricks, you’re educating them about your other services. And some time along the way, someone’s gonna say, oh, we need to get that roof done. I’m calling Dave, because Dave has been messaging me, in front of me, rather than letting Google find a roofing guy. Because that’s what people do if you don’t stay in touch with them.
Ari: So I love it. Because again, I always believe a lead is never dead until it’s dead. You know, I love the idea of nurturing. And I know so many people do let these things go by the wayside if it’s not an immediate response or immediate return. And I know the value as I’ve seen it from clients, but I can only imagine you have so much more insight into that, based on the volume of people, you see the same exact thing. And the people that are not doing it. They’re not the ones that are going to get hired when it’s time to get hired. It’s the ones that are in touch, that have a care about the person’s business and show that it makes a big statement. Kind of getting is there are other things that you would share another get, I think we have some unbelievable gems here already, and some really juicy information that people can really get out and apply and put into action, which is fantastic. Are there other things that you would say, the tie to a CRM or that process that are just super important that we haven’t covered? Just to make sure that people you know, have the meat and potatoes?
Dave: Yeah, let me share one more tip—this time of year is tax season, right? This is where a lot of like, not necessary, and even necessary repairs get done, because cash happens for average Americans, right? So this is the value of having a CRM guys, is you should be going back to everybody this time of year that you haven’t done business with already. And you should be messaging them about taxes like, “hey, it’s tax season. I know we didn’t get to work together before. Did you find someone else to do the project? Or is that still lingering and something that you might want to get booked once your tax return comes in?”
Super reasonable message, but guess how many people are actually thinking about it right now? And they’re like, “Oh, that’s right. I shouldn’t buy that four-wheeler, I should probably fix my roof right like that.” You’d be surprised how I’m how amnesia settles in when they’ve got a home improvement project that needs to be done.
But this is how you stir up business. If you’re like a business that does things that are seasonal, you got it. You got to be using your CRM to find the cluster of people and filter down to who needs to be messaged and then send out a text to 100 people and ask them if they’re ready for the gutters to get cleaned this year. And all you’d be shocked how many people respond to that even if they never bought from you before like “yeah, actually, I need you to come to my downspout you’ve been telling me about my downspouts flooding my basement. Please come out.” And like these are the conversations we can create by having a systematic process of follow-up nurturing campaigns and then doing timely and contextualized follow-ups through individual pushes emails, texts, even phone call campaigns. But if you don’t have a system of record, like a CRM, and data about those clients, then good luck.
Ari: Yeah, exactly. You’re not gonna get there.
Dave: And I know, I know that our podcast here is focused on sales. That’s the main topic. But there is some other piece of client nurturing, not prospect nurturing, that also comes into play that I think we will be doing people a disservice not to mention because at the end of the day, a lot of people to work for a client, and then forget about them. I do have a lot of clients with us. And I’m sure you have very similar that nurture their clients that are existing clients, and the unbelievable opportunities, it opens up that long, keeping them on a newsletter, a monthly newsletter, just any little bits of information, you’re relevant to them. So when someone asks him for a referral, who’s top of mind when they have another need, and especially some of these trades, you mentioned seasonality, some of these trades, I mean, they might go back to do work for them. But if the person didn’t pick up the phone to call them directly, why not be front and center to them? Hey, it’s seasonal summers that come in, let’s get the AC tuned up. You know, just reminding you about a CRM can enable all this.
Ari: So for a small business owner, that’s really where I was heading. It doesn’t have a team of people and a huge marketing department that can really manage these things. This is what the power of a CRM is to someone like them. They have an entire team at their disposal in one resource, as he said a one-stop-shop and that’s I don’t want to just say that. I mean, I want to make sure that I’m out Here’s what I’m suggesting. I do know from my experience, but uh, you probably have a lot more than I do in that area.
Dave: You’re spot on Ari. This is we talked about the three sections of a customer lifecycle. We’ve talked a lot about initial lead engagement, even nurturing post-quote. I mean, if you’re not doing an initial nurturing post-quote, your close rate is probably half of what it should be. But post engagement is so often forgotten. And so most people tend to kind of just forget about it, as you mentioned. But if you have a systematic way, that where you’re following up with a customer telling them to thank you after the sale, asking them for you online, then asking them a little bit later, maybe two weeks later for a referral, and then letting them know how much if you have a referral program, then telling them about other services that you provide?
Asking them a month, two months later, how is the paint job looking? Oh, three months later, here’s a tip about how to maintain interior paint jobs. You can wash the walls, with a little bit of vinegar, ammonia, and water. And that will preserve the paint and not give any discoloration effect. Like these things that you do keep you in front of people. You want to stay relevant but not in their face, right? And then you also educate them about other services you do. Most businesses— an HVAC guy— they do more than just replace furnaces, they can do extend ductwork, they can turn up the outside compressor like they can do a lot of cleaning.
Ari: Yeah, there are tons, tons of actions without a doubt, that say I want to make sure we weren’t not leaving that stone unturned. Even though we’re supposed to focus more on sales, it does tie to sales. At the end of the day. I mean, more reviews are more social proof. That’s again, helping your sales, all these things tie together. So that nurturing to get the review is referrals, that’s more sales. Again, there’s so much value in a single lead over the real lifetime of that lead. And that’s what I’m really understanding here when you use a CRM because then you have the power to accomplish it. There is a lot of juicy, juicy stuff here and really valuable tools for folks. Again, I mean, I could easily summarize myself, because I’ve loved the conversation. But if you were to summarize, yeah, like, what are the key takeaways, you know, for someone that’s listening to talk about a lot of things here over the time. The key takeaways for someone say, hey, I need to go do this. What would those be? Did you get to say your top three takeaways?
Dave: Yeah, I would say, one, you have to have a system of record, no matter what, and spreadsheets don’t cut it guys, like get out of spreadsheets, get a tool is built for your industry that can help you organize and take action upon your data. That’s step one. Step two, you really do need to have omnichannel communication through your platform, if at all possible, because emails are kind of dead. And quick tip, use video in your emails where we can talk about and another one, right, if you’re not using video engagement, your emails, your emails suck, and everyone knows it, and no one’s reading them. So so get creative and use multimedia there. But omnichannel communication, email, phone call text, there’s synergy across those three, and there have to be built into the right cadence.
So if you need the right balance of when to communicate, how to communicate, make sure you’re giving, giving value, give, give, give take, that’s kind of the pattern I try to teach our clients. And then the third thing is, is don’t underestimate the value of your dead leads and nurturing and nurturing old clients like staying in front of people, providing them value over time, whether or not they bought from you or they have or haven’t, those folks will engage with you in different ways. Never be afraid to ask for referrals. Some people will give one refer, I can’t remember the data. But it’s like, like, like 60% of your clients will give you a referral if you ask them. And there’s like 30% of them that will give you you know, two or three. And there’s like this, this numbers like 11% of all your leads, all your clients they’ll get are sorry, 6% will give you up to 11 referrals if you just ask them because they’re thrilled there’s a lot of business so that’s the highest, the highest close ratio of a lead, you can anyway even better than connects pro referrals and zero cost 100% Free lead that’s going to close better than any other lead money can buy your demo if you’re not if you don’t have a referral program—
Ari: I always refer to referrals is like throwing a layup with Shaquille O’Neal. It’s almost guaranteed to convert.
Dave: 100%. Anything you’d add to that already? Did I miss any key points?
Ari: I think just the simplicity of it. There is power of being able to do what so many people would have to do for your organization in such an easy way. I really thank God technology is there and can enable us to be professional and be exceptional in our sales processes. If we’re not using it, why spend the money on people to do it if you’re doing it manually when you don’t need to? If you’re not doing it at all, what are you waiting for,? You know, so that’s the message that I think is the most important here’s how easy it is, and again I know we’re not here to get the pricing or any of CRMs. But these are affordable. I mean, we talked about, especially on the grand scale of things. In business, it’s rare, that you can’t find a CRM to meet your needs within a price point, as well. And as time goes by, you can always upgrade if you know that is necessary.
So I think that everything here is fantastic takeaways, but the ones you highlighted and just that little simplistic piece of just how important a CRM is, and its value of it. Most people just don’t understand and think of it as an expense. But if you realize what you’re getting in return and really understand the inner workings, the nuances of it. And it’s a goldmine like you said, and in many, many facets of all these so I really appreciate it, Dave, I mean, this is fantastic having you as a guest because I love you and talking to you, but some of the stuff you shared is fantastic and I really hope it does help people to better their game you know, whether with clients whether with a different system, as you know about me and about the podcast, it’s about helping people be better at what they do, and the more people we can help fantastic I appreciate joining that effort and giving some awesome expert advice here.
I also want to thank our listeners, you know, thank you for listening to the X-Factor. It’s Home pros sales podcast. I do hope that it brings you value and helps you to take your sales game to the next level as I mentioned earlier, show us some love hey be sure to subscribe. You know make sure that you punch that little button saying you love us and send us a message we’d love here and it’s but again if you want to still have questions shoot us an email we can be reached at Learn more at conxpros.com quickly that’s email@example.com and appreciate you tuning in and wishing you success.