In this episode, Ari Greenbaum interviews Rachel Free, Director of Account Management at conXpros. They discuss how they can drive success with leads online with sales process, approach, and delivery tips!
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Ari: Hey, 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 web-driven leads, and most importantly 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 I even get started with any of the housekeeping just a quick apology, we are in the middle of allergy season, hot and heavy down here in Atlanta. So if you hear a couple of sniffles along the way, just want to apologize in advance for the poor audio. But you know, little housekeeping here, if you can give us some love, show us some love on Apple podcast, yeah, little purple icon, give us a five-star rating, leave a review, hey, let us know you’re enjoying the podcast. We’d love that feedback.
Again, today, we’re gonna be focusing on a different topic than we’ve done previously. In the past, every guest that I’ve had has either been a client of our service that is killing it on their web-driven leads, or someone that works within the industry as a sales expert. I took a shift today and felt this would be very beneficial, especially to people that are running web-driven leads or getting web-based inquiries into them.
So I decided to have someone internally here at conXpros. So I want to introduce to you our guest today, her name is Rachel Free, she is the director of Account Management here at conXpros. So just want to let Rachel introduce herself a little bit. And yeah, we’re gonna be focusing on maximizing success with web-driven leads and inquiries, and no one better than that than Rachel herself. So Rachel, tell me a little about yourself. And we can get into the conversation after that.
Rachel: Perfect. Hi, my name is Rachel. I’m the director of Account Management here at conXpros. I started lead verification with the company. So I think that I’m very thankful to be on this podcast, because I have a lot of insight on both calling the leads, reaching out to them, connecting, and then I was able to grow from that department into the account management department, and then ultimately to oversee that entire department as account management.
Ari: She’s doesn’t want to pat her own back, but she’s a superstar and escalated through our system for very good reason. So yes, I appreciate you taking the time to join us taking away time from clients to be able to do this and help a lot of others.
You know, as I said, the idea here that I wanted to just help other people with is how to maximize their experience with leads and just web-driven. So not even just the web-driven leads that are coming from conXpros or even other lead providers. But in general, online inquiries are pretty much in a very similar mindset, they’re inquiring online, responding to an ad, or searching for something along those lines.
So there’s got to be some tools, some tips, and things of that nature that we could really help folks with. So again, that’s to start the conversation. I mean, you work with a lot of people and have a lot of feedback from clients. You know, that are boots on the ground doing this all day, every day, and succeeding.
Ari: What would you say are like the main things like if you had to just, you know, put quick main points that you want people to understand that is super important to success when it comes to web-driven leads converting them into clients, not just running them, that’s just costing us money.
Rachel: Yeah, no, absolutely. I’ll just start by saying, the thing that I like most about being able to connect with the clients that I work with is I get both good and bad feedback, as far as process goes. But ultimately, what I like to do is when someone tells me that they’re not doing well, and I give them these tips, and I see it turn around and they start doing well is what makes me come back every day.
So what it’s about: yes, so process, approach, and delivery when it comes to approaching the lead calling, reaching out. And then just ultimately, making sure that you’re not prejudging a lead.
Ari: So not allowing biases or things like that to come into play. It makes sense. So the first thing you mentioned that I mean, that’s yeah, I’m a process person. I have tried to process everything, or put a process on everything if it’s not already there.
But you know, you mentioned the word process. I mean, it obviously resonates with me, but what do you mean by that? Because obviously, it’s such a wide topic here. Are there certain things that you found is like common denominators amongst the people that are successful not just with us, but with web-driven leads, in general, converting clients that you would say are the common denominators or is it more so? You know, again, each guy’s got their own process that works for them. It’s a matter of just rinse repeat what’s working.
Rachel: So it’s definitely across the board. Everyone that I work with that does very well with our service and who is successful, in general, when it comes to web-driven leads, is making sure that when that information comes to them, they’re calling immediately right away, reaching out to them making that contact when they know that the homeowner is looking for help, because that’s important, ultimately to the homeowner as well.
Ari: Yeah, and I actually had one of your clients that you work with directly, Mark, he was the first guest on the first episode, you know, of The X Factor. And I know that he is one of the super clients as far as time-to-market, you know, calling them quickly and all these things is, but that’s one of the most if you had to put one thing on it, like the most common denominator amongst all of your clients that succeed, time and speed, the leader, whatever term you want to use for it, that’s the piece.
Rachel: Yes. And I actually, I was speaking with Mark yesterday, he’s a real superstar, by the way.
Ari: We love him.
Rachel: Ya know, he does very well. But it was speaking to him yesterday. And he just knows that if you don’t reach out right away, your chances of even getting them on the phone have dropped tremendously. And even if you do get them on the phone at that point, they’ve moved on, and like we’re humans. It’s human nature, we’ve moved on to the next.
Ari: So it’s definitely, so time to market obviously is critical. I mean, I know there’s a process that is not just one piece. So what else are the things that you know, you’ve seen that are just, this is like a slam dunk to equal success, at least again, from web-driven leads
Rachel: 100%. So I’m just nowadays period, people like text messaging, and they like, emailing, that’s something we all work, we may not always be able to answer our phone. But if it’s convenient to respond to a text, then that is what we’re gonna do at the time. So making sure that they’re going down every avenue when they receive the lead to make sure they’re connecting.
Calling, of course right away, but then also sending a text letting them know, “Hey, I just called this is who I am.” And then following up with an email,
Ari: So is there like a certain number of like touchpoints, you would say your clients, you know, if you had to put like at least a minimal number of touchpoints that are a mix of these things, the calls as well as you know, text or any other email with different means of communication, rough the number of touchpoints that are making in order to just be in that success category.
Rachel: I’m sure so I would say at a minimum, it’s for the first day reaching out, at least in four different touchpoints and the first 24 hours.
Ari: What would those touchpoints be when you say like for in the first 24 hours for different touchpoints, the server is clear on what we’re talking about.
Rachel: That’s another thing also not overcalling a lead can also be very beneficial. So calling right away during the text during the email, and then following up with another call later, is a simple process, but it’s very effective.
Ari: And then that’s again, within 24 hours. So outside of just touchpoints and things of that nature. Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into success with web-driven leads, as you mentioned, how you communicate with people and things of that nature in the beginning. And then you mentioned obviously, other aspects as well, what would fall into that process to you because I mean, processor said is a very general category. So there’s more than just obviously reaching web-driven leads.
But once they do get them on the phone, I mean, are there certain things that these guys are doing that just separate them? And when you look at it, that’s why they’re successful?
Rachel: Sure, I mean, number one, like everyone likes to speak to someone who’s friendly, opening, you know, I mean, that’s key to making someone even, you know, having a conversation these days, like it can make or break everything. So just being friendly for number one for the first part.
Ari: I mean, we chuckle about this, and you know, we have some extra insights. And a lot of folks that are watching this or listening to it don’t necessarily have and we have the luxury, you know, has working in this system that we hear recordings of calls, we do inbound phone leads, and they’re recorded for our clients. So we hear how some guys answer calls, and we hear the ones that are truly successful in how they answer calls.
So what you’re referring to is, that friendliness is a critical starting point is warm and welcoming. But beyond that, obviously, you want to get them in where do they take them from there? Because we’ve heard a lot of these recordings as well together. So I know we’re on a very similar wavelength as far as that goes.
Rachel: Absolutely. I’m just letting them know who you are. And you know that you’re calling to help them because ultimately, that’s what we’re doing. We’re helping people. That also is key. Then ask them questions to let them know that you are trying to help with their request. Really asking the critical questions as to what it is that they reached out are submitted requests for.
Ari: So I mean, if I’m here, I just think there are two key points or I mean, obviously, the warmth and friendliness, but going beyond that point of the call, or the communication is, again, that it’s about them, you know, we’re here to help you, we’re not here to schedule an appointment and give you a quote, and we’re here to help you.
And so that’s the feeling that most of these people that are successful are portraying on these calls, or, you know, when they’re communicating with homeowners, even through text, I would assume there’s a certain way to come across as friendly versus cold. And, you know, just pure business.
Rachel: Yeah, trying to move on to the next, you know, actually caring for, for the individual.
Ari: So, yeah, it’s a lot, but that’s something that’s missing for a lot of folks that don’t have success. Is there any kind of advice you’d give people? You know, as far as how to just, you know, change the mindset was that really, from what it sounds like, is more of a mindset thing of coming into it with positive energy versus just negative energy and a, you know, a constructive to help? Right, as opposed to destructive energy?
So is there anything specific that you’ve heard from guys or things you can give advice from your own experience?
Rachel: There are definitely things that I hear from guys that I work with, but I kind of think this would be a thing when I was in lead verification, and I was reaching out to homeowners, the same process, or, you know, we call him to verify that web-driven leads are good or bad. And people would hang up on me when I first started. They hung up on me. Ari and April were very helpful in helping me understand in just right away, going into it with an approach that was letting them know quickly, but being excited, happy, my voice moving around, knowing that they need help. And what I’m doing is the correct thing by calling them and not thinking that I’m bothering them by call reaching out.
Ari: So it’s, it’s not even just in the words, it’s just the energy and attitude that when you shifted that you got a much different response people from what I’m hearing, we’re not hanging up at that point. It was they were just thinking, just another call to harass them for something. Someone was genuinely there to help and they want to speak to.
Rachel: Yeah, so it was just changing my mindset to know, like, what I’m doing is, you know, helping as opposed to bothering, and it made a world of difference like I spoke to, it was amazing. The turnaround.
Ari: Yeah, that’s, that’s important. You mentioned it earlier, and I think it plays into what you’re suggesting already. In terms of mindset. You mentioned the word like, you know, bias and how that comes into play. Can you elaborate on that, like what you mean by that, and maybe some cases of things like where people like had bias, versus people that didn’t like it? What kind of results comes from that? Just wanna make sure if one understands what you’re referring to there?
Rachel: Yeah, no, definitely. So a few tip instances have happened, or there’s been more than a few, but some things, for instance, reaching out to someone and they don’t have the best English. So their communication skills aren’t, you know, it’s hard if you don’t have someone on your team that speaks Spanish.
And then just immediately giving up on that person because of that language barrier and not going the extra mile too, we have so much technology these days to try to help and not just going down different avenues to do that.
Ari: So are there other kinds of biases as well that you’ve seen? I mean, outside of just like, you know, like, strong accents or things like that. So once they’re on the phone, but even like before they even call them, they could bias people, because I mean, I’ve seen it as well. And what you’re saying makes a lot of sense to me. But I wanna make sure people understand what we mean by this because, at the end of the day, it’s about them being successful. And what you’re sharing is a critical piece.
What are those thoughts?
Rachel: So they get the information and there’s not an address listed and they immediately assume that this is not valid, the person is not looking. They’re not a serious candidate for wanting help. And that’s not the case. I don’t put my address further than that though.
Ari: Do people go further than that though? Sometimes like even like, look it up and then see if it’s in a neighborhood that looks desirable and then prejudge based on you know, the average median house value in that neighborhood, or things like that going on?
Rachel: Absolutely, yes, I have people all the time sending me, I have photos in my email, this is the house of the lead you sent me. And it’s kind of disturbing, because everyone needs help, regardless of where they’re at.
Ari: Absolutely. So when you hear that from folks, I mean, obviously, the guys that are succeeding, I mean, I don’t want you to make an assumption, they don’t do that they treat every lead how?
Rachel: The same, every web-driven leads the same, from the beginning to the end, and some of them may, you know, end up being what whatever they may have thought it was going to be. But if you don’t prejudge, then you’re gonna see that a lot of cases that you’re what you’re thinking is not true.
Ari: And there’s a lot of missed opportunities.
Rachel: 100%, a lot of missed opportunities.
Ari: I mean, like, I’ve been teaching and coaching sales for a long time.
I’m a big fan, of focusing on removing bias, because I do know how powerful it is, to our minds. And like you said, Being friendly, it’s hard to be friendly to someone and warm to someone if you’ve already judged them in advance, and labeled them as something.
That’s the reality of humans. So it’s obviously something that is hard for people to do, because we all judge to some degree, their skepticism and things to go into it with that purely awesome attitude. And, you know, as you said, treating everyone exactly the same. It’s not easy. I mean, as people, but the people that are succeeding with that. I mean, are they giving you feedback that, you know, they’re surprised they never imagined getting a job like this from a household, or, you know, wherever this neighborhood was, is that something you’re hearing frequently?
Rachel: Absolutely, I hear it all the time, I a lot of roofing accounts that I come across,
they just maximize all opportunities. So even if the job is smaller, or you know, they have to get financing and our insurance claim, whatever the case is, they’re maximizing on it. So their return on investment at the end is, you know, more than if they had just pre-judged, never called, you know, reached out or really tried. Sometimes it comes down to a matter of just reaching out to the homeowner saying, “Yes, I need help,” and then actually convincing them that they don’t need their help as opposed to the other way around.
Ari: Interesting. I mean, again, these are all things that go into play. As we said, sometimes before the person even picks up a phone and does all these other things, the process that does start off a call friendly and warm and welcoming and wants to help that these are all things that are even going on before then. So really, it’s from the time you receive a lead, whether you’re from a lead source, or you know, from a Google ad, or anything you’re doing, from the moment that comes in the process really starts from what I’m hearing, for people that are successful, it starts with the mindset, the nonjudgment, and then obviously, how they’re handling it.
I mean, that’s obviously with web-driven leads, and we’re not just talking about leads here. We’re talking about from external places as well. So but is there anything specific to web-driven leads, you know, when they’re coming from the lead company, that would also be things that, you know, you’re successful guys do?
You know, if your common denominators, not just about process, but just how they run their business and anything that you could give advice for, for other people, so they can mirror and have that same success?
Rachel: Sure. Um, I mean, a lot of, I guess, important key components is presentation, obviously, setting up appointments, doing a follow up to, you know, to confirm an appointment, just being professional and those aspects being on time for the appointment. Just normal things that you would think that maybe doesn’t don’t mean, that should be very easy,
Ari: it’s a very tough word normal.
Rachel: Normal. Do you think Yeah, but and just sticking to doing what they say they’re going to do? Going out makes sure that when they go, they’re presentable. So can you help people understand why that’s so important?
Ari: You know, in your opinion, like why do you feel that that is such a critical piece?
Rachel: I would say trust at the end of the day, they’re trusting you to do a project at their most valuable possession, so to say, so all of those things are important to people.
And it comes down to trust
Ari: 100%. Reliability, obviously, you come off professional, it’s going to have a different impact on someone and how they’re receiving things when you are looking the part as well as talking apart being knowledgeable and all those wonderful things.
And you know, if I could throw in just another piece from my own experience in life, most of the guys don’t do it. Most people are just showing up in the unmarked or unwrapped truck. No shirt from the company or anything indicates some guys still doing, you know, old school, you know, invoices or you know, estimates as opposed to electronic and you know, we’re in 2022 and people do need to present themselves in a professional way.
So you’re saying even people that are not from large companies, but even smaller companies, mom and pop shops, you know, owner-operators, even at that level, that that is a differentiator is how you present yourself. So, therefore, the consumers how they’re viewing you, as somebody that can really meet their needs, not just talk a good game?
Rachel: Absolutely, yes. It comes into play all the way around.
Ari: I mean, these are fantastic, you know, points that you’re making here. And again, this is all coming from feedback from your clients. I mean, prior to being in this role, you know, Rachel, never contractor never ran web-driven leads, but obviously, a lead verification, as she shared, and has been in contact with many, many web-driven leads, it gets the other side of the coin, and how it is a challenge, but also how to succeed in reaching them.
That’s the name of the game, and then obviously, has transitioned to a different role, and works with some of our top clients, the guys that really kill it with us. And again, this is the feedback that you’re receiving from them. And the common denominators, as we say, when you’re looking at this group of successful individuals. That’s where you peg it. And so these areas that we’ve covered here,
Rachel: I always say it doesn’t happen by accident, even when I’m talking to some of the other account managers, like there are not magic web-driven leads in certain markets that are, you know, creating these clients to have success.
Ari: I wish we had a button like that, that we could push and just say good leads send it now.
Rachel: But I promise we’re not being biased at all, either. So all the leads are the same, it’s just, and then also making sure you’re managing the account, because ultimately, with our service, specifically, you don’t want to pay for bad web-driven leads, right?
So there are going to be bad web-driven leads, we know this, say it all the time. But if you’re making sure that you’re doing that, the same approach with every lead, and if it is bad, return it
Ari: Obviously every lead generation company works differently and has its own procedures, but there is a way to manage your account to what is allowable within that system, and be on top of it and not just accept bad web-driven leads or less than stellar opportunities if you don’t need to. And that’s a big piece of it, the maximize the returns and your results with things from what I’m hearing you
Rachel: Yeah, it’s very important. Otherwise, your results, like even if you do close jobs, but you’re still paying for the bad web-driven leads, it’s going to eventually add up or it’s not going to make sense. So I just always, that’s one of the key components being on top of that.
Ari: So with lead services, obviously, that is a huge thing, things coming in from their own ads and Google, etc. What’s a little more challenging is there’s no one there to change that. But in that case, even being more on top of their ads, and making sure if they’re doing things to tweak and optimize and do things like we would do here with our lead service, or any lead service should do that.
If I was going to summarize, and again, I appreciate you sharing all this stuff. It’s fantastic. That’s really been some insightful stuff coming from the client’s perspective, through you. But then just to summarize, really quick, it sounds like number one, have a process and not just any process, but one that is multi touchpoints. It is I don’t wanna say aggressive, but we are reaching out to people to try to reach them in multiple fashions— every means available.
On top of that not allowing our mindset to shift, not be biased, but also go into a positive, constructive, helpful attitude. And then, as we said, making sure that we’re managing our web-driven leads as well, that’s a critical piece and presenting ourselves like a pro like someone they can trust and really rely on, as you said, with the biggest investment in their life, their home.
Rachel: Yes, yeah, that pretty much summarizes it. It’s a formula that works.
Ari: It works if you work it as you said, it does not work. It’s not something that’s gonna happen by accident. But everything good in life does take work. So it’s no surprise here as well. This has been really fantastic. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to you know, hop on here and join me as a guest but also to share these ideas with others because that’s really what it’s about helping others succeed. And that’s, you know, the whole purpose of this podcast.
So I want to thank our listeners of course, for listening to the X-Factor, the home pro sales podcast. I really hope it brings you value and helps you take your sales game to the next level. Just be sure to subscribe so you can catch the next episode. You know, again as a listener, wherever you’re listening to this right now hit the subscribe button, and catch the next episode. You can follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn at conXpros. And if you didn’t catch that, check out the description for all of our social media links. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for tuning in and appreciate your time.