Written By Ari Greenbaum, co-founder of conXpros
You received a contractor lead and called the homeowner immediately. They did not answer, so you left a voicemail for them to call you back. You’ve done your part, right? If you are wanting a thumbs up for being diligent to call your lead quickly, you get a HUGE THUMBS-UP. That is the first step in the process of succeeding with leads you are receiving from home improvement lead generation companies, but definitely not the final action necessary. Far from it. The most important action is to call your leads quickly, but a close second is the process you employ after making the initial call to the lead for home improvement or home services.
Never rely on getting a return call
In all my years of experience working in the home improvement lead generation business, one of the most common feedbacks that contractors share when asked about their call processes is “I called & they will call me back if they are serious”. This type of thought will certainly result in failure working with any lead generation company, especially in the competitive home improvement and home services business. I have a library of stories accumulated over the years, but the shelf dedicated to successful pros that shared this flawed mindset, only has empty space.
Just like any aspect of life, success is the result of hard work, process & persistence. Making a single call is a far cry from hard work. You must be persistent and diverse in your effort to connect with leads from home improvement lead generation companies. The process I will elaborate on is the same whether you are working with shared contractor leads or exclusive contractor leads. In either case, you must “take the bull by the horns” and be proactive in your process of connecting with every lead.
Before we dive into my recommended process, it is important to understand the “why” additional touch points are essential. When using a referral service or lead generation company for home improvement needs, the homeowners are submitting their information online. This is very different from the old days where the only options to find a contractor was the yellow pages or referral from a neighbor. In those scenarios, the homeowner would be required to pick up the phone and call you. With online search, the consumer is EXPECTING you to chase after them. In their minds, if you are interested in working with them on their project, you will call, not the reverse. This is especially true with shared lead services that have 4 or more home improvement pros notified of a lead simultaneously. But it is also true with exclusive leads, due to the fact that the homeowner has likely sought out other contractors for quotes as they are not likely to only want one estimate for the work. The modern internet consumer WANTS TO BE CHASED. Knowing this, you can now play the game and win.
Clients that are highly successful in converting home improvement leads into paying customers have shared some robust processes. In some cases, the volume of touch points seems excessive in my opinion. But as the old adage goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, who am I to suggest a less intensive approach? Keep on keeping on. The process I will share to put yourself on the fast track to success with internet driven home improvement contractor leads, has worked for me as well as countless pros I have coached and shared this formula with.
Process after the first call:
- Immediately send text-I have highlighted a phenomenal tool/service called ContractorTexter in the past. If you are not using a service like theirs that will automate this process for you, you should have a “template” SMS/text message that you can fire off to the number provided by the homeowner. It should briefly let them know that you received their request and you would love to connect to better understand and help with their needs.
- Call again 10-15 minutes after the first call-If you are using a shared lead service, this is absolutely a must! You will not always be the first to dial and connect with the homeowner. Making this call 10 minutes later, you increase the likelihood of making contact as they are now done with the other company that beat you to the initial call. The same approach should be used for exclusive leads as well. Perhaps the homeowner submitted a request elsewhere before they sent the one you received. Just like with the shared lead scenario, they may be on the phone with a different company when you first called. Do not leave a voicemail if unsuccessful in making contact on this call.
- Additional call before the end of day 1-If you received the lead in the morning, call again in the afternoon or evening. If you received it later in the day, call again a few hours later in the evening. Remember, the person submitting the lead is ONLINE. This means they could be unavailable to speak at the time (at work, in a public place, etc). I try to make these calls at a time most likely to get answered, such as lunch time or after standard work hours.
- Send an email-If you are not using an email tool to automate an email sequence to all leads that are in a CRM, you should manually send an introductory email. I suggest sending the email on the first day and personally, I send it at the same time that the initial call & text is made. At worst, send it out before the end of the first day you received the new contractor lead. The email should be brief but include information about you and your company as well as letting the homeowner know that you are eager to assist them with their project. Including links to your website and/or customer reviews is a good idea. This should be a marketing-based email. Create a template and plug the homeowner name in before sending.
- Additional calls on days 2 & 3-On day 2 the process is much less intensive. A single call on both day 2 and day 3 are essential. My suggestion is to make these calls at different times than you did previously. For example, if you called in the early morning on day 2, make the call on day 3 around lunch time/mid-day. This is the extent of the necessary outreach by phone, but there is nothing wrong with making a periodic call (every 2-3 days) in an attempt to make contact. Often, clients have shared that it was on a call made on day 5 or later that they finally made contact and secured the estimate and/or job. Persistence pays.
- Additional email and text messaging-If you have not received any communication in response to your previous email or text messages, send a follow up on day 3. Something simple. I prefer to forward or reply to the same initial email sent letting the homeowner know that I have tried multiple attempts to reach them and would love to hear back.
Learning the process and applying it on a consistent basis are 2 very different things. I know first-hand the power of this approach and have a long list of success stories from contractors that employ something similar to connect with their leads from home improvement lead generation companies. Understand that you will NOT make contact with every lead and every lead will not become a client. However, by applying this formula you will contact significantly higher numbers of homeowners that submitted requests than your competition who is lazy or waits to get called back. Work hard, be persistent, achieve success. It is that simple.