How To Self Generate Qualified Home Improvement Leads

Home improvement business ventures have a very high rate of failure! Why? Contractors lack marketing knowledge to attract qualified leads, and sales systems to gain the business. No leads… no sales… no business… doors close.

In this article you will learn what is working today, and also lead generation methods via digital marketing strategies. Many leading edge companies are seeing their percentage of leads from web marketing strategies and tactics becoming the major source of their home improvement leads and revenues. There are even lead generation companies farming leads solely from internet marketing and selling them to home improvement companies and general contractors! The good news is you can learn what it takes to generate leads using internet marketing strategies for yourself!

Listed are the most productive lead sources/options for generating quality home improvement leads. Companies who acquire the best “lead mix” for their business, balance these sources and focus on budgeting for best return on investment. Keep in mind that all lead sources should lead to a call center and customer relationship management (CRM) software. If you do not have CRM software, a free source is RenexPro.

Top Home Improvement Lead Sources

Canvassing: Canvassing for leads has seen a tremendous resurgence in the last two years (since 2009). Years ago this was the predominate method going door to door and offering a free estimate, inspection or gift for an appointment. Canvassing can be done with sales personnel or special teams trained to just get the lead.

The canvassing team is usually comprised of a Team Leader, Canvassers and a Van to take them to the territory.

  • Team Leader: Full time employee. Recruits,trains, and supervises his/her canvassers (trains by example, maintains goals, base salary plus incentives.
  • The Canvasser: 19 or older high school graduate – college students are great, clean cut dress code, part time (1,000 hour rule), hourly plus incentives.
  • The Training: Must have a scripted, short presentation. Training and practicing the script is imperative. Canvassers are not selling anything but the appointment. The “hook” for an appointment is a free service and/or gift.

Canvassing for home improvement leads is a great way to get quality leads when the program is done right. Some companies today are exclusively using this method.

Direct Mail: Direct mail is what most home improvement companies use today for the main percentage of their lead generation. Although still a great way too generate leads, it is getting more costly per lead. As long as your service has the margins, direct mail with letters, brochures and post cards should be considered. Caution: Use expert services that have a proven track record for your industry. Don’t skimp and try using a company with no track record. One failed mailing could be devastating to your budget. If you bring it in house, make sure you have experts on the job that test and measure before sending out a mass mailing.

TV & Radio: If you have the budget, these leads are expensive but high quality if the campaigns are branded with a great call to action. TV is hard to measure; however, what branding recognition you gain! The best tip here is to humanize your commercials. Let the viewer know who you are and what the benefits are when doing business with your company.

Radio is the same way. Humanize your ads. The last company where I had an inside view of lead source statistics showed an ever growing benefit to radio ads when the CEO began conducting the ads and bringing his charm to each campaign. Today, I hear him every time I go for drive so I know they are still getting tremendous results.

Shows, Events, Mall Kiosks: Your presence in the community is vital to your business. Use every opportunity you can to make physical contact for lead generation. Have professional marketing materials and eye catching displays. Some companies get so many leads from these venues that they focus most of their efforts there. They know that just like canvassing for leads, you must follow and personalize a script. Train your people to be up-beat, friendly, informative, and persistent in closing the appointment… not a sale!

Telemarketing: Cold calling for leads is not very productive; however, responding to inquiries from printed material, incoming calls or email is a must in your business. If you do not have the budget for a call center, its not very expensive to outsource this task. Once again, close for the appointment… not a sale. And, do not ball park pricing. This is a disservice to the prospect and your company. There are too many variables with products and installation. Professional eyeballs need to be on site!

Digital Marketing Syndication: Digital marketing syndication for home improvement lead generation is becoming a major source and factor in lead capture. Today, more and more companies are developing digital marketing strategies to boost profits by driving highly interested and qualified traffic to their websites. AND, we are seeing companies that gain almost all their leads from their internet strategies and tactics.

Almost all sources for leads find their way to your web presence. Think about this, when a homeowner wants to remodel any part of their home, how do they get the information to contact a contractor? Today, more an more prospects search the internet… OR… they respond to an ad from all the other sources I have mentioned in is article, and check up on that company by going to their website! Have you experienced prospects wanting more than one estimate? 90% of the time the prospect wants to get other proposals or estimates so they do an internet search for competitors. Who do they find and pick… the best websites that are on the first page!

What if you dominate the internet space in your area? What if you have a website that is so appealing to the viewer, and it has a Call To Action on every page? What if you have campaigns, articles, videos, announcements, informational sites, press releases, Pay Per Click ads, banners, links from manufacturers and other service/product companies pointing to your interactive website? Your overwhelming presence on the internet will get more leads than you can handle! You will grow your business!

Referrals… Another article on this. Get good at this. Training required!

All home improvement lead sources discussed in this article are important for your business. Find what works best for you, and make sure that your business has a dominating web presence that is syndicated for maximum quality lead conversion!

How To Get More Leads From Your Home Improvement Website

How to get more leads from your home improvement website

Everyone wants leads – but you know it is an amazing thing – lots of companies build websites, even spend some money on Pay Per Click Advertising (such as Google Adwords) and perhaps even pay to be listed is some directories and then wonder why they don’t get leads, or don’t get as many leads as they would hope to.

To add to their disappointment – they will often have spent significant sums on the website and employed some “talented” web site designers. The challenge is that while a lot of these web designers can build you nice looking websites (with all the bells and all the whistles) – many don’t know how to build a web site that converts visitors to leads.

Sometimes home improvement companies even write of the Internet as “not working” – failing to realise that they actually control their websites destiny and the fact the site is not producing leads is that Nine times out of Ten – they don’t make it easy for their website visitor to give them a lead.

As an Internet Marketing Consultant I am often asked to review websites – and come up with some ideas for improving the conversion ratios (usually – visitor to leads ratio). I don’t really think the following could be considered a “trade secret” – but perhaps it is, as so many website designers are still building home improvement websites with this “built in fault”

To increase your leads – Make It Easy For Your Visitors To Contact You.

Often a website will have a “contact us” button tucked away in some far corner that is not easy to find.

Please, put your contact details on each page – and also ideally – strategically within the website copy.

Better still – change “Contact Us” web form to a “Free Brochure” or “Free Info” or “Free Information Pack” and you will see a significant increase in sales leads (as much as 50 – 100% increase sometimes)

You should also have clearly – and in large type have your phone number at the top of each page.

You should have both a form to fill in and your contact phone number showing.

Far too often salespeople and sales managers worry about the tyre kickers and the brochure hunters – and try to qualify their leads too much. The point of most contractor based, supply and install home improvement websites is not to sell a product but to sell visitors on the company and encourage them to request more information. (produce a lead)

I spoke to a sales manager the other day who complained how bad business was and the economy was all wrong blah, blah…..

A little later we are talking about web leads and he declares he only wants leads of his websites from people who want to have one of his sales people out for a quotation. (hence why his website only had a request a quote link)

Clearly he had not considered that some people may wish to make a “softer approach” first – to find out more about his company before asking a sales person to quote.

Sad for him, sad for his sales people and sad for his company

Please don’t make this mistake.

Of course the above can be applied to just about all types of websites, not just home improvement websites.

Referral Marketing For Home Improvement Contractors

In these tough economic times, it is imperative that home improvement contractors implement a fully-functioning referral marketing strategy. If they don’t, they are potentially losing thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars in sales and profits.

If designed and executed properly, this referral marketing system will help home improvement contractors:

o Attract a steady flow of ready and willing customers for your most profitable services;

o Give your business an “UNFAIR ADVANTAGE” by locking-out your competition from the best customers and the most profitable markets;

o Build your image as THE authoritative home improvement expert in your area and command top-dollar for your services;

o Enjoy the freedom to raise your prices year after year, while your competition has to discount to survive;

o Generate a torrent of profitable referrals from existing and past customers through referral marketing;

o Dramatically increase the VALUE and salability of your business;

o Have your customers enthusiastically giving you permission to contact them for future business;

o Have a 24 hour a day/7 day a week profit-producing referral marketing system that creates leads while you are sleeping, fishing, golfing, relaxing, and spending time with your family;

o Dramatically reduce your workload so you’ll have plenty of time for yourself.

But with the demands on home improvement contractors to service their current clients while still hustling to find new ones, the referral marketing program that they institute has to be all-encompassing and not place more work in their already busy schedule. The last thing they need is a referral marketing program that includes a bunch of useless books and manuals they have to read, software they have to install, or huge home study courses that take months to complete.

There’s no doubt that the successful home improvement business is the one that has the most effective systems for attracting, retaining and multiplying happy customers. Most home improvement companies are so obsessed with getting new customers that they completely ignore the gold mine of opportunities with their former and existing customers and never consider any type of referral marketing program. All this does is make the home improvement contractor rat race worse for those who participate… especially when the economy slows.

But, home improvement companies that know how to develop long-term relationships with their customers, have an active database of happy customers that they communicate with on a regular basis, and that can rely on their customers to feed their business (and their families and employees), day in and day out – year after year – even when the economy takes a dump…those are the home improvement companies that are going to be successful through referral marketing.

Many home improvement contractors throw away thousands of dollars on ineffective advertising because they’re chasing that elusive new client. The truth is, their current client base – if used properly through referral marketing – can provide the instant sales and profit that they need. The value of a satisfied client is immeasurable when a properly designed and implemented referral marketing system is put in place.