All I have to say is search this site for "lead service" you'll find a long list of referral services across the country. I alone posted a list of about 20. I have been using lead services for YEARS and I have tried, or at least interviewed, every lead service that services my area.
My business is almost entirely lead service based, as was my last job and we were doing nearly two million revenue. My company has been operating for about two weeks now and I do about 3 estimates per day on average.
Grumpy - wow I had no idea you were so heavily into internet leads!
I have only been using them for about a month and my experiences are pretty poor to luke warm, but obviously you have discovered how to use them effectively to say the least.
Perhaps you could share your knowledge and experience with them. I would like to know what you have learned in your years of using them, what are your strategies, do you like the individual leads price plans, or the monthly plans, do you do the premium memberships, do you get the majority of your leads from a few sources. Do you see a difference in quality of leads from different sources, the dollar amounts of the jobs, or the time of year?
What are the red flags and the green flags in the leads you see, do you just accept them based on the type of job and the area, or do you discriminate based on the wording of the customer description or the time frame? What type of advice would you give somebody to take advantage of them and maximize your return with them?
I think it all depends on the type of business you are in. If you are signing lots of small service contracts, the more leads the better. If you are doing remodels and additions you most likley aren't going to want to deal with 3 leads a day.
I am in what I call single shot remodeling. Roofing and siding and windows. Most home owners will have one or two done at a time. The average job is about $6000.
The key is to be very agressive and FAST. Let me say that again because I can not say it enough. BE VERY AGRESSIVE AND FAST. When you get a lead, you obviously need to speak with the people. Call them at least once a day. Leave a message each time. Call right away. I have the leads e-mails to my cellphone and I call at my very first opportunity. I couldn't tell you the number of times I got the response "Wow that was fast."
Personally I prefer the pay per lead that service magic used to do. They stopped this but it was Oh So Sweet being able to pick and choose. I do suggest premium memberships because lead services like Improvenet will send you the leads first and give you first crack at em. Like I said I am a member of every lead service that services my area and is worth being a member of. There have been a few I have fired through the years and won't go back to for various reasons. If each one only sends me a lead or two per week, multipy that by ten lead services and your rolling!
Red flags and green flags are common sence. Is it a crappy repair and 30 miles away? Does the customer say I have my own materials? If someone says 20 windows but budgets $1000 I'm probably going to think twice. All the things that turn me off in a conversation turn me off in a lead. This just comes with experience os using the services.
I have 4 leads, in the past 2 weeks that I call daily and have never got a call back. Now I just call them for the fun of bothering them I usually get credits for these types of leads.
I fired one because out of $250 worth of leads (5 months) I sold one job. I found out a year later they buy and resell leads from other lead services. What they do is sign up like a general contractor and sign up for just about every service then when they get a lead they enter it into their system. They are called homeownersconnections Also they do alot of home show advertising and they basically rape anyone that walks by their booth for information. These people didn't want leads, but they passed them onto us as leads. Home owners connections only does Chicago area advertising, but they suck ass.
I am perfectly ok paying a percentage. I pay percentages to colleagues who give referrals all the time. I usually end up paying my colleagues more also The way I look at it, I'd PREFER to pay a percentage with no upfront cost.
Hey, have you had the experience of Improvnet.com or anybody else start calling you about leads they have just gotten in? The called me 2 days in a row now about a lead on my cell phone. I asked them why they suddenly started calling me with leads and they say they do it all the time. If they keep it up I will tell them to stop, I just don't want to deal with them in the middle of work, I'd rather deal with them as I thought I was supposed to by them emailing me new lead announcements.
It depends on what kind of company you are looking for. If you are looking for a lead broker or a company that sends customers directly to you. Everycontractor.com is a referral company that features companies in areas and puts up enough information for a customer to contact you directly. So, like i said, it depends on what kind of company your looking for.
What a lead service is and what you say you are, is really one in the same... and you guys aren't good at making your customers happy.
When I was asked to sign up I was geniuenly insterested. When I asked questions about site traffic and number of visitors looking for my services, I was told that they don't supply that information. I then responded that I couldn't do business with you then. Months later someone else called me. I told them upfront that someone else called and I asked if they would give me information on site traffic blah blah blah. Same response.
So in my opinion you guys ask for money but are only selling the CHANCE of a customer, like the yellow pages does... Exactly like the yellow pages.
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