Hi! My name is Paul and I’ve been in the home improvement industry for over 10 years now. I've done everything from managing, marketing, and scheduling, as well as in-home sales. I’ve learnt a lot over the years and, as a Senior Account Manager at Networx, I’ve been able to help thousands of contractors take their businesses to the next level.
You may find this hard to believe, but one of the main issues our contractors experience is that the leads they’re getting don’t answer the phone. (If you’re bobbing your head up and down because that’s totally what you struggle with, keep on reading!) But how can this be possible?! A homeowner JUST submitted their information and was told their info would be sent to 4 contractors who’d call them...Shouldn’t they be expecting your call? Why ask for help if they’re gonna ignore the call?!
Some would say not being able to reach the leads is the most frustrating part of lead-generation, but with a few simple steps, you’ll be getting in touch with new customers like never before!
There are two types of leads - the competitive leads that go to you and three others and the exclusive leads that only go to you. It’s important to understand what’s happening on the homeowner’s side of things with both types of leads and we’ll start with the competitive leads first.
The homeowner lands on our website after searching for a quality local contractor. Seconds after they submit their information and agree to be contacted by four contractors, their info is sent to you as a text and email.
FEEL THE NEED...THE NEED FOR SPEED
It happens quickly...very quickly...and that’s the whole point. It’s important to realize that homeowners reach out to us because they WANT to be contacted immediately. Don’t delay! Call the lead immediately - it’s your best chance of reaching the lead and making that positive first impression. Waiting as little as 45 minutes may cut your chances of reaching that customer (forever) by a large percentage. So call immediately - they’re expecting you to!
I know what you’re thinking...”but there are three other contractors doing the exact same thing” and that’s why, many times, calling immediately results in a no-answer. That’s normal and there’s no need to become frustrated - it has nothing to do with your abilities or the lead quality.
Our most successful contractors understand that if a homeowner doesn't answer right away, they just weren't the fastest that time. The homeowner is on the phone with another contractor setting an appointment or discussing the job. We’ve researched hundreds of thousands of leads over the years, and have discovered it takes around 10 minutes to set an appointment with a homeowner. If you can’t get through on your first try, we strongly recommend waiting 10 minutes. Let them finish with the first contractor, then call again. You will be next in line to speak to them and set your appointment. If there’s still no answer on your second try, wait another 10-15 minutes and try once more.
Leads are the best within the first 30 minutes of receiving them. Our most successful contractors call three times within the first 30 minutes and reach a majority of the leads. If you tried three times and there’s still no answer, it’s possible the homeowner is at work or was called away suddenly. Don’t give up! Try during these peak times: mornings from 9 AM to 11 AM, afternoons from 12 PM to 2 PM, and evenings from 5 PM to 8 PM.
We do everything in our power to generate the highest quality leads so that our contractors will have the greatest opportunities for success, but at the end of the day, there will be leads you won’t be able to reach. Leads that you’re never able to reach should only make up a small percentage of the leads overall and may be the result of a mistake by the homeowner. A key to being successful with lead generation is to realize that the overwhelming majority of the leads are accessible and to focus on those - and not to let a rare unreachable one discourage you from pursuing the others.
It’s best not to say, "I left them a message already - if they’re really interested, they’ll call me back." In reality, the homeowners WERE interested, but by the time they got around to listening to your voicemail, they’ve already spoken to three other quality contractors and see no reason to reach out to you anymore because they feel their needs have already been taken care of.
That’s why a quick response and calling three times within those first 30 minutes is crucial to reaching the leads that will turn into your customers.
If you’re one of our Exclusive contractors, you may be thinking, “I’ve got nothing to worry about - the leads go only to me so I’ll never have any problems reaching the leads.”
Believe it or not, our Exclusive contractors run into many of the same issues as contractors receiving leads competitively. The leads go through a different process. After a homeowner submits their info, our Verification Dept will contact the homeowner and verify the lead to make sure it’s quality, then will attempt to transfer the homeowner to our contractor via direct phone call. Those calls need to be answered as often as possible. Too often, I’ll see that contractors simply aren’t answering these calls. The calls always come from the same 307 area code, should be saved in your phone as “Exclusive Lead,” and should never be ignored!
It’s understandable if you can’t answer every call because you’re on the job or with a customer, but put yourself in the homeowner’s shoes - they’re looking to speak to you for the first time and it’s your chance to make a good first impression. When they get your voicemail they feel let down and will usually go elsewhere for help because they still need a service.
If a call is missed or if it comes through just as a text message, call back immediately! Do not give them a chance to look elsewhere!
As with competitive leads, exclusive leads won’t necessarily answer right away. When we follow up with them, we find that, most of the time, the homeowners are screening their calls and, just like everyone else nowadays, homeowners are horrible at checking their voicemails too. If the customer doesn't answer right away, they likely just didn’t recognize your number. Give it 5 minutes and call again. They will see your number calling twice and think, "that must be the contractor," and they’ll pick up. If there’s still no answer, wait another 10 minutes and try again. Applying this call process will get you in touch with the homeowner the majority of the time. If there’s still no answer, keep trying for three days during the peak times we discussed above. If the lead still doesn't respond after three days, let us know and we’ll look into it. This should only be a small percentage of the leads, but we definitely don’t want you paying for dead ends.
The first step to success is reaching the customers. When you apply this recommended call process for the different programs we offer, you WILL reach the majority of the leads we send and you WILL be more successful.
Up next: Setting solid appointments
About the author: Paul Munn has been a valuable member of the Networx team for many years and is now a Senior Account Manager. His expertise and professionalism has made him a fan-favorite among our clients who are always better informed after talking to him.