CONTRACTOR LEADS OR APPOINTMENTS?
What’s the best value, contractor leads or appointments? Basically it depends on a variety of factors that a contractor needs to understand, evaluate and control. Consequently, it you are interested in making money, we encourage you to invest time reviewing the information below.
If you are a residential contractor you know that you only buy contractor leads to generate homeowner appointments. Afterwards, your sales staff converts a percentage of these homeowner appointments into projects. Finally that ultimately results in revenue for your contractor business.
Let’s review to determine whether contractor leads or appointments is a better marketing option for your particular business. You may then reach the conclusion that the way your conducting business may not be the smartest or most profitable way of doing so.
1 – WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LEAD AND AN APPOINTMENT?
Let’s start with some basic definitions related to the sales process. Specifically what are the differences between a lead versus a prospect versus an opportunity (appointment)?
A lead is what you need to get started in the sales process. Basically it’s information.
A contractor lead is basic information that comes from a variety of sources. For example, a list of homeowners names, customer referrals, contractor inbound marketing activities and any type of personal response.
Accordingly, your sales staff needs to determine whether a lead “fits your profile”. Also, is it worth the time to invest in a conversation?
Now the higher the “quality” of a lead, the higher the percentage that will move along in the sales process. When your sales personnel make contact, it is to pre-qualify the lead. Basically, this is to determine whether it is an uninterested party or rather next term in the sales process, a prospect.
Contractor Lead Qualifying Process
Your sales staff will use a qualifying process (series of questions) to determine whether a lead fits your business profile. These qualifying questions fall into three categories:
- Level Of Pain – Is the homeowner really ready to start the project and why now? If the response is weak or not urgent, the lead does not move on to be a prospect. But don’t throw it away, as the life of a homeowner changes with time.
- Logistical Issues – Does the homeowner have a budget, time frame, external factors and readiness to buy? Subsequently, this will determine whether the lead moves on. Nonetheless, the lead remains “in transit”, not be be discarded.
- Competition – Find out whether the homeowner is considering other contractors or alternative solutions to his/her pain problem. Basically this provides your sales staff information how your contractor’s services might differ from other alternatives.
The key point here is that a contractor lead is not a sure thing until it has been qualified.
Your lead becomes a prospect when, your sales staff has all the qualifying information. Specifically, all the right answers that fit your homeowner profile, and is willing to continue the conversation with your sales staff.
However, as all contractors know from personal experience, you may not get the sale right away.
A prospect is a prospect until it moves to the next stage in the sales process. That is, an opportunity or appointment (homeowner site visit). Basically this is when the prospect is willing and needs to consider your contractor solution.
Contractor Opportunity (Appointment)
The homeowner appointment is genuinely a sales opportunity for a contractor. While you can’t sell to someone who’s not interested, you do have some options. Specifically, you can explain the benefits and pour salt in the wound of homeowner’s pain. Consequently you help improve the potential of the sale.
2 – OK, SHOULD I BUY CONTRACTOR LEADS OR APPOINTMENTS?
Most contractors should invest in a combination of different types of sources that can ultimately result in producing homeowner appointments. Likewise, the return on your marketing investment will vary dramatically depending how well your sales staff uses these sources.
Before starting, it is necessary for a contractor to do a self-appraisal of the internal sales staff. For example, their experience, limitations and what works well for them.
Basically it is not a wise investment to pay a lot for quality contractor leads. Especially if they can not work them successfully.
Generally a small, experienced sales staff will benefit from lower volume but higher quality contractor leads. Whereas a larger, less experienced sales staff will need more volume and lower quality due to cost considerations.
3 – WHAT ABOUT BUYING APPOINTMENTS?
Well, setting up contractor appointments is your end-goal, isn’t it? So, buying appointment leads will work for a contractor. Certainly, as long as you get a better return on your investment than having your internal sales staff generate them.
A contractor needs to track ALL THE COSTS related to using an internal sales staff to generate a contractor appointment. Conversely, the cost of purchasing a contractor appointment from a third-party provider is clearly known.
What are “all the costs” to go through the sales process from a lead, to a prospect, to an appointment? Following is a partial list of activities to assign costs:
- Lead Source – Is this a bulk purchase of local homeowner data? Or Is this a selective purchase though a lead aggregator? Maybe this Is a single contractor lead purchase? Perhaps this a lead is from your website?
- Lead Qualifying – All costs related to qualifying contractor leads: computers, telephones, personnel, administration, time of opportunity, etc.
- Prospect Conversion – All costs related to filtering (same as above) prospects to sales opportunities.
4 – COST COMPARISON
When comparing contractor leads or appointments in terms of costs, we present five different contractor scenarios. Accordingly, we make a variety of assumptions for simplicity of discussion.
A small contractor company specializing in residential roofing services is looking to increase sales. Their internal personal costs are $15.00/hour, fully burden and we will also ignore opportunity costs, for simplicity.
Following are the marketing services they currently use to promote sales which include:
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertisement
- Company Website
- Subscription Contractor Lead Supplier
- Exclusive Telephone-Verified Contractor Lead Supplier
- Live Transfer Contractor Lead Supplier
The detailed financial analysis can be found in this blog article.
5 – CONTRACTOR LEADS OR APPOINTMENTS – SO WHICH IS IT?
Residential contractors use a variety of marketing activities to promote their business. Overall the types of marketing activities reflect what the contractor perceives to offer a high return on investment.
These are complementary marketing activities. Because there are differences in the lead quality as well as potential volume available at any given time.
The residential contractor needs to assess their internal resources to convert the volume of leads into sales opportunities. Finally, a certain percentage ultimately results in homeowner projects.
WHY WE ARE DIFFERENT
Home Improvement Helpers has provided residential contractor project leads to national building and construction suppliers for more than five years. They have used these leads as a means to recruit and incentivize contractors to purchase their products.
For them offering home improvement leads has been a good marketing strategy. Their business is selling construction products, not the production of quality home improvement leads.
These leads are passed to multiple contractors over an extended period of time. Consequently, they waste a contractor’s time and resources because they chase homeowner projects that have been picked over.
We do not sell construction supplies or burned out home improvement leads to multiple contractors. We simply offer high quality, economical telephone-verified sales opportunities to residential contractors.
These telephone-verified sales opportunities provide residential contractors a greater chance of closing business with a homeowner. They complement a residential contractor’s current marketing activities to generate new business.
We believe that our home improvement leads offer a residential contractor the lowest cost, highest return on investment to generate new business.
READY TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS?
Call us at 919-794-8443 or Get Started today.
We understand that your marketing needs are unique to your business. Therefore you should talk with one of our representatives to see if exclusive, telephone-verified sales opportunities from Home Improvement Helpers are a good fit for your contracting business.