Monthly Archives: September 2011
Just as a well balanced diet provides enough energy and nutrition for the optimal growth and development of a human being, so does a properly equalized and diversified portfolio of lead generation lend to the stability and growth potential of a home improvement company. When the human body is lacking certain vitamins and minerals as result of what it is being fed, it can become vulnerable to illness, disease, or even death. I have found that a similar phenomenon is true for remodeling companies as well.
Depending upon our backgrounds and experience, we business owners often have strengths in one particular area of marketing. For example, many who got their start in the industry by knocking on doors to set appointments, have an excellent handle on that type of lead generation. However, when the daylight diminishes and the bitter cold sets in, canvassing efforts can yield diminishing returns. By the same token, companies who have found a niche in advertising on television often find themselves in a pickle when political campaigns and other factors cause normal advertising rates to sky rocket well outside the scope of affordability. Lastly, some companies thrive at trade shows with large, elaborate exhibits that really draw a crowd and produce results. These shows can sometimes contribute to a third of a company’s annual revenues. However, in between such shows the company and the staff are often so starved for business that unnecessary turnover and related issues can result from the lull in business.
To avoid these types of scenarios it is imperative that we find a way to diversify our marketing efforts with a wide array of lead types. First you will want to analyze what is working for you. Second, you will want to take a look at the downside or the negative aspect of being so dependent on that primary lead source. Then you will want to make a logical choice regarding a new marketing effort that will help neutralize or balance out any weakness associated with your current forms of marketing.
Allow me to elaborate. Many of my clients are among the top 100 remodelers in the country. Most of which do an excellent job with inbound media. Some have outstanding television and radio campaigns, while others excel with direct mail, internet, and print media. Never the less, they have all found a way to make the phone ring…. most of the time… What about those times when the phone doesn’t ring? Is it dangerous to have so much of the marketing budget devoted strictly towards inbound marketing efforts? Expert advisers would say yes!
The above may have you guessing about what types of outbound marketing are truly viable enough to help you diversify. Therefore I have prepared a short list of recent trends that have been working well for companies from coast to coast to help them proliferate their marketing mix:
- Shows, Fairs & Events
- Big Box Store Kiosks
- Local Retail Store Kiosks
- Warm Call Telemarketing (radius calling around job sites)
Once you have selected a new lead source to add to your existing assortment, there is one last thing to keep in mind. Change is difficult, even when it is what is best for your organization. Just as the body of a long-time vegetarian will violently reject its first steak dinner, so will your company struggle to acclimate towards a foreign lead source. Therefore it is imperative to persist beyond the initial struggles associated with the unfamiliar leads as they are often a huge opportunity for a healthy stable future. For further assistance incorporating and assimilating new lead sources in to your business, feel free to contact me personally.
The change of seasons might be an opportune time to implement a change of your own.
Summer’s gone. Vacations are over and outdoor activities begin winding down. Kids all over the country are heading back to school, where they’ll be challenged by new concepts and ideas.
New concepts and ideas are also essential to business. That’s where change starts, and change, successfully implemented, improves business systems and creates greater efficiencies and more profit
Take canvassing. Lots of companies do it. Get it right and you’ve got a system that produces measurable, scaleable lead flow. Do it wrong and you drive yourself crazy while wasting money and time. If you’re generating a fair number of canvas leads but converting less than 45% to appointments due to high cancellation rates caused by invasive and untimely confirmation procedures, here’s a suggestion: cool off.
It’s Not Either / Or
Typically, companies use two methods of converting canvass leads to appointments. They either have the canvasser return the contact information to the office for later contact by the phone room, or they require the canvasser to call the office and set the appointment on the spot with the homeowner.
Here’s a better way
Instead of asking homeowners to wait (patiently and reluctantly) while canvassers call the office to reach a confirmer, have your canvassers text, email or otherwise transmit their appointments to the office from the end of the driveway to be confirmed momentarily. The confirmer responds within five to ten minutes. Before canvassers send that information they explain to prospects that someone will be calling back within a few minutes. Canvassers also make sure tell the homeowner to be available to take that call so that they don’t have to come back to the house to verify the phone number and related information. This gives the homeowner a motive to take the call.
Do it this way and you don’t leave the homeowner and canvasser stuck on hold waiting for a confirmer to become available, which is awkward and unpleasant, especially if the homeowner’s got his or her hands full at the time with kids, barking dogs or a load of laundry.
Another plus to this system is that it gives confirmers some leeway in getting back to homeowners should they be tied up with multiple calls all at once, which happens when several canvassing teams are in the field at the same time.
One other benefit is that this brief cooling off period between the canvassers’ exit and the confirmers’ call gives prospects a few minutes to firm up the arrangement with a spouse or other homeowner if they need to. It also gives those who simply couldn’t say no at the door a chance to re-think their exit strategy and let you know that they’re actually not interested. So you’re not sending a salesperson out on one of those canvassing appointments where somebody’s there but no one’s answering the door.
One other thing
If you’re a canvasser, it can be incredibly demoralizing to watch your appointment fall apart while the confirmer puts the homeowner through the required line of questioning. You are better off having that conversation while your canvasser is down the street generating another lead.
No Train. No Gain!
Implementing this system takes scripting and training. But companies that use it convert raw leads to appointments at a higher rate. System tweaks take work, but they’re worth it. The market’s changing and so is the consumer. If your business isn’t, you’ll soon be left behind.
Feel free to contact me for more information on how to effectively convert canvass appointments.