Let’s face it. Not all contractors are as diligent as they should be when following up with leads. Often, contractors lose jobs to other contractors with stronger follow-up processes, throwing away thousands of dollars of potential revenue.
Here are four ways contractors can improve their follow-up process to schedule more estimates and close more leads:
1. Call your leads faster. One of the main reasons home improvement contractors lose leads is that they are too slow to make the first call. When a homeowner is looking to start a home improvement project, they typically reach out to many contractors for answers to their questions and estimates.
Even though the homeowner may fill out forms on 3-4 different contractor websites, they’re likely not interested in speaking to all of them. Often times the first one or two contractors to call the homeowner can establish a rapport and the homeowner no longer wishes to speak to anyone else.
Ideally, you want to call a lead within an hour of them filling out a form on your website. This is a problem for some smaller contractors who don’t have a call center. That’s why you should use a service that will send you a text message when a person fills out a form on your website. That way, you can call immediately and be one of the first to establish a relationship with the homeowner.
2. Follow up with prospects more often. You just gave a homeowner an estimate for repainting a newly purchased home. What next? Too many contractors think that the ball is now in the homeowner’s court. But that’s not true. The ball is ALWAYS in your court.
There’s no reason to stop following up with a prospect until they explicitly tell you they will not hire you or have you estimate their project. That does not mean that you need to call the lead every day. But you should set up a follow-up schedule that you are comfortable with and stick to it until you hear the words “I am not interested” or “We hired someone else.”
People have busy lives. Just because they didn’t call you back does not mean they are not interested. It just means they got busy, and their project may not be their top priority. But if you don’t follow up, someone else will, and there goes the job.
3. Don’t be afraid to use the phone. Many contractors are great at following up by email but are too scared to pick up the phone and call.
When you rely on email, you are relying on third-party technology. You are relying on the fact that your email won’t get sent to the junk folder, where the homeowner will never see it. You’re relying on the fact that the homeowner will even open to read what you have to say.
When you pick up the phone and call, you can be quite certain the homeowner will hear what you have to say (in your own voice). It also allows you to gauge their responses and answer their questions.
4. Mix it up. Most contractors do their follow-ups during work hours and wonder why they can never reach the homeowner. Well, if you’re at work, where do you think the homeowner is? Work!
Try following up on evenings or weekends. It may mean a little extra effort, but you will reach more people and close more jobs, so the extra effort should pay off.