Lead Generation Expectations Vs. Reality
Deciding whether lead generation is right for your home service company can be challenging with all the myths and half-truths out there. Discover the top 10 misconceptions about lead generation, its advantages and how to win bids like a true pro.
Becoming an entrepreneur is a real possibility for anyone who's mastered their skill set, has a relentless work ethic, and is determined to succeed despite any setback. For home service professionals, starting a company and succeeding in your local area is easier than ever thanks to the internet. However, there's a lot of misinformation out there, especially regarding lead generation.
Lead generation websites can provide a consistent, healthy flow of work for contractors. Keep reading to learn about the top lead generation expectations vs. reality, benefits of high-quality lead gen sites and advice on how to win bids once you've got a lead.
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Expectation #1: Leads Equal Jobs
The number one misconception people have about lead generation websites is that leads magically turn into sales. Too many contractor business owners make the mistake of signing up and paying for lead generation, thinking that alone is enough to win jobs. They don't focus on ensuring their website, social media pages, and online reviews are on point. Neither do they prepare a show-stopping pitch or foster a charmingly persuasive, professional manner.
The job of a quality lead gen website is to provide relevant, high-quality leads for local customers seeking your services. It's your job to create a brand and a website and nurture an online presence that appeals to them. Likewise, it's down to you to develop your people skills and create a winning sales pitch. You can learn more about how to win bids toward the end of this article.
Expectation #2: No One Vets Online Leads
Some contractors have all the right skills but might have heard bad things or even had a negative experience with lead generation sites. Poor quality websites might provide leads that are totally irrelevant because they don't personally vet them. However, that doesn't mean all of them are like that.
In reality, you get what you pay for with lead generation, like anything else. Free leads are often unvetted and almost entirely random, which could lead to you wasting a lot of time making contact with people who aren't remotely interested in your service.
While you shouldn't pay unreasonable costs, don't expect much of free or very cheap leads. When you pay CraftJack's reasonable rates, you're paying for vetted, qualified leads. The difference having pre-screened leads makes when it comes to ROI is night and day.
Expectation #3: Using Lead Generation Websites Is Difficult
Lead generation websites have a reputation for being confusing and challenging to use. Some have bad user interfaces that aren't intuitive, making them harder to navigate. Others might not have tools and resources that help contractors not only use the site but get the most out of it.
There are some sites that don't invest in being as user-friendly and intuitive as possible. Be sure to choose a site that offers a wide range of resources, including apps, reputation management, online reviews, and listing management. Ideally, pick a site that has a blog packed with advice and inspiration to help you grow as a company and a leader.
Expectation #4: All Leads Are Outdated
If you've ever sought out free construction project leads, you may have discovered they're often outdated. It's practically impossible to find high-quality free leads anywhere. As they say, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
But this doesn't mean all leads are outdated. By doing plenty of research and only working with tried and tested lead gen sites, you can find quality leads that are relevant to your specific industry.
Free leads are often outdated or unrelated to the work you do. However, by paying a small amount (often much cheaper than paid advertising or working with an agency), you can get real-time leads. Real-time leads are contact details of homeowners in your local area who've expressed an interest in finding a contractor ASAP.
Expectation #5: There's Too Much Competition
Some contractors avoid using lead generation websites because they've heard each lead is given to 10 or more business owners. With so many people vying for the attention of a single homeowner, the chances of winning jobs are reduced. As such, people wrongly think they'll waste too much time bidding on jobs.
The reality is that a lot of low-quality lead gen sites do give single leads to far too many contractors. However, by conducting research, you should be able to find out how many general contractors are given a single lead. If it's any more than four, it might not be worth it.
Keep in mind that it wouldn't be cost-effective for lead gen sites to provide exclusive leads to a single contractor. You should expect to have to bid and win over other companies but know how to do that without immediately opting to outbid.
Keep in mind that even if you don't win a bid, you've increased brand awareness by putting yourself out there. As long as you're not competing against too many other contractors, bidding is all part of the process.
Expectation #6: Most Sales Leads Are Time-Wasters
When you're a general contractor, one of the biggest hurdles you'll face — particularly when it comes to morale — is time-wasting. Some people express interest and say they're looking for services now, but in reality, they're just curious or shopping around for later. Likewise, people might seem interested and then drop out at the last minute.
Time-wasting is an unfortunate reality, but you can minimize how much you encounter it by only working with quality partners. With a quality lead generation site, all leads are vetted before being passed on to contractors. And while you can never guarantee a lead will convert, your sales pitch, manner, and professionalism can have a huge impact on whether people drop out at the last minute or not.
Expectation #7: I Have To Do Everything Alone
In many cases, lead generation websites simply gather contact details using web forms and sell them to you. There's often no human checking the validity of leads or ensuring they're not cold. As such, you spend a lot of your time sifting through unvetted leads that don't deliver any results.
When there's no point of contact between you and the lead gen site, it can feel like you're doing everything yourself. And when no one on their end is checking leads, that's what you often end up doing. That's why we'd never recommend working with low-quality sites or seeking out free leads — there's simply too much space for wasting time.
As a business leader, time is gold dust. Choosing a reputable lead generation site that takes the time to vet leads and provides an account manager as a point of contact is the best way to ensure this expectation doesn't become reality.
Expectation #8: Automation Is Lazy
Some business leaders shy away from automation because they worry it's a lazy way of doing things. People fear its potential to take away work from people, but in actuality, it frees up people's time so they can focus on what they do best: strategy and creativity.
Many older lead generation websites are outdated and don't provide any level of automation. If it doesn't have an app, a dashboard, and a library of online tools, it's probably not worth your time.
When it comes to lead generation, managing leads, and requesting reviews, automation is your best friend. Avoid old-fashioned-looking websites that don't offer anything beyond basic access to leads. Instead, seek out lead generation sites that include an app to manage your leads and request customer reviews.
Expectation #9: Lead Generation Is Unaffordable
With so many home service contractors setting up businesses, competition for leads is tighter than ever. That means lead generation websites can overcharge for their services, knowing the high demand that's out there.
What's more, because there are so many low-quality websites that don't vet leads, some big-name lead generation sites charge too much. They can get away with this because they qualify and vet leads before passing them on.
In reality, you can find a lead generation site to suit any budget. However, opting for free or low-cost leads often ends up costing more overall. All that time spent chasing cold leads adds up, so the most affordable leads usually aren't worthwhile. Likewise, you shouldn't pay exorbitant prices. Choose a lead generation site with transparent pricing, excellent service, and value for money.
Expectation #10: Leads Are More Important Than Excellent Service
The final, and perhaps most crucial, misconception to unravel is the idea that lead generation can be a replacement for hard work and people skills. Too many contractors set up a business, buy leads, and don't spend anywhere near enough time developing a brand.
If branding and marketing sound like the reserve of big brands and fancy artisan cosmetics, think again. When you have an excellent business model, you'll win more bids and get more referrals, reviews, and repeat customers.
Your sales funnel, customer journey, brand personality, visual brand elements, and the training you give each and every employee are just as important as generating leads and closing sales. When you make contact with a potential client, there's a good chance the first thing they'll do is check your website and social media pages, as well as online reviews.
If you're not managing your online reputation and delivering outstanding service, you can get an infinite number of leads and still struggle to make a profit.
How To Win Contractor Bids
For many contractor small business owners, getting the customer experience and branding right is one of the biggest barriers to success. Winning bids isn't just about having a top-notch sales pitch (although it's critical); it's about being 100% in control of how outsiders view your business.
By paying attention to detail, you can win more bids. Let's take a look at some top tips:
- Be the first: Speed is vital when it comes to winning bids. The best lead generation sites offer a discount to contractors for calling leads quickly, as this benefits you and them.
- Research each customer: Before calling a lead, do a quick social media search. This gives you an idea of their interests, taste, and preferences so you can tailor your pitch to them.
- Be transparent about pricing: Most customers want to know a price and understand a breakdown of that price more than anything else.
- Treat objections as opportunities: Don't be scared by concerns and questions. Confidently take them in your stride and use data to back up answers wherever possible.
- Track your bid-to-win ratio: It's crucial that you have a picture of how effective your bidding process is. Track the number of wins and note what you did to win each bid and which types of projects you win the most. This can help you find your niche and learn which strategies are most effective.
Only Work With The Best Lead Generation Websites
Whether you're looking for roofing leads, exclusive remodeling leads, or house cleaning leads, CraftJack has you covered.
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