Guest post by Spencer Powell, Inbound Marketing Director at Builder Funnel
This year, we’ve been hearing frequently that contractors are getting too many leads. This is certainly a better problem to have than not enough leads! However, it’s still a major problem.
Unfortunately, one of the major downsides to this problem is that if you don’t push some of the leads away (and by push, I mean politely push), they will come back and leave negative reviews of your business online. I’ve seen this happen, and it can be very detrimental to your reputation. Here’s an example.
We have a client that simply didn’t have time to respond to some of their leads. One of the leads went to Facebook and left a nasty review to the effect of:
“This company is extremely unprofessional. We called in and never heard back! I would never do business with a company like this.”
They left a 1-star review.
As someone in marketing, this is painful. The company didn’t even do work for this individual, yet they left a 1-star, negative review. This is one reason it’s critical you develop a system for responding to every lead.
Even if you respond to every lead, sometimes you’ll get reviews like this:
“This company was extremely rude – we called in about a bathroom remodel and they said they didn’t handle small projects like ours. They told us to go away.”
They left a 1-star review.
Ouch. Obviously, not every lead is a good lead, so you need to turn some away, but if you don’t turn them away with some tact, they might still leave a negative review.
So, what’s a contractor to do? Here are a few ideas for qualifying and automating as much of your lead flow as possible without the negative side effects.
- Use a Lead Intake Form
- Use Marketing Automation to Qualify Leads
- Use Templates to Increase Efficiency
If you don’t have a lead intake form for your front desk person, you need one. Depending on how many leads you’re getting each day or each week, you’ll want to put either more qualifying questions or fewer questions in this form. Here are a couple of example questions to help weed out leads:
- Can you describe your project? (helps qualify the type of project – is that something you even do or want to do?)
- What is your address? (helps qualify the area – do you travel that far for projects?)
- Do you have a budget for your project? (If they say “no, I was calling to find out”, then you can say “a typical kitchen remodel for us starts at $40,000 and goes as high as $100,000”. Is that range comfortable for you?)
Each question is designed to eliminate more prospects from your funnel. The more you eliminate with the lead intake form, the fewer appointments you have. This is a good thing if you’re wasting time going on a lot of appointments.
My suggestion is to start with some basic questions that aren’t too intrusive, but still help eliminate prospects (like the first two in my list above). Then, if you’re still bogged down, work in some tougher questions like the budget question.
Marketing automation software allows you to design some automated sequences that can remove some of the manual labor involved in qualifying leads.
Let’s use an example. If you’re getting tons of leads, I’m sure many of them are finding you online through SEO and filling out the Contact Us form on your website. Then, you probably call or email them back and try to move them along the sales process.
Marketing automation allows us to use an automated email to reply to those people that fill out the form. So, we could use something like this:
Thanks for contacting us at ABC Remodel! We truly appreciate you reaching out. In order to best serve you, please fill out a very brief project survey so that we can connect you with the right person and deliver you an amazing experience. LINK TO SURVEY
All the best,
Now, if the person doesn’t fill out the survey, they have already eliminated themselves. Great!
If they DO, fill out the survey, you can set up triggers. If they answer questions the way you like (good budget, right project type, etc.), you can let them know they’ll be receiving a call from a remodeling specialist.
And if they answer questions in a way that disqualifies them, you can trigger an automated email that goes something like this:
Thanks for taking the time to fill out our project survey. Unfortunately, we can’t meet your requirements at this time. We would hate for you to work with us and have a bad experience.
However, here are a couple of companies that we highly recommend that will be able to take great care of you.
LINK to Company A
LINK to Company B
Also, I know you’ve invested some time filling out our survey, so here’s your survey answers. This will make it easy to copy and paste into an email or form when you contact another company.
COPY of survey answers here.
All the best,
Now, that’s automating at its best. You’ve automatically weeded out leads that aren’t a good fit, and you have the surveys of the good leads go right to your sales team so they can reach out. It’s like magic, only real =)
Maybe you’re a little uneasy with the idea of automating your lead qualification. In that case, you can still leverage email templates to streamline and save time.
When someone fills out your contact us form, just have a template ready to send them.
Thanks for contacting us at ABC Remodel! We truly appreciate you reaching out. I’m sure you’re extremely busy, so I’m going to ask you a few questions via email to help expedite the process for you.
If you’d prefer a phone call, just reply back and let me know! Otherwise, I’ll wait to hear back on the questions above.
All the best,
It’s the same approach, just using templates. If the answers come back and they aren’t a good fit, just use another template to tell them you can’t serve them right now. If they are a good fit, use a template to schedule a call or meeting.
Getting a lot of leads is a blessing and curse, but there are some effortless ways to start streamlining how you qualify and handle them. I hope this has given you some clever ideas that you can implement this week.
Take advantage of the hot market right now and enjoy this challenge because when leads are dry, you’ll wish you had too many!
About Spencer Powell
Spencer is the Inbound Marketing Director at Builder Funnel. Since 2010, he’s been building out a proven model and system that has helped generate thousands of leads for his clients. He specializes in helping contractors bring their websites up to speed – not only building traffic, but focusing on lead conversion and ROI.
In addition to helping remodelers, you can find him at a nearby Chipotle about 3 times a week.