In this competitive business you know how many contractor leads you need to make a single sale. Each phase of the sales process has a success rate associated with it; not every lead is a sale. Maximizing the top of the funnel is the first step.
There’s no question that the purpose of advertising is to fill the top of the funnel with qualified contractor leads. Traditional methods, the big four of TV, newspaper, yellow pages and radio all have a place in your budget. No one will deny that you will get some portion of your sales from them. However, less people are using these outlets as their first place to look. No sense in spending your normal allocation on these declining media. Why not reallocate some or most of your print and yellow page budget to where the eyes are?
Many now turn to the Internet, buying contractor leads lists from various outlets. This is a variation on the traditional cold calling method, where in addition to calling out of the blue, you can mass email. There are many services available and leads are gathered throughout the country. Contractor leads lists can be expensive, and you may have some question about the quality of the leads. In any case, for these methods to be effective, you must have compelling content in the email and have a great destination for these recipients to go to if they click through. Knowing your niche, what your specialty is, and what your vision for your company will be essential to building a strong home base.
Don’t discount the value of a good seminar or trade fair. There is no replacement for making that personal connection. These are high quality contractor leads that have a high probably of translating into contracts. Your existing infrastructure of website and advertisement will reinforce that good impression you made in person.
Some conservative estimates show that there is a 1% conversion of web site traffic to customers. Therefore you must maximize your attractiveness and constantly drive new customers to the site. Ideally, you want to have optimization around keywords, and continue to be the first search result for new keywords or phrases. The good news is that the advent of localized searches has made it easier for local contractors to dominate key phrases in their areas, and maximize lead generation. One of every 3 searches is local and over 1 billion local searches will be performed every month.
A professional well laid-out site, with glowing praise from existing customers on the work that you’ve done will help drive that conversion rate upwards. But generating contractor leads is just a start; you’ll still need to do a great job. Delighting your customers with your quality products and service is essential. Then give your loyal customers a place on your site to brag about what a good job you did, how happy they are and how they’d use you on their next job. That kind of praise will give new customers the confidence to close the deal with you.