One of the reasons that sites like Service Magic, and in Denver, Team Dave Logan have managed to survive, and perhaps prosper, is they provide a significant value in credibility for a contractor who has not established that on their own.
Service Magic brings a huge amount of advertising budget, history, and customer base to the marketing field, and Logan brings name recognition and local trust. A single local contractor has a very long road to doing the same for their company with out help.
There are alternatives to using on line co-op lead generation services, and the more experienced and success home improvement companies will work hard at establishing their own brand and local presence through investing in a strong web site, and then using Internet Marketing to get the visibility they need. Both cost more than buying six $50.00 (give or take) on line leads per month, generated through co-op providers, but in the long run can provide a much greater return on investment for their advertising dollars.
For clients I work with , in most cases, I will recommend they use both co-op and individually branded leads. Frankly, if I am a home improvement company with a unique product and excellent service, I want any lead there is (until proved low value for the investment)
On the scale of quality the Best leads are always referrals. And we can use closing percentage as a basis.
Best Lead sources for a contractor:
1. Referrals ( Close 50% or higher). Referrals are limited to the size of your customer base, and your ongoing communication with them. Rarely will this one source bring in enough new business to sustain a contractor.
2.) Individual Leads generated through a good web site. ( Close 35% or more). This lead source saw YOUR work, and liked what YOU had to say. They is going to be a better connection.
3.) Co-op marketing on Line with a credible local provider. (Close 20% or higher). Lets face it, they don’t know you, and you will be competing against some young overly aggressiveness pricing models at times. Many of these leads are price shoppers, and the worst part of this lead is the soft cost involved in providing proposals and presenting your service and only winning 1 in 4 or 1 in 5. It’s a cost few contractors understand.
4.) Other. Print, TV, Radio. In most cases (and there are exceptions) these media types are poor return on investment.
There are plenty of other factors that effect all of this. If you are the low price leader you can live on co-op leads because your closing percentage will be higher. If you specialize in providing high end services, you will not do well with co-op leads! And in either case, and all in between, if you are not a good sales person, it won’t matter.
Contractors with less than 2 years in business are still in the process of what we call, buying customers. It’s a natural and important process for most start ups. You have to earn your reputation. You have to earn your market share, and the most important thing a new company can do is get as many happy customers as possible.
That’s one of the reasons a company with 5 or more years experience is a good choice for many home remodeling projects. Nothing replaces experience, and they a much lower risk in having issues with your project.
As you can see, there is far more to lead generation than just buying a lead, or building a web site. Successful contractors spend a lot of energy on branding and advertising, and must become excellent sales and marketing companies to prosper in 2011 and beyond.
Feel free to contact My One Call LLC. We have been building and partnering with contractors for 8 years, and understand what works, and what doesn’t work. 303 500 3053 ext 1 (Sales) Web Site