Internet Leads and Marketing II

Your company should understand each type of job, customer, location and situation under which it performs best. This can be ascertained by keeping track of your calls, leads, type of jobs, age group, profit margins and comfort level. In other words ­— maintain a call tracking system that works well for your company.

All remodelers should keep even the simplest of information of what type of jobs provides us with the best gross profit margins and the least amount of headaches. Start by breaking your jobs down into the type of work performed — room addition, kitchens, baths, etc. Keep track of your close ratio by age bracket and situation of that particular customer. Examples could be: — you enjoy and perform best for the 32- to 45-year-old age group that are receiving their parents into their home, or you perform better and clear better profit margins from the Generation X group that wants to provide the materials they have purchased from a Big Box. Regardless of what type of job and/or customer you perform your best, you MUST keep track of these items to understand where to best market your company.

Once you have decided by record keeping where to spend your marketing dollars, then zero in on that type of customer or job. Most of the Internet-based lead generating companies allow you to pick what type of job lead you wish to receive. Keep in mind that no company is perfect. Should you receive a dud lead, then notify the company and in most cases you will be given a refund for that lead. Remember, you are the expert for your company. Perform that way.

Finding Internet referal sources

Many of you have asked how to get started in this new lead generating method. To start with, if you have an e-mail address, I cannot believe you have not been contacted by such a company. Perhaps you need to look a little more closely at some of the marketing e-mails you are receiving. Another method is (and I cannot believe I am saying this), “Google” it on an Internet search. I am sure you can find a number of companies that can assist you with your marketing and lead generation. Another method that for the most part is free is to develop a relationship with some of the major manufacturers. I am not going to start promoting any particular manufacturer, but just consider some of the materials you use in a remodeling project. Chances are, it is being produced by a national manufacturer that has tons of money and manpower to devote to marketing for their own needs. Most of these companies know that remodeling contractors can assist them in attaining their goal of increased market share. “The only dumb question is the one you did not ask.” Contact those companies and find out how they can work with you to do a better job of Internet marketing.

Experience is the best teacher and also what most of us listen to when trying to learn a new method of operating our businesses. Let me share how Internet marketing and lead generation has changed over the last three years for one remodeling contractor.

Back in 2003, the number of calls/leads generated for this company was 22. The closure rate was 9.32 percent. The dollar volume was $27,350. Today, halfway through the year, the calls are at 56. The closure rate is 18.54 percent. The volume generated is $127,000. This does not include sidebar referrals from satisfied customers. To date, those numbers look like this: six calls, 50 percent closure and another $27,550 in sales and volume.

It does not take a rocket scientist to calculate what these numbers could convert to over an entire year. I know the good contractors are multiplying right now. Now continue to multiply these numbers by adding more than one, two or three sources or methods of generating additional leads. The contractor cited here, has three distinctly different Internet lead generating relationships developed at this point. Some are free, such as the local association Web site link to the company. Some are charging per lead for their service. Just so you know, the cost to date is $1,135.00. Personally, I would take these odds each and every time.

Understand that this lead generation method, as with any other, takes time to develop. Do not expect these types of numbers immediately. The key is to realize that to turn your back to this method could create a major problem for your company in the coming years. Know who you want to market to, what type of job and customer with which you work best. Start now to provide a more fruitful future.

It does appear the Internet is not going to disappear anytime soon. If anything, it will continue to grow and refine its structure to appeal to even more potential customers for your company.