We all sell somebody better than we sell everybody.
An experienced salesperson learns to quickly identify the specific prospect profiles who fall within their unique persuasion abilities–one of the many reasons why door-to-door sales can be so rewarding. You aren’t looking for everybody.
You’re looking for somebody, somebody specific, and when you find them, you sell them!
Metal Detector Analogy
Imagine using a metal detector to comb the beach for hidden treasure.
Your signal quickly passes back-and-forth over everything, but you only stop to dig when you hit on something–hopefully something valuable. An experienced treasure hunter will quickly differentiate between a valuable signal and the annoying buzz of a false positive. One sound is usually worth investigating while the other noise is always a waste of time and energy.
This is where things get a little tricky…
Like an expensive metal detector, a great salesperson can hear things buried deep in the words or in the body language of their prospect that’s too often missed by average salespeople.
I’ve personally missed on opportunities because I couldn’t hear, or didn’t recognize, a prospect profile that was within my selling ability. Listening intently has always been an advanced sales skill, but just because you can hear a need others have missed doesn’t necessarily mean you also have the skill set to solve the problem and make the sale.
Basically, we have to hear everything but only listen for the problems we can solve. This is an essential skill for door knocking.
On a more advanced level, we want to signal the problems we can solve to signal us first so we don’t have to hear everything else. This is the secret of profitable lead generation.
Generic Roofing Leads
When one roofing lead is sold to many different contractors, you’re buying generic roofing leads.
Hopefully, the prospect filling out the lead form has a specific problem related to roofing (e.g. leak, missing shingles, room addition, etc.), but category selections on a generic lead form are purposely kept broad (e.g. repair, metal roofing, new roof, etc.). You don’t want to make the prospect think too hard. They might get frustrated and go watch cat videos on YouTube instead. To be fair, even if a prospect had tighter choices, they probably wouldn’t make the right selection anyway.
For example, you might buy a generic lead from the “new roof” category for $50, $75, up to $100–the same lead being sold to 4-5 of your closest competitors–only to find out the prospect wants a “new roof” on their old storage shed. Another example would be a prospect who selects the “repair” category on their lead form, but they have old hail damage and really need a new roof.
In both examples, the lead is generic; not because the category isn’t specific enough, but rather because a specific problem solver–one unique contractor–is not presented as the solution.
In fact, one unique contractor can not be highlighted in advance–where the prospect with the problem can signal a specific contractor first–because selling the lead only once, to one contractor, would not generate enough revenue to cover all of the expenses and keep the lead company in business. They would go out of business.
Obviously, one solution would be to increase that $50 or $75 cost per lead price by 4X to 5X. However, that would break their business model and their promise because prospects are told in advance they’ll get bids from several contractors. That is the generic lead selling model, “Fill out one form and get several bids.”
Personally, I would rather sell a prospect who only wants one bid–from me!
Exclusive Roofing Leads
When one unique contractor is selected as the possible solution for a specific problem, that’s an exclusive roofing lead.
As you can imagine, not only are exclusive leads more expensive to generate in quantity, but they’re also more valuable for the contractor being selected. When you buy exclusive, you aren’t fighting with several contractors over a generic prospect with a broad category problem who doesn’t know or appreciate your unique skill set.
Your cost per lead goes up because you are eliminating competition, but when you think about it seriously, your costs actually are going down because you are eliminating competition.
When an owner gets serious about growing their business, they start by first getting serious about their time. They spend less time working in their business so they have more time to work on their business. In the same way, an owner buys back wasted time spent chasing generic leads by investing in exclusive leads. Less time wasted in the field is more time invested in the business.
WARNING: As with any serious investment, there are keys to success that have to be considered because not everybody is qualified to buy exclusive roof leads.
With generic leads, you buy the lead before the prospect knows who you are or why they should do business with you.
With exclusive leads, you buy the lead after the prospect knows who you are and why they should do business with you.
Which prospect would you rather sell?
P.S. If you’re buying generic roofing leads now, and thinking about going exclusive, first consider whether your business is strong enough to attract the buyers who have the problems you are best suited to solve.