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The lead must be led.
A lead is only as good as the salesperson working it.
Good salespeople work good leads. Bad salespeople work bad leads.
By the way, how do you think most of the good salespeople became good?
That’s right, by door knocking! Nothing will improve your sales ability faster than investing your own sweat, time, and money in cold calling right after a busy hail storm. You’ll either learn quickly or you’ll go hungry.
[Tweet “The lead is not the end, it’s the beginning!”]
Too many salespeople look at a lead like it’s the end of the road — either they sign the lead up or they don’t.
If they don’t sign, the salesperson throws the lead away, and goes back to the office or goes home. In their eyes, the lead is dead, doorknob dead. It’s no longer of any use to them. Most of these salespeople won’t even follow-up with their old leads. They just wait around until they’re handed the next lead. This type of salesperson is known as a “Lead Baby.”
Let’s start with the obvious, roofing leads are expensive!
The salespeople I generate leads for are not sitting on their hands all day while they wait for me to pop out another fresh lead before they finally start working, knocking, or cold calling. Roofing leads are expensive.
They aren’t the end; they’re the beginning. The lead gets you going. The rest is up to your own sales ability or the talent of your sales team.
A Fresh Start
Sometimes, your sales pipeline gets old and stagnant.
It feels like every door you’ve knocked, and knocked, and knocked again, isn’t interested.
We know every good sales run starts with somebody believing in you. The way you take over a street, or an entire neighborhood, is one house at a time, but it all has to start somewhere.
Somebody has to give you a chance. You can’t get anything going if you can’t get anything going, right?
When your sales pipeline has reached a dead-end, a fresh roofing lead can spring you back to life because you’ll be talking to somebody who believed in you enough to pick up the phone and call you or they filled out an online form to give you their contact info.
When you’re making an investment in a roofing leads program, consider how valuable it would be to occasionally infuse a fresh start into your sales pipeline.
One Last Chance
I know good roofing companies that have completely fallen apart because they couldn’t get one good thing going.
They lost their sales people, their lease, and almost lost their homes because their sales pipeline went completely dry. One good lead could have saved their business.
A good roofing lead, even if it is expensive, can save you by giving you a fresh start. It’s saved me many times because a fresh start is the beginning of a new sales pipeline.
A Fresh Area
I’m a fanatic about real-time hail tracking.
Yes, you can buy hail maps that are supposed to tell you where the hail hit. The only problem with those maps is that all of your competition is buying the same, or similar, hail maps.
You and all your competitors end up canvassing the same areas because you’re all working off the same intelligence reports…that’s why I prefer to track my own hail storms.
So, let me ask you this serious question, “Would you rather work a neighborhood with 100 other roofers, or work an area where you’re the only one who knows it’s damaged?”
Obviously, you would rather work in a fresh area, right?
Go Where They Aren’t
Here’s a valuable insight about investing in a private online roofing leads program, prospects are less likely to search the internet for a roofing company if they already have several roofers coming to their door on a regular basis. Obviously, a small percentage will still search online; some people don’t trust any roofer who approaches them first, or maybe they work odd hours or have been out of town.
There’s always an exception and some people just prefer to “discover” their own solution online.
In the minutes and hours after a major storm, people in the heart of the damage will use the internet to find a roofer. The leads can come fast and furious if you have the budget to handle the search volume. However, we all know it doesn’t take long for the hardest hit areas to get slammed by door knockers. Once they start getting knocked, prospects generally quit searching.
Who Uses The Internet?
So, exactly what type of prospect uses the internet to find a good roofing company?
I’m glad you asked because these are my favorite kind of prospects.
Prospects who use the internet to search for a roofer generally fall into one of three basic categories:
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- They know they have a problem, but they don’t trust the people talking to them.
- They think they have a problem, but they don’t know who to contact.
- They like to do a lot of research.
They know they have a problem, but they don’t trust the people talking to them…
This is my favorite online roofing lead because I know if they picked up the phone to call me, or filled out my lead form, they already trust me more than the guy who contacted them first.
When a prospect lands on my website, my landing page, and I’ve built up enough trust and credibility to get them to contact me, without “talking” to them first, I know I’m way ahead of the game.
Some people believe a good online leads program is all about buying the right clicks from Google, Bing, or Facebook. What gets clicked, and especially what doesn’t get clicked, is important but it’s only a part of the game.
You can’t send good clicks to a bad landing page and expect to get more roofing leads.
There’s an art, a scientific psychology, behind websites that ‘speak’ or ‘connect’ with prospects strongly enough to convert them into solid roofing leads.
When I take on a new private roofing lead client, I hand-build the converting landing pages because clicks are too expensive to waste on average, even good, websites.
They think they have a problem, but they don’t know who to contact…
Obviously, you’re not standing there, right in front of the prospect, selling them on why they should contact your company.
The words used to convince the prospect to call or fill out an online form are usually the same words you would use if you were standing in front of them.
What is it that’s special about your company? Why would they call you instead of the hundred other roofing companies found online? What do you do better than anybody else?
Sales are all the same. There has to be something about your company that gives the prospect a reason to stop searching.
You’re still selling, you just don’t have the luxury of doing it in-person. You can’t read their body language. Overcoming objections is something you have to do ahead of time because you can’t wait until they raise their next objection. You have to give them a good reason to contact you. If you don’t, they’ll hit the back button and click over to your competitor’s website instead.
They like to do a lot of research…
This is my least favorite type of prospect that comes from an online lead.
People who think they have a big enough problem to spend all of their time researching the internet are likely to spend (waste) all of your time too.
When you buy shared roofing leads from some of the major lead vendors, they aren’t as discriminating about the type of leads they generate and pass out to you.
Maybe they’ve never thought about the different types of prospects. Maybe they don’t care.
All they know is a “researching” lead is cheaper and faster to generate. You’re going to pay the same amount for a “researching” lead as you would for a lead that’s more expensive to generate.
The less they pay for the lead, the more they make as a company. You get what you pay for, right?
Less Estimates = Less Problems
When I talk about prospects who like to do a lot of research, or “researching” leads, I’m talking about prospects who want to get three quotes on their three square shed roof.
I’m talking about prospects who don’t have enough money to do the job right so they keep looking. I’m talking about people who are always thinking about it, but never doing it.
I’m talking about the impossible engineer types who want you to explain the minutia of every detail about your estimate before deciding to go with somebody else.
I’m talking about time wasters!
Sure, you can make money with “researching” leads, but not as much money as you would make working leads from people who have a problem now, and need a solution now. They’re too busy to waste their time collecting estimates.
The Good Leads Map
Twenty years ago, it was a lot easier to generate roofing leads.
You just ponied up the money for a full page ad in the local yellow pages, and your phone would ring with fresh, hot leads. The guy with the biggest ad, closest to the front, would win. Simple!
The internet, Google specifically, has almost killed the phone book.
There are a few areas where the phone book is still a good strategy, but Google didn’t become a multi-billion dollar company by mistake.
They did it by taking revenue away from the phone book. They made advertising easy to buy. They made it easy to take your money.
Google made it possible for you to have your online advertisement in front of every single person searching for a solution to a problem you know how to solve in five minutes or less.
Imagine somebody in Denver is selling their home, but their roof didn’t pass inspection earlier today, and they don’t know who to call. Unfortunately, they’re supposed to close this weekend because they just got transferred to a new work location and they have to be there next week. They need somebody fast.
The prospect grabs their smart phone, or fires up their laptop, and quickly types out, ‘roofing denver colorado’, where they’re presented with a screen that looks something like this (without all the notes on it):
This is a relatively new product created by Google.
They’re found at the very top of the page, but they’re not available in every market. Denver, and several other major markets, have access to these advertisements.
So far, there isn’t a lot of traction for companies to get leads from these listings, but I suspect Google will eventually improve the product. This is Google’s version of something like HomeAdvisor.
You have to complete an application, do a personal background check, along with a company background check before getting approved to run advertising. The benefit to the consumer is Google’s performance guarantee. You would think more people would click on these ads, they just don’t. It’s almost like they are invisible to most people.
Top 3 Paid
In the Western hemisphere, we read everything we read starting from the top-left of the page down to the bottom-right.
So the “Top 3 Paid” positions are the most valuable real estate on this page for an advertiser because this is where people look when they need to take care of the problem quickly.
This is also where those prospects who know they have a problem, but don’t trust the people who knocked on their door will go for help.
It’s also the same place where prospects who think they have a problem, but don’t know who to contact will look for roofing help.
This is extremely expensive real estate for paid search, but it’s also where you’re likely to find a higher percentage of good prospects.
Click prices in the “Top 3 Paid” for this search in Denver, Colorado are going to be at least $25 – $75 per click most of the time.
That’s actually not so bad compared to New York City. Click prices in and around Long Island, NY for similar searches can start as high as $40 per click and go all the way up to almost $200 per click.
Now for the sad news, not every click turns into a lead!
Actually, it’s not even close.
Clicks are extremely expensive and most of them are wasted clicks.
– Some of those clicks come from competitors checking out the competition.
– Some of those clicks come from people who don’t know exactly what they’re looking for, but have decided, you’re not it.
– Some of those clicks come from roofers looking for work.
– Some of those clicks will come from product reps trying to push their latest felt paper, or insulated windows, or inviting you to come to their warehouse for another lame product demonstration…but at least they’ll serve you a free lunch.
– Some of those clicks come from internet marketing companies who want to convince you to switch over to their company. They’ve never spent more than a few hundred dollars a day generating roofing leads, but they want you to trust them with all of your marketing dollars.
Finally, some of those clicks will come from qualified prospects…
…some will like what they see when they hit your website enough to call or fill out a form…
…others will hit the back button, forget you ever existed, and go click on somebody else.
You want to get ranked in the MAP listings because they rank above the fold and drive a ton of phone calls.
Like SEO, you may need to hire a really good optimizer to get you into the MAPS, but those clicks are like gold because prospects know your review rating and they know you are local.
MAP listings can drive traffic to your website or drive phone calls. MAP listings are especially good for making your phone ring.
MAP listings are found a little lower on the page, below the paid ads at top, and that means you’re more likely to pick up “researching” prospects, but these are generally really good clicks.
Again, the lower your prospect scrolls down the page to find you, the less likely they are to be a valuable prospect.
The SEO (Organic) Listings
Have you heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Yeah, I’m sure you have.
Organic ranking is supposed to be free, but people pay a lot of money to SEO companies hoping to snag one of these “FREE” listings. Google changes the rules a lot and they have to start all over again.
If you can rank high enough, one of the top 3 local companies under the maps listings, you will get traffic and leads.
As you can see from the screen shot above, the #1 listing below the maps isn’t a local company. Most people scroll past the lead aggregators and look for the top 2-3 local companies instead.
The lower your prospect scrolls down the page, the more likely you are to attract “researching” prospects.
Go ahead, do a few Google searches right now for roofing in your home town…
Type in something like: roofing tulsa, minneapolis roofing, or vegas roofers.
You want to be one of the top 2-3 local companies listed right below the maps. You may need SEO to get there.
Quality Phone Leads
More and more people are searching using their smart phone.
It used to be that 1 out of every 3 leads was a phone call — the other two filled out a form on your website.
In today’s connected world, 7-9 out of every 10 leads will come in the form of a phone call.
Roofing companies and salespeople who can answer their phone all the time, every time, and on time, have a massive advantage over their competition. When a good prospect calls, not the researching type, they want to talk to somebody right now, right away.
It doesn’t take much trust & credibility to sell some of these prospects because they’ve been prepared in advance to do business with you (and you alone), but if you don’t answer your phone–in the first few rings, the prospect might not even wait for the call to go to voice mail. You’ve lost almost all of your credibility.
These hot, fresh prospects, with urgent problems, want to do business with a business that’s in business, and has enough business to take care of business…like the business of answering your phone.
In my private roofing leads program, I only accept one contractor per area because I specifically target these hot, fresh prospects. If a roofing company can answer their phone, there’s no reason to have another contractor in the area because one company should capture most of the available high-quality phone leads.
[Tweet “If you can’t answer your phone, you shouldn’t buy private roofing leads.”]
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The first time a prospect from a phone lead calls you, they don’t want to have a long conversation.
They want to tell you about their problem, ask for your help, give you their name, address, and phone number.
What makes these leads so great is how quickly they want to get it all over with — less than 5 minutes tops, and usually not much more than 1 or 2 minutes on the phone is all they want from you. After that, they just want you to come out and take care of their problem.
Actually, the longer the prospect talks, the more likely they are to be one of those dreaded “researcher” leads. Long conversations on the first phone call rarely lead to good margins.
Quick conversations, with somebody who knows how to answer their phone, is all the prospect wants from you at this point.
Can you answer your phone?
Quality Form Leads
If you’re thinking with me here, you might wonder about the type of person who would fill out a form on your website rather than call you.
You are wondering, aren’t you?
They like you enough to fill out their personal contact information (e.g. Name, Email, and Phone), and sometimes even leave a little note about their problem, but they won’t pick up the phone and call you? What gives?
First of all, a prospect that fills out a web form is usually an even better prospect than a quick phone call lead. They trust you enough to give you their information without checking to see whether or not you’ll answer the phone. That’s a good sign, right?
Second, there’s often a good reason why they prefer to use a web form. For instance, they’re a stay at home mom with a screaming newborn or they’re uncomfortable speaking English. Phone conversations are uncomfortable. They might be self-conscious of their voice or accent. They communicate well enough in person but the phone can be challenging.
Finally, the prospect may be concerned they’re contacting you at an inconvenient time for you (e.g. Midnight), but they still need to mark “finding a roofer” off their to-do list before the day ends. It could be that they aren’t ready for a phone call, but they want to make sure they get on your list of people to call back.
Maybe they prefer to do everything over the internet. They’ll email you their paperwork. You can email back your estimate. They’ll sign it and send it back. Don’t laugh! It happens all the time.
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Yes, you will occasionally get web form leads from prospects who are researching.
However, if you’re willing to invest big money to target the “Top 3 Paid” positions, you’re less likely to get researchers in your web form leads. MAP listings are also very good. SEO can be valuable to reinforce your brand, but the lower your prospect goes on the page to find you, the more likely they are to be researching.
If you’re trying to attract business for roofing product upgrades (e.g. Metal Roofing, Solar Shingles, Slate, etc.), you may attract more “researching” leads than average. However, you’re more likely to get “researching” leads from lead sellers who primarily target the SEO (Organic) listings.
Think about this, lead sellers who want to sell several contractors the exact same lead, would prefer to get web form leads from their prospects because it’s impossible to transfer live phone call leads to several contractors at the same time. The prospect can only talk to one person at a time. Usually, the first person they talk to has the best chance of landing the business.
It’s like Ricky Bobby used to say, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”
Private Roofing Leads Program
In my short stint with the corporate world, I worked for a Fortune 500 advertising company where I had 50 account managers working under me at one time, managing over 17,000 clients, spending anywhere from $100 bucks a month to well over $10,000 a month. I did all this while maintaining an equity stake in a local roofing company – generating leads, selling on the weekend, and training sales people for the field.
I am the very best I know of at generating online roofing leads.
If there’s somebody else out there better than me, I don’t know who they are.
My private roofing leads program is for the best of the best only. If you’re not qualified, don’t contact me because you’ll be wasting my time and your money.
Are You Qualified?
Listen, if you can’t answer your phone, you are NOT qualified to work with me.
You’ll need a monthly budget of at least $1,500 and you’ll need to meet the qualifications listed on this page.
Can You Set An Appointment?
If you can’t convert an interested prospect into an appointment, you are NOT qualified to work with me.
It doesn’t take much to let an interested prospect tell you what they want while you grab their contact information, but some people can’t set a simple appointment. Roofing leads are too valuable to fumble them away using an inexperienced appointment setter.
Do You Have Closers On Your Sales Team?
Finally, if you don’t have a closer on your team, you are NOT qualified to work with me.
You can answer the phone every time, and set the appointment perfectly, but if you can’t close a high percentage of prospects, the kind who contact you first, you’re not going to be able to afford to stay in my private roofing leads program.
When you invest your money, it has to come back with friends attached. Otherwise, it’s better to keep your money in your pocket where it’s safe.
If you can convince yourself that you’re qualified to work with me, you’ll figure out a way to contact me. You’ll need cash money up-front and enough money in the bank to sustain all the click costs while your fresh leads help fill up your pipeline so you can get a fresh start or a fresh area to jump start your door knocking.
P.S. If you believe you meet the qualifications, and you have the minimum monthly budget, you can jump on a strategy call with me to explore what you can get. Use the form below to pick a Date & Time.