For large jobs like construction or renovation projects, no decision is made overnight. Homeowners, landlords, business owners, and property managers need to know they can trust the people managing their project to do good work on time and at a fair cost. If you want your contracting company to build that trust and sign more contracts, you need to have a strategy for lead generation.
Getting clients requires much more work than simply launching an ad campaign, and contrary to what many business owners seem to believe, paying for a spot on a billboard or local TV station won’t phone calls to come pouring in. Lead generation is the process of piquing interest in your services, presenting your value proposition and convincing prospective clients why they should choose your business over another. Keep reading to find out how to go through the process and generate more customers and revenues along the way.
For some businesses, like ecommerce stores, transactions are quick, simple, and don’t require much back-and-forth. For building or renovation contractors, that’s not at all the case. The property owner has to know that the contractor can meet his or her particular needs and will do it reliably and affordably. And because there are many businesses competing for the attention of the same potential clients, they have to research and weigh their options before making a decision.
In order to even be an option, though, you need to attract the attention of potential clients and show them that you’re worth contacting. This means you need to strike a balance between hard sales pitches and generic, informative marketing messages. With either of these extremes, you’ll likely be unsuccessful in gaining new clients.
Lead generation is important because it allows you to narrow your focus to qualified leads and sharpen your value proposition. It also helps leads learn more about your business and have more confidence in their decision to hire your firm.
One of the most common misconceptions about lead generation is that it’s an entirely separate concept from marketing. On the contrary, it’s actually a part of marketing—you could even say the entire marketing process is based around the concept of lead generation.
Start with your efforts to raise awareness about your business. Potential clients can’t consider you if they don’t even know you exist, but once they do, they’ll be in a position to ask for more information about your services and experience. If they’re really interested, they’ll take steps to stay in touch, either by signing up for future communications or requesting more information.
Next comes the back-and-forth where your prospects decide if they want to hire you. Some will ask directly for details, while others will learn more about your business through your blog or social media. They may not always ask how you can meet their needs, but they’re looking for cues in content, case studies, or testimonials.
Next comes the decision to invest. Some leads are ready to convert quickly and will reach out for more details on what you can do for them. Others may be interested, but an incentive such as a free estimate or other premium will tip the scales. If the offer is compelling enough, you get a new project and a new client.
As you can see, lead generation isn’t so different from marketing. Keep reading to find out what you can do to create a more effective and profitable lead generation strategy.
One of the biggest challenges for contractors is identifying consumers and businesses looking for their services. Traditional methods like cold calling and direct mail can be somewhat effective, but they’re also time-consuming and costly. Thanks to the Internet, your lead generation strategy can involve the following cost-effective tactics.
Create how-to guides, ebooks, and other freebies that provide valuable information to people interested in a repair or renovation. Offer as free downloads on your site, but only after the submission of a name and email address. This way, you’ll get the contact information of potential clients while simultaneously providing them with the information they want.
Use social media, PPC ads, and other pages on your site to encourage downloads. Once they send their information and download the content, send an email thanking them for their interest. You’ll want to follow up again a few days or weeks later, and drip email campaigns can be a great way to put this process on autopilot.
Word of mouth has always helped people find service providers because they trust their friends and family more than they do a marketing pitch. Formalize the process with a referral program, and allow satisfied customers to benefit from spreading the word about your business.
Add a referral page to your website and add the link to your email footer. When someone sends a name, send an email inviting the lead to contact you with questions or details about potential projects. Once you’ve determined where they are in the sales funnel, you can help them through the process of researching your company.
As you generate new leads, you need to stay in regular contact with them. If every lead was the same, this would be simple. But they’re not—some are ready to start a project right now, while others have never even heard of your business. The only way to keep all leads interested is to know how to communicate with each different type.
Most leads will typically get an introduction to your business, needs assessment, custom solution and incentive. However, the time to a sale will depend on other factors. Those who know your company and are familiar with your offerings will take less time to convert than someone who is unfamiliar with your business. When you know how to approach each individual lead, you end up turning more of them into paying customers.
That’s why we created MarketingCloudFX, our custom marketing automation software. It provides an in-depth look at where each lead is in the sales funnel in order to help you provide them with the most relevant information, as well as many other insights into your overall strategy.
There are a lot of steps between initial interest and closing the deal, and it’s up to you to take prospective clients through those steps. When you develop a process for generating leads, you can turn be more successful at converting casual site visitors into valuable customers.
If you’d like to improve your lead generation strategy, WebpageFX can help. Contact us today to speak to a strategist about how our team can improve your online presence and start generating more leads.
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to see how WebpageFX can improve your online performance.