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Make Your Calls

I was on a consulting call earlier this week with a client who buys a lot of leads from Home Advisor. When I say they buy a lot, I mean like ten grand a month a lot, at $60 a lead. In going through his call process and he tells me he calls each of the leads once. In making that call, one of the following things happen:

  1. He’d book an estimate
  2. He’d get no answer
  3. He’d get a no
  4. He’d get an “I’m not ready”
  5. He’d get a machine

According to him, his only good lead was #1, he’d book an estimate. I asked him why he thinks that is the only good lead. He said he only calls his leads once. If they don’t book on the spot, he doesn’t bother to call back.

I almost fell off my chair! Given that scenario, that is $250 worth of leads that don’t matter to him. I asked him what he does with the leads he doesn’t reach on the first call, he said he didn’t know. He just throws them away.

I asked why and he told me that his average cost per customer acquisition was around $1,000, but that it is ok because his margins were high.

Now, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the logic in this line of thinking is completely off, but it got me thinking, how long should you call a lead until you give up?

My answer has always been the same…until you get a yes or until you get a no, but you need to get an answer. You deserve that much. Your business deserves that much.

If you don’t have the time to do the follow-up, I know there are companies out there that will make the calls for you, but the calls need to get made.

How many calls do you make? How many messages do you leave? When is enough enough?

What I’ve seen is it depends on how busy you are. If you are packed out with work, the lead has to be a dream lead for you to work it the way it should. Anything less, and it goes by the wayside pretty quick.

In my own experience, I had a 100-foot tree fall and split my two-car garage in half, totaling the garage, a car, a truck and all the contents of said garage.

This was during the remodeling craze back in the early 2000’s, long before the crash of 2008. I had to call 18, yes, 18 contractors to come out and give me an estimate. Keep in mind, this wasn’t a rinky dink shed or something, this was a $50,000 garage I needed to have replaced, and it took 18 contractors to land 1…and I knew them, went to school with them. So I had to personally know someone to get a $50k garage built.

My point is this…

No matter how busy you are, you need to treat each lead the same. Sure, everyone wants to hit home runs, but singles matter too. Singles help you make payroll, make the truck payments and keep the coffers full while you wait on bigger opportunities.

Come up with a process to work leads, daytime calls, night-time calls, no messages, leaving messages, emails, follow-ups, whatever it takes to get an answer, you just need closure so you can say you did your job.



Darren has worked with contractors for over 20 years. He is a member of the Construction Marketing Association and has been profiled in NARI, NAHB, Mike Rowe Works and Meet The Pro. He has consulted with companies such as BuildZoom and Houzz for his thought leadership on construction marketing.