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Getting New Customers Doesn’t Have To Cost $400 Anymore!

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I was asked the other day if these services and companies were worth a try or not. I try my best to be ahead of the curve on a lot of things, from services to marketing. Sometimes it’s great, and sometimes you end up being the guinea pig on a bad idea. As to home service and lead generating services, I have tried most of them, and some with little to poor success. Now I know my experiences may not be typical for all, but there are a few great pointers you can pull from what I have found out by trying these services.

As a rule, I hate that they are out there competing for the same leads as us, but if you can’t beat them, join them! Sort of. Join them as long as you know what you are getting into, and how to make the most of them. In my opinion there are two types of lead generating service providers out there.
First are the ones that you pay a set dollar amount per lead that they generate for you. My opinion is to run away from these as fast as you can. These campaigns and services are all about bulk. You get unqualified leads, and on top of that they are sending them to at least two of your competitors. Not only are these leads the worst, but you have to fight to get reimbursed for leads you were sold that are clearly not even leads in the first place! In the past I have paid for leads for wrong numbers, customers wanting a window unit, customers that were not happy that I contacted them in the first place, and some that not only were upset I was calling but did not even know how I got their number!

The second is a lead generating campaign run by the said provider, in which you pay a fixed percentage of your offering for all leads that get sold. If I haven’t bored you yet, you may have keyed in on the phrase “get sold.” That one phrase is the difference between these companies and their offerings, including how well they will work for you. So why are they so good? You are only paying for acquired leads, which translates into no risk. The provider runs the ad campaign, finds the buyers, and collects the payment, minus their cut. Then the customer calls to book, and has a coupon or redemption code to book it. If the customer forgets to call, or gave the offer to a friend as a gift and it never gets redeemed, you still get to keep the money after a set amount of time has passed. There’s no other marketing vehicle that I am aware of where you only pay if it produces a service. Not only that, but your service offered is prepaid, and don’t forget how easy this is to track! They track it for you and send you updates. I try to track everything, but do you think I can tell you with exact certainty how many calls came from a direct mail piece, the phone book, or the internet? I can get close, but if someone in my office forgets to ask, it goes untracked. So this method gives you an exact amount of leads sold making figuring out your ROI easy.

Just remember it’s a marketing tool. Unless you set it up internally to make money, it will not. I say this because the actual service is a lost leader. If you look at the cost of the lead (normally 40% to 50% of the coupon face value), and the time it takes to perform the call, you will lose or break even on the service you provide.

However, you are in a new home with a new customer who probably has issues. Sell one add on while you’re there, or a maintenance agreement and it has now paid for itself. Make sure you send the right tech, one that is the best at providing solutions to the customer, and is the best at offering said services.

We ran one yesterday and got an $8,000 sale on a $99 tune up that the “ZYZ Company” got $40 for their cut of the tune up coupon. Not bad for a $40 lead! So my thought was, book as many as they can sell. One bad, or out of tolerance, capacitor on a tune up and you found a way to make a few bucks on the lost leader. If every marketing effort we had was a “only pay for what they sell” situation, we would no longer be wasting marketing money, but would be getting a new customer. Plus, we could budget for growth based on how many leads we wanted vs guessing how many we “might sell.” In a nut shell, I am a fan as long as you only have to pay for the leads they sell, and the leads are an actual paid for service and not an unqualified lead that is going to two other competitors at the same time. For now, this works and there is no risk, so try it!

Dave Miller
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Posted In: ACCA Now, Management, Money

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