Let me paraphrase many of the home improvement dealers that I’ve heard from over the past year when it comes to Internet leads:
“Internet leads suck!”
Okay, that’s succinct and seems to cut to the heart of the emotion involved with online leads. But it’s a gut reaction. When I’ve done some investigation into “Why” I’ve come across a number of thoughts that could help home improvement dealers boost the performance of their online leads.
Let me also be succinct. STOP OVER-QUALIFYING! This is the the #1 sin in the home improvement business, and is the result of poorly trained appointment setters, salespeople and phone reps. Many appointment setters are errant to try to diagnose a homeowner’s need on the phone before committing to send a sales rep out to truly understand the homeowner’s problem.
The #1 goal is to get into the home! However, once “Internet leads” get a poor reputation within your organization, your call setters will start to assume that all such leads are bad, and will subconsciously try to kill them regardless of the homeowner’s need or interest.
We have heard this on hundreds of phone calls over the years. For example, last year I listened to a phone call from a homeowner who “wanted insulation” because her energy bills were too high. The appointment setter replied with “We only install attic insulation. If you want insulation in the walls or siding, we can’t help you.”
Talk about shooting an Internet lead in the foot! This was a homeowner who clearly had an interest in insulation, had a motivation (to lower her heating bill) and had responded to that home improvement dealer’s campaign.
But the appointment setter over-qualified the lead. Does that make the lead bad? Of course not. In this case, a live lead was killed by the dealer’s offline response to it.
Don’t take your company out of the game just because you think Internet leads don’t work. Over-qualification is an easy habit to fall into, and it will cost your company real dollars in the long run.
This is not 2005 for the home improvement industry. Picking and choosing among the juiciest opportunities is no longer a viable strategy. Remember, goal #1 is to get into the home and to pitch that homeowner!