We have previously mentioned that there are two ways to grow your sales:
- Add more leads to your sales funnel
- Improve your conversion rate so you convert more of your existing leads
In this article we are going to look at how you can use lead generation to do both of these. Naturally it will focus more on adding more leads to your sales funnel but fear not. We will look at the tips you can use to convert more of the leads you receive from lead generation sites.
What is a lead generation site?
The first way to grow sales is to open accounts with different lead generation websites. There are a number of sites you can use such as Local Surveyors Direct, Really Moving, Local Building Surveyors, Compare My Move and more.
There are things to consider here. The more sites you are on, the more opportunities you have to capture new leads. This is more opportunities to win business.
The only potential catch to being on multiple sites is that you may receive the same lead more than once. If you receive the same lead from the same site you are normally not charged for the duplicate. However, you may receive the same leads from different sites. If so, you may end up paying for it twice. But you may also be able to discuss certain duplicates if it happens a lot. These sites are there to help you and want to work with you in the long-term.
Open the Tap
The more postcodes and survey types you choose to cover on each site, the greater number of searches you will be able to appear for. If you need more business you can opt to cover more areas and see how many additional leads this generates. You’ll need to remember that the bill at the end of the month will be going up too so keep an eye on how much extra money you need to budget at the end of the month.
Equally, if you suddenly find you’re getting very busy then you can turn some postcodes off. Perhaps keep open the postcodes closest to home so any work that comes in is easy to get to.
The Power of Data
We’re passionate about decisions based on data. It might take time manually to collate the data but you can look at all the leads you get each month from each lead generation site and how many of those leads converted to sales.
Before you immediately hit pause on the lower converting sites, consider some other variables than just conversion rate. Calculate the average fee you receive for each survey type from each lead generation site. It could end up being that the lowest converting site actually provides you better value leads – ones that earn you a higher fee. Is the revenue per lead high enough to justify the extra cost per conversion? Do you have a higher conversion rate in some postcodes on one site and higher conversion rates in other postcodes on another site? Do you get better conversion rates for one survey type on one site but a better conversion rate for another survey type on the other?
Some statistics you could cover:
- Total leads
- Total unique leads (minus duplicates from both sites)
- Cost per lead
- Cost per customer
- Conversion rate (total customers / total leads)
- Conversion rate by survey type
- Conversion rate by postcode area or district
- Avg fee earned per survey type (total revenue / number of surveys)
- Average fee per customer (total revenue / total number of surveys – all survey types)
Beyond these statistics, there are other factors that might mean you aren’t converting as well on some sites. Again, before you just chuck the towel in let’s look at why this might be the case. With some simple tweaks these could become your best performers.
Update profile content
You may compete against some of the same surveyors on each site. You may find that you are competing against different surveyors in some areas. It could be that a surveyor on one site is charging a very low fee to win business. But it could be that your profile just doesn’t stack up against what the others have written.
Customers are willing to pay more where the value on offer is clear. If a surveyor is listed with a low fee and a clear proposition about what they will provide the customer then it’s a no brainer. Unless the alternatives options are clearly explaining what extra value they will be providing by using their higher fee service.
Consider 4 surveyors separately writing a profile:
- We offer RICS Surveys
- We are RICS Chartered Surveyors
- We are regulated
- We are local
- Here is a video about different surveys made by RICS.
None of that differentiates you. Neither does it add value to the customer – what does it mean to them? The customer cares about one thing – is the property they are looking to buy what they think it is? What will you do to make sure that they know everything they need to know (from a full list of every issue to outlining the required fixes). How can you be more sure about your advice than the next surveyor? What ongoing help will you provide them if they have questions or need help with resistance when they speak to their agent / vendor?
How good are the reviews left for you. Even if they are good, they need to be relevant. And by that we mean recent. Customers generally only consider reviews within the last 2 – 3 weeks as useful. Teams change, people’s service levels fluctuate. As well as recent reviews, the more the merrier. Lots of customers all agreeing your service is good shows that you really do go above and beyond. That provides confidence in your value.
Finally, ask the lead-generation site if they are happy to advise on their lead sources. Are customers searching at the point of needing to buy? Or are searches coming from sites where customers are learning about prices and services early in the process? The sales pitch requires a different approach in each case and you could tailor your response based on the urgency of the enquiry.
Responding to New Leads
A lead is sent to you when a customer makes a search. When should you respond?
78% of customers buy from the first responder (Lead Connect). The customer is ready to learn more about surveys when they make the search. They are searching for quotes because they want to sort out this part of the process now. Therefore, the best time to call is straight away.
Not only do you catch the customer at the point they are actively making time for this but you get to be first to offer information. The more relevant information you can offer the customer now, the more value you can add to their search process. Once you are second, third, fourth… there is less and less new information you can provide and therefore less value. It also acts as a signal to your general responsiveness. If you take 2-3 days to respond to me when I’m looking to give you money, how long will you take to get back to me with survey updates?
Let’s say the search came in at 8pm. Obviously this is too late to be calling customers up and discussing what they should get. Both for them making searches in front of the TV and for you – work-life balance is hugely important. But that doesn’t mean you can’t respond to a quote enquiry with useful information straight away, be in your potential customers mind and follow-up with them first thing in the morning.
We’ve just mentioned work-life balance. So we aren’t suggesting you look out for enquiries and respond to them manually. When a customer makes a quote enquiry you have the option to submit an instant quote, an estimate that you can confirm later or submit a completely bespoke quote later. In any case you can submit an automated email in response to the enquiry that provides information about your service. This could include details on how the next stages of the booking process would work, what the customer can expect from your report, your post-report support, the type of detail provided from your inspection and so on. It should focus on where you add value in the process, not just provide the same information as other surveyors.
Automation doesn’t replace the value of your phone call. But it shows immediately that you care about being responsive, and about providing information when the customer wants it. This value builds interest in your brand or company and helps buy you time to respond later. This email could ask the customer to let you know what time is best to call them as well as letting them know your available times in the day for them to call you.
Structure is important to remaining productive. Jumping from task to task is unproductive and will mean you could get caught answering the phone when you can’t best deal with an enquiry. Equally it is frustrating for customers calling you at points where you are unable to speak and feeling like they have to play the phone call lottery. But if they know you’re likely to be available between 1-2pm or 3:30 – 5pm then they’ll be happy to wait to make that call.
Automation is what you make of it. Structure it in the right way and it adds value to the process. Set it up incorrectly and it won’t provide the value it should.
Making the Most of Older Leads
How many times do you follow up with a lead? Do you send out one initial email or make one call and leave a voicemail?
It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect (The Brevet Group). Partly because most people don’t respond to voicemails.
Just because a customer doesn’t respond the first time does not mean they are a bad lead. They may have been busy when you called or read your email whilst doing something and forgot to respond. They may be early in the buying process and just getting an initial idea of costs.
What are you doing to stay in touch with enquiries that have not yet purchased? Contacting every single one each week takes time. Have you considered adding customers to an email list. If they have made a search and not purchased you could be sending out useful information to them about your service at regular points. This keeps you at the front of their mind so when they are looking to go ahead you are the first person they think about. If they aren’t interested in your services they can unsubscribe from your emails.
Lead nurturing can be set up for a fairly low cost. Once set up, no further work is required from you but your leads are still hearing from you. You increase your chance of generating more sales. If you’ve paid to generate leads from a lead generation site it makes sense to be investing in the conversion of these leads and not wasting your marketing investment. Particularly if your competitors are doing just that…
For every $92 spent on generating traffic and getting customers, only $1 is spent on converting these customers (Hosting facts.com).
If you buck the trend, you have the opportunity to make more from your marketing spend.
What will work for your business will be different to someone else’s. These are all ideas to consider that could help you bring in more leads or convert the leads you are receiving more successfully.