One of the biggest challenges in marketing your remodeling business is generating quality leads. You’ve probably heard the complaint from your sales staff that the leads they have to work with simply aren’t very good. They may even go so far as to say that the leads aren’t qualified leads. But just what is a qualified lead?
The inbound marketing experts at HubSpot define amarketing qualified lead (MQL) as, “a lead judged more likely to become a customer compared to other leads based on lead intelligence, often informed by closed-loop analytics.”
Unfortunately, many remodelers will classify a lead as “marketing qualified” if a sales person has been on an appointment with a prospective client. That, however, is not particularly sound methodology.If business is slow, a sales person may make lots of calls and set lots of appointments. That activity really tells you more about the business or the sales staff than it does about the potential client.
By contrast, a marketing qualified lead is based on the characteristics of the prospect. Some of those might be:
- Located in the right kind of neighborhood (i.e. a well-maintained neighborhood)
- Interested in the right kind of project (i.e. true remodeling versus simple repair)
- Budget qualified (does prospect have at least a basic understanding of what the job should cost?)
- Level of interest (has the prospect requested information about potential projects)
- Timeliness (is this a project the prospect is thinking about doing within the next 3 to 6 months?)
Those kinds of qualifiers tell you more about your potential success in moving prospects farther along in your sales funnel because you can be more selective with the information you share. You can actually tailor the information you share to the specific needs of the individuals. Let me give you two examples.
If, in the course of collecting information about your prospects, you find out that someone is interested in doing a kitchen remodel, you can (with their permission) offer them additional information that focuses on kitchens. You won’t want to bother them with information about bathroom remodels because that’s not what they’re after.
You can also eliminate certain prospects that aren’t a good fit. If you discover that someone who has expressed interest in your services is planning to use their Income Tax refund of $1,500 for a kitchen remodel, you can probably cross them off your list. Their expectations simply don’t match your reality. You’ll be wasting your time (and theirs) if you continue to pursue them.
Not every remodeler is the same. You’ll need to establish the characteristics that define your ideal customer. But once you do that, you can shape your marketing efforts to answer the specific questions and meet the unique needs of the people you’re trying to reach. Then, you can spend your time following up on those leads, to prepare them for a call from the sales team. Here’s a post that describes how that follow-up process works.
In the end, it’s not how many “leads” you turn over to the sales team—or even how many appointments the sales team makes. It’s about providing your sales staff with the right kind of leads—leads that have a better chance of becoming customers.