The Lifeblood of Every Business
Examining the importance of sales leads for your spray foam business and the best way to get them
What would you say is the single most important function of every business? What is the one thing that every for-profit business of any kind must have to survive? What is it that separates the wildly successful from the hangers-on in the vibrant economy we now have? What will keep some businesses afloat while others fail when the economy recedes as it does in predictable cycles?
The answer is High Quality Sales Leads.
The ability for a company to generate quality leads is the lifeblood of every business. It doesn’t matter what you sell or what kind of service you provide, your company must find prospective customers. Grocery stores need to get people through the doors. Plumbers need to find those with leaks and clogs. Doctors, dentists, retailers, car and truck dealerships, all need for us to know about their business and have a basic understanding of how they could benefit us. Ask any spray foam contractor what business they’re in and most will quickly tell you about the great installations they do, but how did those installations begin? It all started the same way that a loaf bread found its way to your kitchen counter and into your kids’ lunch boxes. A lead was generated to get you into the store, a presentation in the form of packaging or some promotion got you to buy that bread and not the others. Once you find a product you like and trust, you’re likely to remain loyal to the brand and speak highly of it to others.
For the SPF contractor, this is the typical sales cycle, and each step can be assigned a probability of success that can be rather dramatically different depending on the quality of the lead and, to a lesser degree, the skill of the salesperson. Leads can be generated any number of ways and the quality of the lead can vary immensely. A local home and garden show where someone drops their name in a bowl to win a free gift card is a lead that’s easy to get, but essentially worthless. If the home show lead was better qualified, it would improve the odds of developing into a presentation. Instead of a give-away, try standing in the aisle with a block of foam in your hand and ask everyone passing, “Are you building or remodeling?” Avoid like the plague asking, “How are you doing?” Home show attendees have been asked hundreds of times how they’re doing, and it’s not really the information you’re seeking. You are interested in talking only to those who have a potential need for spray foam, and if asked if they’re building or remodeling, those who are will stop. Once they stop, hand them your block of foam and as long as they hold it, you have their attention. From here, a skilled sales person will set an appointment and go to their home or business to review their needs, present your features and benefits, and ask for the close. Leads from different forms of advertising are usually better than even well-qualified home show leads. For instance, if your truck is painted in big, bold letters across the back it will capture attention and a basic understanding in the split second a person sees it:
SPRAY FOAM INSULATION
You can display your company name and some service you provide on the sides, but keep the back simple and keep it clean to give a great first impression. Too much information on the back is not helpful and will not prompt the action you want, which is a phone call right then and there from the person following your truck. Social media is a whole new world in marketing that can’t be overlooked. It’s possible to target only the population you’re looking for and there are some simple ways to make your ads more effective.
First, define your target. Are you looking for homeowners with above average annual income and a certain age range? You can enter those specifics in your ad campaign and the social media platform will engage only those who match your spec. It’s possible to target only the zip codes you prefer to work in and only those who match the demographic of your existing customers or those you wish to reach.
Second, present something of value. Mini-infomercials are more effective than simply bragging about your company. A series of “Did You Know?” ads that inform the reader are more likely to be acted on than a statement of how big or old your company is. And, keep them short. Instagram has taught us the value of videos of one-minute or less. There’s so much content vying for our attention these days, you really need to stand out and have a useful message. As we settle into winter, especially in the northern states, SES Foam contractors can display the Arctic Tested, Alaska Tough™ logo and describe how NexSeal™ closed-cell foam survives brutally cold winters in Fairbanks, Alaska without shrinking or losing R-Value. Where open-cell is common in attics, SES foam contractors can show video clips of SucraSeal™ easily passing the Appendix-X fire performance test. Short clips of rising foam catch your potential customer’s attention. Follow a close shot of rising foam with wide shots of the completed job and your prospect will get a feel for what spray foam could do for them.
There are innumerable ways to spend advertising dollars to generate leads, and it’s important to be consistent with whatever method you choose. Even a small budget for daily Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads usually works better than sporadically running larger promotions. Remember that the sales cycle is sometimes long. If we’re not generating leads today, there might not be jobs to spray a month or two from now. Great contractors work every single day to find prospective customers. The value of lead generation cannot be overstated.
The essence of sales of any kind is trust. We buy from people, companies, and contractors we trust so everything you can do to instill a sense of trust will help your close rate. This is why infomercials work. This is why a face-to-face and heart-to-heart conversation at the home show works. This is why the all-time best leads possible work better than all other leads combined—referrals.
Referrals are gold in contract sales. Those people referred by your customers already trust you enough to request a proposal, and they are far, far more likely to enter a contract without shopping all over town. So, how do you get referrals? You ask for them. The best time to ask is just as the job is wrapping up. For instance, if you’re doing a residential retrofit job, you should have left a ventilation fan running in the attic or crawlspace for up to 24 hours after the application. The person who sold the job should go back to the house when the homeowners are there to retrieve the fans. The sales rep should have some can foam in case any minor touch ups are needed and before leaving, the salesperson should ask for referrals. This is one of the most important steps in the whole sales process and must be honored and protected.
It’s not uncommon to close 75 to 90 percent of referred prospects. Compare this to only five to 20 percent of prospects collected through social media or even well qualified home show leads and you can understand the value of paying the highest attention to referrals. It’s a great idea to reward those who refer you to others, and it’s important to stay in touch with them because they’re likely to tell more people about the service you provided over the months and years following a foam application.
Trust. We buy from those we trust as consumers and contractors. Trust in the quality of products like SES SucraSeal™ with its industry-leading fire performance. Trust in the proven cold-weather performance of SES NexSeal™. Trust in the high-yield of SES EasySeal™ opencell, and most importantly trust in the SES field and factory team who support their contractors and constantly innovate and improve products to help you to stay ahead of your competition.
Check out the SES Foam website at www.sesfoam.com or call 713-239-0252 to learn more. If you’re not already an SES Spray Foam contractor, ask how you can join our winning team.