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How to Generate New leads

johnbf's picture

How To Generate New Leads for Contracting Work

If you are having trouble finding enough work to survive in this economy, I have some tips for you.

Step 1 - Make a list of all the customers you have worked for in the past 3 to 5 years.

Step 2 - Create an offer. Try to come up with an offer that is so compelling that the customers is inspired to pick up the phone and call you right away. Sorry, the old 10% discount does not work very well any more.

I usually offer a "Free One Hour Service" as a way of thanking the customers for their patronage. I am in the  home repair service business and almost everyone has a running list of things they need done all the time. I tout my offer as "a way to get all those little things done for FREE." By the way, the customer knows you are soliciting for more work, but they also like a good freebee. This is also a great way to meet new customers.

Step 3 - While you are at their home doing the Free Service, be prepared to present all the other services you offer and try to sell them somthing else. I have landed some nice jobs offering a free service, followed up with a simple sales pitch offering other services.

It helps a lot if you have a "Menu of Services" or a set of "Free Reports" describing solutions to common problems a typical home owner may have.

Step 4 - When you complete a project be sure to send a "Sincere Thank You Note" to every single customer you work for, after every single job you do. It helps if you have all the workers sign it so the homeowner knows that they helped everyone on your team make some money to pay the bills and feed the family.

Step 5 - Stay in front of your customers at least once a month with some sort of an offer to help them properly maintain their home.

Don't worry about customers taking advantage of your FREE offer. In all the years I have been offering the FREE Service, I only had one customer take the free hour and not give me more work. Most people give you more work immediately or a chance to bid a nice job.

Hope this helps, John McMullen.

John (post #201471, reply #1 of 4)

Good idea! 

This comes on top of my realization that when I do small jobs that take an hour, it costs me at least an hour and a half to do them.  In other words, I can do 3- two hr. jobs in a day that starts at 8 and ends at 4.  I now understand the companies that have that initial big cost show up fee.

So, some combination of the two ideas sound interesting.


A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


totally agreed... (post #201471, reply #2 of 4)

What John has described is a very effective sales system in basically any service industry.  It is rare, however, in the construction industry to find small contractors with an awareness of these basic (and profitable) sales methods.  People often feel guilty asking for business and don't want to come off as pushy or desperate.  To survive in this economy, you simply have to put that aside.  

Think of the last time you saw an ad in the paper for something that peaked your interest.  Maybe it was an offer to sharpen your lawnmower blades for 75% off.  You hadn't thought about those blades in several years, so the ad did two helped you remember to take care of something you forgot to do, and it gave you a great price to do it.  Then you go in to the store and end up buying a new gas can (at full price) and some gardening gloves for your wife!  My point is that all the big businesses apply John's principles every day, and we all respond to them!  Same goes with this industry.  "Quality through the roof, since 1952."

For nearly 60 years, Whittle Construction has been a builder of top-quality homes, offering design-build residential and commercial services throughout the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon.

Leads (post #201471, reply #3 of 4)

Depending on your area and the search volume/ compition for keyword phrases.. you might try getting leads from your website.  We typicaly get 2-3 Leads a month from ours.  Use googles keyword search tool and find out the seach volume for phrases like "city" remodeling-- kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, etc... IF it is more than 100 searches a month then you can get leads from your site if people can find you on search.


Remodeling Company

And it's actually quite cheap (post #201471, reply #4 of 4)

And it's actually quite cheap to pay Google for one of the ads in the right margin.  You pay "per click" and it's often just a few cents per, depending on the stats.  This is a particularly good way to drive traffic if Google searches aren't naturally finding your site.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville