Should I Use Home Advisor?

I’ve wanted to write about this subject for a long time. Now and again, I get the question, “Should I use Home Advisor, Yelp, Angie’s List, or any other service to get leads for your business.” The answer is… yes, no and maybe, but it’s even more complicated than that.

The Benefits of Working With A Lead Generation Service

For custom integrators trying to win business with a lead generator like Home Advisor, the ultimate goal is to increase your revenue. A lead generator can help you do that with a low up-front cost. Perfect for a small shop.

“The leads from HomeAdvisor are trash!” —Every Integrator Ever

No, they’re not. Home Advisor runs Google Ads to capture lead information. The same exact way you would if you were running Google Ads. If you’re getting “bad leads” consistently, it’s not HomeAdvisor’s fault; it might actually be yours.

It’s Not My F#@king Fault!

There’s a saying in the AV World “garbage in, garbage out,” the same goes for leads, whether they’re coming from HomeAdvisor, Yelp, or directly from Google.

If you’re not getting the leads you want, it’s because you’re not giving the lead generator the information they need to send you qualified leads that fit your perfect buyer persona.

What’s Going Wrong?

Let’s look at a hypothetical example:

Meet John:
John charges $100+ hr.
He’s a dealer for most products that he sells.
He installs televisions, control systems, whole-home audio, and security.
He drives a late model cargo van.
He’s insured and licensed.
He’s a professional.

If John installs a television, conceals the wires, provides a mounting bracket, the invoice will be $500+.

If John installs a Sonos system (Amp + Pair of Speakers), the invoice will be $1500+ per room.

When he signs up with the lead generator, he adds all of the services he provides, along with every zip code within a 50-mile radius. A month later, John is shocked that he’s spending his budget and getting nowhere fast. Why did John get crushed?

Changing Your Thought Process

When John signed up with the lead generation service, he provided a list of zip codes. Unfortunately, 99% of those zip codes can’t afford John’s services. On his list of zip codes are cities/towns that are sucking money out of his wallet like a giant vacuum, month after month.

John throws his hands in the air, says the lead generation service doesn’t work, and cancels his subscription.

Why didn’t the lead generator work? One of the reasons is because John cast a net that was entirely too wide. John expected to catch a few big, beautiful fish. What he ended up catching was a lot of fish. No lunkers, just fish.

Look At It From A Customers POV

When you think of a home theater, you think of a full Dolby Atmos system, 120″ screen, 4K Sony projector, seating, wall sconces, popcorn machines, the whole deal.When a potential customer thinks of a home theater, they think of a $300 soundbar and a wireless subwoofer. When they think of a smart home, they think Amazon Alexa, not Control4. Why? Because they don’t know any better. The industry as a whole has done a piss-poor job of branding.You can’t sell your version of a home theater or smart home to 99% of the people in your zip code list that you gave HomeAdvisor, they can’t afford it. Yet, there you are advertising to them.You need to narrow the list to the specific communities that you work in, or want to work in. These people are your perfect buyer persona. Those are the people who are ready buy your services, and they’re on Home Advisor too. How do I know that? Because you’re not making any attempt to get them to your website. They have to go somewhere.

The Pay Off

You’ll receive fewer leads, you’ll spend less money and the leads you get will match your buyer persona. The rest is up to you. (Learn how to create a buyer persona)

Strike While The Iron Is Hot

Lead generation services (including Google Ads) work because it’s people who are actively (at that exact moment) searching for your service or product. Like it or not, we live in the “I want it now” generation. People expect anything their heart’s desire at a moment’s notice.Let’s say you have a toothache. You jump on the Google box and search for dentists. Your tooth is throbbing, and you’re starting to get frustrated. Who’s going to get your business? The first dentist who answers the phone, that’s who. The same goes for lead generation.
When you receive a lead from a lead generator, that potential customer is sitting at their computer or on their phone actively searching for your service at that moment. If you’re not on the phone with them within minutes, somebody else will be. The integrator that returns the call first wins. I can’t stress this enough, when you receive a lead, you MUST return that call immediately. If you’re in a situation that you can’t do that, you should turn your leads off temporarily.
There’s no reason to return a call at 6pm from a lead you received at noon. That sale is closed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t you who sealed the deal.

Got Game?

I’m a firm believer in having a script to walk potential clients through your process. First, it keeps them on the phone. Second, it builds rapport. Third, if you’re on the phone with them, your competition isn’t.  1. Create a script with questions you have to ask. (assume the sale)  2. Walk them through your process.  3. Tell them why you’re different than the competition. 4. Close ’em.  You should be able to use a conversation the same way you use your Milwaukee drill. Sales skills are a tool just like any other tool in the back of your van. I’m not talking about slicked back hair, plaid jacket sales-guy. I’m talking about having an end goal in mind, letting the potential customer know that you’re different from your competition, then closing them. Whether it’s a “close over the phone” or a “close for appointment”. You need to close them. If you don’t, you’re never going to talk to them again. It’s that simple.

So What’s The Problem?

If lead generators work, why don’t I recommend them 100% of the time? Because you’re giving away control of your business. You don’t know if these lead generation services will be in business a year from now, or whether they’ll change the way their service works. You’re essentially working as a sub-contractor; that’s not an ideal situation for you. Never trade a paycheck today for a fortune tomorrow.

Build Your Business — Not Theirs.

Instead of spending money on a lead generation service like HomeAdvisor, why not start building your brand instead of theirs? It takes time, but the pay off lasts a lifetime. At Pixel Vault, we’re here to help. Want to talk about how Pixel Vault can help grow your business?

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About Pixel Vault

Pixel Vault was built from the ground up to help AV businesses, custom integrators, and security companies take their businesses to the next level. Using state-of-the-art web design, social media marketing, and Google Ads. We work with everyone from small shop hustlers to members of the CEPro 100.  Ready to get started? Have questions? We're always ready to talk about home technology and other nerdy stuff.  Get in touch today.