How a Contractor Can Use A Web Contact Form to Make More Sales

Carmen Rane HudsonGeneral Online Marketing


In a previous post we talked about how your web contact form can chase customers away if it isn’t set up correctly. But there are other ways to lose these leads.

This is a slide show presentation from B2B Lead Roundtable. The numbers are just as applicable to selling to homeowners as they are to commercial sales.

So what are the takeaways of this presentation, and how do they relate to web contact forms?

Call Your Leads Fast

According to the presentation it takes about 5 minutes for a contact form lead to go stale. You need a way to put in a call the moment someone hits “submit.”

Your office staff can tackle the task if you want, as could an inside sales rep. Or you could use your mobile phone.

This was a technique that was recently outlined on a post called “Plumber: 95% of My Leads Come from Yelp.”

“He [the plumber] spoke about his reliance on his smartphone as a tool in the field and how he uses it to take payments (Square) and quickly respond to emails and make callbacks.”

This is a huge area of opportunity. Slide 9 indicates that it takes most people 44 minutes to put in a call back. If you’re competing with anyone at all you’re likely to become the winner simply by being the first person to pick up the phone.

Slide 11 makes this even more clear. 78% of the sales are going to the first caller, according to the report.

Now of course, if your prospect uses the form at 3 in the morning it’s more than acceptable to give them a call at a more reasonable hour. You don’t have to monitor your web form 24/7. Just make sure it’s covered during normal business hours.

Be Persistent

So you didn’t get the homeowner the first time. Do you drop a voicemail and go on to other things?

Not if you want to make the sale. Note slide 14. You need to try calling at least 6 times before you giveup.

Slide 41 specifically suggests 8 calls.

However, do leave a solid voice mail when you do call. Otherwise, how will the caller know that you were the first and fastest to respond? If they didn’t pick up the phone, they wouldn’t.

Keep in Touch

The slide show talks about capturing permissions in order to make contact again sometime in the future. It may be more efficient to just offer the option to subscribe to your blog so that potential customers can receive an update every time you update your blog.

According to massively popular blogger Jon Morrow, this represents the wave of the future.

I’ve talked about email marketing before. Even then I was talking about simply sending out blog updates as a time-saver. Let’s face it, your blog is the place where you’re working to create content that is specifically useful to the reader, and that’s pretty much the only kind of e-mail that the customer is that interested in receiving.

However, it’s not the only way to get the job done. Some people use their e-mail lists to go beyond the basics and to get “deeper into the weeds,” moving beyond the content they post online.

One way or the other though, you have to provide some method to hold onto people who visit your website and express an interest. Otherwise they’re just going to forget about you.

Using Calendars and Reminder Calls

I was quite intrigued by Slide 31, which mentions how Google or Outlook calendar invites can decrease no-shows. You could do this for estimate appointments and for service appointments, but you should definitely ask the customer’s permission to do this while you’ve got them on the phone.

Asking permission also gives you the chance to ask customers which of the two services they prefer to use.

However, the reminder call idea on Slide 32 does not require any special permissions.

Closing Thoughts

If you’ve done what it takes to turn your website into a big lead generation machine you’re already doing more than your competition probably is. Now you just need to tighten up your response so you can make the most of this advantage.