A recent thread on the Linkedin NARI group has generated over 130 responses from parties interested in the relationship between contractors and lead generation sites. The purpose of the thread was to provide a forum for contractors and LGC's about the numerous problems between the two groups. We were interested in obtaining dialogue from contractors and LGC's.
After 90 plus posts Service Magic, the Goliath of the lead generation industry finally joined in to share their views. In subsequent posts it was learned from Service Magic, that lead generation sites as a whole can not qualify leads for contractors because they don't understand contractors' businesses. You would think that if you provided a service that generated leads for a customer that you would understand and know that client!
This is one of the major concerns of all contractors who purchase these leads from the LGC's. Many LGC's claim that they provide good leads for their contractor clients. Based on the comments in the posts this is not the consensus. On ContractorTalk.comtheir are numerous threads about the poor service, sub-par leads, leads sold to more contractors then stated and misstated and incomplete information generated by the LGC's.
In these trying times contractors need to be very careful how they spend their marketing dollars. The strongest way to generate leads is to tap your client base and their contact sphere by generating referrals. Until LGC's change their way of doing business contractors will continue to receive little value from the leads generated. Newer contractors who have not been exposed to these problems continue to spend and waste thousands of dollars keeping these LGC's in business. If you are a new or established contractor and are considering buying leads from LGC's make sure you know what you are buying. The LGC's are very good at making things seem to good to be true.
One poster recommended that you should use the smaller local LGC's who seem to have a better track record then the big boys. Also, it doesn't hurt to have a strong marketing plan to generate leads from your existing client base and contact sphere.