On December 12, 2011 we asked 150 HVAC contractors to complete a survey about how well existing lead generation companies met their needs. (Lead generation companies act as middlemen to find homeowners that need work done on their homes, and then sell their contact information as “leads” to contractors.) 13 contractors completed the survey, and the results are summarized below.
(You can take the survey here).
From the point of view of lead generation companies, the lessons are obvious: More than half of the heating contractors that replied had never purchased a lead, and only 2 of the 13 were currently purchasing leads. 80% of the respondents said that their biggest customer-facing problem is making the phone ring with qualified leads. This adds up to a huge opportunity — the markets needs leads, and few contractors buy them. However, lead generators face a serious problem as well — most contractors that have purchased leads believe they are of low quality. Lead generators that solve the quality problem have a huge market opportunity.
1. How often does your company buy leads?
Never:7We did in the past, but we do not currently:4We buy 1-5 leads per month:1We buy 6-20 leads per month:1We buy more than 20 leads per month:0Total:13
2. If you currently buy leads, do those leads convert well for your business?
One of the “Yes” answers and the “No” answer both mentioned that customers acquired from lead gen companies are often very (low) price-focused. The “Sometimes” respondent mentioned that success depends on whether the “lead” has an actual need (as opposed to just kicking tires).
3. If you do not currently buy leads, why not?
Wasn’t able to convert leads to sales profitably:1Small company, don’t have enough money to buy leads:2Wasn’t aware they could buy leads:2Leads were unqualified:4Total:9
4. What is the biggest customer-related problem that you face in making your business more successful?
Customers believe that hiring HVAC Contractors (in general) is too expensive:1Down economy makes customers bargain shoppers:1Finding new customers:8Total:10