Q & A From Our June 2011 Webinar (Part 4)

I enjoyed participating in the most recent home improvement webinar on lead generation and appreciate the opportunity to answer many of the questions on canvassing that we received in this format.

Q: What is the best way to pay the marketers in the field – by the lead or by the sale or both?

A: A base salary (per hour) incentivized by issued appointments or presentations (provided minimum goals are met), further incentivized by the number of hours taken to produce those results. The team leader’s compensation should be similar based on the average of the team.  There are typically additional bonuses paid on gross numbers but are conditional to certain “hours to demo or issue” being met first. Additionally you can create a “pool” of funds which are based on the percentage below budget. (i.e.  canvass marketing budget – 14%, actual expenditures – 12%, equals 2% of net volume generated. And you can distribute a portion of this (i.e. 20%) to individuals within the group on a “per” performance basis if warranted.

Q: Lead generation for mid to high end remodeling – what works?

A: I’d start with your database.  Leads you’ve had in the past which you have not had an opportunity to present, those to whom you proposed and did not sell and those prospects you sold who could not get financing – then examine your previous customers, solicit them for additional work, ask them for referrals and don’t hesitate to use the methods we recommend for sunrooms, basement refinishing, cabinet re-facing and bath rehab.

Q: How do I convert more of the leads I currently get into appointments?

A: I recommend to give the webinar another listen.  A great deal of the information that you need is contained in that 90 minute program.  On our website there are also numerous home improvement articles on this topic that I advise you to download at no cost.

Q: When are the best hours of the day to canvass?

A: In most markets (some differ) the best hours during the week are 4-8pm. Generally, there are more people home on weekends. Saturday and Sunday are good all year due to sunlight and temperature. 3 out of 4 of our clients experience their best days on Sundays (noon – 5pm). Saturdays usually start at 10am.

Q: How many man hours to produce a lead?  How many man hours to produce a presentation?

A: There are lots of variables, starting with your definition of a lead. No matter the client, we always begin with “budgeting by the demo” since this is a demo business (although the “issued appointment” is our preferred unit of measurement and compensation since it’s easier to define and avoids time-wasting discussions and arguments.)  Once we’ve identified the amount of money we can budget for and compensate for a demo, we work backwards to the issued appointment. The key issues are what it’s costing you, the average sale and the close rate at which your sales force is capable. Here are some safe averages. If your average sale falls in the $8,000 to $12,000 arena, you can probably make a profit up to 15 hours to a demo although you will likely be over budget. Most of our clients need to fall under 12 hours to a demo although we personally never want them over 10 hours to a demonstration. The sweet spot is when you can manage your entire canvassing operation under eight hours to a demo.

Q: What should the sit (presentation) rate be for canvass leads if you have a 65% sit rate for conventional leads?

A: Sorry, your sit rate should be higher than 65% for any lead including canvass. And I’m unsure if your defined sit rate includes a full demo. We typically define a sit rate as all parties being present with an understanding (and agreement) to a certain amount of time set aside and with consent again to those terms at the door allowing us to proceed to the walk-around. Typically, our goal is to attain a 90% or better sit rate. Demo rates should be in the 80’s. Anything under 75% probably indicates that you’re inefficient in multiple areas, starting with how the initial appointment is set.

If you have any further questions on canvassing please e-mail me at david@davidyoho.com and don’t forget to check out the earlier blog posts reviewing questions from our last webinar.

Finally, our next home improvement webinar will take place on September 13th so make sure to register today!

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