Are your leads slowing down? If not, consider yourself lucky, hard-working or both. Most contractors I know are seeing a lower number of leads and much higher marketing costs. It’s quite a turnaround from the pandemic years, when leads were plentiful, and backlogs grew long.

Among contractors, the recent boom in home improvement created a sense of accomplishment. In hindsight, maybe it was a false sense of accomplishment. Maybe the home improvement boom that accompanied the pandemic years were less about your business acumen and more about a huge surge in demand that lulled you into a false sense of security. Maybe this is a new normal.

Here’s another question: How has this slowdown in leads affected your sales and revenues?

Now is the time to take a good, hard look at what your company is doing about the slowdown in lead generation. Besides relying on referrals, has your company become lazy and relied on what I would call passive marketing? Have you been sitting back and waiting for internet leads to come in?

Many companies have been relying almost exclusively on a combination of search-engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), lead aggregators, and social media for their leads. This is the type of marketing in which you write a check or swipe your credit card, and you’re done. From there, you just sit back and try to hold those vendors accountable. The problem with this approach is that nowadays everybody is doing the same thing. And because everyone is doing the same thing, and because leads are less plentiful, it’s becoming more difficult to generate the same quantity (and quality) of leads. You’re increasingly competing with others in the same space, which makes those leads more expensive and much harder to close.

A Proactive Approach Is Required

It might be time that you try some proactive marketing. The simple fact is that proactive marketing still works—if you work at it. I’m talking about everything from direct mail and shared mail to newspapers, TV (broadcast and cable), radio, events, and canvassing. There is no shortage of methods to get leads. And these tried-and-true methods still work. They are not the “low-hanging fruit,” but they work well and can generate low-cost leads that face less competition.

Here’s an idea: Take a look at your database and see how many of your past sales came from leads that had aged—leads that were generated six months, one year, two years or even three years old. One strategy to get new leads (and more sales) is to nurture your database. Take a look at leads that were resulted as a “demo,” “no sale” or “not yet buyer.”

Statistics show us that a little more than half of those who don’t buy now will buy eventually. It just might be that they buy from someone else. Create a “re-contact” list and have someone call this list every day. Heck, you’ve already paid for the lead. How much business is just sitting in your CRM waiting to be mined?

It’s also critically important to really start thinking about how you market to your prospects. It’s become very easy to be lazy and to use the same sources of leads year-after-year. It’s time to diversify your marketing portfolio. Set some goals to find new sources of leads this year and every year. Yes, it will require more time and thought, but it will help you grow your company. And you will be less reactive. It’s much better to be proactive.

The questions you should also be asking revolve around your marketing budget. Are you spending too much or too little? What do the market leaders in your market spend? Whatever you decide, you need to commit to making these investments every year. You must put it in your budget. Remember, however, that spending money alone does not guarantee success. You must spend it wisely. You must craft ads that interrupt and engage. Your ads should educate and differentiate. Some will include time-sensitive offers to create urgency. There should be a call to action. The goal should be to sell the appointment, not the project. Last but not least, make sure you track your responses, so that you know what’s working and what isn’t.

If you really want to supercharge your leads, you’ll need to be more proactive and less passive. You’ll need to diversify your marketing efforts, spend the right amount of money on marketing, and make sure the messaging is effective.

Remember, people don’t buy what you sell every day; but every day, some people are buying what you sell! QR

Scott Siegal is the owner of Maggio Roofing in Washington, D.C., and also owns the Certified Contractors Network (CCN). You can learn more about CCN by going to the website

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