Telemarketing leads were once a great for roofers, particularly storm chasers.
The idea behind telemarketing companies was they would fetch leads for contractors, then sell those leads to contractors.
In theory, it’s a business model where everyone wins, but in practice, it plays out a bit differently.
This is because telemarketers don’t always provide contractors with quality leads, and this creates a schism that has forced roofers to look for new ways to generate business.
One man who has successfully navigated the murky waters of telemarketing is Lateef Farooqui.
During a recent sit down with Dmitry and Roofing Insights, Farooqui shared his opinions on the current role telemarketing has in the roofing industry.
Farooqui currently is the owner of Boss Up Solutions, a company that helps businesses scale and grow, but in the past he ran a telemarketing company that serviced contractors all throughout the country.
Farqooqui says he sold his call center after twelve years because the telemarketing industry was changing.
“I noticed two big factors,”
“One, a lot of people were entering the market. Also, a saturation of people were now understanding the market.”
Essentially, the bigger Farooqui’s telemarketing company became, the more contractors wanted to buy leads from him.
There weren’t enough leads to go around.
“The demand of the contractor has gone up, but the consumers are still the same number,”
Further complicating matters, most contractors weren’t willing to work with Farooqui by extending their business hours or taking on more than a few leads per week.
Farooqui was shocked when some contractors told him they couldn’t meet with clients after 5 P.M.
“You don’t get to work 9-5,”
Farooqui remembers telling clients.
“Extend your hours and work outside of the normal hours your client does.”
He says that working around consumers’ schedules is how contractors can ingratiate themselves to their customer base and establish their value.
Even outside telemarketing, this is a mistake many roofing companies still make. They’re unwilling to recognize that they’re in the service business, and part of that entails offering a service that few other contractors are willing to provide.
This is one of a few reasons why Farooqui eventually sold his telemarketing company after twelve years in the business. It was also becoming harder to maintain relationships with contractors, plus contractors were becoming too greedy and no longer following the advice from Farooqui and his team.
Today, many contractors refuse to work with telemarketers, citing con artists like Joshua Waxman and Malachi Makin as reasons why. Guys like these two have built a reputation as unreliable salesmen who will do and say anything to get you to fork over your money.
Frankly, the industry is tired of these Ponzi schemes, and with a growing number of people leaving corporate America and entering the roofing industry, guys like Waxman and Makin will continue to struggle to generate business by using their shoddy systems and procedures.
There are still some storm chasers who call on telemarketers to help with leads, but too often these virtual companies aren’t offering quality leads.
Yet Farooqui is convinced telemarketing as an ancillary source of lead generation isn’t finished. In his opinion, with the right guidance and expectations, telemarketing could become a major player in the roofing industry once again.
But for now, telemarketing will be highly ostracized.
At one point in their conversation, Dmitry asks Farooqui where telemarketing is failing.
“The lack of commitment from the contractor to the telemarketing center, and vice-versa, has failed. The contractor is stuck looking for someone to help him today. The telemarketer is also stuck saying hey I just hired 20 people and you don’t want leads anymore, but I need to fill them, so I need to find your competition and sell to them.”
Farooqui also believes that contractors and salesman have gotten lazy as a consequence of years of low-hanging fruit that salesmen and companies were able to capitalize on.
“When people are given leads, they take them for granted,”
Farooqui says, and this has led to countless leads not being sold because salesmen just want show up and get a contract signed, and aren’t willing to put in any work outside of being spoon-fed leads.
On the flip side, one problem Dmitry has experienced in the past when working with telemarketers is that they don’t offer anything unique.
For example, if a storm hits the Minneapolis market, Dmitry doesn’t need Farooqui’s team to fetch him leads.
“If you need leads right after the storm, you suck, and you should not be in business,”
Ultimately, there is no magic solution to what ails the relationship between contractors and telemarketers.
It simply depends where your bias lies.
Contractors will say telemarketers give bad leads, and telemarketers will turn around and say contractors aren’t selling their services well enough.
What do you think? Do you use telemarketers?
Comment below with your thoughts on how telemarketing operates within the roofing industry!