6 Ways Pool and Spa Pros Can Attract New Customers Post-Pandemic

4/21/2021

By Gary Thill, PSP/Deck 360 News Editor

When it comes to lead generation, few names are more well respected than Dave Yoho. Yoho’s firm, Dave Yoho Associates, is one of North America’s largest, oldest, and most successful small business consulting companies. 

Dave Yoho has appeared in over 100 training videos. He is the author of the best-selling book: Have a Great Year Every Year (Oakhill Press). His company developed the sales methods which are used by the most successful people in the in-home sales industry.

In this Q&A, Brad Yoho, Director of Marketing for Dave Yoho Associates, discusses the state of lead generation for pool and spa pros in 2021, while also analyzing some of the most common mistakes that are made. 

PSP/Deck 360 News: The pandemic has changed the way pros do business in many ways. Post-pandemic how has lead generation changed the most?

Brad Yoho: The paradigm has shifted tremendously for companies that relied heavily on face-to-face leads as a significant part of their marketing mix. In 2020, shows and events were cancelled entirely and many canvassing programs were either stopped or scaled back. As a result, companies invested more of their marketing dollars on traditional strategies such as direct mail and cold calls to prospects, while also concentrating on powerful, proven tactics such as SEO, email marketing and social media. 

PSP/Deck 360 News: Some pros feel like they have too much work post-pandemic. Why do they need to stay focused on lead generation?

Brad Yoho: There is a well-known saying in business: “Always be hiring”. The thought process behind this is that you don’t want to be rushed into a hiring decision in a time of need. The same process can be applied to lead generation. Despite many roofing companies being flush with leads, there are numerous reasons to keep generating them at the same pace:

  • Leads are obviously critical for revenue, but they are equally important for brand awareness. Lead generation activities attract the attention of prospects that are not ready to buy presently, but will have your company at the top of the list when they are ready to move forward.
  • Lead generation, whether it leads to a sale or not, allows roofing companies to build up their database, which remains one of the most cost-effective marketing tools.
  • Positive reviews have never been more important. Keeping the lead funnel active increases the odds of gaining positive reviews on Yelp, Google or other outlets.  

PSP/Deck 360 News: What would you say are the biggest mistakes pros are making when it comes to lead generation? 

Brad Yoho: There are several mistakes we see companies make which have a detrimental effect on lead generation:

  • Regarding new leads, whether they are from a company’s website, by phone, or in person, frequently, all of the prospect’s contact information is not gathered. In particular, cell phone numbers are sometimes overlooked. Presently, cell phones are often the best way to get a hold of a new lead. Furthermore, they allow for mobile marketing tactics, which will be discussed later.
  • Every lead should be followed up immediately, generally within a few minutes. If you are waiting several hours to contact your new leads, you might as well pour your marketing dollars down the toilet. One of the best ways to ensure immediate follow-up is to have live chat capability on your website, as it is one of the best tools for qualifying and nurturing leads.
  • Most importantly, remember that while you may want to experiment in numerous lead generation channels, it is generally best to start out with 1-2 new strategies. Remember, your lead generation activities should not have a detrimental effect on your budget.  

PSP/Deck 360 News: Some pros feel they don’t have time or money to devote to lead generation. What are some of the lowest-hanging fruit or biggest bangs for the buck they can use to generate leads? 

Brad Yoho: If you have salespeople, then you should require them to self-generate leads. We recommend a model where salespeople generate up to 20% of their business from leads which they developed personally. It’s also imperative that you teach and enforce referral solicitation as part of the sales plan. With proper scripting, your customers will want to help the salesperson, the company and themselves, especially when you put the time in to develop a simple but creative referral system.  

PSP/Deck 360 News: Social media is a powerful lead generation tool. What are the best ways to capitalize on it?

Brad Yoho: First, it is critical to recognize that pouring your resources into every social media channel is not a wise approach or a good use of your time. Several networks are more effective for B2B companies, and while you shouldn’t necessarily avoid these, it’s best to pour your efforts into social channels that are more effective for B2C businesses. We would rank them in this order:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. YouTube
  5. LinkedIn
  6. Pinterest
  7. Snapchat

If you have not utilized social media marketing, or used it sparingly, the best approach is to start out with one or two channels to begin with. Remember the “80-20 rule” — 80% of your posts should be non-promotional and focused on giving people beneficial information. Always use relevant hashtags — this is one of the best ways to build up your list of connections. Share positive reviews from your customers. Finally, if you don’t have the manpower to effectively utilize social media marketing, there are numerous companies and freelancers that can assist you. 

PSP/Deck 360 News:: Looking toward the future, what are the emerging lead generation techniques that you’re most excited about?

Brad Yoho: There are several lead generation techniques that should take advantage of over the next couple of years:

  • Content marketing – Involves creating valuable and relevant content that targets your potential customers. Examples include: blog posts, articles, whitepapers, case studies, “how-to” guides, videos, webinars, podcasts, e-books and infographics. People expect free information these days, and by giving prospects highly beneficial resources they are more likely to request your services or remain a loyal customer.
  • Increased use of video – There are numerous ways to maximize video marketing: Using platforms such as YouTube or Facebook Video, posting powerful videos on your website, utilizing video in your email communications, and creating short videos that target specific prospects.
  • Interactive website content – Although unique website visitors are still the ultimate goal, there is an increased focus on keeping prospects on your site as long as possible. One way to accomplish this is by adding interactive content like surveys and quizzes that engage visitors while also providing you with valuable sales and marketing information for follow up.
  • Increased use of mobile – Mobile usage is continuing to trend up. To take advantage of this, it’s critical to properly optimize your site for mobile visitors. Also, there is a greater level of acceptance among individuals of mobile marketing these days. Experiment with text marketing (first to your core customers) and remember that messaging in this platform should be concise.
  • Direct mail – It has been making a strong comeback and will continue to do so in 2021-22. Direct mail got a bad reputation years ago, because companies were over-utilizing the platform and sending out bland offerings that meant little to nothing to the prospect. However, there has been a shift to many people being appreciative of a targeted, creative direct mail piece. 

Companies would be wise to take note that lead generation trends are constantly evolving, and by next year, there could be significant differences in what yields the best results. However, if you stay on top of these trends you will set yourself up for success in the years to come.