Do Lead Generating Companies Work?

I’ve had several companies call me and tell me that they can supply me with window cleaning leads through their website or the like. I’m sure that some work (to some degree) or else they wouldn’t be in business. Or maybe digging into bank accounts is their business. I had a company call me last week to ask if I wanted to be in their contractor directory for $100 or so. When I asked them to tell me the amount of customers that actually wanted a window cleaner in recent history, the agent said that they’ve had 1 or 2 in the last year or so…What! After that, even she had to admit that it probably wasn’t the best idea for me.

Most recently contacted me. They guaranteed a minimum of 12 leads in one year (leads that matched my target demographic). All this for a discounted $600 or so (down from almost 1k). And then the agent went even lower and offered the service for half that! Changing prices so easily makes me question their ligitamacy, but according to them 10s of 1000s of companies are current members.

Does anyone of you deal with these companies? If so, which ones are effective or, at least, credible.

On another forum, their nickname is

I know a few window cleaners that have spent a lot of money (over $1000) on and they haven’t given them many (if any) leads. They’re wanting their money back, but not sure if they’re going to get it.
I can’t speak about the other lead generating companys, but I’d be leery - and definitely stay clear of

We tried service magic for a couple months at the beginning of this year. It was ok the ROI wasnt that hot. The main problem I had with them was sometimes people would put in fake service requests, and service magic refused to comp back the money for them.

Thanks for your responses everyone! Seems that I dodged a bullet. found me off the BBB. Which in itself is something I’ve gotten off of. Anybody think that the BBB (Better Business Bureau) is anygood? Just having their name attached to a company seems to make it more reputable, no? At least used that as an angle to say Im reputable and thus in demand by high roler clients.

I am currently wrestling with the BBB thing, too. Not sure if I want to spend the $500+ per year…

I haven’t even heard the Better Business Bureau mentioned by anyone I’ve dealt with in business for years. I’ve always considered them to be a joke.

As for the lead generating companies, I’d like to see just one of them deal on a ‘per job’ basis. They don’t get paid unless you get paid. The I’d consider it.

How so?

Then they’d be a job generating company.

12 leads or so huh, I can get that in a day or two of canvassing, so no thanks.

the BBB may have been some form of business standard in years gone by but in my experience, not hearing any mention of them from customers and owners alike in recent years, what’s the point nowadays.

I guess I don’t really mean the BBB itself is a joke, just the way people think it will make their business stand above the rest because of membership.

I understand your point but paying for leads that go nowhere doesn’t make sense either.

I guess the YP’s can call themselves a lead generating company.

In a sense every form of advertising (YP included) is a lead generating system. All these companies are really offering is to do the “legwork” for you. I get at least 3 or 4 calls a month from lead generating companies but I’m getting more than enough leads from the advertising I do now. If I was trying to expand rapidly and needed to generate more interest in my business I’d do it myself as I’ve heard to many horror stories from others. Just my 2 cents.

I guess I’d have to agree. Thank you. It all seems abit risky. What is YP’s?

Yellow Pages

12 leads in one day? Come on. How may closes?

It depends on the day, and no they don’t all close. I’m talking about canvassing commercial route. I consider a lead to be someone who I’m canvassing and they express interest in window cleaning, I keep their information and return in a week to try to close the deal. I don’t have any hard statistics on how many close, but many do.

I think that we need to differentiate between leads too, for the comparison to be more valid.

A $500 house ‘lead’ is far more valuable than a $10 store front ‘lead’, even with the “but 50 weeks x $10 IS $500” angle.

Dollar value, and hourly rate, not ‘leads’, should be the measuring stick.

Good point guys! I just hired a salesman and I pay him not on how many closes he acquires, but how much money from those closes. His commission percentile goes up when he reaches certain dollar amounts, for incentive purposes.

if you make the same per hour rate on both jobs they are equal. Unless you get the house on a schedule too. I view things on a per year and per hour basis as well.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that after giving a bid on a store. The first side of me says “hey, how am I gonna make a living on what I just quoted?”, then I add up for the year and say, “wow, I just increased my yearly income by $500 and just because I decided to walk into this guys shop today”.

True, but dont ‘count the proverbial chickens BEFORE they hatch’

Dont bank on promises. Thats the beauty of bigger jobs.