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Service Magic?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by SprinklerGuy, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 939

    Thanks Chuck, I think I may try to contact them this week. I'll let you all know if I do.
  2. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773


    I would definitely appreciate any updates. The missus and I are always on the lookout for new ways to market the biz, and I've all but convinced myself to sign up with Service Magic in Feb. Let me know how it works out for you in the interim!
  3. Here is my update:

    They've sent me 9 leads, I have declined 4 of them....too far!

    Of the other 5 here is what has happened:

    1 lead the lady NEVER has called or emailed me back even expressing a desire to talk to me.....15 buck down the tubes
    possible 2000 dollar job

    1 lead the lady and I spoke on the phone at length and I gave her a ballpark price which she said she wanted to wait a little. I have followed it up with a copy of our latest newsletter and a nice note and written quote. 15 bucks up in the air
    possible 900 dollar job

    1 lead the guy told me on the phone I was basically charging way too much 8 bucks down the tubes
    possible 200 dollar job

    1 lead I met with the guy and talked to him at length and gave him a verbal bid, which is what he wanted. 8 bucks up in the air
    possible 800 dollar job

    1 lead I have emailed her back and forth and now I am deciding that she might be crazy!! 15 bucks up in the air
    possible 1000 dollar job

    I have a new one now that I havent' decided yet whether to take.

    Here is what I think so far......I think that if the people who go to the site have a good understanding of what they need/want it could work well. The problem is some of them think they have a 50 dollar repair when in fact they don't. Or worse yet....they think they have a big install so I get charged 15 bucks for the lead and when you look at the job it is very small
    So you end up paying for a large job which is a small job. I am upset a little that there isn't any fudge factor built in for the people who NEVER call me back! They do however give a 10% automatic discount on every bill! that is okay I guess except it tells me that they are expecting us to have problems with some of the leads.

    So far I cannot tell, in my business one job can make a difference so I am going to wait it out. I can see this being a problem though and causing me to do a lot of legwork when the season starts up again.....they have been sending 2 leads per day on average during the week.

    more updates later, keep checking this thread if you are intereste.d
  4. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 939

    Thanks Tony,just the info I was seeking. Do most of their clients sign up online or is there another source for customer inquires? Do you set the geographical area ? Who determines the fee charged to you ? Is it a sliding scale ? Chuck, your cost to benefit ratio seems WAY better than Tony's any insight into this ? Do you turn down way more contacts ? It sounded like you had been doing it for awhile Chuck,(perhaps I'm misinterputing your post) and yet with 3-4 leads per day you have only paid out about $ 200 and $100 of that was sign up, please explain. Thanks
  5. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    You got my attention CHuck and Sprinkler. Keep it coming, and often. The season will be here before you know it!!!!!!!!!
  6. Chuck Sinclair

    Chuck Sinclair LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 336

    >clients sign up online or is there another source for customer inquires?

    In my area they are in the yellow pages they call on the phone and the leads come that way.

    >Do you set the geographical area?

    You tell them how far you want to go out from your location i told them if the money right i will go 50 miles

    >Who determines the fee charged to you ?

    They do by the type of job.

    >Chuck, your cost to benefit ratio seems WAY better than Tony's >any insight into this ?

    Not sure whay but i am real picky about the one i take.

    For instance if it says they are (planning and budgeting) i don't take it, if it says the are (ready to hire) i take it depending on the job type so on and so forth.

    >Do you turn down way more contacts ?

    I turned down four yeasterday.

    >It sounded like you had been doing it for awhile Chuck

    Two months.

    >with 3-4 leads per day you have only paid out about $ 200 and >$100 of that was sign up, please explain.

    I take about $21.00 worth of the leads a week and so far i have never taken over a $8.00 lead. This is not to say i havent had the same thing happen to me that Tony said i have had a two that won't even return my calls.
  7. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    Hey Folks,

    Any updates on the worth of Service Magic? It's just about time for me to expand my advertising campaign and this one's right up on my list. I'm not afraid to take a calculated risk for business sake, but I wanted to see if you had any further input before I take the Magic plunge...
  8. I cancelled....chalk it up to a learning experience.

    The leads all sucked. One lady in particular thought I was crazy to ask for 1200 bucks to install a new sprinkler system for 1000 square feet of sod and plant valve to cover the rest of the yard. My parts cost alone was almost 450! I was begging her to do it just so I could say I got a job from them. That night when she said I was overpriced, I called and cancelled.

    All and all I think I paid them about 200 bucks and got nothing but pain in the ass. Some may say I gave up too quick but my other advertising works so much better and word of mouth is even better so why bother. In my book 10 leads without a sale is no good.

    Thumbs down!

    Perhaps in another industry like Chuck's it is different but in the sprinkler industry the consumer isn't educated enough on what stuff costs.....because of that they get sticker shock.

    also, my market is a specific area of town...........high end residential......not one lead from that area....tells me the more high end residential homeowners are not surfing the net for sprinkler guys!!!!!!!11
  9. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    For what it's worth, my take on it is that these types of internet or marketing companies are out to make a buck. More power to them..., but I don't think the concept is fully developed for it to make sense.

    Hungry contractors always looking for the new sale will pay $8.00 or $15 for 'qualified' lead. Problem is that the service is not qualifying the lead. If they were true leads, you wouldn't pay until after you spoke to the person to judge if you want the job.

    Does the person inquiring have to pay for an estimate? No. There is no cost to them, and doesn't hurt for them to ask for 10 quotes. Therefore you pay for the potential customer to to price shop. If you win 'em on price, you'll loose them on price. These leads are not calling because of your reputation. As some of you said, they didn't even know what kind of project they had. They're simply gathering information.

    The idea may theoretically make good sense, but practically speaking, I think it's a waste since the leads are junk.
  10. I'm glad service magic is working for Chuck. I to thought about going with them, but I don't like paying for a contact. I've had very good return ($300 for 12 week run) running an add with my local catholic church bulliten(keeps it within 3 miles of my house) and $900 for 16 week add run,running through a local independent paper.

    The totals from last year:
    $300 cost for a gain of $3,200-church bulliten
    $900 paper add for a gain of over $12,000.00 dollars

    I like these numbers better. The above numbers were total profit except extra money that I've haven't figured out, that I will have to pay in taxes in April.


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