“The trades deserve better data so that’s what we’re getting focused on.”
Listen to the complete episode here:
How to Effectively Understand and Leverage Your Data with Jon Torrey of Searchlight Advertising
Are you struggling with understanding your business data?
Even when using a top-notch CRM system, service organizations still perform a lot of manual data input every day, whether it be through their technicians or administrative staff. In truth, that data isn’t always accurate!
So, if you’re making decisions based on incomplete data if you can’t appropriately attribute revenue to your marketing efforts, this could result in errors and the potential loss of leads and revenue.
But have no fear, as Jonathan Torrey is here today to help us learn how to leverage and understand data effectively.
Jon is the Director of Marketing and Partnerships at Searchlight Advertising, a company connecting data to help contractors and other service businesses improve their revenue flow. Intrigued to hear more?
Join Tersh Blissett and his co-host Josh Crouch as they talk with Jon Torrey about the importance of understanding your business’s data and your exact ROI from digital marketing. This episode teaches the secrets to growing a profitable, thriving, and ever-expanding business.
(Jonathan Torrey is the Director of Marketing and Partnerships at Searchlight Advertising, a company solving a big problem in our industry: connecting data to help you improve your revenue flow. Jon has over 10 years of experience in Digital Marketing, from building a social media start-up during the Web 2.0 boom to managing advertising products and strategy for one of the largest automotive digital marketing companies in the world. Searchlight Advertising was founded in 2020 and works with home service contractors across the US to help them better understand how customers convert, which marketing channels drive revenue, and how to improve lead handling efficiency. )
If you’re looking for tips on how to overcome the challenges you’ll face as a tradesperson, you won’t want to miss this episode.
In this episode, we discuss the following:
- Most common data problems and opportunities for service businesses
- How to effectively and efficiently understand and leverage your data to increase your profits and maximize your lead conversion.
- The best marketing solution for contractors
Are you missing this MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY to increase your marketing ROI?
On asking about how often did he find that people weren’t answering their phones.
Jon answers, “We’d measure the return on ad spend… every single one of our clients had an opportunity to improve the match rate of phone calls, form leads, schedule engine leads, all of the above,” says Jonathan Torrey [ 08:01-09:34]
Jonathan Torrey advises on the 3 Things You NEED to Maximize Your Lead Conversion
“If you have a chat tool and a form on your site, you are probably not maximizing your opportunity… That is the #1 thing that we see across even the most well-run businesses is… make sure you have a responsibility, accountability, and a follow-up process for these new conversion tools which customers are starting to use more and more,” advises Jonathan [12:13-12:46]
Jon shares tips on how to Track & Maximize Your Revenue Flow (For Contractors & Service Businesses) [18:36-24:56]
Jon Torrey recently joined Service Business Mastery Podcast, and here are some highlights of the podcast:
- Jon talks about Common data problems and opportunities in service businesses
- The show lets you know about the impacts of Searchlight Advertising’s data solutions
- Findings from Searchlight’s research and client outcomes
- The show also suggests how to effectively and efficiently understand and leverage your data
- Maximizing your profits, revenues, and lead conversion.
- Strategies, tips, and tools for data management
Key Resources From This Episode:
- This episode is kindly sponsored by the following:
- Learn more about Searchlight Advertising
- Listen to Jon’s podcast, 5 Minutes to Better Home Services Marketing
- Sign up for his email newsletter, The Data-Driven Trades
- Connect with Jon Torrey on LinkedIn
- Email him: email@example.com
- Join the Service Business Mastery Facebook group.
- Email us at Podcasts@ServiceBusinessMastery.com
- Learn all about the Hosts of Service Business Mastery!
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About The Guest:
Jonathan Torrey is the Director of Marketing and Partnerships at Searchlight Advertising, a company solving a big problem in our industry: connecting data to help you improve your revenue flow.
Jon has over 10 years of experience in Digital Marketing, from building a social media start-up during the Web 2.0 boom to managing advertising products and strategy for one of the largest automotive digital marketing companies in the world.
Searchlight Advertising was founded in 2020 and works with home service contractors across the US to help them better understand how customers convert, which marketing channels drive revenue, and how to improve lead handling efficiency.
Links to content here:
Connect with him on LinkedIn
Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org
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For a complete transcription of the interview, Read More
22-07-06 – Jon Torrey – Turn your marketing data into an exact ROI WITHOUT any manual entries from your team with Jon Torreys
Tersh Blissett: [00:00:00] Hello, everyone out there in podcast world. I hope you’re having a wonderful day. You were listening to, or watching a service business mastery podcast. I’m one of your hosts TELI sitting virtually next to my co-host Joshua crouch. Today’s episode. Actually, I’m not even gonna start talking about today’s episode.
I’m gonna leave that to Josh, but what I do wanna talk about is our voice message system. If you go to our website, is service business mastery.com. You’ll see a little green button at the bottom, right of the screen. If you click that button on the cell phones and tablets it’s I think it’s in the same position, same place.
Just tap that and then hit a re hit the record button and leave us a message. And so if you ever have a question about anything just thinking about something like, Hey, I have a question about this, or maybe you can connect me with so and so just record that message, that voice message right there.
And we will get it’ll come straight to us. We will reply. And if it’s something that can stay there, like a frequently asked question type thing, it’ll stay there. If it’s something that needs to come offline, then we can take it offline as well. So it’s a new little feature that we have. And so we wanna make sure that you, we are connected with you, the listening audience as much as possible.
And sometimes it’s difficult to have emails and, Get on Instagram or Facebook or TikTok, like who do we, where do we connect with you to talk to you? So just go to the website and click record message. [00:01:30] And that comes straight to us and we will we’ll get back to you.
Josh Crouch: So this is what happens when I’m not here.
I had no idea. We even did that. Uhhuh. Yeah. So I’m gonna, now I’m gonna have to play with it and leave you a message here. It’s probably gonna be
Tersh Blissett: dirty. leave it to Josh. Oh, man. Next I wanna give a huge shout out to Billy and his team over at Sarah a great program. It’s a CRM Built for the trades really about efficiency and running your business off of margins versus just guessing, which is what most of us do is just like wonder and check checking book accounting I guess is the best way to say it.
Sarah huge shout out to Billy and his whole team because they’re given so much back to our industry. They’re not just a CRM. They really are helping cuz Billy’s like OG, like back in the day really he knows in and outs of the. Service business world. And so for him to get on podcasts like ours and other podcasts and share his knowledge is just, it’s amazing.
And we would really appreciate that last but not least company cam really good stuff. Every time I mention company cam, somebody kind of mentions in the comment how they use company cam and it does a great job for them as we’re gonna talk marketing today, but A little bit about company cam is that it can throw images on your website, say on your homepage, on the carousel, like you could set up a little carousel [00:03:00] and that’s great for SEO stuff.
Use the What is the code that we have Josh? I don’t know. I’ll put it in the show notes, but the company cam code and you get 50% off for the first three months. I think it’s comp actually it’s company cam slash SPM service business mastery. Yeah, there’s that now you can talk,
Josh Crouch: Josh.
Oh, thank you. thank you. I was away for two weeks and my mic privileges were revoked in the meantime. For any of you guys that are using Sarah and even just, if you’d like data, you’re gonna love today’s episode today is all about data and understanding your data because a lot of times, even with the high level CRMs, there’s a lot of data entry that has to happen through your employees, through your technicians, and that data’s not right.
I shouldn’t say it’s not right. It’s not right. A hundred percent of the time. And I’ve seen this from when I was in the H V a C world with the way things were getting entered from our CSR to even having clients. Now, when they use service Titan and stuff like that the data does not get entered correctly.
So that way you can attribute it properly to your marketing efforts. And the problem with that is, is we all know if you can’t properly attribute revenue to your marketing efforts, you’re making decisions BA based on bad. And our
guest today is their personal favorites of mine from a company called search light digital.
And we, they’ve developed some really cool stuff and they have some really cool background in how this all kind of came about over the last several years. So I’m excited to get them on the show today and have them go through their product and also go through [00:04:30] what they see, what kind of problems they see in the solutions that they have for.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, I’m excited about this too, because Josh won’t shut up about it. So I’m excited to hear John talk.
Jon Torrey: are you looking for valuable business advice to reach that seven figure revenue mark, do you want actionable tips to properly navigate through every business challenge you encounter along the way? Let ter BLI and Josh crouch be your guide in getting you to the top here at service business mastery.
Tune in as they sit down with world renowned authors in business leadership and personal growth who share valuable insights about management, marketing, pricing, human resources, and so much more. Let their nuggets of wisdom, gold guide you in owning a thriving, profitable, and ever growing business. Cure your hosts, tur and Josh.
Tersh Blissett: Hey, John, how are you?
Jon Torrey: Good guys. How are we doing? I’m so excited to be here. Welcome to the show. Yeah, thank you very much. Absolutely.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. So John, tell us give us an overview of cuz you guys didn’t start as a technology company. So give us an overview of what started you guys in the advertising world and then what kind of brought you to where you guys
Jon Torrey: are?
Yeah. So starting search lay was pretty organic. We had family, friends that were in [00:06:00] the industry. So our founder’s father’s a plumber. His uncle runs an H V a C business. And they had known that we had, a decade of digital marketing experiences. They said, listen, we hired these marketing agencies.
We don’t UN we don’t understand it. Can you look at. And look at the data and
just make sure that we’re getting something out of it because I’m good at running my business. And I don’t wanna have to think about this. So we opened up the hood, we got into Google ads, we looked at Google analytics, we got into it.
And what we found is they were being taken advantage of like flat out, no doubt being taken advantage of. And we explained what was going on, the questions that they should ask their vendor. And we talked amongst ourselves and said, We’ve been doing this for a long time in the automotive industry, we’ve seen all this shifts happen.
Why don’t we go for it in the H V a C space? And we did, and we partnered with a really great technology company that helps us manage ads at scale. So we actually don’t even manage the ads out of Google AdWords. Bing we have an interface that does it for us, and we were really pumped about it. And when we got our first few clients, they said, Hey, we really like your team.
We like the energy. We can tell you care. , but we’re not seeing the data in our CRM and what I chose to do, cuz I like to roll up my sleeves. That’s how I’ve always been for about nine months. I tracked every single lead through the CRM to revenue. and I found a lot of issues with the way that tracking [00:07:30] was being done and a lot of problems with it, which was causing bad marketing decisions.
So we brought in a brilliant developer, hired an engineering team, and we’ve now automated that solution, but we were search light advertising up until very recently. And we’re really pivoting into being the data analytics platform for this industry, because I know Tommy Meley talks about, Hey, the trades deserves better.
In our mantra because we have family, we care about it. The trades deserves better data. So that’s what we’re getting focused on.
Josh Crouch: Yeah.
Tersh Blissett: When you were doing all of this testing and research and everything how often was it that you were finding that people weren’t answering their phone?
Jon Torrey: Yeah, so that every single account.
So it’s interesting because we would measure the return on ad. We would connect and say, listen, you spent $5,000 on Google PPC. You got $50,000 in return on ad spend closed, and we can get into some of the nuance there, but every single one of our clients had an opportunity to improve what we call the match rate of phone calls, form leads, schedule engine leads, all of the above.
So what we see on average is a match rate for phone leads of 25%. What we mean by that, and this is gonna shock a lot of people. Is 25 out of every 100 phone calls from PPC, Facebook ads, Bing ads match to new work in the CRM, a new opportunity. That means that 75 don’t. So that’s a combination of [00:09:00] missed calls.
It’s a combination of agencies calling in your paid number to pitch you it’s existing customer. Nobody hates that. Exactly. And, but what is happening is all of those calls are factored into your cost per lead. They’re never going to turn into new work. So cost per lead. That’s our mantra to is one of the most damaging metrics in this industry because it’s a false positive, and we’ve seen it.
I’ve seen people pretend to be from Google. Call paid number 10 times, which, and for another provider it shows up as 10 leads and you think, oh, I got 10 leads, but I don’t have revenue in the bank.
Josh Crouch: That’s what and for, and it’s some of its lack of technology over the past 10 years, but that’s what marketing companies have reported on.
And I’m guilty of that as well is Hey, report on calls. We see your call volume going up. and then contractors give you there’s spam numbers. There’s this there’s that, which is true. And I’m not listening to every single call myself. So I don’t know that, but there is a, there’s a large number of calls that, or they’re repeat customers or they’re it’s Mrs.
Smith called three times cuz she’s got three different questions and she needs to talk on the phone for 30 minutes every single time. Yep. It’s all these things that come in that. Affect these numbers. So when you guys, when we were going through this with some mutual clients and stuff, it was very interesting to me to see that like 20 to 25% of.
So if a client gets four phone calls that month, that’s probably one, one actual lead that’s gonna lead to book work. Yeah. And looking at it from that lens is like, Holy smokes. Like maybe our, our clients are doing [00:10:30] well, but maybe they’re not doing as well as I’m sitting
Tersh Blissett: thinking what can we do to stop that?
Or what can we do to change that? Fix that.
Jon Torrey: Yeah. I’m glad you asked that. Cuz that’s been our mission. Tertiary is still
Josh Crouch: good.
Tersh Blissett: cause I’m thinking as a, that’s a great question. I’m like, yeah. I hate the fact that I mean it’s like $500. Cause that’s, Google just dings me every time I have $500 and I’m.
I just don’t feel like I’ve gotten that many leads, yep.
Jon Torrey: PPC has a terrible reputation in our industry, and I know why it’s because it’s all measured against cost per lead. And I can share some data. I know exactly. I’ll just do that now. So a book job from Google PPC on average, this is 20 30,000 leads that we track costs $391 and 17.
the average ticket from that’s about $3,500. So Google PPC, when run well, it’s about an eight to 10 X return on ad spend close. Now our industry is extremely nuanced and I think everybody knows this, a customer call say, they call in, they’re gonna get a sales consultation first. Then they’re gonna get an open estimate.
Then they’re gonna take a week or two to decide. And then your backlog is probably two weeks long. So it’s a month before that customer. Becomes a paid job. And what we were finding in the CRMs is some of them, once they had their sales consultation, they were marked as existing customers. So that’s another big thing that happens.
How many of these are new and we differentiate between the two things, but there’s two things that we look at is the channel that referred the customer. We work with Josh on SEO. [00:12:00] Display is it Facebook? Is it Google organic PPC, Google my business, but the second most important thing, and this gets back to as a business owner, what do I do about this?
We measure the match rates by conversion tools. So it’s where do they come from? And then how do they convert? I can tell everybody right now that if you
have a chat tool and if you have a form on your website, you are probably not maximizing your opportunity. You’re probably not responding to the. Quick enough.
There’s probably some that are falling through the floor. You’re probably not responding to form leads in the way that you should be two emails and a phone call, two phone calls in an email. That is the number one thing that we see across even the well run businesses is, Hey, make sure that you have responsibility, accountability, and a follow up process for.
These new conversion tools, which customers are starting to use more and more.
Josh Crouch: So what I love and is the fact that you guys, and I know, you know this, cuz we’ve talked all the time, but is you’re turning, you’re turning the paradigm that’s shifting with just being a leads provider, right?
We’re just providing leads, whatever you do with them is your business. Yeah. And what that you’re gonna succeed or fail based on what you do. But now you’re turning the paradigm where it’s okay. So now we know where we start to have problems in our business. And now we have conversation not just about getting more leads, because every marketer that listens to this podcast is gonna be like, yeah I’ve heard that conversation before I need more leads.
Yeah. When in reality, we go look at the calls. We listen to the calls. There’s either a problem answering the phone. [00:13:30] Booking the lead because we’re too far booked out. We, our price is too high. We can’t handle price objections, or they’re looking for a competitor, especially with paid ads. They’re looking for a competitor and we can’t convert them. Yep. And it is all this lost. Money that, that those $500 charges add up because we’re not doing these things, but now we can actually start to pinpoint where our business is weak so that way we can take that. Let’s say it’s. I think the industry average is like three to five X on paper click really well.
Run is eight to 10, but three to five is probably. Pretty normal and maybe that’s even high. It starts to tweak little things to make our business better. Convert more form leads, see where we’re having those issues. Because right now a lot of business owners are in the dark. Even if you have the schedule engines and the, you have all this data, you don’t know what to do with it.
. Yeah. And just having. Visibility into getting deeper into that stuff or having
your marketing company get deeper into that stuff because your marketing company will know where the problem is because they understand the flow and the funnel. But so can you go through, can I ask a question real fast?
Yeah. Go ahead.
Tersh Blissett: You mentioned earlier about. Existing clients like, yeah, getting stuck in the existing client funnel. Because when I look at my I’ll look at, in the CRMs and they’ll say these clients, they’re all existing. 80% of our customers are existing customers. When in reality it was just, they were calling back [00:15:00] from that week’s call.
Yeah. How is it? Do we need to keep it like if it’s PPC or if it’s LSA, do we need to keep ’em LSA forever or. Is there a time period where they can be considered an existing client? I know from experience that existing client is the easy way out. Yeah. It’s just oh, existing customer, whatever.
Yeah. They’re in our
Jon Torrey: database. So I’m gonna put ’em as that. Yeah. That’s a great question. So what we do is we pull data in from CRMs exactly. As it is in the CRM. So we can see the entire history of that customer. What we do is look at, okay, did this person spend money with your business before coming in as a lead on one of the channels that we manage or that we’re tracking?
If the answer’s no, then they’re a new customer. If the answer’s yes, then they’re an existing customer. So that’s how we split it out. And then when we look at future revenue, but the important thing here is that the majority of the revenue from a new customer comes within the first 90 days.
because it’s usually an insulation or a replacement. We see that quite frequently. And here’s the really important part, because again, we get into these conversations of okay what if they came in from Google PPC, but later from SEO. And we can talk about some of that, but yeah, PPC data is easily manipulated.
And what I mean by that is someone can run a lot of branded searches. So they’ll pay for, for your business to show up. [00:16:30] When somebody searches for search light on Google, and they can take credit for that. And they can say, look at all the leads that I’ve gotten you, but when you really dig into the data, are those new and existing customers.
So what we have done with our clients is we have put a focus on unbranded searches. So 74% of our Bing leads were from new customers. And we can drill down into that data. That was their first touch point to turning into revenue. If it changes down the line. That’s fine. So to answer your question to, I don’t think.
Necessarily matters as much like which, channel, if they came in LSA, they go to something different. What I think is important is that you have enough data to be able to call BS. If somebody’s just running a ton of branded searches to get the lead volume, to make themselves look good.
Josh Crouch: And what I love is you guys, because this is the problem I’ve realized.
And I’m gonna use service Titan as an example, cuz that’s what I’m familiar with. We would have a customer come in, they would call one of our tracking phone numbers inside of service Titan. So it would go to Google my business. Paper, click Facebook, whatever the case is, we would leave an estimate, whether it was a repair or replacement, nothing got closed.
We charged maybe a service fee. Later a week, two weeks, a day, whatever it is, they decide six months later, they decided they wanted to do and move forward with the full estimate of what we gave them. And that would go to existing customer because they were in our database already. When in reality, we didn’t actually do any work for them.
We just did a diagnostic. We did an estimate. And that [00:18:00] business finally closed. Now, then if they did work after that, they’re an existing customer. Cause we did an installation, we did a repair or in our pipeline, whatever, but the problem is the data is being entered incorrectly from CSRs who just don’t understand.
How this, how the, how this works on the marketing end and how the attribution works. And I guess what kind of, how have you guys transitioned from just talking about calls and leads and how to get more of those into actually helping your clients get better results from the leads and stuff they already have?
Jon Torrey: Yeah. We’ve introduced this concept of revenue. So I love the HVAC industry. If I spent a lot of time reading Reddit and the Facebook groups, and everybody talks about airflow and where are you leaking airflow. And if you don’t have airflow, you don’t have HVAC. So we talk about revenue flow and we talk about it as a system of actions.
It’s like a funnel, but it’s really a flywheel because you want the customer coming back. So we look at the total number of leads that come in, we start there. And then we show them the number of match leads. And then we show them the number of book jobs, the average book job rate, which is the percentage of leads that turn into a book job are paying customers 21% and they say, oh my gosh, you’re saying that, 80% of my leads are not turning into paid work.
And I say, yes, absolutely. Then we look at match rate. We see how well is the lead [00:19:30] matching to a new opportunity in the CR. which tells us the quality of leads. It tells us how well we’re handling the leads. And then we look at your average cost per book job. We do not talk about cost per. We talk about cost per book, job, and then we look at your average ticket.
Now this industry’s nuance. I understand why no, one’s really done this and done it well is because you have open estimates. You have sold jobs, you have closed jobs, you might be booking out two weeks. So how do you handle. What we do is when we look at time periods like a month, the month of June, we look at the revenue that closed in that month, the revenue that was sold in that month and the open estimates given in that month.
And then we follow the customers through that revenue flow. So if you’re an open estimate on June 15th, but you close on July 1st, we show you as closed on July 1st and remove that open. So it’s really just thinking about this as a flow, but one of the biggest gaps and it’s monstrous is that no one is really seeing what is ha I see that comment.
I love it. Thank you. No, one’s seeing what’s happening on the website. So that’s, what’s unique about us is we built a tracking pixel that goes on the website and tracks every single activity. So while we’re displaying a dashboard that shows the revenue flow, if you wanna drill into a customer, which I’ve done before, and I have some good examples of things that happen that might scare people into thinking, okay, we gotta really think about this.
I can see what pages they go to. I can see what conversion tools they use. I can see how much time they spend on the site and it just unlock. [00:21:00] Observation of customer behavior. Are they using schedule engine? The answer is yes. And the average ticket is about $2,000 higher. And the average match rate is about 40% higher with that they’re using chat.
75% of revenue comes from phone, but we can watch how customers behave on
your website. So you can make changes to match that evolving behavior. If that makes sense. Are these
Tersh Blissett: customer behaviors, are they geographically specific or is this across the entire say
Jon Torrey: the us it’s really interesting. You asked that.
Yes, we are seeing geographic patterns. For example, we have a phenomenal client in the Pacific Northwest and two, so it was two summers ago or a summer ago they had a monstrous heat. Which was pretty unique for north of Seattle. And a lot of people started like 75 degrees. Yes. Yeah, no, it’s not. The sun came out for a day.
Yeah exactly. But they saw a tremendous amount of demand. I saw something that I have not seen is revenue generated from forms and chats combined were higher than phone calls. I’ve never seen. Now that’s not the norm across the United States, but largely we are seeing new customers tend to use the form conversion tool.
They tend to use the schedule engine conversion tool. They tend to use chat phones still dominates at 75% of the revenue that we track about 50,000 leads at this point. but it is the general trend is a little more micro, but there are some regions where it’s a lot more pronounced,
Tersh Blissett: [00:22:30] Billy and I, or Billy and I, and Josh were talking about this back whenever they had the great freeze in Texas.
And they had to turn their phones off. Yep. And it, it was all leads coming in through their websites. And for a long time, like that’s where they were generating a to. Their leads were through their website. Which is pretty, that’s, I like that. It, for me, it takes some of that.
I don’t know. Maybe this is a good question for you. Whenever they’re looking at schedule engine, or maybe you have something built out in your website where you can go through a funnel. Yeah. How often is so a C a well trained CS? Can handle price objections. Yep. But how often do you see somebody bounce?
Once it comes to a price objection. Or can you tell that very
Jon Torrey: easily? Yeah. So we pull in all the form data, all the chat data. So we can see the chat transcripts and we can see if that comes up. It’s interesting. I don’t have a data point to say this percentage. Yeah chat leads dropped.
But what I can say is that the average ticket for a chat lead tends to be a lot higher and it tends to be from a new customer. That’s one of ours, lot higher than phone leads. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And this is not to denigrate phone is stole the preferred choice. Again, no matter what a customer does, whether I like it or not, or you like it or not, it’s what they wanna do.
And we have to be ready to serve them based on how they wanna be served. I think everybody knows [00:24:00] that. Yeah. So phone is still the dominant channel. But we had a client that wanted to cancel chat because they just didn’t believe that someone would come in fully through chat and do a replace.
I’ve seen dozens and dozens of those. I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue from those ended up not canceling. So I think we’re gonna get to that place where we have a bigger data set and we can put our data scientists to work and get that specific. But I think from a trend perspective, having data like this can help you make a decision.
If you’re like, Hey, I’m on the fence about scheduling engine. I wanna add it to the site. I wanna see what revenue it generates. That’s what this is useful for. Hey, I wanna add chat to the site. I wanna see if. Does it take away from my phone leads generally, we don’t see that happen. What does it generate?
Can I get into some specific conversations I can. But that’s the way we look at it is just, Hey, revenue flow, and then you can experiment, but you can experiment seeing the revenue on the other side of that experiment.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. This what’s beautiful is once this is once the tracking pixel is set up and you guys are connected through API or other connections with the CRM.
The booking link the chat service whatever they have on the website, it’s pretty much hands off. And the data feeds in. Yeah. Like you don’t have to sit there and be like, oh, did I do this? Or did I mark the call booked a certain way? In CRM, like it takes the manual data entry.
Off your plate. Yeah. Now and [00:25:30] now you get data that you can make decisions with.
Tersh Blissett: Is this gonna work with most, every CRM out there or, and then. Are you doing the marketing or are you working with the people, the marketing that they have?
Jon Torrey: Yeah. That, that, those are amazing questions te I appreciate it.
So this is why we invited him on the podcast. I know. These are great and I love, they’re good questions. So the answers, yes, we are working with multiple CRMs. So we integrate with CRMs. We have some CRMs that are older and they’re, a server. In the basement and pulling that data.
Now, this is again, like we, again, we have skin in the game because we family members and it just all bothered us. So we really wanted to come at this. So there’s a lot of great CRM providers out there. Our job is not to bring them down. We’re really good at what we do. Like we’re really good at this.
However, as a contractor, you should be pushing your CRM provider to give access to what’s called an API. Or a data feed that makes our job easier. And if they’re not doing that, you should be looking elsewhere because this can be the difference between millions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars, whatever impact that you have for your business.
So that’s really important to push back on them. So yes we are doing this when it comes to do we run the ads, does somebody else run the ads? So for a long time, we were running the ads but we’ve since kind of pivoted that we have some amazing clients that we work. Who we run the ads on their behalf, but we have started working with agencies and vendors in the space.
We want to, we, we were search light advertising. We changed our name to search, [00:27:00] just search light and our website search light, digital.io. because we want to be a friendly sour-ce. We’ve had conversations with conversion tool providers to help them measure the impact. If you’re an agency and you do PPC, or you do SEO, we want you to have this data because it gets in the hands of your contractor who can efficiently run their business.
I’ll never forget, I’ll say this quickly and I’ll let you guys ask question. One of our clients asked me to talk to one of his friends in a different state that was struggl. And we talked about, how his business had fallen apart. I showed him the dashboard and I just remember him saying if I had this nine months ago I wouldn’t be in solvent.
I wasted a lot of money on marketing, just cuz I was trying to get leads. I didn’t know if it was actually working and clearly it didn’t and it’s too late. Yeah. And I don’t want I don’t want people to have to go through that. So yeah. We’re working with contractors, but also with agencies and vendor partners.
Josh Crouch: So how this all came about and how we got John on here. We had a mutual client. We, I had no idea who these guys were and they were doing paper click for this garage door company. They came to me. I had been looking for I’ve tried multiple solutions and wasted a lot of money trying to.
What I thought was the thing that was gonna give the data I wanted, which started a conversation with the founder, Kevin and John, and some of their other teammates. And got us to the point where we’re, actively like literally going back and forth with [00:28:30] ideas and thoughts and stuff like that, because this is so powerful and this level, the playing field, because I’m, you guys know if any, you guys seen my Facebook post or listen on the podcast, I cannot stand.
The crap in the marketing industry. And when I say crap, it’s just, it’s really bad reporting. It’s really bad workmanship. It’s just it’s they just it’s a blanket cover over. It’s like putting a, the wool over your eyes type of thing. And contractors get bad information, and they feel like marketing companies are scamming them, which some aren’t.
But this unveils as pulls back the curtain and now the data from your CRM, not our CRM. Not another marketing company, CRM, but your CRM, your data is reported back to you and there’s no way to manipulate it. It’s completely through this tag, there’s no way a human can go in there and manipulate the data, give you something that looks pretty on paper and leaves out some of the stuff that maybe they don’t want you to see.
And that’s really where I. As a whole, the industry needs to demand this type of reporting from not, and it’s not just marketing companies, all your vendors, demand transparency, because I think th this is where if you want to grow your business, you need this transparency. Otherwise you’re it’s like taking, it’s like putting a blindfold on spinning around 10 times and trying to hit bullseye in a dart.
Tersh Blissett: The first year or two that I, nah, not to, I was in a contract for a year, but the first year I was in [00:30:00] business I signed up for this one
marketing agency. And we’ve never even talked about ’em before on here or anything, but it was $2,500 a month was their entry level package.
And I was small. I could. Just starting out, like just one guy in a truck type of thing, and $2,500 a month. And every time they’d give me this fancy every month, it was like this wonderful looking brochure. And I was like, this is a horse crap. Like I’m not getting any leads from this. I know I’m not, these are people, the people that are clicking, these are already my customers and I’m paying you $2,500 just for this branding thing.
Irritated me so bad, cuz I didn’t know anything about the branding aspect of PPC and it, I was just curried and it was, $2,500 a month was wasted for a full year because that’s what they did every single month was just spent money on that and took their fees out of it. Yeah.
Josh Crouch: And I think the important part too, especially with ads and I, and we don’t run ads for people or Google ads, I should say, but understanding what you’re getting because what their product does as well.
Is it not just tells you your. Cost per lead, but it also tells you your average ticket by each segment. What’s working, what’s not what you really maybe should focus more on based on that data and it’s decisions like those Hey, do I sink more [00:31:30] money into this or this thing or that thing this actually will help you understand which thing is making you the most money and where your best leads are coming from versus, again, looking at data that’s that.
That’s not accurate and you’re guessing. And that’s, so what I love about if it’s offline
Tersh Blissett: data, if it’s offline marketing.
Jon Torrey: Yeah. So that’s an interesting one, really, if you’re doing direct mail, so we’ve talked to clients about this. If you’re doing direct mail and you put a tracking number on that piece of direct mail, or you putting a QR code on it, we can track that.
Tersh Blissett: My thought is referrals because we do a ton of
Jon Torrey: referral marketing. Yeah. Yeah. Which is great. So what we do is we pull the data in from the CR from the CRM. And it’s gonna show us, okay, what was entered by the CSR and then how did they come in digitally? But this is important because I’m gonna give an example of why this is important.
So it’s good to look at both. You might get a lot of referrals. We had a client that was spending a significant amount of money on PP. In the first two weeks of the reporting, we noticed that something was very wrong. Their phone call match rate was 11%. That means 11 out of every 100 phone calls we drove were matching new work.
That’s bad. Like it’s really bad. So we just called into the number. And what we realized is their automated phone system was looping through. without giving an option to press a number, to speak to a human. So if [00:33:00] a human wasn’t answering it and you got rolled over to, this is so and and here’s why our business is great.
You were getting stuck for 10, 2, 15 minutes. So what I explained and what I do explain, cuz clients will challenge us sometimes say it’s all referrals. Doesn’t matter. I said, no, this is, yes, this is about revenue, but it’s also about operational efficiency. I don’t care if your best friend’s sister wants a $50,000 replacement.
If your automated phone greeting is looping through and she can’t get ahold of you, you’re not gonna close the business. So we look at in different buckets. Josh mentioned we could look at business unit, but we’re looking at your operations to make sure that nothing is broken. We’ve seen forms on website.
Go down lead volume, go down because the submit button doesn’t work, we’ve seen click to call and mobile stop working. It’s those little details. The whole idea here is of providing a frictionless experience. That’s the base level is making sure when your referrals do try to get ahold of you, you’re there and it’s easy.
And then the next level is going and getting new customers with different strategies. And then continually monitoring that and stand on top of it, man. I had one
Tersh Blissett: time where my the form fill on the website was going to my spam folder. Yep. And I was. I didn’t realize it until a month later. Yep.
And it, man, it drove me crazy. I’m constantly going through my spams spam folder now, but it was, it blew my mind how many leads that were just sitting there. And some of them we got and a lot of [00:34:30] them were just completely lost.
Jon Torrey: Yeah. Another thing that we see, right? Cause these are signals to us to go dig further.
That’s what we love about this. So another thing we were seeing is really low match rates across the board. Really low book, job rates. And what we figured out is that. A lot of the leads were outside of the service area, but the website hadn’t been updated. So people were coming to the website and they’re seeing, oh, they service these areas.
They’re calling in for those areas, eating up your PPC budget, which is precious and they no longer service those areas. So it’s those little gotchas that I think, everybody has and it’s look, I like accountability. It’s important. We’re never there to play the blame game and say, this is your fault.
It’s just, Hey, we can monitor this for you. So that those little annoying things that happen to everybody. You can fix and it can add up let’s could get resolved, like it, get it resolved. Yeah. And stay on top of it. It’s a tracker to just stay on top of that revenue flow, where you leak in the revenue and how do you tactically go after it versus, oh, my leads are down.
We can actually come in and say, okay, lead volume is down your match. Rate’s down. It’s down specifically for form leads that relate to replacements. Oh my gosh. It was going to spam for a month. We instead we can fix that in three days.
Tersh Blissett: Really quick, you’ve mentioned match rate a couple times at the beginning.
You explained what it was. Can you share again what it is? Cause you said low
Jon Torrey: match rate and yeah, of course. So the match rate is the percentage of leads that end up in the CRM with a sellable opportunity. [00:36:00] So there’s sort of two phases that we look at, somebody calls into the business. Do they make it into the CRM with a job opportunity?
Like a repair. An estimate or a scheduled consultation, and then do they actually book that job? So match rate is just saying, Hey, they made it into your CRM and you have a chance to sell to them.
Tersh Blissett: Okay, cool. So my buddy, Chris Hughes He has a question here for those who are listening to this show he said if a company is brand new to a marketplace and a smaller in size, would it be advisable for them to brand themselves in the marketplace first or jump right into lead generation services?
Jon Torrey: Yeah. Brand first as much as you can. I can’t tell you how many times again, cause we see all this data, wrapped trucks. It’s amazing. A new customer is not just one new customer. If you wrap your trucks, you don’t do any lead gen. And you’re doing branding, neighbors, go door to door.
If that’s what it takes, to just get the momentum, going to build the reputation and get reviews. People are gonna see that. And you’re gonna get more business. We talk about this all the time. Now it can be dependent on the market if you’re in a major Metro and you’re smart, like right now. So here’s another really great part of our data is Facebook is becoming undervalued.
because the audience data went away and people are pulling their budgets. So Facebook might be a really interesting play, which we can see. We’re like, oh my gosh the [00:37:30] cost per book job is going down. The revenue is going up, is PPC getting more competitive? Christopher I really think right now, video content on Facebook and put it up on.
Introduce yourself. We’ve seen a lot of really we’ve seen leads come through selfie style videos that are passionate, authentic. I’m in your neighborhood. These are the services that I’m providing and that’s free to upload to a Facebook page. So that’s what I would say brand first. And then start to think about the lead gen.
Josh Crouch: I love the topic of video content. I think it’s something I feel. I church. I feel like even just before we were on the podcast together, we’ve we talked about this for years. And I feel like so many people, if you asked them, they know that they should be making video content, they don’t wanna get on video.
The number of people that are not doing it that know are like, it’s probably 90 some percent. There’s one, one, I don’t know. I don’t know what to create. I don’t wanna look stupid. I don’t wanna sound stupid. And it is they stop doing it, but.
I’m telling you just from, and I have had a little bit of a layoff from making my own stuff, but starting a business and being a little over two years old, I focused a lot on video content and that is like a gift that keeps on given.
I have people all the time. Oh, I love your videos. I’m like, I only have 200 some subscribers, like nobody’s watching these. why but you’d surprised at how many people find that stuff and watch your videos and yet get real value from what you have to say, because you’re like for you te [00:39:00] you’ve been in this trade forever.
Like you have so much knowledge stored in that bald head of yours. that useless knowledge. Like other people will find a lot of value in that even homeowners will be like, okay. I realize now why I need to hire you because I don’t know this stuff and I’m gonna screw something up. .
Tersh Blissett: Yeah. Some people had the same concern that I have Anne had.
And that’s the fact that, my mom’s always told me I have a face for radio. So videos
Josh Crouch: She was being kind to you saying
Jon Torrey: that there’s a comment. It just says Facebook user, but somebody has absolutely nailed it. If you’re worried about having a face for radio showing customers behind the. Documenting a little bit about what you do will go an extremely long way. So we’ve done a couple of experiments. Oh, that was Gil.
Gil. Okay. Spot on. Absolutely spot on just show them the behind the scenes. Put it on your Facebook page, share it with some friends. You’d be surprised at how getting to see that makes people feel a lot more comfortable spending $12,000 on an AC replacement with your business over somebody else.
I imagine you’ve seen it in the data. I sent
Tersh Blissett: Josh a talk this morning about something almost
Josh Crouch: similar to this. A guy literally hired. He hired someone to follow him around. Cause he’s he couldn’t, he hated making content, like trying to figure out what to make. So he hired someone to follow him around.
he just, they just made content based on what he did during the day. Yeah. And if you [00:40:30] think about this, so you’re telling, especially with the pricing in the market, I know we’re going off topic here, but the pricing in the market for a new air conditioning system, it’s it, we see the post that’s really high yeah.
Prices keep going up. Imagine, if you go to a customer’s house, give them you talk about them with an estimate. You show them once. Once you approve this estimate, this is what’s gonna happen. This is what our team does to make sure that we are ready for your installation. This is our process to handle warranties.
And you’ve documented in a video real short video, three minutes, we do this, then this, they know exactly what to expect. Now you’ve taken the cur you turned and opened the curtains. Cause right now, No homeowner knows what the hell an HVAC company does once they sign the estimate. They’re like, I don’t know what they do.
They probably got the equipment sitting in the back of their truck. I don’t know. yeah, like they’re just screwing me over by wait, making me wait over a long weekend. But opening the doors and showing people what is going on, I think would, I think you don’t realize how much that would endear you to your local market because people we live in a, in an age now where there’s so much information they wanna know what’s actually happening.
Not. What, even what Google tells ’em like what are you actually doing with my money? And what am I getting for it?
Jon Torrey: Yeah. I’ll give you, I’ll give a quick data point. I don’t usually share this because a we’re focused on the data analytics and B I’ve. I’ve never seen returns this high. One of our longest standing clients does video content.
In spades, like they do it. So they’ve got the, we call it dark [00:42:00] social and I did a podcast about. We saw a 52 X return on ad spend for PPC from new customers alone in a single month. So they spent, I don’t know, I think $10,000 and got about a half a million dollars in return. Just unbelievable.
And I’d I’m not taking credit for that. We did the blocking and tackling. We’ve worked with them to refine their processes. Everything was so dialed in from just their process of how they serve customers, how they communicate that, how they advertise, how they get a customer through the flow of revenue efficiently.
And we were talked earlier, Josh, like an eight to 10 X return on that spend close is a great return for those channels they got, and I checked it IQ eight, every single lead to revenue for that 1 52 X. Which takes time. There’s no guarantees there. You’re not gonna be able to get that, but that was just everything running in harmony.
Just the difference in what that can get you. Wow.
Josh Crouch: That client had to be happy. holy shit. Yeah. I, if you, if I could give you 10 grand, you gimme half a million back. I’d be singing. I’d be singing from the
Jon Torrey: rooftops. yeah. And that’s, it’s just, and someone listening might say how could I ever climb that mountain and get there?
It’s just the micro process. What we tell our clients is, listen, if we can improve book, job rate by 1% each month, just [00:43:30] 1%. That’s gonna compound like interest rates for your business. If you’re getting a hundred leads and the average ticket you have is $3,500, an increase of 1% just one more is $3,500 in the first month, then 7,000 in the second month and 10,500.
And by having these metrics, you can see exactly where you need to spend your time. So you’re not spending hours listening to phone calls like. That if you’re an agency, you don’t have to listen to hours and hours of phone calls. You can just look at the data and say, okay, match. It’s low. We gotta go look into this.
We gotta go fix it.
Tersh Blissett: All right, John. So you have ton of knowledge and the data to back you back it all up. Yeah. For people who want to learn more connect with you, follow you. What’s the best way for that to happen. I
Jon Torrey: know you have a podcast. Yeah, sure. So five minutes to better home services market.
Is the name of the podcast. You can email me, John J O N Searchlight advertising.com. We haven’t changed over that domain yet. And then I also have a subs stack, which is just an email newsletter. It’s called the data driven trades where I published data. That’s anonymized. I’m not sharing any specific client data, but just as a whole, the industry.
From what we see so that you can see general trends. Like I, I noticed someone in here said, Hey, what percent of leads were coming through the chat tool? Like we have stuff like that. So if you go to sub stack.com and you just look up the data driven trades, you should find it. I’m sure we could probably share a link.
Josh Crouch: about one. Yeah. We’ll get a link. [00:45:00] Yeah. So one other thing. So those that you schedule engineer have considered using it. John and his team have just done a huge study on that stuff to it, and he’s published that on LinkedIn and some other places. There’s some really good stuff there. If you just you just wanna understand some basic data and facts and stuff like that.
I would definitely check that. yep.
Tersh Blissett: Cool. And the best way to connect with you as far as getting signed up with Searchlight.
Jon Torrey: Yeah. I would just say, you can go to our website, Searchlight, digital.io, and contact us that way, but we’re all about creating less friction. So just J O.
At Searchlight advertising.com. Shoot me an email would love to talk agencies, vendors, contractors. We just want this data in your hands. It gives you a little bit more leverage with your business.
Josh Crouch: Cool, man, I really appreciate coming on here and chairing you. You’re you guys been like my dirty little secret, so
Jon Torrey: no, I’m how old even now people know.
So cats outta my world.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. But I appreciate not only you haven’t come on here, but everything we’ve talked
Jon Torrey: of course, and stuff like that. No, thank you guys. I appreciate you
for giving me a platform. I’m humbled.
Tersh Blissett: Absolutely. And if anybody has any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to John please.
And until we talk again, next time, I hope you have a wonderful and safe week. And thank you for hanging out with us this morning on the service business mastery podcast. We’ll see you.[00:46:30]
Jon Torrey: Thank you for listening to this episode of service business mastery. Now that you are equipped with essential business advice from this impactful conversation, you are one step closer to becoming the successful owner of your. If this episode has been helpful to your business journey, don’t forget to subscribe to the show, leave a rating and share it with other owners as well.
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