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Dominating Your Market: Strategies to Drive Leads From Every Direction

Stephanie Figy
February 22nd, 2024
4 Min Read

“Is it one day or is it day one? Because for me, it's always been day one. I don't wait for one day.” — Tommy Mello, CEO and Founder of A1 Garage Door Service

Lead acquisition is crucial to sustained growth for home service businesses. And that doesn’t just mean a steady stream of customers. 

“There's homeowner leads, there’s internal customers, which are your employees, and there's acquisitions,” says Tommy Mello, CEO and Founder of A1 Garage Door Service. “All three of those are what I consider leads.”

In a Pantheon 2023 session, Mello discussed strategies for driving all three types of leads to dominate the market you’re in. Read on for top tips from a business owner who went from $50K in debt to owning a $200 million home service business

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5 Steps to Lead Acquisition

Mello boils down his secrets to success in five steps, along with sharing countless fun anecdotes.

1. Branding

When people remember a brand, leads come easier. Mello invested in his branding to create consistency across his website, billboards, digital advertisements, and vans. The result?

“There are more Google searches in Phoenix for A1 Garage Door Service than there are for ‘garage door repair Phoenix,’” he says.

Not only does effective branding help customers come to you, but job seekers will also remember your company. 

“Once you brand correctly, people come to you, and say, ‘I see you everywhere. I want to build a career here,’” Mello says.

He also isn’t afraid to make bets on advertising tactics that will catch attention, like hanging a billboard upside down. 

2. Google: The Four Algorithms

Next, make sure you utilize Google effectively. Know the four algorithms, which Mello describes as:

  1. Pay-per-click (PPC)

  2. Organic

  3. Local Service Ads (LSA)

  4. Google My Business (GMB) 

For PPC, Mello advises to at least bid on your brand name. To master organic, he recommends reading the book, “They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today's Digital Consumer” by Marcus Sheridan.

When it comes to local service ads, Mello says the algorithm prioritizes companies who answer their phones faster and use form-fill. 

“You’ve got to have form-fills turned on if you want to win,” Mello says. “Google will serve you up way more leads.”

Lastly, to rank higher through Google Business Profile (formally GMB), ask customers to leave reviews with photos. 

“Google is where you spend your time,” Mello says. “If you outrank everyone, you’re going to win.” 

3. Social Media

The average person spends 2.5 hours a day on social media, making it a great place to find customers and employees. Use A/B testing to find out what works best for your business, and leave your ads running. 

“We went through this spurt during COVID where we couldn't hire enough people,” Mello says. “We had months when we’d hire 40 new technicians. And for every nine technicians, we needed a dispatcher. For every six, we needed a CSR. Since then, I've just learned that we're always recruiting.”

4. Relationships

“Are you guys going to BNI (Business Network International)? Are you talking to Realtors?” Mello asked. “Do you remember where you started when you used to go meet people? You used to go to the Chambers of Commerce meetings, used to be out there shaking hands, used to be hustling? I'll tell you what, it's going to be very, very difficult to beat someone who's still hungrier than you.”

5. SMS/Email

Lastly, send text messages and emails to your customers. 

“When we hired a new VP of marketing, the first thing he said was, ‘We're bringing on a full-time person to do SMS and email. Just that,’” Mello says. 

It’s too important not to. And consider the communication method you use with different types of leads. 

“Two VPs of corporate development called me and said, ‘I can't get ahold of any of the companies you keep sending us leads for. We send an email every day.’ I said, ‘You think garage door guys are looking at their emails? I’ll text them right now.’ I texted three companies they were trying to get in touch with, and they all responded within five minutes.” 

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Putting it All Together

With all five steps in play, it’s time to dream big and make those dreams a reality. To do so, Mello says you have to surround yourself with the right people and always be working on yourself. It’s never too late to start.

“Is it one day or is it day one?” Mello asks. “Because for me, it's always been day one. I don't wait for one day.”

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