Are comparison sites really working for movers, or just driving prices down?
Comparison sites can be a great source of business for removal companies

If you talk to some in the removals industry, they’ll say lead generation is responsible for a race to the bottom on price. Many movers see lead generation sites as the root of all evil. But that’s simply not true.

A good lead generator wants you to be successful. Because, unless we help you to succeed, we can’t succeed. If all we did was drive down prices then you’d go out of business and we wouldn’t be able to make money.

If all we did was send you poor quality leads then you’d lose out – and we wouldn’t be able to make money.

On the same side

In fact, movers and lead generators are both struggling to overcome the same challenges. Falling prices harm us all. And we want the same things removal companies do – quality leads that convert to paying jobs. We’re on the same side. And we know – because we talk to our removal companies regularly – that several of our removal company partners get all of their initial work through lead generation sites.

(If you’re a removal company interested in trying buzzmove’s service, visit our removal company registration page.)

Take Paul, for example. From the age of 10, Paul wanted to follow his dad into the army. As soon as he left school, that’s exactly what he did, joining the Royal Logistics Corps. Within a year he was posted to Iraq. Paul did two tours in Iraq. Then two tours in Afghanistan. And his brother was out in Iraq at the same time as him. So you can imagine how his mum felt about that!

On his second tour of Afghanistan, Paul was on foot patrol one day transporting a convoy when insurgents ambushed the convoy. Paul was hit by two bullets that shattered his ankle. Even now, after months of physio and years in civilian life, Paul says that after a full day of loading and unloading on a removal job, his ankle aches, reminding him of that day. He was invalided out from the army and got a generous pay out. One of the conditions of that pay out was that Paul couldn’t talk about it. So Paul is not this man’s real name – and I can’t tell you his real name.

But the point is that, after years back in the UK working for a big removal company and learning the trade, Paul took his pay out money and set up a new removal business with his brother and his dad. They started at the beginning of 2016, just the 3 of them with one small van. By the end of the year they had 2 vans and 2 trailers.

All from converting leads they get from just one website – buzzmove.com.

That’s one end of the removal spectrum. Now let’s look at something a little bigger.

Using 12 lead generators all year round

Ramshaw is a large removal company. It was started by Andrew Smith back in 2007 with just himself and a single van. Now, it has 24 vehicles, 6 staff in the office and dozens of lifters and handlers out on the road. The company made it through the credit crunch with flying colours. Since 2007, Ramshaw has grown every year. Ramshaw covers a huge geographical area in the north east of England, from Durham down to Yorkshire. It’s just opened an office on Spain. And it has a 17,000 square foot warehouse facility.

Ramshaw gets all of its initial work through lead generators. In fact, Andrew uses 12 lead generators consistently, each and every month.

The keys to lead gen success

And he says he’ll never turn any of them off. Because he knows that even if he gets no converted jobs from any one lead generator in a given month, he measures his ROI on an annual basis. And he knows he’ll make a profit on his leads by the end of each year. That, Andrew says, is the key to success with lead gen.

“A lot of removal companies don’t stick with it,” Andrew says. “They have a bad month or two and then they give up. But if you look at lead generation from one month to the next, you’ll fail.”

Interested in reading more about how Andrew has used lead generators to build his business so successfully?  Check out our case study with Ramshaw Transport. We know about Andrew’s long-term approach to lead generation at Ramshaw. We know why Paul and his family are able to grow so rapidly and profitably using just the leads they get from us.

In our contact with removal partners, we’ve seen the same signs of success over and over again. To the point that I can tell you within 2 minutes whether a new removal partner is going to successful at lead conversion or not.

We know that many successful removal companies are the ones who like working with people, and that many successful removal company owners and managers are the ones who keep their mobile phone on during dinner. The ones who are booking or managing jobs even while on holiday in Spain. We know that you get frustrated with customers who don’t tell you about dodgy access at their new property. We know that disassembling and reassembling furniture can be the biggest time drain on a job.

We know all this, because we want to know. Because we need to understand our removal partners to be successful. Because if we’re not helping you to be successful then we can’t be successful.

And that’s because the more money you make, the more we make.

Lead gen is all about leads that convert

A really good lead generator is not about generating leads at all. It’s about doing everything we can to help you convert those leads to paying jobs. We do this by providing you with software to help you manage your leads, and prioritise them based on the kinds of moves you want to do. From keeping leads warm, by staying in contact with them until you can, to helping you carry out remote surveys, so you can survey more people and convert even more leads into jobs.

We know that probably your single biggest problem with customers is how much they don’t want to pay you. That people are obsessed with price.

House moving costs are rising

But of course they are. And that’s because, according to recent research from Lloyd’s Bank, it now costs an average of just under £11,000 to move house. That’s including estate agency fees, stamp duty and legal fees.

These costs add up to more than £9,000 before you even factor in the cost of the actual move itself.  And how many of these costs are negotiable? That’s right: none of them. Meaning you have loads of people who want to move. They’re already smarting from the outrageous cost. They want to try and save money somewhere. So where’s the first place they look to do that? What’s the one major cost associated with moving where they can look for a lower price? That’s right:

You.

Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, it means that your work and your expertise is massively undervalued. People don’t understand that removals is a proper profession that takes experience and training and years to get right.

But if there’s a race to the bottom on price, it’s not coming from lead generators. It’s coming from customers who already feel like they’ve taken a punch to the wallet, and they want payback. Or just to make some kind of saving somewhere so they can feel like they’ve managed to retain some shred of dignity from the massive rip off that is buying a house.

Price comparison sites are how we buy services now

And you know how that feels. When you buy home contents insurance, or car insurance, what do you do? Do you scour half a dozen insurance websites and weigh up which insurers offers the best cover, or has the best reviews, or has the best record of paying claims? Or do you do what most people do and buy your insurance with the aid of a small desert rodent?

Research shows that more than 7 out of every 10 internet users use price comparison websites to compare and buy everyday services. Insurance, credit cards, utilities, savings accounts and ISAs…

So if customers jump on the internet to find a removal company, that’s because it’s the same for removals as for any other kind of service. Lead generation sites don’t cause this to happen. Nor do we want to attract only those people interested in saving money. We want to educate customers, not just sell to them. We want to direct them to work with quality and professional removal companies – just like you – who will do a good job for a fair price.

And we’re not saints or angels, remember.

If we send a customer to a cowboy operator who does a lousy job, what’s that going to do for our reputation when that customer leaves a bad review?If we send nothing but bad leads to you, what’s that going to do for our revenues when you get fed up and stop using us?

Remember – we want you to succeed. Because if you don’t, then we don’t.

If you’re a removal company struggling to convert your leads, read our Top 5 secrets to turn more removal company leads into paying jobs

If you’re a removal company interested in trying buzzmove’s service, visit our removal company registration page.

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