Getting good quality leads is a major problem for contractors. I hear complaints from across the country. Gang, work is out there, but you have to work hard to attract it. The days of sitting around and hoping the phone will ring because someone else remembered to say something good about you (i.e…we work by referral) are gone. Accept it, and start tooting your own horn.
How about offering a holiday special? We are 6+ weeks from Thanksgiving, that means 10+ weeks from Christmas. Can you create a special offer for a new kitchen or bath remodel if your prospective clients call now? Offer a free dishwasher with the new kitchen remodel. Maybe a self-venting water closet with a new bath remodel. How about finishing up their basement? You can offer a new sofa.
Do you have a referral reward system in place for anyone who does send a good lead? Maybe a restaurant gift certificate or another gift that says "Thank you – I appreciate the effort you made to tell someone about us. We appreciate your help."
These specials don't have to be fancy. Advertise them in a flyer in your local paper, in an email mailing, by snail mail in a neighborhood. Get after it and get it done. You need to be contacting your old customer base at least 4, preferably 6 times each year and this is an excellent reason to let them know you are still around and looking for new jobs. How can you help them? What can you do to make their home more livable?
Don't be shy, don't be bashful, ask for the business.