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FRANK1973
12-29-2009, 02:20 PM
Has Anybody Tried Email Marketing? Does It Work? I've Been Looking Into It And It Seems Reasonable To Do Even If You Buy The Email Lists And Have Them Sent For You And With There Software You Can See The Results Such As Who And How Many Are Opening It When Recieved. Reaching Out To Thousands And It Is Cheap To Do.

cklandscapingorlando
12-29-2009, 07:19 PM
Any bulk mail goes right to my spam folder. I delet so many of those and never open them. That would be my worry

picframer
12-30-2009, 06:16 AM
Any bulk mail goes right to my spam folder. I delet so many of those and never open them. That would be my worry

And if enough people report spam from a certain email then you are frigged as it's desperate hard to have it removed and should you write a prospect then there is a good chance you will never get through.

Steve
12-30-2009, 09:16 AM
Have you considered doing other online marketing such as harnessing sites like myspace or face book or even twitter?

You can look for people in your geographic area through these sites and that can help you build awareness of your business.

Have you gotten signs on your truck yet to promote your business? Have you told your neighbors you are now in business? Do they all have business cards from you?

It may work better marketing to a smaller immediate area around you right now than trying to cast a large net with your bulk emailing.

FRANK1973
12-30-2009, 12:54 PM
Yes To All Except The Face Book, Twitter That Stuff I Know Nothing About If You Could Explain How My Daughters Have A My Space, Facebook, Twitter And They Could Figure It Out For Me. I Will Take Your Advice And Stay Away From Email Thanks A Bunch For That. Doing Door Hangers With The New Stick Back Or Rubber Band Can't Go In Mail Box Against Law I Believe But Can Go Outside Of Box With This New Style Band It Is Easy To Attach Or To Stick On Ft Door, Most I See The Typical Hanger Doesn't Work As Well.

cklandscapingorlando
12-30-2009, 06:45 PM
1 guy can put out 2000 door hangers a day solo with no problem here. Put out 5000 in mid to late Feb. Then another 5000 to the same places in Mar. If need be hit the same one again. On a single round here you can expecta 1-2% call. Thats a min of 50 call backs. If you hangers are real nice and have a price and disc of service those call backs are more likely to be ready. If you can talk about your service and sound good doing it, you can close close to all of them. If you can lock down 50 in a tight area after that they rest will conect the hanger with your truck logo and that to your work

Nandoboom
12-30-2009, 11:43 PM
[QUOTE=mariahealki;62410]Hello Everybody,

I am delighted to come here. It is a great forum QUOTE]

Me too... wow, it has been a looooong time since I visited this site.
Steve, I have to admit i've been lazy, very lazy. so I apologize for that.

Ok, my question is:
when to start to promote business?, early spring? or any of you guys follows a "plan" to promote... I see the CKLandsorlando hits the same spot form time to time.

do I go far from my current routs, or stay tight in my area? (far for me will be a 45min drive from my frist house to my last)

Muchas Gracias in advance!


PS: Facebook page is in my future plans.

cklandscapingorlando
12-31-2009, 06:11 AM
I say hit the same places more than once because of 2 things. Most marketing pros say a prospect has to see your add 3 times before they trust it. The other is brand recognition. If they get a fewthings with your logo they'll remember it when they see the truck. If your quality is top notch then they will be more likely to call.

Plus, you want tight routes. So if your doing 20,000 fliers a year you dont want to be going further out to find a door. I would rather pic the places I want and hammer them till I feel I have the work I want. Then let the work and word of mouth do the work

Steve
12-31-2009, 11:00 AM
I say hit the same places more than once because of 2 things. Most marketing pros say a prospect has to see your add 3 times before they trust it. The other is brand recognition. If they get a fewthings with your logo they'll remember it when they see the truck. If your quality is top notch then they will be more likely to call.

I know you are in a warmer climate, but when do you suggest going out and distributing your first series of door hangers? What about your 2nd or 3rd time?

cklandscapingorlando
12-31-2009, 05:44 PM
Mid Feb and then every 30 days till your good. If we even get a drop of rain the grass starts growing in late Feb. Plus all those folks that have'nt done anything all winter and now feel over whelmed

Steve
01-01-2010, 04:47 PM
Do you change the marketing material you distribute each time or do you use the same piece?

Do you promote any discounts?

Nandoboom
01-02-2010, 01:56 AM
Gracias for the tips, CKofOrlando!

Thinking about it, is just better to stick around your city, you know the roads and most of the streets, and people will know that you are local...

yes steve, we (Floridians) cut all year around, every other week in winter, and have plenty of palm trees to trim! lol

I should go with a plan like this:
Mid-Feb = Door hangers/Flyers [early spring clean ups specials]
Early-April = Brochures [get ready for summer, fert, sprinkler tune up specials]
May = Yard Signs [summer special]
June = ?????

any sugestions?.. is this overwhelming? too much? I really would like to put my name out there! ayuda!

ok, with this we cover the residential side, pero wat about Comercial Properties!

Gracias!

cklandscapingorlando
01-02-2010, 07:00 AM
I do offer coupons. 10% on design and install work. Maybe a free mulch up to a yard with a yearly deal. Mulch is done at the end of the year. Things like that. I did nothing but comercial work for 11 years. You make more off resi. Your capped at 35hr on comercial where I can bring 60hr on resi with good production.Plus on the comercial your numbers is all they care about. Resi wants service. Yard signs are good for install's but I dont know about maint. Unless you cleaned the prop up. I travel alot. I work in 3 counties. I'm not saying dont travel. But you dont want to flier in areas you dont work. So I might flier 2 or 3 places thats close to where I work and then move to the next spot. It's not bad to travel to an area, but once there, you dont want to be running all over the place. You want to drop your gate as little as you can.

Steve
01-02-2010, 08:38 AM
You make more off resi. Your capped at 35hr on comercial where I can bring 60hr on resi with good production.Plus on the comercial your numbers is all they care about. Resi wants service.

This is something most every new lawn care business owner does not realize. They look at the big number. They look at how much that commercial account will take in each month and not actually think about how much time it is taking!

How long do you feel it took you to realize that residential accounts make you more money? Did you initially think too that commercial accounts were where the money was at?


I should go with a plan like this:
Mid-Feb = Door hangers/Flyers [early spring clean ups specials]
Early-April = Brochures [get ready for summer, fert, sprinkler tune up specials]
May = Yard Signs [summer special]
June = ?????

any sugestions?.. is this overwhelming? too much?

I think it is great! It doesn't seem like too much to me. As you get to the point of going out there and doing this, keep us posted on what you find you want to fine tune.

cklandscapingorlando
01-02-2010, 04:17 PM
Well I went after comercial because thats what I always did working for the big comps. It was'nt really a money thing. It dont take long to realize which pays better though. You get 8 houses in a row and knock them all down in 3.5hr. Even if your doing them at 25 your doing more than 50hr. I also feel that resi are much more loyal. I bill year round and in the winter there are weeks when I just dont have anything to do. They still pay. A comercial would have a fit. Plus if they like your quality then they dont care who's cheaper. On comercial the prop manger could love you, but if corp wants new bids your out. Theres plenty of money in comercial if your production is right. It's more the loyal thing that makes me gear towards high end resi. Last 2 years I got 600+ in xmas bonuses from resi clients. You wont get that doing comercial.

Nandoboom
01-03-2010, 02:21 AM
Well I went after comercial because thats what I always did working for the big comps. It was'nt really a money thing. It dont take long to realize which pays better though. You get 8 houses in a row and knock them all down in 3.5hr. Even if your doing them at 25 your doing more than 50hr. I also feel that resi are much more loyal. I bill year round and in the winter there are weeks when I just dont have anything to do. They still pay. A comercial would have a fit. Plus if they like your quality then they dont care who's cheaper. On comercial the prop manger could love you, but if corp wants new bids your out. Theres plenty of money in comercial if your production is right. It's more the loyal thing that makes me gear towards high end resi. Last 2 years I got 600+ in xmas bonuses from resi clients. You wont get that doing comercial.

totally agree on this one...
I am loyal to my own customer too, like this holidays, i sent some gift cards to my best clients (the ones that have been with me since I started), that has to make them feel that they're arent just "another house" or "numbers". and guess wat?, Is like I didnt spend extra money cuz some send me bonuses too, lol.

Resi. can be a pain in the neck too, but after 2-3 weeks of service you know how they want the house to look like and they stick with you. Comer. dont feel the same way, if someone else do the same job, for less, youre out. on the other hand, residential can call you back the next month! cuz they were not happy with the other company...happend to me couple times.

is the more personal feeling i like!

PS: steve, i will keep you posted on my marketing. I used to do marketing just once in a neiborhood. I'ma gonna try this method, thanks CKofOrlando!

Steve
01-04-2010, 10:08 AM
Do you find commercial properties become a better choice when you get larger because you have higher overhead costs and you dont want to move them around as much or are residential customers always better if you can get them close together?

cklandscapingorlando
01-04-2010, 05:06 PM
I think that depends on the crew's you run. If you have really detailed guy's but not the fastest, do resi. If you got fast guy's that can keep it going all day, do big comercial. Down here your gonna bring in 5000 a month per guy on comercial if the guy's are top notch. Thats 1 apartment complex per day with a 3 man crew being around 3000 a month. Now those same 3 can do an easy 30 houses a day if next to each other if they have fences. So if you bill 25 a house thats 750 a day or 16250 a month. I know you could get more out of them in both situations but this is pretty close down here.

Steve
01-05-2010, 12:25 PM
I know this has come up in other posts, but what is your view on the best way to get the neighbors of your current customers to sign up for your services?

cklandscapingorlando
01-05-2010, 05:16 PM
I think it depends a bit. Most I get is just from doing good work. Then being able to talk better than who they now have. You have to know every plant you can, How they need to be maintained. Something as small as a tire pivot in the lawn is a selling point. Just point it out and tell them thats where the mower stops to make a sharp turn every week. Then explain how to help avoid this. Even if your no better, you need to sound better.

Or you can just flyer them every few weeks or offer your client a free month for every contract of equal or more value

Nandoboom
01-05-2010, 08:34 PM
Most I get is just from doing good work. Then being able to talk better than who they now have. You have to know every plant you can, How they need to be maintained. Something as small as a tire pivot in the lawn is a selling point. Just point it out and tell them thats where the mower stops to make a sharp turn every week. Then explain how to help avoid this. Even if your no better, you need to sound better.

WOW! I wish I have those qualities of a sales man :(
You sound preatty convincing to me! IM SOLD! LOL!

...this is my weakness. is not that I dont like people, is just that I think too much about coming up to a random person and sell my services ( ineed that first push). "Should I go to this house?", "wat if they have a LCO doing the house?", "wat should I say if....?"... and so and so.....

Is the reason that going door-to-door for me is a challenge, this means that im shy, very shy. and statically had a +/-2% respond.

I've gone door-to-door before, is not that I freaked out, or freeze in from of people.

Is this lack of confidence? -I know that I do a pretty good job, I have customers since the day I started. I know wat im doing.

is there a "plan" you follow? i.e 1. introdue your self, 2. wat do I do, 3. why should you chose me, 4. your yard might need help in this and that... etc, etc.

I can create a preaty good flyer, door hanger, but I feel the hangers itself can do more talking than me, lol.
so yes, Im asking for help in this subject. Por Favor!

Gracias.

cklandscapingorlando
01-06-2010, 04:34 AM
This is the main reason for not going door to door. Theres not one property that would take less than 20min conversation. Some you could spend hours if you wanted to. I'm a bad salesman, I just know landscaping. If a client has a hibiscus that gets trimmed and only has 2 blooms on it, you use that to sell. Tell them how your program includes proper cut backs in winter-spring. By doing so these summer flowering shrubs need only light shapping through the season. Expalain how these shrubs only bloom on new wood so constant shearing means no flowers. If your there in August and you see the Azealas have been trimmed then use that. Explain how these fllower on old wood and require the year to set blooms. So they need a hard cut after the blooms finish to increse the color each year. If you see weeds explain how your monthly gly app with a weekly line trim can greatly reduce these. Then explain how roundup is non residual, zero soil activity, very little creep due to no translocation via root system.

If you notice, nothing that I've said is any better than most of you. I just say it in a way that makes them say wow, I did'nt know that. Or you really know what your talking about.

Another thing to think of, If you have 9am meeting with a potential client, get there at 8am. Walk the property and make a list. So once you meet, you can tell them what you see. You should have most, if not all of there concerns addressed before they even tell them to you

Steve
01-06-2010, 11:29 AM
Just point it out and tell them thats where the mower stops to make a sharp turn every week. Then explain how to help avoid this. Even if your no better, you need to sound better.

So if you can point out issues with a lawn and how to resolve them, even if the customer doesnt sign up with you on the spot, it shows you know what you are talking about.

This may sound like a stupid question, but how does telling them how to resolve the issue help, especially when they have another lawn care business handling the property care?

cklandscapingorlando
01-06-2010, 05:38 PM
Because it's the other comp that caused or perpetuated the problem. The azeales would be full of blooms in the spring were it not for theem. That pit on the turf would not be there if the other comp new how to, or cared to take the steps needed. That Fungus problem probly started from dull blades that the other comp should be keeping started or from a water issue that the other comp did'nt explain to the client.

Your not just explaining a problem, but how the comp is the problem, and your the solution

Steve
01-06-2010, 06:55 PM
This is fascinating.

When this strategy is employed should the lawn care business owner then follow up by saying something like, I can fix that for you by ...... and here would be my price for that. Or what is the best way to jump on such an opportunity? How best can a transition be made from pointing out the problem, explaining the solution and then on to the sales pitch?

Nandoboom
01-06-2010, 08:30 PM
it is Fascinating!

I see other companies with wreked lawn mowers, dirty and bust up trailers, really a mess and lack of presentation, we can use that as a weakness of professionalism.
Wat i see that Resi. is llooking for perfect service, and I have no problem on spending 5 min on details, because the others are so busy they cant hardly keep up with the clients during the summer season.

So, pointing out theyre weaknes is the best way to convince a potential client.

Great Advice! I'll keep that in mind!

Gracias!

cklandscapingorlando
01-07-2010, 08:18 AM
That is the sales pitch. I can inhance the aperance of your property simply by providing a pro service. If the other contractor new what they were doing, you would'nt have anything to point out. Like I said, I'm no salesmen. But I know my industry. Any issue on that property is the current contractors fault. Through a proper maintance program that is carried out to inhance the beauty of each plant species, you can inhance not just the curb appeal but quit possibly the quality of life of the clients. Less stress for them, and a welcoming landscape to come home to

Steve
01-07-2010, 12:45 PM
Like I said, I'm no salesmen.
I don't know how you can say that! This insight is ingenious!

I would figure when you can make such a presentation, you will have won them over. The only thing I guess you will ever be concerned with is hitting the price the customer is willing to pay.

After such presentations, how often will customers be concerned with the fee or does that rarely happen because they see how knowledgeable you are?

If they do seem to waver on price, how do you advise handling that?

Another thing to think of, If you have 9am meeting with a potential client, get there at 8am. Walk the property and make a list. So once you meet, you can tell them what you see. You should have most, if not all of there concerns addressed before they even tell them to you

Does this apply to both commercial and residential clients or is this mainly for commercial clients?

cklandscapingorlando
01-07-2010, 06:17 PM
Well most lots here are the same, so price is pretty close from one to the other. Besides, the reality is, if you do it right you actualy save time. My prices can be right where they currently are to about 40 more per month. Price can be an issue with some though. But if price is a problem, their probly a PITA. The thing is if 100 a month is getting you crap work, then it should be a no brainer that better service is a little more. You really need to be aware of your market. Just 1 mile can change the price. I got clients at 100 a month, then a mile away a smaller lot will bring 150 a month. No matter how good you are you cant out price your self. Know the market and charge what that market will bear.

This works best on resi or comercial where your dealing directly with the person in charge. If things need to go through corp then thay only care about price.

Steve
01-08-2010, 12:21 PM
This brings up an interesting point too. The market you perform your service has an impact on the prices you can charge. It is possible that you can change your service area by a small distance and improve your profit margins.

There is nothing that says you have to perform lawn care in your neighborhood and immediate surrounding area. If an area a little further away is willing to pay more, you might want to consider focusing on that area instead.

Do you find that you focus your marketing on areas where you can make more money per yard? Also, is there more competition in those areas or does the competition level stay the same no matter where you perform your services?

cklandscapingorlando
01-08-2010, 04:55 PM
Well I now focus on either hi end resi or zero lot line homes. The hi end just pay more per visit. But the zero lots you make money on time. A fence is like doing to houses with a line trimmer, so no fence saves alot of time. I also do the lower pay ones but as I grow in more desired areas I slowly let them go.

In hi end there is less comp. Simpl because these folks dont worry about your price. If your quality is top notch then your rate probly is as well. Plus many have a gate. You dont get in without someone asking you in

Steve
01-09-2010, 11:22 AM
zero lot line homes

What are these?

cklandscapingorlando
01-09-2010, 04:07 PM
Well we call houses that are'nt allowed a fence zero lot. Really it's when the property line on one side of the house touches the house next door, then on the other side it's the oposite. So basicly the client only owns the grass on one side.

If you get 10 zero lots in a row you can knock them out in no time at all. You mow in long strips from the first house all the way to the last on the outside curb blowing in, Then come all the way back down to the first starting against the house, and blowing away from the beds. You do this till it's done. Then you start line trimming on the right side of the house and go all the way around to the corner of the other. Then jump to the right corner of the next and repeat till you reach the last house. Then you come straight down the front of each till you get back to the truck.

SuperiorPower
01-09-2010, 10:52 PM
As far as the being shy goes, I was VERY shy when I started out in my job. I recall while in training going to the first house where I was going to do the talking and I completely froze up and didn't know what to say. Now, I am completely the opposite. I am the first to talk and I can carry on a conversation with anyone with just about anything. The only cure is practice. Lots of practice. I talk all day. It's my job.

Ck, I have a question for you. What % return do you get with your flyers? If i recall correctly, you said in another thread that you get about 1-2% (which I think is the general consensus amongst LCOs). So I wonder what % return do you get when talking to the people in person? It seems to me that if you take 1-2 minutes to give a flyer and get a low return rate but a higher rate of return on the ones where you talk, wouldn't it behoove you to take the time to talk to them?

My thinking is, if you want to gain 10 houses, wouldn't it be better to take the time to talk to the residents in a 100 house subdivision and hope to get the 10 conversions (all in a relatively small area) rather than having to leave flyers on 500-1000 houses and still have to go back and talk to each one of those 10 potential clients to get them to sign up? If they sign up without any convincing or "selling", are they less likely to stay with you since they are not "totally convinced" that you are the best LCO and are simply going with te first LCO that blows through the neighborhood? I tend to think that option 2 would likely leave your clients scattered over a MUCH BIGGER area and would mean considerably more driving. Would it be a good idea to drop fliers and then go back in a few days to make in person contact with them and perhaps get the best of both worlds?

Am I wrong in this?

Something else that I think I would try to keep in mind is not being too negative toward your competitors. Its like being a politician and running a "negative" campaign. That turns me off and does the same to many other people. I like to hear a positive campaign. With a positive campaign you hear what the candidate can do for you. With a negative campaign you hear what the opponent is doing wrong with few or no solutions. Maybe its just me.....

cklandscapingorlando
01-10-2010, 07:28 AM
Your whole post is on point. If I only need a hand full of clients in an area then knocking is hands down the best. There are a few things your not factoring in there though. First we are a very populated area. Millions of clients with in a short drive in any direction. It's not uncommon to be in the middle of a 10,000 house devolopment. You could litraly put out 20,000 hangers and never drive more than 20min from tha shop. Then almost all houses you come to, no one will be home. Those that are, likely wont answer the door. Thats the down side to home invasions and robbery. If you want to knock on 100 doors you might get 3 folks to answer during the week. Besides the fliers or hangers are about branding your self. You can knock on 10 houses, get lucky and pick them all up. Then thats that. But if all 3000 folks in there have seen your logo more than once, then see your truck doing top quality work, the recognize and trust the brand. Now you have a very large pool of walk up clients through out the year.

As far as talking about the other comp, well they dont need mentioned. What needs mentioned is what a quality contractor would be doing. If an azeala is in bloom and only has 5 flowers, you would not be doing your job if you did'nt mention the problem. This plant is over trimmed and with our program we utalize proper practice for each species. This means incressed blooms, healthier growth, and less best problems.

Steve
01-10-2010, 11:55 AM
Something I wonder when trying to reach out to neighbors of your customers, how many times do you feel it is necessary to knock and talk to neighbors before they may finally decide to sign up with you?

If you only knock once and after that quit, wouldn't you be missing out?

Could you use other tools to help try and win them over?

Like for instance if you can get some bulk flowers every once in a while that are in pots, could you take them over to the neighbors as an ice breaker?

cklandscapingorlando
01-10-2010, 06:10 PM
You could. But that could get expensive after a while. See the confusion here is with a comp wanting 10 new houses and one wanting 100. If your targeting houses right next to houses you have then knocking or flowers would probly work well. But to target 5000-20,000 people you dont have time nor money for those. If you just spend 20min at one house talking thats 60 fliers.