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tyson554
04-02-2010, 08:58 AM
Hi everyone,
My biggest problem so far has been getting callbacks from the potential customers once I do the estimates for them. When I leave from doing the estimate, everything usually seems to be all good, and Im expecting a call back, but I've waited over a week now for ten or so people, and still no calls. Should I start calling them, or just keep waiting? How does everyone handle this?

Dendith
04-02-2010, 12:29 PM
Personally, I would wait for at least a week and then give them a call. Ask them if they had any questions over the estimate.

Then try a sales tactic to help push them to make a decision:

1.)Tell them a quick story about another customer that was having problems making a decision and what helped them figure it out.
People like to hear what other people do, it makes them feel more comfortable knowing more people are just like them and they went with you.


2.)tell them you thought of something that you think they would really like for their yard and you want to drop a picture off.
Gives you a second attempt to get in front of them


3.) Tell them that your company is running a special through (the end of the week, holiday) Tell them you would hate for them to loose this great opportunity. then say something like, I know I would.
Pressure them to make a decision


If they are still kicking tires or you need more ideas, get them to set a date, don't let the conversation go without a yes, no or date they will make a decision by. And if you get a no, don't take the first one, get at least 3. Most people say no just because its easy, its the meaning behind the no that you need to figure out and destroy. If you can't get it after 3, then respectfully let them go, but leave the door open always. And stay in contact a month later or something (even leaving a note on their door to drive by one of the properties you do to see how nice it looks, or just leave a picture then say something like "call them when you really to move forward and make your neighbors envious" (works best if you remember from the conversation their hot button)). Sales is consistent and constant and the person who is the most comfortable in their shoes and stays persistent, consistent and constant will always get the sale eventually. It may take a few years thought :)

Again, this is what I would do. I'm open to suggestions though.

picframer
04-02-2010, 03:55 PM
I close every deal I can on the spot, I would guess less than 5% state that they will get back to me, look for buying signals, ask probing questions, make sure they are part of the conversation.

Steve
04-03-2010, 04:12 AM
My biggest problem so far has been getting callbacks from the potential customers once I do the estimates for them. When I leave from doing the estimate, everything usually seems to be all good, and Im expecting a call back, but I've waited over a week now for ten or so people, and still no calls. Should I start calling them, or just keep waiting?

Are you presenting the bid in person or are you leaving it in the mailbox or something like that?

How do you end the conversation? Do you ask for the sale? Give us some insight as to how these normally go for you.

I close every deal I can on the spot, I would guess less than 5% state that they will get back to me, look for buying signals, ask probing questions, make sure they are part of the conversation.

Andy,

Does this seem like he might just be able to tweak something in his presentation and get a different result?

What is your view on how one should go about presenting their bids to be able to close it on the spot?

picframer
04-03-2010, 06:29 PM
Andy,

Does this seem like he might just be able to tweak something in his presentation and get a different result?

What is your view on how one should go about presenting their bids to be able to close it on the spot?

I go at it with the attitude I have already won, I know the going rates for all the services we offer but presentation and closing skills is everything. I simply ask, when would you like us to start? If they say they have to talk it over with someone, I will ask if there is something of concern, I can tell by body language if there is an issue and if there is, I will try to determine what it is, we don't get 100% but I bet we get 98% of the business we quote on.

Steve
04-04-2010, 05:01 AM
So ultimately the key is not to just present the bid and say 'think about it and get back to me when you want.'

It seems if you do that, there is a good chance you will never hear from them again.

picframer
04-04-2010, 05:42 AM
So ultimately the key is not to just present the bid and say 'think about it and get back to me when you want.'

It seems if you do that, there is a good chance you will never hear from them again.

Exactly, sceize the moment, I understand we will all get tire kickers, I weed these out on the phone pretty quick, I don't have time to come to your property if the bottom line is price, if it is we are not the company you are looking for.

Steve
04-04-2010, 08:20 AM
I understand we will all get tire kickers, I weed these out on the phone pretty quick,

When a call comes in for lawn care, do you suggest a way to weed out tire kicker callers? Does this differ from other services you offer like the higher priced excavation jobs?

picframer
04-04-2010, 12:47 PM
How big is your lawn, have you used a lawn care provider in the past? Did you have any issues, when was the last time they attended to your lawn, at this point based on your answers, how high in your decision process is price vs quality? If you state quality is most important we will me, if you say both or you say price, where do you live? Sorry we are not able to add additional customers in your area at this time however we will keep you on a list should that change. Perhaps a bit brash or harsh but I don't have time to waste.

Steve
04-05-2010, 06:05 AM
That is fascinating and when you have a business that is really rolling, you need to focus on profitable customers.

Do you ever hand the customers you don't want off to another lawn care operation in another area or is it not worth it?

Also why is it important to know if the potential customer had used a lawn care business in the past? If they hadn't, is that good or bad?

picframer
04-05-2010, 07:20 PM
That is fascinating and when you have a business that is really rolling, you need to focus on profitable customers.

Do you ever hand the customers you don't want off to another lawn care operation in another area or is it not worth it?

Also why is it important to know if the potential customer had used a lawn care business in the past? If they hadn't, is that good or bad?

I don't hand off business because if something goes wrong people have a way of making it your problem.

If they currently have a company looking after them, I want to know why they are leaving, if they haven't then why are they looking for a company, I need to get a feeling with what may or may not be going on.

We are in a position where we can pick and choose what we do to a certain extent, we are not even near being in full swing yet I received 11 inquiries today alone, I have to weed these out as we can only do so much and still keep our standard of work.

Yard Elements
04-05-2010, 08:48 PM
I get the vast majority of the jobs I quote, first thing is I don't estimate, i give quotes.

Second I send an email and get there email address.

I send them a PDF file then two days later I follow up asking them if they have any questions. Usually the only ones I don't get are the ones that change there mind about service or when I get low balled.

I always try to get there email to stay in touch wether I get a long term contract or a one time job to follow up. if they ignore me I keep emailing them every so often funny thing is I have thought I was bothering people and then out of the blue they call me and ask if I want to trim there trees or mulch there planting beds. Alot of people procrastinate so follow up follow up follow up. I don't try to make a high pressure sale because it's not just me but another good way is like pic framer said close the sale on the spot.

I prefer the low pressure tactic myself but thats just me.

I do get most of the quotes I send out unless there cheap or I get lowballed.


I send nice PDF files that look very professional with examples of my work on them so they can see what I can do, I also include testimonials in the PDF this has worked well. Hope this helps.

Steve
04-06-2010, 05:27 AM
If they currently have a company looking after them, I want to know why they are leaving, if they haven't then why are they looking for a company, I need to get a feeling with what may or may not be going on.

When you talk to these different potential customers, do you find there are warning signs you look out for with those that currently have a lawn care service provider and those who don't?

I would figure there must be different warning signs for each group?

What stands out in your mind the issues you have to look out for with the two different groups?

I get the vast majority of the jobs I quote, first thing is I don't estimate, i give quotes.

Second I send an email and get there email address.

I send them a PDF file then two days later I follow up asking them if they have any questions. Usually the only ones I don't get are the ones that change there mind about service or when I get low balled.

What is the difference in your mind between a quote and an estimate?

Also do you present them with anything on the day you visit their property or do you tell them you will email them 2 days later?

picframer
04-07-2010, 03:37 AM
When you talk to these different potential customers, do you find there are warning signs you look out for with those that currently have a lawn care service provider and those who don't?

I would figure there must be different warning signs for each group?

What stands out in your mind the issues you have to look out for with the two different groups?

It's hard to explain but you can generally tell if someone is testing the waters but not always, I had one last night, I have exchanged emails, spoke with the lady on the phone, she wanted a drain put in however she is on the fringe of my service area and I could not really tell on the phone with my questions if she was serious or not although she kept calling and writing so I decided to have a look.

When I drove up and saw the property I didn't have a great feeling, it is a middle to lower middle class area, property left a lot to be desired, anyhow I proceeded. We looked at the issue and I explained the process to fix it properly, I gave her a quote on the spot and explained what it would include then I knew I was in trouble, her reply was you are almost double xxx excavation, I asked what does their quote include? She said I assume the same thing, I explained we have to be very careful what we assume and you should ask and get it in writing, the response was I want it fixed as cheap as possible.....I said well if you want a cheap job I am probably the wrong guy, we do well over 100 of these a year and I know from experience when corners are cut, the results are less than satisfactory, I do appreciate your time, I wish you the very best in your project, you may want to check the other companies longer term references for a job like this and left.

The issue is time lost for me, I do quotes with my 2010 Jetta which is diesel so the cost to travel around doesn't matter that much, the time does as I am back in a situation where I am pounding 12++ hours a day, 6 days a week. I would rather land three $500.00 jobs in a good area done properly, than spend the time travelling to a $1,500 job quote we probably won't get and if we do because the prospect thinks it's high, no matter how great a job you do it will not be good enough.

As I said before, our network has grown to a point in less than a year where I simply don't have to quote everything that comes across the desk, I can be selective to a certain point and stay in selected areas, it is working.

Steve
04-07-2010, 05:27 AM
I want it fixed as cheap as possible..

I guess ultimately if you knew this ahead of time you could have avoided the situation entirely but in some situations how would you know this was going to happen unless you showed up to give a bid on the spot and then hear her reaction.