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View Full Version : So far so good!


jymie
04-08-2010, 09:40 PM
Well so far so good. The double sided flyers seem to be working really well. One side, I put a mulch advertisement and on the other side I put our company information on it. I've gotten several calls to do mulch so far and there doesn't seem to be any letup in sight. I'm also getting plenty of calls to do estimates for lawn care. One thing that I have done is as I'm doing an estimate for lawn care I don't try to up sell them right away. What I do is, I let the homeowner know that we also do mulch and whatever else it is that I notice while doing the estimate on their property that we could take care of for them just to let them know of any additional services that we could do for them. By just mentioning our other services this week on 4 estimates for mowing, I got mulch jobs to do for them as well. Mulch jobs are a great opportunity to get additional business. The job we did today, a neighbor approached me and really liked our work and we got that job for next week. Now if the weather would just cooperate for us. One mulch job we did the other day, the home owner liked our work so much he has hired us on to do his lawn care for this year. He also was talking about us doing hedge trimming also. I found out that he is a manager at where he works so this may also lead to a commercial account as well. It really pays to communicate with the home owner as though you knew him or her for years and are very friendly towards them. Another plus is, we have a 100% return rate from the customers we had last year. Already we have gained 13 new customers for this year in weekly lawn care clients. I have been complimented on our professionalism and attention to the smallest details when we do our work. I think this is going to be our make it year. That being said, it looks like we will be able to upgrade our equipment this year.

1. I currently have a craftsman 42in. rider that now is two years old. I would like to upgrade to a zero turn mower. Which type should I get? Can anybody recommend which brand would be better? I donít have any huge properties to do yet but I think that may be on the horizon.
2. We have an echo weed whacker. Iím really happy with echo so if I upgrade I will probably go to a top of the line echo weed whacker.
3. We have been cutting our hedges by hand with hand shears but I would like to buy a gas hedge trimmer, any suggestions on which would be better?
4. We have a walk behind edger for the initial cut along driveways and sidewalks so that will be fine.
5. Anyone have any thoughts on weed whackers that have interchangeable ends on them that you can change into a hedge trimmer or a blade edger?

Thanks for all your input!

Steve
04-09-2010, 05:34 AM
That is fantastic news!

Another plus is, we have a 100% return rate from the customers we had last year.

How did you go about getting everyone to resign up with you this year? Do you have any advice for others trying to do this as well?

As far as equipment goes, do you have any local dealers in your area? Which kind of equipment do they sell. Have you checked out any of their stores? It seems having dealer support for equipment issues is very important and should be a factor when choosing which equipment to purchase.

Rexdale Grass
04-09-2010, 10:05 AM
Do you have a blower yet? Seems like if your edging an mulching it would be a must. Echo is a good brand from what I have heard but sine I was ten and got my first stihl trimmer I've been hooked. If you want a combination tool stihl makes KM110 kombiunits they are unsurpassed in my books I bought it last year to have a long reach hedge trimmer didnt have that much money so I could only get the 0degree version they have one that angles up 135degrees any way this you went and got the string trimmer head and strait shaft edger, world of difference from edging by hand and as for the trimmer it's same as my stihl pro FS 80 R I think thats the right number. if you got any question just as away.

jymie
04-09-2010, 08:40 PM
Yes, we have a Ryobi backpack blower with the battery starter. It serves the purpose for our needs, but by no means is it the top of the line.

At Christmas I sent out Christmas cards and I included a calender in with the cards and I gave everybody referral cards. A few weeks ago I made it a point to call all my customers that I had at the end of last year just to make sure that they were still happy with our service and we're going to continue to use us this year.

I have to research for a few dealers in our area. I know of a John Deer dealer about 40 miles away from us.

Today we picked up 2 more customers. It was a direct result of an aquaintence I made with a young woman who does weeding and flower planting in our area. I gave her some of my business cards and Promised to give her something for her referrals to us. If I get any customers that want flowers planted or weeding done I will send her some business too. It is always good strategy to hook up with someone that does outdoor work that maybe you would not otherwise do but that could be in conjunction with some of your services. Like her with weeding, we could use her for that before we mulch. Personally, weeding Can be a tedious task, not at all places but there are some places that weeding is a real tough chore.

Steve
04-10-2010, 05:52 AM
It was a direct result of an aquaintence I made with a young woman who does weeding and flower planting in our area. I gave her some of my business cards and Promised to give her something for her referrals to us.

That is creative! What do you feel is the best way to go about doing this? How should you approach another business owner and suggest some type of referral network with them?

jymie
04-10-2010, 11:18 PM
I came across another guy today . He's an old timer who does nothing but lawn rolling. I was on my way to do another estimate when I came across him getting ready to unload his trailer with his, get this, an old pavement roller which he uses to roll lawns. I also gave him some of my business cards and he gave me his phone number and we'll see if we can get each other some more business. All you really have to do is when you see a guy like that when you drive by him on the road, stop and start a conversation with him and it could lead to good things.

Steve
04-11-2010, 08:38 AM
That is very interesting! With all these connections you are making, it's going to be an amazing season for you!

jymie
04-11-2010, 09:17 AM
I received a call yesterday from an 81 year old senior citizen who I gave an estimate to last year but did not service him last year. He called to tell me that the the person that he went with last year was a landscaping company who caused a lot of damage on his property. He used a walk behind zero turn mower and caused a lot of damage throughout his backyard. He drove so fast that he caused a lot of damage in the grass and even when it was wet and raining he would be a going is fast as possible breaking drain pipes etc. He told me that the guy would not do a contract with him and that he liked my contract that I'd given him last year and felt that I would be a more reputable person so I'm thinking he's going to be calling me to secure my services for this year. The other service caused dents in his garage and every thing. Very careless way to do business. I hope I get more calls from that guys disatisfied customers.

Steve
04-12-2010, 07:12 AM
Congratulations! If he does sign up, I think it would be interesting to hear why he chose to go with that other company last year. Maybe he could shed some light on an important issues that might be missing that other potential customers are picking up on as well?

jymie
04-13-2010, 12:14 AM
On our conversation he mentioned to me the reason he went with the other company was because he was a landscaping company. He felt that it was best to go with him and that he would be a more professional company and receive a better service. Well he found out that guy was not the better option. Today I got 4 more calls for estimates to do mulch installs. Looks like it's time to start the season!

Steve
04-13-2010, 09:27 AM
Knowing all this now, do you feel there is a way to present yourself to customers where this does not even become an issue? Is there a way to feel a customer out to see if they are thinking this and then show them why YOU are the best choice?

jymie
04-14-2010, 06:50 AM
When I am doing an estimate, I am sure to mention things such as we are insured, we are servicing so and so down the road and I can give them a reference if they want to call a customer of ours from last year. When they can talk to a happy customer that really seems to be a deal sealer. Now that we are starting to gain some momentum, I am going to solicit neighbors of our current customers with another flyer although it is general in nature.

Steve
04-14-2010, 09:38 AM
The flyer looks great! How will you be distributing them?

I can give them a reference if they want to call a customer of ours from last year. When they can talk to a happy customer that really seems to be a deal sealer.

Do you feel like there is a % of potential customers that will want to call others for references like that? If so, what kind of % would you say?

jymie
04-15-2010, 12:26 AM
The percentage is small I'd say around 2%. I only offer up the reference when someone asks for it. When we meet the customer, and discuss what they are looking for, usually its a sell. This flyer will be going to the neighbors that are two houses on each side of the current customer and 5 houses across the street. We will do that once a month. Today we were cutting a lawn and the next door neighbor flagged us down as we were leaving, we got his lawn starting next week becuase he liked the work we did next door. Then I told him about the mulch job we also did next door, he said "I hate doing my own mulch, we'll talk about that when you cut next", so there is another upsell for us! Always remember to bring up things like that in conversation, you never know when it may lead to something.

Steve
04-15-2010, 07:00 AM
Very interesting! Maybe just having the ability to offer references is a bonus to a potential customer. Just knowing they can call your references might put them at ease and help you sell easier?

So ultimately the % of those who actually call them is low but the ones that feel it helps smooth the sale is a higher %.