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Steve
08-11-2010, 09:57 AM
I was listening to a podcast the other day where a lawn care business owner talked about how his business focused on high end customers.

One of the things he did to attract more high end customers was to build planters for local high restaurants for free where these high end customers ate.

Then subtly letting the passerby know he made them. Maybe a business card holder?

Would this work in your area?

Do you have other ideas on how to attract high end customers?

picframer
08-11-2010, 07:36 PM
I think that is an excellent idea, always think outside the box. I would like to think all of us have access to these accounts directly or through people we know, being our network. I can tell you once you are in and do good work, you are in and all set, you will do very little marketing and advertising unless you hant extreme growth, in my experience you will gain all ths business you can handle and best of all they always pay as soon as you ask and rarely question your quotes.

Steve
08-12-2010, 04:51 AM
Andy at this point are you still trying to come up with creative marketing ideas or now do you find word of mouth has taken hold enough where it is not so much an issue?

We often see lawn care businesses that have been around for a long time, not doing any marketing at all.

Is this ever a good thing or should you constantly be pushing yourself to grow each year?

Also, would you have any other thoughts for those reading this, on marketing ideas to get those high end customers?

Do certain projects stick out in your head, where you think, if I did that, it would really get me a lot of attention, but I simply don't have the time now to bother with it?

picframer
08-12-2010, 05:12 AM
Andy at this point are you still trying to come up with creative marketing ideas or now do you find word of mouth has taken hold enough where it is not so much an issue?

We often see lawn care businesses that have been around for a long time, not doing any marketing at all.

Is this ever a good thing or should you constantly be pushing yourself to grow each year?

Also, would you have any other thoughts for those reading this, on marketing ideas to get those high end customers?

Do certain projects stick out in your head, where you think, if I did that, it would really get me a lot of attention, but I simply don't have the time now to bother with it?

Hi Steve, I haven't spent much if any time this season coming up with marketing ideas, we came into the season in April with I believe 169 jobs, we did add another large excavator and loader to keep up with demand however this was a let's let the dust settle year.

On growth the jury is out, I have a very good core team and could grow the company further however I think we will just let things be for now and look at it next year. The decision to grow or stay can be tough, the only easy decision would be a company offering one or two services, should one of those services take a hit, could you still survive? We could as we must offer 15 or better services, diversification is critical.

As for marketing ideas, do all your friends, clients, contacts know you want to grow, are they keeping their ear to the ground for you?

I don't see anything that I say I wish we could do that as we can do just about anything a homeowner would want, I can build breath taking, award winning decks in woods the competition would not touch, Ipe, Brazilian Cherry, African Mahogany etc. all upper end but I don't as I love what we do and haven't had to go down that road. It's funny I had a call last night while having supper with my son from a upper end client, he had a quote of $64,000 to build their decks and wanted to know if I would consider it, I thanked him for the call but explained we are not in the deck building business at this time and why.

Steve
08-12-2010, 06:15 AM
As for marketing ideas, do all your friends, clients, contacts know you want to grow, are they keeping their ear to the ground for you?

Andy,

Whats the best way to harness the potential of an employee to keep getting the word out about the company? Should they be given business cards? Possibly a % of any job they find as a finders fee? Or what's the best way to go about this?

picframer
08-12-2010, 04:05 PM
Andy,

Whats the best way to harness the potential of an employee to keep getting the word out about the company? Should they be given business cards? Possibly a % of any job they find as a finders fee? Or what's the best way to go about this?

All my employees get 10% of a referral if I do the quote 25% if they do as long as they quoted it properly and there is a profit there. All employees have business cards and some I do profit sharing, depends on the job but Pressure Washing is where they really make the bucks.

Steve
08-13-2010, 03:56 AM
That is great! That seems to me, the key in getting employees to take an active part in growing the business.

If they feel they will benefit from working harder, they will. Everyone wants to make more money and having an outlet where you can make more money if you hustle a bit is fantastic! Allowing them to do this all within the infrastructure you created, certainly beats the heck out of them having to go off and start their own business in order to feel they are benefiting from putting in extra work.

How do you advise a lawn care business owner to come up with a % for referrals?

All my employees get 10% of a referral if I do the quote

Would this be 10% off the final cost or would this be after certain expenses are taken out?

25% if they do as long as they quoted it properly and there is a profit there.

What do you feel is the benefit of such a higher % for them performing the quote? It doesnt seem like much of the total work is in the quoting process to justify it, but then again, I don't know.

Pressure Washing is where they really make the bucks.

Are the employees able to, at times, find the work, bid the work and do the work themselves? So they basically can do it all?

picframer
08-13-2010, 04:20 AM
Good Morning,

When it comes to Lawn mowing, I can't give a %, some we make some money on, others we do well at. So what I decided and they agreed, they get the profit from the first two mow's and trim.

It's 10% of the accepted quote so it's a really good bonus for the staff member.

I do not have any employees that I would be comfortable with them looking at the job, quoting and doing the job, we are getting into a fine line allowing this as what is to stop them from doing this on the side. I don't believe I have any staff that would and all the vehicles have GPS tracking as well as most of the equipment we drive so it would be desperate hard to pull a fast one in my case.

If a staff member does perform a quote, it saves me time and money going to meet the prospect, the key however in some cases is when a prospect is there asking, it's prime time to close the sale, almost like an impulse buy.

Steve
08-14-2010, 06:31 AM
Very interesting!

Ideally is it ever a goal to ultimately try to get certain crews to act as stand alone units? Where they can perform all functions and get a % of what they sell or is it better to have different divisions that keeps eyes on each other, where you may have one group of employees that do the bidding and customer relations while another crew that performs the work?

Is one way easier to attain growth through than another?

turfmaster
08-14-2010, 09:30 AM
I would like to think all of us have access to these accounts directly or through people we know, being our network. I can tell you once you are in and do good work, you are in and all set, you will do very little marketing and advertising unless you hant extreme growth, in my experience you will gain all ths business you can handle and best of all they always pay as soon as you ask and rarely question your quotes.

Exactly, once you get in their inner circle your in.
1 doctor client of mine referred us to 3 others that we picked up.
We got into a upscale subdivision $500,000 to million dollar homes doing work for the HOA. We picked up 3 more properties in there based on our quality of work. We are so busy from referral work this season that I did not advertise at all anywhere!! :)