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View Full Version : taping business cards to doors


sunsetlandscaping
07-11-2012, 09:14 AM
Have you guys ever taped your business cards to doors (with masking tape) instead of knocking on them or passing out fliers at every house on the block? I hate someone coming to the door and trying to sell me something too, so this is why I thought this would possibly be a better tactic.

LawnTeam
07-11-2012, 01:22 PM
Many localities have ordinances against posting anything on property that is not yours. Why give up the opportunity to talk to the owner? You don't have to sell anything. A simple compliment such as, "I can see you take a lot of pride in your property. yours is the very type of lawn I like to work on because I know you can appreciate it when it looks its best," works well to open the conversation. Of course you can't say that if it isn't true.There are so many ways to start the conversation. Homeowners often feel like no body will take as good care of their investment as they do and they like to feel like you appreciate the hard work that went into it even if they didn't do everything correctly. If you don't want to knock on the door, what about a personal note with your business card mailed to them?
Anyway, whatever you decide to do, i would love to hear how it works. Always willing to try something new.

Willco
07-11-2012, 04:05 PM
I would not use tape, the homeowner might get upset to find tape glue on his door. When I do leave something for the homeowner, usually an invoice, I use a rubber band and a clip, no residue and a free clip for the homeowner.

Steve
07-11-2012, 04:07 PM
That is an idea that I haven't seen brought up. Who knows, it could work.

The up side to it is you could distribute a lot of business cards that way.

The down side is that you will minimize the amount of potential customers you will be talking to which could effect the total number of sales you get.

You could try out both methods and see which works better for you in your area.

dpld
07-11-2012, 04:37 PM
call me what you like but if any business knocks on my door to try and either sell me something or promote themselves whether i need the service or not will be not only told to get the hell off my property they will also be the last business i would ever call for that type of service.

knocking on doors and stuffing flyers may have worked or been common practice decades ago but it is mostly frowned upon these days and in most communities is against the law and putting anything in or on a mialbox is against the law as well.

to me knocking on doors or stuffing boxes or sticking cards on doors says, " hey i got no work and i am desperate " and most people who bite at that sales method are people looking to take advantage of you to see if you hand out sucker prices or someone who just does not have the balls to say no and get the hell off my property.

no one said starting a business is easy or cheap and there is no fast track method to build one as well as it takes years to do so and if you do not have the money to invest in proper professional advertiseing and wait for your business to grow more often then not it will not end very well.

i am not trying to insult anyone and i admire the gumption and balls to attempt to do it that way but it just is not a good way to do business in 2012.

i would suggest if you are hell bent on trying to drum up business that way to do so by getting a few hundred calanders or mugs or something cheap but usefull and knock on the doors and intoduce yourself as new to the neihborhood and give them a free gift and tell them if they ever need something in the lines of the services you offer to give you some consideration and thank them for their time and walk away and not say another word unless of course they ask you something.

don't offer a free mowing or service and keep it short and sweet, basicly bait the hook and wait for the bite and at the very least every time they look at that calander or drink from that mug they will see your name and be reminded of you and who knows, maybe when they do need something they will give you a try.

Hedgemaster
07-11-2012, 04:50 PM
I agree with most of what dpld said above.

I would say that if you ARE going to leave something, a decent flyer would be a better idea than a business card. You are ADVERTISING... a business card is a horrible "advertisement". You want something that catches their attention and makes them want to read more.
A simple business card left behind looks "lazy" in my opinion.

The solicitation issue is very much real. Most every municipality I'm aware of requires a permit to distribute anything door to door. Some are easy to get and inexpensive, while others require more hoops to jump through than is worthwhile.
We just listened on the scanner as a solicitor was arrested and taken to the station yesterday after he was seen going door to door without a permit THE DAY AFTER he was given a warning about doing so. Dumba$$.

LawnBoy0311
07-11-2012, 05:39 PM
I thought about this too. But all I need is a phone call saying "Excuse me sir? You ruined the paint on my door..." I stuck with post cards, and stick them in the door, right where the rubber part is. They are thick enough 98% of the time they won't blow away. Its easier to carry a whole bunch too. I also think they look better than flyers. Just my opinion.

PVMS
07-11-2012, 06:02 PM
call me what you like but if any business knocks on my door to try and either sell me something or promote themselves whether i need the service or not will be not only told to get the hell off my property they will also be the last business i would ever call for that type of service.

knocking on doors and stuffing flyers may have worked or been common practice decades ago but it is mostly frowned upon these days and in most communities is against the law and putting anything in or on a mialbox is against the law as well.

to me knocking on doors or stuffing boxes or sticking cards on doors says, " hey i got no work and i am desperate " and most people who bite at that sales method are people looking to take advantage of you to see if you hand out sucker prices or someone who just does not have the balls to say no and get the hell off my property.

no one said starting a business is easy or cheap and there is no fast track method to build one as well as it takes years to do so and if you do not have the money to invest in proper professional advertiseing and wait for your business to grow more often then not it will not end very well.

i am not trying to insult anyone and i admire the gumption and balls to attempt to do it that way but it just is not a good way to do business in 2012.

i would suggest if you are hell bent on trying to drum up business that way to do so by getting a few hundred calanders or mugs or something cheap but usefull and knock on the doors and intoduce yourself as new to the neihborhood and give them a free gift and tell them if they ever need something in the lines of the services you offer to give you some consideration and thank them for their time and walk away and not say another word unless of course they ask you something.

don't offer a free mowing or service and keep it short and sweet, basicly bait the hook and wait for the bite and at the very least every time they look at that calander or drink from that mug they will see your name and be reminded of you and who knows, maybe when they do need something they will give you a try.

So,......Don't make offers in your marketing...
Don't use flyers.....
Don't introduce yourself to anybody??

Got me beat how you have a business at all. To not use "old fashioned" marketing media means not contacting 50% of your potential clients.
Most people intend to look someone up to call them, but either forget or put it off for what ever reason. If you give them a good reason to call "you", they will.
It really does not need to take a long time to build a business. I had 100 clients in my first year.
I made a deal to myself from the start, that if I was still on the tools myself after 5 years, I would have to reassess my way of thinking.

As far as sticking a business card on a door, Its not something that I would probably do myself, unless the card had an offer of some kind on it, otherwise i feel it may be better than nothing, but a quite passive form of marketing.

sunsetlandscaping
07-11-2012, 09:24 PM
Thanks guys for all the great suggestions. I would have to admit, after awhile that I posted this, I thought "Would I really use a company that taped there business card in my door?" So I didn't do that. I have done plenty of marketing however...I'll be in the phone book in Sept. Hopefully this will atleast generate some fall clean ups for this year. Newspaper, craigslist, google, flyers...I think I just need to give it some time to work...first year and all. I realized businesses take time to build.

Fire&LawnRescue
07-11-2012, 09:46 PM
I'll be honest... I have found that I did nothing but waste money and time by passing out flyers or cards or anything else. For me, and I am not saying this is the way for everybody, I network and constantly meet new people. I surround myself with successful people and get all of the business I can handle through word of mouth and by having a simple but to the point website that get's decent traffic.

In my opinion, everything else is a waste. I know my methods probably are much different than most other companies.

dpld
07-12-2012, 01:16 PM
So,......Don't make offers in your marketing...
Don't use flyers.....
Don't introduce yourself to anybody??

Got me beat how you have a business at all. To not use "old fashioned" marketing media means not contacting 50% of your potential clients.
Most people intend to look someone up to call them, but either forget or put it off for what ever reason. If you give them a good reason to call "you", they will.
It really does not need to take a long time to build a business. I had 100 clients in my first year.
I made a deal to myself from the start, that if I was still on the tools myself after 5 years, I would have to reassess my way of thinking.

As far as sticking a business card on a door, Its not something that I would probably do myself, unless the card had an offer of some kind on it, otherwise i feel it may be better than nothing, but a quite passive form of marketing.


well, the only thing i can say is you are compareing apples to oranges.
what i mean is i have had the benifit of being in business for 23 years and for me personally my business is well established and being all i do is commercial work i really don't have to market no more like i did because i am in business to business directories as well as i get a ton of refferals from management co's.

to top it off the area i live is so saturated with landscapers that people have a landscaper,roofers and home remodelers knocking on their door everyday so in my area it would be more like standing in a line to knock on your door.

plus, my state and all the towns are so hoily toily that god forbid you knock on someones door you will probably have the cops called on you and summoned for solicataion.

i am sure things may vary from state to state but for gods sake man you are in another country and there is obviously nothing wrong with that but i am sure things are drasticly different with the good people down under vs the usa and how things are percieved.
people here are so paranoid that you are staking out their house to rob it or see if a woman is alone in a house that when their alarms go off in their head that knock on a door can lead to trouble and that would not be worth it as well as i would hate to see a hard working guy starting out trying to make a honest living get the shaft and his only crime is trying to drum up some business.

PVMS
07-12-2012, 07:35 PM
well, the only thing i can say is you are compareing apples to oranges.
what i mean is i have had the benifit of being in business for 23 years and for me personally my business is well established and being all i do is commercial work i really don't have to market no more like i did because i am in business to business directories as well as i get a ton of refferals from management co's.

to top it off the area i live is so saturated with landscapers that people have a landscaper,roofers and home remodelers knocking on their door everyday so in my area it would be more like standing in a line to knock on your door.

plus, my state and all the towns are so hoily toily that god forbid you knock on someones door you will probably have the cops called on you and summoned for solicataion.

i am sure things may vary from state to state but for gods sake man you are in another country and there is obviously nothing wrong with that but i am sure things are drasticly different with the good people down under vs the usa and how things are percieved.
people here are so paranoid that you are staking out their house to rob it or see if a woman is alone in a house that when their alarms go off in their head that knock on a door can lead to trouble and that would not be worth it as well as i would hate to see a hard working guy starting out trying to make a honest living get the shaft and his only crime is trying to drum up some business.

Wow, things must be rough over there,......the crime rate must be very high for people to be like that.
I was referring to residential propertys and not commercial. I would not door knock for that kind of work.
We get also get alot of people knocking on doors selling electricity contracts and cable tv who are pains that I hate dealing with, but when I have done it in the past, I only introduce myself as the local contractor, and hand them a flyer with no sales pitch, other than to keep us in mind if they need sombody, and leave. I let them ask for a quote, which they more than often will.
I also put welcome letters in propertys that are for lease in my area.

I stongly believe that its far more efficient going to the client with marketing compared to waiting for them to search for me on the net.

dpld
07-12-2012, 09:36 PM
Wow, things must be rough over there,......the crime rate must be very high for people to be like that.
I was referring to residential propertys and not commercial. I would not door knock for that kind of work.
We get also get alot of people knocking on doors selling electricity contracts and cable tv who are pains that I hate dealing with, but when I have done it in the past, I only introduce myself as the local contractor, and hand them a flyer with no sales pitch, other than to keep us in mind if they need sombody, and leave. I let them ask for a quote, which they more than often will.
I also put welcome letters in propertys that are for lease in my area.

I stongly believe that its far more efficient going to the client with marketing compared to waiting for them to search for me on the net.


well, its not that we have a high crime rate it is just the state of mind of the stuck up high and mighty people with money that we have here as well as it is also perception on how these kind veiw someone knocking on their door.

most of the common everyday hardworking class people here do their own lawns and when i did do residential i concentrated on the high income households because they got the money to pay you to do everything. they are more concerned about keeping up with the jone's and living the high life where they can not be bothered. but i find people with money which ultimately is the ideal type of client that all landscapers want don't generally hire door knockers as well as they just don't commonly do business that way and more often then not are turned off by that.

WorkForMySelf
07-12-2012, 10:04 PM
unless you already have warrants your going to get a ticket... i have been soliciting for years and only person I have heard get arrested was when I was at another company and he was a sex offender (background check time) Other than that, are you going to get too scared to knock on a door? Just sit at home and waste away because in 2012 there is not a much better way to get clients that I have found..

shadrach
07-12-2012, 10:28 PM
Other than that, are you going to get too scared to knock on a door? Just sit at home and waste away because in 2012 there is not a much better way to get clients that I have found. If you are a 20 year old company then maybe you should stay out of the conversation. This thread is for helping new businesses.

He makes some pretty good points, especially about higher end clientele.

Hedgemaster
07-12-2012, 10:45 PM
While I don't suggest leaving business cards, I thought I'd touch on the comment about taping things and leaving a sticky mess...

I keep a roll of 3M IV tape in my truck in case I ever need to leave a note or something.
It tears off by hand, sticks to almost anything, and peels off easily without any risk of damage, or leaving behind sticky residue.

PVMS
07-13-2012, 12:06 AM
He makes some pretty good points, especially about higher end clientele.

When I was just out of school 20 years ago, I was a weekend warrior cutting lawns for extra cash. At the time I targeted one rich suburb, which turned out to be a big headache for me.
I found the very rich clients would often call all hours, and be very demanding on very short notice. If they had a party or what ever on, I would get a call in a last minute panic to come and clean things up. Most of them were tighter than a fish's bum too.
My best targets are middle class people with a nice car in the driveway, and long grass. Single women and the elderly are my best payers and best clients.

This is purely an Australian point of view though,.....things may be much different in the U.S.

WorkForMySelf
07-13-2012, 12:12 AM
When I was just out of school 20 years ago, I was a weekend warrior cutting lawns for extra cash. At the time I targeted one rich suburb, which turned out to be a big headache for me.
I found the very rich clients would often call all hours, and be very demanding on very short notice. If they had a party or what ever on, I would get a call in a last minute panic to come and clean things up. Most of them were tighter than a fish's bum too.
My best targets are middle class people with a nice car in the driveway, and long grass. Single women and the elderly are my best payers and best clients.

This is purely an Australian point of view though,.....things may be much different in the U.S.

Your absolutely right. The very rich view workers as slaves to work and to be paid how they please, and work when they please. The lower class simply cant afford to pay. The working upper class/ middle class is your best target always. They have the money to pay you without having their head up their ___.:D Too bad the middle class is constantly shrinking worldwide.

sunsetlandscaping
07-13-2012, 05:47 AM
The problem with my area, is that it is kind of a touristy location, in a small town. So the locals tend to kind of do there own thing, and most of the people I work for are out of towners with second homes here. So when I think about it, knocking on doors would kind of be pointless. I am a start up obviously, but am getting in the phone book this Sept. Has anyone had any luck with this?

shadrach
07-13-2012, 07:45 AM
My best targets are middle class people with a nice car in the driveway, and long grass. Single women and the elderly are my best payers and best clients.

This is purely an Australian point of view though,.....things may be much different in the U.S.
I think this is pretty much the same here. "Middle class" tend to be easier to deal with as far as expectations & older folks are the most likely to pay on time & without hassle consistently.

shadrach
07-13-2012, 07:54 AM
Your absolutely right. The very rich view workers as slaves to work and to be paid how they please, and work when they please.
I don't see problems like this with people that are " well off ", its the ones that want everybody else to think that they are that can be a problem.

dpld
07-13-2012, 08:01 AM
unless you already have warrants your going to get a ticket... i have been soliciting for years and only person I have heard get arrested was when I was at another company and he was a sex offender (background check time) Other than that, are you going to get too scared to knock on a door? Just sit at home and waste away because in 2012 there is not a much better way to get clients that I have found.


i speak from experience and have the success to back up anything i say and if you want to take you advice from other " new businesses " then you will never become a established business.

once again this is 2012 not 1940 and we are trying to sell a professional service not vacum cleaners and vegetable peelers and unless you live in some hick state with trailer parks, most communtities have signs posted and ordinances that prohibit door knocking and soliciting.

and yes, i am helping new businesses in this converssation. i am helping them avoid looking like a pan handler and show a little dignity in how they conduct themselves so they are not veiwed by their community as a desperate door knocking street urchent.

dpld
07-13-2012, 08:07 AM
I don't see problems like this with people that are " well off ", its the ones that want everybody else to think that they are that can be a problem.

exactly, without rich people none of us would have a job because people just scrapeing by do not hire landscapers and the ones that do want the bare minimum and their lawns cut bi-weekly.

i have gladly pretended to be their little slave boy over the years and little do they know i make more money then most of them do.

the rich is why anyone in this country has a job or even makes a living.

WorkForMySelf
07-13-2012, 10:36 AM
I have generated 90% of my business soliciting and 10% has come from referrals off of those customers. I sold a 1k cleanup a few weeks ago which went smoothly and got a maintenance contract that has me working 12 months a year there... I sold a 4K tree removal last week.. all knocking doors. I think the mindset against solicitations you speak of. is more so your own biased, rather than a general home owner mindset.

Have you ever bid on a million dollar house? I have and they were as cheap as someone living in a shack. I stand by middle class statement as well.

dpld
07-13-2012, 11:07 AM
you simply do not take into consideration that there are plenty of places today that do not allow door knocking.

my business has been pulling in over a half a mil for the last decade and yes i have sold a job to plenty of million dollar homes and now i put my attention to multi million dollar complexes.

you see, there are people who live in million dollar homes that should not but they are more concerned about looking the part.
the people i work for have million dollar homes and million dollar vaction homes and they don't squabble over money.
not to mention good luck getting past the gate to spread your word of the day.

Hedgemaster
07-13-2012, 03:57 PM
You can't solicit without a permit around here.
There are areas that you may get away with it if you aren't out doing it all the time and pushing your luck, but there are areas where the police will most certainly respond - and quickly, as the homeowners there do not put up with it. One area doesn't even give permits to solicit at all.

Telling people to ignore the law is advice that shouldn't be welcome here, but it's not my forum.

shadrach
07-13-2012, 05:02 PM
You can't solicit without a permit around here.


Not really as big of an issue here. there are places you need a permit, but it is more to make you aware of what the rules are than anything else. A lot of the higher end neighborhoods have " no soliciting " signs. Plastic lawn signs are considered pretty evil though.

WorkForMySelf
07-13-2012, 05:30 PM
Anyone too scared to get out there can find a excuse whether it be a "No Soliciting" sign or whatever. I say Gopher it. Its life or death for me so I solicit and do good when I do.

xandrew245x
08-02-2012, 12:18 PM
This is the situation I am in currently. I need a permit to go door to door, or hand anything out door to door. If someone were to come to my door trying to sell me something, I defiantly wouldn't like it, and defiantly wouldn't call them for service.

So what do you do when you just start out? I have a website which i'm working on getting ranked well on google, I have my business cards on a couple local bulletin boards, and when ever I have the chance to talk to a customer at my full time job, I tell them about my business.

I was thinking though, what about mailing a targeted area a envelope with a postcard, a business card and special offers. I know I'm a lot more likley to open and look through an envelope that is addressed directly to me verses getting a postcard in the mail.

What do you guys think, I know I need to do something to get my name out there to start.

Steve
08-02-2012, 01:35 PM
The envelope marketing will cost more with higher postage and more printed pieces vs. the postcard. I guess it is up to you whether you feel you can get your information on a postcard or not and how much you want to spend. I don't know the effectiveness of one is going to be better than the other, but at least with the postcard, it doesn't have to be opened.

xandrew245x
08-02-2012, 02:17 PM
I know when I get postcards in the mail, they go right in the trash can, when I get mail in an envelope I open it and take quick look at it.

I know flyers and postcards have a really low success rate.

Steve
08-03-2012, 01:15 PM
You can always consider splitting your mailing address and send half of them postcards and half envelopes. That will allow you to see which bring you a better return.

xandrew245x
08-03-2012, 01:57 PM
Yeah I could try that. I want to offer referral coupons that a client could hand out to friends and family. Maybe i'll send some postcards that say where you can download and print them at, and maybe i'll send them letters in envelopes and put a couple coupons in them.

Caskey Lawns & Landscapes
08-04-2012, 07:38 AM
Hit the streets and talk to people , get out there and get noticed , don't spend too much time trying to come up with the perfect flyer , etc... Just sayin .. :)