PDA

View Full Version : When is it the right time get customers????


alehandros_lilbreaker
04-18-2008, 09:33 PM
I am planning to open up a landscaping company, and want to know the best time to attract customers.
Spring is ideal because that is when people think about lawn care, BUT, the customers that get yearly service usually end up signin a seasonal contract over the winter...therefore leaving no room for me to convince them to switch.

I was thinking at the end of the summer. I can go door by door, talk to the homeowner and sell my services in advance, so that they remember me for the following year and they dont sign the contract with the other company. The following spring i can go back to them and have them sign one of my contracts.
Now, i know that they migt forget about me from august all the way to the spring time, and might end up signin a contract anyway with the other company. So i was thinking, and if i write down the potential customers address down. I can send them a christmas card in the winter, reminding them that im still around, and that i still consider them a futur potential customer. Plus they will see that i took the time to send them a christmas card, that way they wont forget me.

Do you think this is a good approach? Anything i can add to this idea?

Little's
04-19-2008, 01:07 AM
The best time to attract customers is every chance you get. Any time you get 5 or 10 extra minutes walk up to 5 houses and introduce yourself. Do this a few times and you will start getting calls.

I found (for me) contracts don't work (again, for me) and I do much better without them. Most of the people I have dealt with get a little nervous when you mention the "c" word.

Good luck.

UniversityLandscapers
04-19-2008, 12:13 PM
I never have residential customers sign contracts. I generate most of my customers in the spring, when people are searching for a lawn care company and they come across our website on Google.

Fernando's CleanCut!
04-19-2008, 03:06 PM
Hi Alejandro.
Totally agree with Brandon, whenever you get a chance go door-to-door, hang up sings, pass flyers, whatever... you don't really know when someone moved in the neighborhood, or they thinking about the guy never shows up to cut their lawns, other thing, some of the contracts can be canceled with a 30-day notice.

Good luck.

alehandros_lilbreaker
04-19-2008, 05:04 PM
very true.
I just wanto share something that is often repeated.
It is amazing how word can spread. I talked to one of my customers and he refered me to another customer down the street. I think the most important thing in building a company is building a good base. Starting off with a few houses in each neighbourhood and doing great personalized work will get noticed.

Steve
04-19-2008, 08:20 PM
If you get a chance, listen to the podcast interview with lawn care business author Ken LaVoie (http://odeo.com/channel/412313/view). He had a lot of great insight as to when it's best to get started and now is a really great time.

Actually there is no better time than the present to get started. If you are starting even mid season, you can still get customers to switch to you. I have a free flyer in the free flyer section called 'make the switch' and it is designed to be used mid season.

What will you be doing next with your marketing campaign?

realhuntin
04-20-2008, 08:55 AM
Hi,

I feel it is always the right time to land new clients. Every time you service a new customer you should ALWAYS "Clover Leaf" the homes around it with fliers introducing your company.

"Clover Leafing" means you door hang or put it on the mail box (mailboxes work better). The flier should be something like "TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR NEIGHBORS THEY USED OUR SERVICES" "GIVE US A CALL WE PROVIDE FREE ESTIMATES" Then list a few services you provide. CLOVER LEAFING WORKS! hang 2 or 3 house to both sides, go across the street hand as many back. Most people try to keep up with the "Jones" as they say and it is true most do. Then the word of month kicks in.

If your looking for commercial clients depending on their budget setting time frame, request letters to be placed on their bidders list also works. Most commercial facilities set budgets in Jan, July, Oct.

Try talking to some real estate agents and local municipalities about rendering your services to the "EYE SORE" market homes or abandon homes from repos.

Talk to local builders, but be careful with home builders they have a tendency to be slow payers and the market is slow for new homes so this may be a good time to get their attention.

Good Luck hope some of this helps
Tim

ProCut TM
04-20-2008, 10:36 AM
Lots of great info here, just keep in mind do not place your flyers in mailboxes as it is a federal offense and you will get complaints or even worse.

utilize craig's list and myspace these sites are free and worth the time spent on them.

Every day is a good day to market yourself.

John

UniversityLandscapers
04-20-2008, 01:53 PM
Quote[/b] (ProCut TM @ April 20 2008,12:36)]Lots of great info here, just keep in mind do not place your flyers in mailboxes as it is a federal offense and you will get complaints or even worse.

utilize craig's list and myspace these sites are free and worth the time spent on them.

Every day is a good day to market yourself.

John
How is it illegal to flyer houses? I've definitely never heard that before. I live in Canada, but still...that seems a little extreme.

makbootzy
04-20-2008, 04:21 PM
He said mail box....but you wanna look for no soliciting signs too

Fernando's CleanCut!
04-21-2008, 09:24 PM
Quote[/b] (realhuntin @ April 20 2008,9:55)]"Clover Leafing" means you door hang or put it on the mail box (mailboxes work better).
...yeah, Sending letters (not posted by mail man), dropping Business cards, flyers, coupons and such, can't really work down here in Florida either.
but don't give up, theres really 100's of ways to get new clients!

realhuntin
04-21-2008, 10:07 PM
Not sure how you all are going about it but Clover Leafing works has for 25 years and will continue to work! You NEVER put anything IN the mail box, what I said was if you read it again is you HANG it ON the mail box or door. We had a goal of 20 to 25% increase in client base this year, and it was surpassed by that much before the season even started. So it works, try changing your ad on the flayers there are many different ways to do it, but there is only a few ways to do it right that makes it effective. I if you think clover leafing doesn't work then you may want to ask ADT about it, with over 8 million Residential customers alone not counting the commercial accounts if it works or not, it will and always will be better than the newspaper ad or insert, telemarketing, or TV commercials. Bottom Line anytime is the right time to market and bring on new customers, and at every new customer service you preform you should be trying to market the homes around it as well. Look at it like this if you leave out one house or one neighbor that means you have left out one potential customer even if that customer was a one time customer. Isn't it nice to have several homes on one street that you don't have to drive and waste time and fuel to go to the next one, we have 4 major upper class communities we services and on one street we have five customers out of 8 homes so we park the truck in one place and services all of them from there. I hope this all comes together for you and you can make sense of it.

Steve
04-21-2008, 10:09 PM
Quote[/b] ]yeah, Sending letters (not posted by mail man), dropping Business cards, flyers, coupons and such, can't really work down here in Florida either.

Fernando, could you tell us why you were thinking the cloverleaf marketing idea wouldn't work in Florida?

Fernando's CleanCut!
04-23-2008, 10:37 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ April 21 2008,11:09)]Quote[/b] ]yeah, Sending letters (not posted by mail man), dropping Business cards, flyers, coupons and such, can't really work down here in Florida either.

Fernando, could you tell us why you were thinking the cloverleaf marketing idea wouldn't work in Florida?
Steve,
Well, what I meant to say is to put Bussines cards, flyers IN the mailbox not posted by a mailman... just like John From ProCut said.

..."cloverleaf marketing" its a new word in my dictionary, but im pretty sure this will work down here.

Steve
05-02-2008, 06:56 AM
Here is a diagram I hope helps explain which houses to target with your Clover Leaf lawn care marketing technique.

Fernando's CleanCut!
05-02-2008, 11:35 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ May 02 2008,7:56)]Here is a diagram I hope helps explain which houses to target with your Clover Leaf lawn care marketing technique.
Steve, do you have any samples for door hangers for this particular technique? do you think using flyers and put it on cars will work too?

I like this very much, If you want to tighten your routes this is a great idea.

Thanks!

Steve
05-03-2008, 03:13 PM
Hi Fernando,

I didn't make any yet that specifically state what Tim was suggesting but there are many in the free section that you could download and edit to meet your needs.

Could you put flyers on car windows? I am sure you could. I don't know what kind of response you would get to that versus putting them in the screen door of a house. If you try it, let us know what you find.