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realhuntin
12-06-2007, 04:51 PM
Now is the time to send out those business letters, requesting to be placed on the 2008 upcoming season bidder list. These letters let potential customer know that you are there and ready to be placed on their bidders list.

Here is an example of one I use:


YOUR COMPANY NAME



123 INDUSTRY DR
HOMETOWN, US 12345
YOUR PHONE #
YOUR EMAIL
YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESS


Mr. Customer
Logistic UAS
425 Royal Oak Dr.
Hometown, US 12345

Dear Mr. / Ms. Customer

Hello, please allow me to take a moment of your time. My name is ****************- and I represent ****************************-. *Our philosophy is to perform to the needs and satisfaction of our customers. *We do a wide range of lawn care landscape services and strive to do a professional job every time.

I would like to be considered for any and all lawn care landscaping contracts or jobs that you may have coming up this year. *My company is professionally licensed and insured. *We run all commercial equipment and do this work on a full time basis.

The reason for this letter is to let you know about the savings you can get from utilizing our service. *We have been in the Lawn Care business for # years and we would like to add you to our growing list of clientele. *We are currently doing business with many businesses in the area and can provide you with a list of references upon request. *Our service includes professional landscaping and design, seeding, weekly cutting and trimming and many other landscape and grounds management services along with snow management services. Our equipment is well maintained so as to insure you a timely service every time. *We also offer a discount for new customers.

Please add me to your bidders list and please contact me for any sized job you may be considering. *I am always happy to give free estimates.

In closing, I believe ******************************** can perform the job to your personal satisfaction. *We are competitively priced with other services in the area. *Please give me a call at your leisure to set up your free estimate and consultation. You can visit us at www.mylawnservice.com

Sincerely,
YOUR COMPANY NAME



Whom Ever
Operations Manager



You can copy this to note pad and then copy to a word doc and edit it to fit you company.

Good Luck
Tim

Steve
12-06-2007, 05:18 PM
Hi Tim,

Oh thank you so much! Now for those reading this, you would want to send this letter out to businesses only, not residential, correct?

Also, what would you suggest as far as a follow up once you send this letter out?

realhuntin
12-07-2007, 02:03 AM
Yes this letter is for business's but you could modify it to fit the resi market as well.

As far as follow up the rule would be 15 -20 days. with this being the end of year and all the holiday time off I wouldnt follow up on the letter until after the 1st of the year say around the end of the first week, and the follow up would be a breif phone call. reminding them of the letter you sent.

Good Luck to all
Tim

Steve
12-07-2007, 02:26 AM
Thanks Tim!

I am sure a lot of people are thinking this so I want to ask,

Where do you come up with your list of who to send letters too?

And when you call with your follow up, what do you suggest saying in the call?

Do you try to make a sale on the call or do you suggest another further follow up or what?

Thank you!

realhuntin
12-07-2007, 04:01 AM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 07 2007,2:26)]Thanks Tim!

I am sure a lot of people are thinking this so I want to ask,

Where do you come up with your list of who to send letters too?

And when you call with your follow up, what do you suggest saying in the call?

Do you try to make a sale on the call or do you suggest another further follow up or what?

Thank you!
I look up the company in the local directory call them and ask who handles the bidding of the lawn care and landscape providers, this will generate a contact name at the very least and then I send out the letter addressed directly to this contact name it makes it more appealing with the contact name listed and more personal.

I follow up on every letter in 15 -20 days from date mailed with a call; If i reach them I say something like this "Hello My name Tim Robinson and I'm the operations manager for R &R *I was just following up on the letter we sent to you regarding our company be place on your bidders list" then I let it go from there. If I get a voice mail I leave name and phone # only. If I dont get a return call within 2 days I call again. and I keep calling until I speak with some one or get a return call from them. PERSISTANCE PAYS.

NEVER TRY TO SELL THEN. Dont even mention #'s unless ask by them, *you are only asking to be put on a bidder list for the following season.

Here is a short list of some places I have sent leters to;

My Bank; they like doing business with companies that do business with them as most banks do. We are on the list for 08.

Manufactured Home Communities; these plasces take bidds every year so they can set their budget, there is common areas and empty lots to cut and trim, also ther is yard renovation from move outs and move ins along with snow removal. We are on 5 different list and already have one awarded for 08.

Associations. I find these from a list of builders I have and the Local Home Builders Assoc. you can get this from them.
Storage Facilities: every year so they can set their budget for the year, cutting, mulch, snow removal and even so clean up. these can be a little tricky at time with all the trimming required because they usally have fence all around it and it takes time to walk it out but if done write you can make good money here.

Remember all these places I have list sell apperence to their potential customers.

Good Luck
Tim

Steve
12-07-2007, 06:19 AM
Thank you again Tim!

When would you say most businesses look to put out new bids?

Quote[/b] ]NEVER TRY TO SELL THEN. Dont even mention #'s unless ask by them, you are only asking to be put on a bidder list for the following season.

I am glad you pointed this out too. It makes more sense now. This is not the time to sell, you just want to get a personal connection. Is that right? Let them know you are a real person and you exist?

pnplawn
12-07-2007, 08:40 AM
Your a little late, WE been putting bids in for the 2 months for 2008

realhuntin
12-07-2007, 02:31 PM
Quote[/b] (pnplawn @ Dec. 07 2007,8:40)]Your a little late, WE been putting bids in *for the 2 months for 2008
Rodman you are correct October is the BEST time to bid jobs for the upcoming season, but it also is area and company specific when bugets are set and bids are taken. I send this letter two times a year. Dec and June I keep records of whom I have sent it to and who I need to send it to. If I need to send it to a company twice I send it as a reminder, just so the property manager knows We are still here and ready to go.

Most Banking Instiutions set there budgets in Oct and accept bids the first part of the new year.

Goverments & Utility Companies set their budgets in July bidout in Oct or Jan depends on the property manager.

I know this to be accurate in my area because I've had past experience with these type of facilities, from another industry.

I would be interested in some info on other areas and how bidding schedules and process's are for those areas.

ABurlison
12-07-2007, 06:29 PM
Do you think it would be sufficient enough to email a letter of this type out to potential customers?? I know a mailed letter would be more personal and professional.

Steve
12-07-2007, 07:29 PM
Quote[/b] ] I send this letter two times a year. Dec and June I keep records of whom I have sent it to and who I need to send it to.

Do you follow up with a phone call both times? Or just once a year?

realhuntin
12-07-2007, 07:44 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 07 2007,7:29)]Quote[/b] ] I send this letter two times a year. Dec and June I keep records of whom I have sent it to and who I need to send it to.

Do you follow up with a phone call both times? Or just once a year?
I follow up with calls both times. i like to try and make it more personal.

Steve
12-07-2007, 08:48 PM
You really do an amazing job!

This is top notch marketing!

realhuntin
12-07-2007, 10:23 PM
Quote[/b] (ABurlison @ Dec. 07 2007,6:29)]Do you think it would be sufficient enough to email a letter of this type out to potential customers?? *I know a mailed letter would be more personal and professional.
Email is a form of communication after you have established a good relationship with a client.

Steve
12-07-2007, 10:49 PM
Tim, you are very much a go getter when it comes to all this. Have you found yourself doing other things to get attention for yourself and your business?

Have you ever done community projects or have you ever gotten your business in the paper for any reason?

LGYardService
12-09-2007, 12:53 AM
http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Tim,

So I'm really, really liking this idea! But I do have a few questions about it. So:

Do you just send it out to any commercial business that you want an account with or what?

What if you send these letters out and a business contacts you and they want more "add-on" services then you were suspecting?

Thanks for bringing up the idea and I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks! http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

realhuntin
12-09-2007, 02:47 AM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 07 2007,10:49)]Tim, you are very much a go getter when it comes to all this. Have you found yourself doing other things to get attention for yourself and your business?

Have you ever done community projects or have you ever gotten your business in the paper for any reason?
This past year we put ourselves in the county fair parade and sponcered some of the horse shows. this was alot of fun and we got our name out there in plain sight with the parade and the subliminaul message out there with the announcer saying "your 5 gated class is sponcered by R & R Lawn Care they have your lawn care landscape needs covered". I do sponcer thing for the 4H horse club also. the sponcer fee's are miniumal $$$.

realhuntin
12-09-2007, 03:07 AM
Quote[/b] (LGYardService @ Dec. 09 2007,12:53)]Do you just send it out to any commercial business that you want an account with or what?

What if you send these letters out and a business contacts you and they want more "add-on" services then you were suspecting?
Yes I find customers I would want to do business with with the exception is that I am very picky when it comes to who I solicit, I do alittle more checking up on that business to make sure they are stable and I don't get burned to bad when they can't pay the monthly invoices.

More is a "good thing" if you can handle it, my advise for you being your younger you will have to work harder than anyone else in this forum, this I mean you will have to prove yourself to all of your customers, you said you have 5 steady customers go to them and ask if they wouldn't mind writing a testamonial or letter of recommendation for you to carry in your profolio with pictures of you actully doing the work make sure you let your new potential customer know you currenetly have 5 exsisting customers from last season this will show your dependable and not going to get tired of this and quite in the middle of the season. just something to remember, this is only my advise to you If I were in your shoes I would nt want to add more than 5-10 new customers to your cliant list, here is why you are dependent on transportation keep your customer base close. Best of Luck to ya. Tim

Steve
12-09-2007, 06:13 AM
Quote[/b] ]This past year we put ourselves in the county fair parade and sponcered some of the horse shows.

How fantastic!

Do you have any pictures of this at all? Did you have a banner?

What community events do you see yourself getting involved with next year?

realhuntin
12-09-2007, 09:17 AM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Dec. 09 2007,6:13)]Quote[/b] ]This past year we put ourselves in the county fair parade and sponcered some of the horse shows.

How fantastic!

Do you have any pictures of this at all? Did you have a banner?

What community events do you see yourself getting involved with next year?
No pictures I was driving our rig while the kids road in the trailer, throwing candy out to the folks watching the parade.

I didn't need a banner my trucks have our name in BIG letters on the doors.

Well we will be in 3 parades, and I will sponsor some of the horse shows again, try to be the main sponsor for the county beauty contest all during the fair, and I am going to bid on providing the landscape design an install for center ring. When I say bid on it that mean free, we only get advertising out of it. The major player (Landscape Co.) has had it for a long time, and I want it. (LOL). Time to let them (other landscape co's) know I'm going to be their BIGGET thorn-n-the-side.

LGYardService
12-09-2007, 12:07 PM
Tim,

Thanks for all your help and advice but I have a few more questions. I know "more" can be a good thing but what if I contact a business and they want full-time winter snow removal? At this time, since im still in school, I cannot do full parking lot and commercial snow removal. The grass and lawn care are no problem since they are in the summer but the winter I'm a little worried about. Don't you think a business is looking for a provider that can be "full-time" in both? Will that be a turn off for me? Thanks again!

Luke

realhuntin
12-09-2007, 02:02 PM
Quote[/b] (LGYardService @ Dec. 09 2007,12:07)]Tim,

Thanks for all your help and advice but I have a few more questions. I know "more" can be a good thing but what if I contact a business and they want full-time winter snow *removal? At this time, since im still in school, I cannot do full parking lot and commercial snow removal. The grass and lawn care are no problem since they are in the summer but the winter I'm a little worried about. Don't you think a business is looking for a provider that can be "full-time" in both? Will that be a turn off for me? Thanks again!

Luke
sub-contract it out on the parking lots snow that is if you want it, but it is always better to be honest with them if they ask for this type of service. If you do the walks with your blower and sub out the parking lots so you can make some money watch over the plowing and you handle the billing. make sure your sub has adequate insurance (at least 2million accross the board) *and that you are listed on the bonder.

Thats how I would handle it.

Good Luck

LGYardService
12-09-2007, 03:55 PM
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Ok. My uncle actually plows for a part-time job so im so I can work things out with him. Now that I understand it all I have one more qusion: When should I get these "bids" out? Thanks

Luke

Steve
12-09-2007, 06:49 PM
Quote[/b] ]Don't you think a business is looking for a provider that can be "full-time" in both? Will that be a turn off for me? Thanks again!

You could market that you are a young entrepreneur and that actually might work to your advantage because other business owners out there will be impressed with you and want to hire you because of all this drive and determination you have.

They may be willing to work with you because you are a go-getter.

LGYardService
12-09-2007, 06:54 PM
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Ok thanks, Steve

I always have that thought, too. But for some reason, when it comes to commerecial customers, are they gonna really want a "kid" doing their grounds maintnence? lol I know I can be just as proffesional as adults but they might ot think that. I will just have to give it a try! thanks

Luke

Steve
12-09-2007, 07:20 PM
Quote[/b] ]I always have that thought, too. But for some reason, when it comes to commerecial customers, are they gonna really want a "kid" doing their grounds maintnence? lol I know I can be just as proffesional as adults but they might ot think that. I will just have to give it a try! thanks

Who knows, commercial accounts may be more of a pain than the are worth for you right now. Plenty of lawn care operators get their start by building up a residential client base first.

Some business owners just might really appreciate your style. But other commercial accounts might be a pain.

Ultimately you should go with what works best for you. Experiment and see who is most receptive to what you are offering and shoot for those customers.

Have you checked out your local chamber of commerce? Can you join it? Wouldn't that be great if you could! You would blow them all away!

LGYardService
12-09-2007, 10:33 PM
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Yes thats very true. Thanks for everyone's help! I think I am all cleared up on this concept. But now will someone help me out with my thread I started in the General Business Discussions Section? I am needing help with what to present in a bid. I would really appreciate if you took a look and gave some advice. Thanks again!


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Luke