PDA

View Full Version : Marketing


All Aspects Landscaping
01-18-2008, 12:36 AM
Anybody out there using the sales genie system?? If so, what were your results... We've subscribed for 13 months now and its been awesome... Just wanna get some thoughts.

realhuntin
01-18-2008, 12:40 AM
Nope tell me more about it

All Aspects Landscaping
01-18-2008, 05:26 PM
Its actually pretty cool... an investment... but worth it... we decided this year that we were gonna put another truck on the road...06 we were running "a truck and a half" I had about 40 with 3 guys of maintenance, and on the other days we did landscape work... knowing that adding another full time truck would be difficult for a 4 full time employee company... We committed to the truck... then my guys start complaining about walking neighborhoods...(which I dont get cause thats the easiest money theyll make all year!!) I looking into buying mailing lists... it was 140.00 for 1200 names and addresses... got turned on to sales genie which gave me 100 free leads. then they hit me with a $400.00 contract for unlimited names and addresses... That was outrageous... I called the guy... told him I was interested and he cut the price to $150.00 a month... still a little high... but I could swing it... Best money I spent this year...we gained over 75 accounts and approximately an extra $40,000 in landscape work... thats right....$45,000.00 . I created a postcard mailer...which cost .26 cents to mail.... and we mailed 3000 postcards. The website spells everything out a little better and more detailed... Salesgenie.com. I dont know if there is a referral code or anything, but If there is please mention our name (hey, maybe I can save a few dollars!) At least go and get the 100 free names!!!

Steve
01-18-2008, 09:01 PM
Quote[/b] ]then my guys start complaining about walking neighborhoods...(which I dont get cause thats the easiest money theyll make all year!!)

When you say walking neighborhoods, do you mean handing our door hangers?

Also is this site, sales genie a site that sells mailing lists? Or is it also a referral site as well?

All Aspects Landscaping
01-18-2008, 11:56 PM
Quote[/b] ]When you say walking neighborhoods, do you mean handing our door hangers?

Also is this site, sales genie a site that sells mailing lists? Or is it also a referral site as well?


Yeah... doing door hangers... direct mailers are a little more expensive, but instead of paying the to walk and hand out flyers or door hangers, I can bill out my $36.00 per man hour rate while the little white truck delivers my flyers to potential customer.

Yes, sales genie is a mailing list site... actually good for any business... gives house value, household income, spending habits... nothing to do with referals though...

But speaking of that, my buddy and I are in the process of creating a referral site... Ill keep you posted..

Steve
01-19-2008, 12:00 AM
Quote[/b] ]Yeah... doing door hangers... direct mailers are a little more expensive, but instead of paying the to walk and hand out flyers or door hangers, I can bill out my $36.00 per man hour rate while the little white truck delivers my flyers to potential customer.

LOL I am guessing you mean the post office?

Quote[/b] ]Yes, sales genie is a mailing list site... actually good for any business... gives house value, household income, spending habits... nothing to do with referals though...

Do they actually handle your mailing too or do they simply email you a mailing list? Have you ever tried any other mailing list websites?

Quote[/b] ]But speaking of that, my buddy and I are in the process of creating a referral site... Ill keep you posted..
Keep us posted, we can help promote it on here!

All Aspects Landscaping
01-19-2008, 03:58 PM
yeah... the usps delivers them now...

Ive tried a few site for a mailing list... but for 2000 names they want close to 200 bucks... so i figure i might as well bite the bullet and commit to a monthly payment...

As far as the site were building... i dont wanna disclose too much cause i has a chance to be genius... and theres nothing I know of like it... we'll see huh... but I will take you up on the offer...
Just a little taste...first a website then a school...lol... use your imagination

ABurlison
01-19-2008, 04:19 PM
I've been playing around with that Sales Genie, and they basically let you look at your search results for free, but not like I'd want to copy and paste 3,000 names onto labels in word. LOL

I'd kinda like to know how accurate thier results are, and what ROI you actually get from this.

Have you really had people say they got your postcard or door hanger and they want you to come out and give them an estimate?

I also know from a realtor friend of mine, you can call your local title company and they will give you farm reports for free for any neighboorhood or subdivision you want, but this list isn't as refined as the sales genie, but free.

All Aspects Landscaping
01-19-2008, 05:30 PM
There is a feature where you can bulk download names... they also have a feature where you can save to contacts on their site.... Ive never used that feature... I invested in a label (i guess) making program... for instance, you type in avery 3350 and It will know the size... then it automatically plugs in the fields where they need to be... Its basically a mail merge. As far as the farm reports... Im too lazy for that plus im not familiar with what type of format you get with those. Ie - cdrom, dvd, paper? One of the big features for me is you can narrow down to the street... Say we pick up a $10,000.00 job. After signing the contract, we immediately put our sign up.. people see the name... The day we start that job, we litter the street with mailers... every house gets one. So after driving up the street, and seeing our signs for a week, then seeing our trucks for a day in the morning and afternoon, after work on the second day, they get our mailer. We picked up alot of work this way... just putting a spotlight on ourselves. Also with our maintenance side, we keep our routes tight... real tight.. at this point we will not travel more than 2 miles from site to site... if it doesnt fit in our route, we refer them elsewhere...(unless its a homerun)... There again, it helps in that regard. We track where we send our ads too, so there again we know if were seeing results from Sales Genie... Also, my secretary (ehhhmmm, my wife) asks upon initial contact... Two springs ago (lol) we averaged about 2 new calls a day 6 days a week... so about 48 new estimates a week from trucks and referrals and stuff... Last March my wife (who is #### and records every phone call and ever bit of detailed info) returned over 320 calls... just in march... no, we didnt get everything, but we did start a mailing list of our own so we can send those "no's" our quarterly ad... Ie - thatch and overseed... mums...cleanups.. Its definately work, assembling flyers, searching certain neighorhoods... blah blah blah... but it forces you to come up with a marketing plan, and also forces you to make decisions on where your company is going... I really learned how to make money this year with the help of this program. In fact, we have our hands in about three different ventures now, and we will take advantage of Sales Genie for all of them... Hope this helps in your decision and hope it answered your questions... Im tired now...lol

Steve
01-19-2008, 06:43 PM
Quote[/b] ]Say we pick up a $10,000.00 job. After signing the contract, we immediately put our sign up.. people see the name... The day we start that job, we litter the street with mailers... every house gets one.

James that is fascinating! So if you get a job, then you use sales genie to get you the addresses of houses in the immediate area and then you send them a post card? or a letter?

How far away will you send such material when you land a job? Just a few houses away or a few blocks away?

ABurlison
01-19-2008, 07:08 PM
I'm just curious how accurate these lists and searches are with Sales Genie, does it account for lets say someone owns 10 houses in a neighborhood that they rent out, I wouldn't want to waste 10 stamps on the same person, you know.

All Aspects Landscaping
01-19-2008, 08:01 PM
Our area is surrounded by many many housing development consisting or 10 - 200 single family homes... most times we'll hit the entire development upon recieving a job... we figure a) were paying for the mailing program b) someone once told me that it takes 6 impressions (meaning advertisements, business cards, truck placards, etc.) for a person to 1. remember your company and 2. feel comfortable doing business with you. and c) our cost ratio. Example - we land say a landscape job. Say labor is 3 guys 8 hours for 3 days. Our billable labor is 2592.00.. Because we know we need to make $36.00 per man hour to cover our expenses, and we would like to market the neighborhood of 100 homes, we add (100 homes times .26 stamps plus .10 per 4x6 postcard. this equals (ironically)) $36.00. We add that to our labor and come up with $2628.00. On a five to six thousand dollar landscape job, nobody questions $36.00. So in essence, I bill Customer A to send our mailer out to the neightborhood all while showcasing our work in her yard. And of course, we upsell services while wrapping up the job. Ninety percent of the jobs we install, we use some kind of product that requires "special" pruning... whether its trimming the underneath of a jap maple, or cleaning up a tree form crepemyrtle, or cutting back the 35+ perennials we try to add to all of our landscapes (which by the way is a GREAT money maker; scrap the annuals, we get close to $30.00 for a 2 gallon perennial (various varieties) which we purchase at a nursery for $4.50)... This system has totally worked for me and we will keep doing this now for years to come. If the project goes smooth on the customers end (50% deposit, 25% payment on first day of job, and 25% upon completion) we will give them a free service on any referral which is based on the total value of the original job... usually a trimming... sometimes as much as a ten yard mulch job (considering the size of the referred job.) On another topic, this is why we stress the importance of being a business owner and focusing on the numbers of your business. Being in the field is the easy part. We can all cut grass. The hard part is the business side. Hope this answers your questions. Thanks
If anyone needs more info on figuring out you man hour rate, just drop me a private message... no one else needs to know...
Ill be on vacation from the 20th until the 28th, so if I dont get back to ya, I will by the 30th. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

All Aspects Landscaping
01-19-2008, 08:08 PM
Hey andy-
thats a good question, we typically download about 150 names and addresses at a shot, so we tend to see the names as they come thru... if youre placing labels, chances are you'll probably recognize the names. Plus no matter what sales leads company you are using, there are always gonna be dead leads... nature of the beast. If you were hand delivering the flyers, youd be in the same boat. Like I said... take them up on the 100 free leads... cant hurt... maybe itll give you some faith in them... also, dont jump the gun on sending them out... early is not always better...

Steve
01-19-2008, 09:53 PM
Quote[/b] ]we will give them a free service on any referral which is based on the total value of the original job... usually a trimming... sometimes as much as a ten yard mulch job (considering the size of the referred job.)

This is fascinating! Do you promote this in your marketing material or do you just let the customer know of this referral system by word of mouth?

Do you have any advice to other lawn care operators who are trying to do something similar? Should they shoot for a certain % of the original job to come up with what they should give back to that customer who referred them? Or what would you suggest?

All Aspects Landscaping
01-19-2008, 10:50 PM
Well, we actually try to surprise our customers at time of deposit on the next job. I'll have my wife give them a call or if it works out I try to stop at the property and catch them home... kinda a face to face thing.... and just let them know that it is just to show my appreciation... This tends to help us retain and actually add on services for the following year.
Sometimes you have to know when and who to give stuff away too... we typically give some freebees out to any residential account that spends $5000.00... We have customers that spend that annually.
It helps too that were a family run company and most of my customers know my team by name....I run the crews...my wife runs the office... and my dad actually is one of my foreman... he retired 4 years ago and needed something to do... Now hes out of the house for 50+ hours a week.

All Aspects Landscaping
01-19-2008, 10:55 PM
It always cost you less in labor than it would be to hand them say 5%... plus they feel they are getting something for free!! Id tell these other guys to first get their numbers in order. Then they know how much (in labor) they are giving away... Plus I hate parting with money... writing out that check or handing out cash... sits better with me when I just pay my guys and the customer is happy!! I'll be back in town on the 28th to respond to this post... hope we get some interest... i look forward to the guys responses!!!

pmblair
01-19-2008, 11:25 PM
I got my 100 last night... Jason's getting his tonight and my wife's going to get her's tomorrow night....

Here's what we're doing...

We picked the 6 cities in our surrounding area that we would most like to work with and in....... I picked 2 cities, Jason 2, and Donna 2 (that way we ensure no duplicates)... We're choosing our 100 based on a couple of things.... first, obviously, is the city... second, household income (they have to make $50,000 or better)... third is home value (has to be $175,000 - $400,000). We picked these filters for a couple of reasons... the cities, like I said, were the 6 best cities for us. The home value shows that the house is worth something and the homeowner might actually be concerned with having a professional come out to maintain their lawn.... and the household income... well, if they're saying their house is worth $500,000 and their income is in the $30,000 range, something ain't right! Likewise, you probably wouldn't see someone making $150,000 and living in a house worth $150,000 either. So with the income, we try to pick someone whose income is not less than 1/4 or more than 1/2 their home value..... (on a house worth $200,000, the income would not be less than $50,000 nor more than $100,000).... It's just our guess, but it sounds like common sense.....

ANYWAY.... then, we're going to take that list and sort it by postal code... that'll give us a fairly accurate area for each house.... we're going to Google Map them (little by little), then choose the entire neighborhoods that the addresses lie within and market to the whole neighborhood. So in essence, the 100 names becomes closer to 300-500 when you figure a neighborhood typically has 30-50 houses in it.

Make sense? ....or was I just rambling? lol

Thanks for the find!! Good looking out!

All Aspects Landscaping
01-19-2008, 11:37 PM
nah man... thats an awesome way to do it plus you get a larger sample of what they have to offer... say you hit on 5%... which isn't too much out of line, on three hundred mailers... that 15 accounts... on average, you can sell at least $1000.00 to each account over the course of the season... voila!!! makes sense in my eyes to give these guys $1800 for the year... Image what 5000 potential leads could give ya?!? I actually talked to my sales rep on friday (had to change a Credit card) and I told him that if some of these guys would listen.... and you know who you are if youre pickin up what im puttin down...they could blow up in their market... he asked me if I was happy with the service.... I told him its been one of the best investments ive made in 11 years...

if you have any other questions about them... you can call my rep. His name is:
Wade Danielson
Account Executive
Salesgenie.com
P- 800.254.8249
F- 402.978.4403
Email- wade.danielson@salesgenie.com
www.Salesgenie.com

PS- tell him Jamie with All Aspects Landscaping sent ya... Just like him to know that Im pushing for them...

pmblair
01-19-2008, 11:45 PM
I just made a note of that, Jamie... May not do it this year, but will definately keep it in mind for next year.

All Aspects Landscaping
01-19-2008, 11:50 PM
doesnt you mom and dad and mother in law and sister in law and father in law and you dog need 100 free sales leads??? lol... you know what I mean!!

pmblair
01-20-2008, 12:10 AM
LOL!! Yeah, they do.... but not for a while.... hehehe... 300 leads will more than keep us busy into the growing season when, hopefully, we'll be too busy to worry about it.

ABurlison
01-20-2008, 08:06 PM
Do any of you have a specific place you get postcards designed and mailed for you? I've seen so many, but nothing specifically I was looking for, they tend to cater towards landscaping installation or chemical application, and not just the plain old lawn care & grounds maintenance I perform

Thanks,

Steve
01-20-2008, 09:06 PM
Patrick,

Do you think that you would use them if it wasn't subscription based? If you could try them out one time and see how it went?

pmblair
01-20-2008, 09:49 PM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Jan. 20 2008,4:06)]Patrick,

Do you think that you would use them if it wasn't subscription based? If you could try them out one time and see how it went?
You mean if it was totally free? Well yeah, I'd use it when I had the chance. If it gets to the point that we "need" it, I'll definately sign my mom and dad and brother and sister and cat and dog and goldfish...... etc etc etc..... I mean, right now I don't want to spend that much time on something that I'm not sure will gain me the business ... and without that knowledge, I surely don't want to spend the money.... but we'll see how things go.

Steve
01-20-2008, 09:51 PM
Well, I do wonder if business owners would be more inclined to try it if there wasn't a subscription. Where you can pay a one time fee and try it out and see for yourself. Maybe even if they offered a 100% refund.

pmblair
01-20-2008, 09:53 PM
I think if they offered a refund that it would probably work.... for me, I know that if it was like $20/year I'm pay, but that's an insane price.....

Steve
01-20-2008, 09:54 PM
It makes you wonder if we are in the wrong business and should be selling mailing lists LOL

FourSeasons
01-20-2008, 10:01 PM
Quote[/b] ]makes sense in my eyes to give these guys $1800 for the year
Those prices are pretty high. But not much higher than running a ad. But the ad is constantly there though.

LGYardService
01-21-2008, 12:47 AM
OK guys,

I'm kinda confused about all this. I've read every single reply on this post and I'm not completely understanding it. LOL http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

So you go to this website that is pretty much like a mailing list?
Then you pay postage and stuff for all the postcards? And they send them? IDK

Patrick,

You said that you and your partner and your wife are each getting your free 100? What do you mean?

Could you guys please help me out with this? It sounds really cool and a good idea! How do i get the most out of the "free" trial thing or whatever. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif


THANKS

pmblair
01-21-2008, 12:51 AM
Luke-

Go to the website... enter your information... then it'll ask you to put in some information that you would like to use to narrow down your search. Pick the CLOSEST cities to you (like 2-3).... when you're all done, it'll show you a "mailing list"... you check the ones you want to download (up to 100) and voila! You've just got 100 free names to market your services to.....

All Aspects Landscaping
01-26-2008, 10:24 PM
Yeah guys... all of the above is true... its expensive. You have to design your own flyer, pay for your postage and pay for the lists... but the only way I compare it is... If you walk into a lawnmower shop for the first time and the employee addresses you by name and shows you the exact machine you are looking for without you saying a word... it kinda makes sense to me... I have a graphic designer that I work with so he does all the designs for my print material.... I dont really get involved with that...(just approve them)... It ran about $200 for the design... then we use gotprint.com to print the postcards...4x6... then we mail em... .26 cents... Like i said before, it seems like alot of work, but well worth it... there are many online mailing list companies that you can do a one time shot with, but when its all said and done, if you do 800 names a month, youre better off doing sales genie. I spent over $600 two years ago in the month of october doing mailing lists. Then i looked into this company and just gave it a shot...like i said...numbers dont lie... my sales have increased alot.... all I can say is try it for a year... and use it!!

All Aspects Landscaping
01-31-2008, 05:44 PM
anybody get a chance to check it out??? I started marketing yesterday and was able to download and mail out over 500 business leads within
20 miles of my shop... Ill keep ya guys posted on the results... hopefully the phone starts ringing and doesnt stop!!