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picframer
03-31-2009, 03:16 PM
I am sure there is one in your area and thought I would share a little on my experience, our Spring Home show was this past weekend, about three weeks too early IMHO as we still have snow and mowing or even prep work is at least three to four weeks ahead.

I was too late to rent a table, as I posted in another thread and Steve offered some ideas, what I did was put my Cargo Trailer which is all lettered on a neighbours truck and parked it in a spot close to the entrance, everyone had to drive by it. On the side I had a plastic holder with my post cards and a small sign stating Free Information Here.

Then I took my truck and the larger trailer with my largest tractor and parked it in the lot close to where you pay to get in, did the same thing, holder on the side with post cards, tied some balloons on the ROPS of the tractor, had to be careful as I didn't want to get kicked out.

I printed 5,000 cheap flyer's at Staples and hired friends of my daughter to go around three times a day and put them under the wipers of vehicles but only is they did not have a company name.

Bought shirts and jackets for 6 people, daughter and four friends, son and a friend, gave them business cards to walk the floor in areas where landscaping companies were. What they were doing is when you came into the show you received a bag for your flyer's, what they did as people left a table of, for example lawn care, they simply followed them for a bit and said here is a card for you to look at later and put it in their bag.

I know, some of these companies paid big bucks to be at the show and I would have to but I did what I had to to get the company name out there.

I worked two shifts at the John Deere booth, if someone came up and asked, you guys must sell to contractors, could you suggest someone, I simply gave them a card and said give this guy a try.

The results, well I have 126 emails, site traffic from last Friday is over 350 visitors, I also did a 1,000 piece mail drop last Thursday just before the show.

I have been calling and emailing, visited 6 prospects today and picked up 5 landscaping, deck jobs, 2 are also lawn care. We had a big snow storm yesterday and today so that has slowed me down a bit.

I think this has paid off big time and to be honest it didn't really cost me much.

Now for the show itself it was packed, I think they said around 5,800 people a day were through. I visited every table that offered landscaping, deck construction and lawn care.

I am not putting anyone down but found it interesting most lawn care companies are using the word Organic yet they stumble when asked about their products. I already knew going in no one in my area is using true organic products as I had researched the companies in the area first. Rates are all over the map, three companies were advertising they will beat any competitor by 20%, I asked what if your competition low balls my lawn you will loose money with this method, the response was you win. We all know the actual result will be a poor job as they won't be able to afford to do quality at the rates being quoted, personally I am going to ride this one out, stick to my rates and pick up money doing jobs other companies do not have the equipment for, will it work? no idea yet but it loosk very good as we have 37 jobs in the hopper with very little marketing work.

So that is it, I am pumped just need some weather to get going.

Andy

SuperiorPower
03-31-2009, 04:37 PM
I worked two shifts at the John Deere booth, if someone came up and asked, you guys must sell to contractors, could you suggest someone, I simply gave them a card and said give this guy a try.

That is just too funny!!! I like your marketing ideas. I agree that being cheaper is not always better. I recall reading in a business magazine that if you drop your prices your customers are going to believe your product/services are not worth more than that. They will then think you are still over charging...

In my business I try to make sure that I provide the best quality, though slightly more expensive, it is the simply the best available. When the time comes that I have the time, money, and space to be a stocking dealer for new equipment I will make sure that I stock the best. I won't be selling craftsman, homelite, mccullough, etc... After all, our first name is Superior!

Good luck!!

Eli

Steve
03-31-2009, 05:09 PM
Andy,

Great job!

Now that you have been through that experience what would you do differently next year?

picframer
03-31-2009, 07:04 PM
If we have a bad year, plan ahead and book the space at the show, if all goes well....well do it again as it did not cost much:)

Steve
03-31-2009, 08:32 PM
Did any of the other booths really stand out and attract your attention or the attention of others there? What did they do to stand out?

picframer
04-01-2009, 05:11 AM
Yes, there were three that really caught my attention, I would guess there were 30 booths related to the lawn care business. The three that sparked my interest were very professional, colors in all three were a nice green and yellow, the staff had very nice uniforms and pants, I know from my previous business they spent a pile of cash on their booth.

Only one had, IMHO, a really nice brochure.

I have been watching their websites and comparing it to my own using an SEO software, not one site in my area has been updated in the past 18 months and I live in a fairly large city and they are only listed on less than 10% of the search engines.

Steve
04-01-2009, 12:25 PM
I have been watching their websites and comparing it to my own using an SEO software, not one site in my area has been updated in the past 18 months and I live in a fairly large city and they are only listed on less than 10% of the search engines.

That is amazing! This should make it a lot easier for you top rank higher than them.