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picframer
06-08-2009, 04:57 AM
I was responding to a PM here today when something we do with every job struck me as something you might want to consider. 98% of inquiries to us is via email or the contact form on the website.

I schedule a meeting, as we do a walk around I make notes, tell the prospect I will send an email listing each thing we talked about and a quote, I think only one or two have asked for a quote on the spot, people understand you have to calculate things, even though I may know the cost in my head, I do not offer it unless pressured.

My email starts by thanking them for the opportunity to meet and discuss their yard improvement and we would be proud to be part of making it happen.

Listed below is each area we discussed, if I overlooked something, please accept my apologies, let me know and I will respond promptly. Doing all this work at once may be beyond your budget, feel free to select the areas you would like at this time, one, two or everything, our goal is to help you get started.

then I number each item, offer a brief two or three sentence on what we would do and the cost.

I like doing quotes this way as I do it in word and save it under the prospects last name, that way I will always have it.

Spraying is the exception, I carry my laptop and can do and print a quote on the spot, if the client accepts they sign the quote, print another and I sign and leave it with them.

Anyhow just something you might want to try.

Andy

Steve
06-08-2009, 11:30 AM
Oh very interesting.

Andy, quite often we talk about the importance of presenting the bid and the prices in person so you can help sell it, but from this I am gathering that you will email the bid. How then do you follow up on it and how does this method compare to presenting it in person?

picframer
06-08-2009, 05:22 PM
Oh very interesting.

Andy, quite often we talk about the importance of presenting the bid and the prices in person so you can help sell it, but from this I am gathering that you will email the bid. How then do you follow up on it and how does this method compare to presenting it in person?

Honestly, I know before I leave the property whether or not we will get the bid and 95% of the time we do. I did follow up at first but honestly I do not as we have so much work ahead of us I just do not have time, we are getting 5 to 6 inquiries, 7 days a week, it is honestly insane the pace we are running.

Our office manager will follow up however if she has time but even she is being pushed to the max being a stay at home mom, I told her this morning to hire an assistant, hopefully another work at home mom, in my experience they really work well.

Andy

Steve
06-08-2009, 05:34 PM
Honestly, I know before I leave the property whether or not we will get the bid and 95% of the time we do.

What kinds of things do you use to read the customer to allow you to tell this? Any advice on that?

justin_time
06-08-2009, 05:37 PM
What happens if the customer doesn't have e-mail.. then what do you do ?

picframer
06-08-2009, 06:00 PM
What kinds of things do you use to read the customer to allow you to tell this? Any advice on that?

Body Language and how well do they listen, are they asking questions as you describe the process, are their arms folded, if they are that is not a good sign.

Its hard to explain but I just get a sense an if I o, its a short presentation.

picframer
06-08-2009, 06:02 PM
What happens if the customer doesn't have e-mail.. then what do you do ?

Every customer who has contacted us for an initial quote has been email, either through the website or direct email. I do get follow up calls, calls to come back and do more work but I haven't had anyone yet with no email. When I do it will be presented in person, I would guess the average age group we are working for is around 46.

justin_time
06-08-2009, 06:14 PM
Every customer who has contacted us for an initial quote has been email, either through the website or direct email. I do get follow up calls, calls to come back and do more work but I haven't had anyone yet with no email. When I do it will be presented in person, I would guess the average age group we are working for is around 46.

Yeah that ain't my case over here. It's mostly all elderly people that don't even know how to use e-mail and stuff like that. Otherwise, my life would be so easy. I would just have to click save as pdf and e-mail. lol

picframer
06-08-2009, 06:19 PM
Yeah that ain't my case over here. It's mostly all elderly people that don't even know how to use e-mail and stuff like that. Otherwise, my life would be so easy. I would just have to click save as pdf and e-mail. lol

Aren't you west of North Bay? Kind of cottage country area, I have been there twice many years ago, I seem to recall you are on one of the Great Lakes....can't recall for sure.

justin_time
06-08-2009, 06:27 PM
Aren't you west of North Bay? Kind of cottage country area, I have been there twice many years ago, I seem to recall you are on one of the Great Lakes....can't recall for sure.

You mean Lake Nippising ?

picframer
06-08-2009, 06:30 PM
You mean Lake Nippising ?

That's in I thoughit it started with Nip something but didn't dare try and spell what I was thinking...lol

justin_time
06-08-2009, 06:43 PM
That's in I thoughit it started with Nip something but didn't dare try and spell what I was thinking...lol

Yeah Nipissing is pretty big, so some parts of the town have cottages that I can access about 20 minutes from here that are on that Lake.

picframer
06-08-2009, 06:50 PM
Yeah Nipissing is pretty big, so some parts of the town have cottages that I can access about 20 minutes from here that are on that Lake.

You guys in the cottage country area I would think have it made (Gold Mine as the owners are quite often only there on the weekends and when there don't want to work).

I have a very big client in the security business in Bracebridge, I spent a week there last summer, he is a former OPP sargent and seems to know everyone, I recall going to a cottage party one evening and these folks complaining they couldn't find anyone to do chores around their cottages. The main reason I remember was I commented my son and two friends had started a lawn care, clean up company and were doing very well using my tractor as they could do things others could not.

justin_time
06-08-2009, 08:13 PM
You guys in the cottage country area I would think have it made (Gold Mine as the owners are quite often only there on the weekends and when there don't want to work).

I have a very big client in the security business in Bracebridge, I spent a week there last summer, he is a former OPP sargent and seems to know everyone, I recall going to a cottage party one evening and these folks complaining they couldn't find anyone to do chores around their cottages. The main reason I remember was I commented my son and two friends had started a lawn care, clean up company and were doing very well using my tractor as they could do things others could not.

I'm about 2 hrs north of Bracebridge

JohnMowerTime
08-10-2011, 08:14 PM
I'm in my first year. I have a 100% success rating when I get in front of the customer. My question is how did you get them to send you an e-mail or fill out your web information in the first place? That's my problem. I have a website and e-mail. My customers are 100% direct contact by knocking doors or a few referrals. My problems lie in getting the face to face time to offer bids. When you started out, how did you get in front of people? I'm at the crossroads of needing to hire a person to do sales as I can't do it all anymore. Thoughts?

Steve
08-11-2011, 02:57 PM
A lot of your success with this would come from marketing to your social network at first. Handing out business cards to your friends and family. Having your website address on your truck so when you are working on jobs, others can see your address. Also as it was talked about in this post or another Andy had started, he has 7 different postcards designed to hand out to people based on the most common jobs he picks up.

If he sees an overgrown lawn, he will stop and hand out a mowing postcard to the homeowner. If he sees a pile of topsoil or rocks in a yard that needs to be spread, he has another card for that. You could even have one for stump grinding or any other service.

Once the word gets out a bit about your business, it tends to reach a critical mass moment where you don't have to do anything further and people will still find your site from word of mouth and seeing you around town.

Does this help?

JohnMowerTime
08-16-2011, 08:59 AM
First and foremost, thanks for being such a great website host! To see the actual guy (you) respond to all of the great folks out here is really encouraging. Its not all the common to see the top man doing that so THANK YOU Steve!

Well, some of that is helpful. The part about having 7 different post cards or business cards is a good idea. I'm using a "one size fits all" printed sheet right now, but it sounds like being more specific is a better idea. The other things you mentioned (handing out cards to friends/family, website on pickup, etc.) I'm already doing. I also have a banner that is 8'x2.5' made by Vista Print that I have in my front yard. I live on an acreage outside of town, but on a very busy connector road. I probably need a smaller one to put up on each job site I'm on. How much success do people have with Google adds? Is it cost effective? The more I read on the threads, the more I learn or validate my own thoughts, but I find myself in an ever increasing, competitive market. I'll keep reading. Thanks again!