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View Full Version : New here and to the business


jds2381
06-30-2009, 12:34 AM
Well, I have made a few posts. I do things a little backwards I suppose. I am from Parkersburg, WV. I moved here from KY. I just 'opened doors' this year. This is all new to me. I have made a few mistakes already and am positive there are plenty more to make in the years to come. At the moment I have just a handful of accounts but have big plans for next year. I am still marketing lightly as my other job requires a lot of attention.

I plan on sinking a little wad of cash toward the end of Feb. in marketing. I feel confident that I will have a full schedule next year. (full schedule = 50 small to medium sized accounts)

I sure picked a great time to start. With the economy the way it is, it is not uncommon to see 25 different "LCO's" (and I use the term lightly) in a day. This doesn't worry me. Primarily because I don't have to rely strictly on this for my income. But also because of my background in sales. I am pretty crafty when talking to potential clients. I let them know up front they can get the service cheaper. Sample quote goes as follows:

"Customer x, our basic service package includes mowing, trimming, and clean up. Your place will look nice when we leave. I can provide this to you for $30." (my min. charge)
"I'll let you know right now customer x that you can get your yard mowed for less. It is not uncommon this time of year to see everybody and their brother pulling a mower behind their car. With people being laid off right now, these 'companies' have increased in numbers. I pick up just as many accounts this time of year as I do at the start of the season. It happens every year, once they find out they just can't make it charging $15-$20 per yard, they hang it up. They don't realize the overhead you have such as insurance, maintanance, and paying taxes."

"We are here to stay. I don't know what you had in mind as when you would like a company to start on your lawn but I can tell you, I have an opening tomorrow, and Friday. Which one of those would you prefer?"

Or something along those lines without sounding too salesy. It works for me. They usually jump on it.

Steve
06-30-2009, 04:04 AM
That is very interesting.

What do you find is most important when trying to land a new lawn care account?

Also what are some of the things lawn care business owners should avoid doing when trying to make a sale to a new customer?

Any do's and dont's you can share with us?

arthur712
06-30-2009, 08:30 AM
Whats up JD,

Making mistakes are great, You hopefully learn from them.

You do sound like you have had some sale training. I is okay to be sales man when you are trying to drum up more business. Like you said you DO NOT want to sound "Salesy".
Scripting is the best thing for anyone out there, BUT you have to make it your own. DO Not sound like a recording! Throw in some one liner clean jokes. Make it fun!!

The biggest thing I have noticed that works the best!!! Tell your customers how happy you are because your getting tons of referals from other account and you just love being part of making thier houses look great!!!
NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT ECONIMY OR MONEY!!
Keep it up up happy happy.

JD, Thanks for the order of take a cards. If you can take a picture when you install them and send me a copy for my gallery.

Thanx!
Artie

jds2381
06-30-2009, 01:05 PM
Things I find important when meeting with a potential client for the first time:

1. Show up when you say you will.
2. Be sure to look professional.
3. Don't pull up to their house with music blaring or a cigarette hanging out of your mouth. (I am a smoker but this doesnt look good at all imo)
4. Do what you came to do. It is a good idea to 'shoot the ****' (for want of a better term lol) for a few but you want to look like you are on a tight schedule. If they think you have time to BS for an hour they will want to do that everytime you come or worst yet will think if you have time to do this you must not have a full schedule and if you dont have a lot of clients there must be a reason for that, then decide not to go with you.
5. Don't haggle with them. This is not a flea market. We have figured our costs, estimated time to do the job, and presented a number we can do it for. This is why I take the approach I do telling them they can get it cheaper. Almost always this avoids the "well, i was thinking you could do it for $xx"
6. I offer coupons on my website. I usually tell them, "Hey, I'll let you in on something. If you go to my website and print off our coupon, you can save an additional 10%" I do this for two reasons. The first being that it makes the client feel special, like they got some sort of great deal and two being that if they use this coupon on their first service they cant use it on additional services that would be a larger number off their bill. :) lol


These are just a few off the top of my head.

Art,
I just received the stickers. I plan on putting them on later. Once I do I'll be sure to send you some pics.

arthur712
06-30-2009, 07:28 PM
JD, Your Hired!!!!

You sound like you have been doing sales for a very long time.

I have been a Sales Trainer for over 20 years and I wish I could find sales people that could understand what you are saying. (GOOD STUFF)

The 3rd and best reason for them to go to Your web page is to get them on your website, this way they can use that a referral base.

You are going to be big!! Exspecially because of the Card Holders. HAHA

Thanx!
Artie

jds2381
07-01-2009, 01:19 AM
JD, Your Hired!!!!

You sound like you have been doing sales for a very long time.

I have been a Sales Trainer for over 20 years and I wish I could find sales people that could understand what you are saying. (GOOD STUFF)

The 3rd and best reason for them to go to Your web page is to get them on your website, this way they can use that a referral base.

You are going to be big!! Exspecially because of the Card Holders. HAHA

Thanx!
Artie


Thank you sir. I have always been in sales. I have sold everything from long distance over the telephone to steaks from the back of a pick-up truck. Kirbys, security systems and insurance all being included in the middle their somewhere. ;)

I have that pic but it is out in my jeep and I am upstairs in my office wearing only boxers so it will have to wait one more day lol

Steve
07-01-2009, 04:41 AM
6. I offer coupons on my website. I usually tell them, "Hey, I'll let you in on something. If you go to my website and print off our coupon, you can save an additional 10%" I do this for two reasons. The first being that it makes the client feel special, like they got some sort of great deal and two being that if they use this coupon on their first service they cant use it on additional services that would be a larger number off their bill.

I find this to be a very interesting topic. When would it be best to offer this to a customer and what kind of services would you offer this for? If they are already a customer, how does it help giving them a 10% off coupon?


I have that pic but it is out in my jeep and I am upstairs in my office wearing only boxers so it will have to wait one more day lol
I'd love to see this too!

jds2381
07-01-2009, 05:35 AM
I find this to be a very interesting topic. When would it be best to offer this to a customer and what kind of services would you offer this for? If they are already a customer, how does it help giving them a 10% off coupon?



I'd love to see this too!

This is ideal for potential clients. It is good on all services. It's a 'one time only' coupon. If they use it at the start (I require all new customers to pay on spot, then they get put on a monthly billing schedule) it saves me money. If not, oh well. They use it on a month of services and save more. Still all good. If a current customer gets a hold of it, it's all good too. It is to be used one time only. If a customer hasn't used it and I notice, I'll make a point to tell them. Like I said, They will feel special. Little things go a long way. If I let them in on the "secret" they will become more loyal. It is human nature to want a deal. If you get a deal one time, you will remain a client for longer. Offer a deal a couple times per year and the customer will feel special. They may be able to save a dollar or two with the 'new' company in town but you have been there for them and offered them 'special deals' so they stay with you!

PS, if you are too lazy to look at my website, the coupon offer is 10% off services. I made it in office publisher or something. Very generic but if you save $10-$20 who cares right? lol

Steve
07-01-2009, 07:44 AM
If they use it at the start (I require all new customers to pay on spot, then they get put on a monthly billing schedule) it saves me money.

At what point do you start to bill them monthly?

arthur712
07-01-2009, 08:39 AM
I have that pic but it is out in my jeep and I am upstairs in my office wearing only boxers so it will have to wait one more day lol

Thanks for that image, I have to go with out breakfast today now!!

LOL

jds2381
07-01-2009, 03:15 PM
At what point do you start to bill them monthly?

Typically right away. I had one customer that didnt sit right with me so I required him to pay monthly in advance to services. Guess what. I didn't get the job. No big deal though, he wouldn't have paid anyways.

jds2381
07-01-2009, 10:55 PM
Typically right away. I had one customer that didnt sit right with me so I required him to pay monthly in advance to services. Guess what. I didn't get the job. No big deal though, he wouldn't have paid anyways.

Right away as in after they pay for the first whatever.


Here are the pics art. Keep in mind I am a lawn guy not a photographer lol.

Steve
07-02-2009, 05:30 AM
Those are great pictures! Are you going to be putting any magnetic signs on your truck as well?

jds2381
07-02-2009, 12:04 PM
Those are great pictures! Are you going to be putting any magnetic signs on your truck as well?

I have them on my doors. I just ordered some big window decals too to put on my rear side windows.

Steve
07-03-2009, 06:12 AM
I have them on my doors. I just ordered some big window decals too to put on my rear side windows.

Oh I can't wait to see them!