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  • Phone or email?

    Times are changing fast! I noticed the 40+ yr old generation prefers phone calls, but the younger is all about emails! I noticed when I email a customer, I have to be very careful with what I say. Because they will study EVERYTHING I type!! One good thing I have had luck with, is in your emails, type the service you are doing followed by the price. This way the price doesn't stick in their mind as they read. I know its a debate to do a meet/greet with the customers, or talk over phone. But lately I've done more email quotes than phone quotes. Out of all my quotes, I only lost 1 this year- it was a highball because I didn't want to mess with her. Anyone else running into the same thing???? How are you doing your email quotes?

  • #2
    i do agree that the times are a changing but i certainly would not say it is for the better.
    the younger generations rely so heavily on social media that they have absolutely no social skills what so ever.
    they prefer to do business through emails because it takes the human element out of the equation so if you sent them a price they did not like they don't have to muster up the balls to tell you face to face or on the telephone.

    i am obviously from the older generation but not that old as to where i am out of touch and i do have conversations with customers through emails but any initial business deal i prefer the face to face because it is not only more professional, it shows you are willing to take the time for them as well as i beleive you can get a better feel as to if they are serious and if they are a customer you even want to work for.

    i know we all want every job that comes our way but it is very important to screen your customers just like they screen their prospective contractors.

    we do live in a free country and just as much as they have the right to choose who works for them i too as a business owner am free to choose who i want to work for.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree 100%. Im in the middle of the generations, so I deal with both worlds. It's harder to an extent with social media, especially the review sites like angieslist. Theres always goin to be a bad apple that posts a negative review because you wouldn't come down $15 off a $40 quote. I always and forever will tell people how I feel, thats a part of my Marine Corps side that can't be taken away. I see and hear alot about people utilizing google earth as a means to quote, but I've always felt its best to see with your own eyes. This way you can see for yourself what your dealing with. I have no problems with either method of communication, sometimes email is easier than listening to 20 minutes of whining.

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      • #4
        I steer people towards email whenever possible. Everything is in writing & easier to control when/how long a conversation lasts. It is nice to be able to link to info on website/blog for reference as well. It seems like it is easier for someone to respond to an email while they are at work than a phone call.
        Evansville Lawn Mowing
        Newburgh Lawn Care

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        • #5
          I'm not sure if I'd be considered that "younger generation" I'm 29...but I think my generation is pretty well versed in the social department.

          Anyways...

          I'd have to disagree with some here...about 90 + percent of my customers have contacted me online and prefer email communication over face to face/phone conversations, and most of my customers are in the 40-60 range.

          For me...doesn't really matter. I'll chop it up (slang for conversation for you old timers, lol) j/k, or I'll email, whatever the customer wants.

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          • #6
            After I'm established with a client, I prefer email or texting.

            I never want to bother anyone with phone calls and an email or text isn't going to interrupt anyone's dinner with their family.

            I think I have two clients who I've never spoken to. All communication has been via email.

            Initially though, I prefer to speak to someone, and meeting them in person is even better.

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            • #7
              We email as much as possible. That way it is in writing and no gray area to come back to haunt you.

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              • #8
                We email as much as possible. That way it is in writing and no gray area to come back to haunt you.
                I love the fact that I can save all my emails and always go back to them to make sure the customer and myself are on the same page. Even if I ever meet a customer, I ALWAYS follow up with an email, just so we are both on the same understanding of price and service.

                Comment


                • #9
                  i do agree that the times are a changing but i certainly would not say it is for the better.
                  the younger generations rely so heavily on social media that they have absolutely no social skills what so ever.
                  they prefer to do business through emails because it takes the human element out of the equation so if you sent them a price they did not like they don't have to muster up the balls to tell you face to face or on the telephone.
                  OMG you hit the nail on the head. I try to push an answer face to face until they kick me off the property or tell me to go ahead. I know i just got 99 frownie faces for putting it like that but it works for me and maybe this advice will help someone else.

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                  • #10
                    A lot of it comes down to your sales ability. I found that most of my email contacts were tire kickers where phone and face to face I was able to close most of the bids. They may have been tire kickers in the beginning but when you can sell yourself, you have to do that in person.
                    Pat

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                    • #11
                      A lot of it comes down to your sales ability. I found that most of my email contacts were tire kickers where phone and face to face I was able to close most of the bids. They may have been tire kickers in the beginning but when you can sell yourself, you have to do that in person.

                      You can sell yourself with a keyboard too if you take the time to do it right.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Times are changing fast! I noticed the 40+ yr old generation prefers phone calls, but the younger is all about emails! I noticed when I email a customer, I have to be very careful with what I say. Because they will study EVERYTHING I type!! One good thing I have had luck with, is in your emails, type the service you are doing followed by the price. This way the price doesn't stick in their mind as they read. I know its a debate to do a meet/greet with the customers, or talk over phone. But lately I've done more email quotes than phone quotes. Out of all my quotes, I only lost 1 this year- it was a highball because I didn't want to mess with her. Anyone else running into the same thing???? How are you doing your email quotes?
                        Be careful if you are getting every single quote. It is a sure sign your market can afford more.
                        When a large mowing franchise started here in the 80s, all the indies laughed at their over the top prices, and called them rogues, until they worked out that they too could charge the same.

                        Text is by far the biggest form of communication media these days. Its for this reason you should list your businesses on yelp.com, which new apple iphones wich SIRI voice recognition is linked too. It may become the most important form of marketing in the near future.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Be careful if you are getting every single quote. It is a sure sign your market can afford more.
                          When a large mowing franchise started here in the 80s, all the indies laughed at their over the top prices, and called them rogues, until they worked out that they too could charge the same.

                          .
                          A lot of people in my area are military and government. When they see a truck pull up with purple heart tags and a USMC sticker on it, they tend to go towards me. The majority of my quotes are within reason, some are a bit high. But as one customer put it, he'd rather give to an american vet than an illegal.

                          How many of you do text??? I don't even give out my cell phone number. I do, however, have a land line number that gets transfered to my cell. I just can't see myself getting into texting customers. And at 27 yrs old, you'd think I would!

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                          • #14
                            Be careful if you are getting every single quote. It is a sure sign your market can afford more.
                            When a large mowing franchise started here in the 80s, all the indies laughed at their over the top prices, and called them rogues, until they worked out that they too could charge the same.

                            Text is by far the biggest form of communication media these days. Its for this reason you should list your businesses on yelp.com, which new apple iphones wich SIRI voice recognition is linked too. It may become the most important form of marketing in the near future.

                            yes , but we are landscapers and we need to work in concentrated area's so appealing to the masses is useless in this business unless you want to spend a half hour driving from job to job.

                            i know a lot of people here are young and starting out and i am 46 and have been in business for 23 years but lets look at it for what it is and base it on reality.
                            in this business physical presence is what it is all about and i was a young guy starting out like most of you and i did what other successfull landscape businesses did and that is why i have what i have today.
                            sure i have conversations with clients via email because once i established a working relationship with the people i work for which is all corporate and commercial these clients are busy dealing with the day to day operations of running their own businesses and they don't have the time to be talking about the daily happenings with their landscape while they have board meetings and a hundred employees and staff to deal with daily.

                            but i can tell you that when ever i have a upsell to a existing client or i am selling a new contract to a new client you need to be face to face with them for many reasons includeing getting a answer right then and there and not risk it taking them 3 days or 3 weeks to check their email.
                            from a contractual standpoint you can easily put things in writing and be concise but unless you want to write a mini novel your email can not justify the need for the service and answer every question they have. for the most part you get one chance in business to make the sale and i have had experience in the past where a customer was waiting on a quote and expected me to get back to them and i emailed it and told them i would do so and they got busy and never checked it and thought i was blowing them off only to call them and hear " i did not hear back from you so i called someone else.
                            face to face business dealings put finallity to the situation and get the ball rolling faster.

                            i also found that when it comes to upsells even your best customers will resist to the added cost but when you are there to walk them through it and answer every question they have to justify it more often then not that face to face was the direct result of making the deal happen.

                            there are many stages to a business from starting out to being well established.
                            at first we take anything that comes our way and usually start out doing the work nobody else wants or are too busy to deal with but over time we build it up to get the right select customers and frankly as your business grows working for seniors on a tight budget or someone who just does not have the time to do it themselves are not the ideal customer.

                            before i made the switch to all commercial corporate properties i serviced 150 high end properties a week but one constant that remains today even though the type of client i have today is vastly different is that the furthest i ever had to drive to the job the longest distance from my place of residence is about 6 miles.

                            sure a web site can get you hits and be seen by thousands very quickly but physical presence and local exposure through newspappers and traditional advertiseing and refferals is the best bet for success in this business.

                            if i were selling a product that i could ship to any place in the world the internet would be a great thing, but we are landscapers and everything we do relies on us going to a specific place to perform our services.

                            look at ebay, you would think all these businesses selling stuff are legit companies and all they are doing is taking orders and drop shipping what you buy after marking it up and being nothing but a middle man.

                            unfortunately as landscapers we can not do that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              yes , but we are landscapers and we need to work in concentrated area's so appealing to the masses is useless in this business unless you want to spend a half hour driving from job to job.

                              i know a lot of people here are young and starting out and i am 46 and have been in business for 23 years but lets look at it for what it is and base it on reality.
                              in this business physical presence is what it is all about and i was a young guy starting out like most of you and i did what other successfull landscape businesses did and that is why i have what i have today.
                              sure i have conversations with clients via email because once i established a working relationship with the people i work for which is all corporate and commercial these clients are busy dealing with the day to day operations of running their own businesses and they don't have the time to be talking about the daily happenings with their landscape while they have board meetings and a hundred employees and staff to deal with daily.

                              but i can tell you that when ever i have a upsell to a existing client or i am selling a new contract to a new client you need to be face to face with them for many reasons includeing getting a answer right then and there and not risk it taking them 3 days or 3 weeks to check their email.
                              from a contractual standpoint you can easily put things in writing and be concise but unless you want to write a mini novel your email can not justify the need for the service and answer every question they have. for the most part you get one chance in business to make the sale and i have had experience in the past where a customer was waiting on a quote and expected me to get back to them and i emailed it and told them i would do so and they got busy and never checked it and thought i was blowing them off only to call them and hear " i did not hear back from you so i called someone else.
                              face to face business dealings put finallity to the situation and get the ball rolling faster.

                              i also found that when it comes to upsells even your best customers will resist to the added cost but when you are there to walk them through it and answer every question they have to justify it more often then not that face to face was the direct result of making the deal happen.

                              there are many stages to a business from starting out to being well established.
                              at first we take anything that comes our way and usually start out doing the work nobody else wants or are too busy to deal with but over time we build it up to get the right select customers and frankly as your business grows working for seniors on a tight budget or someone who just does not have the time to do it themselves are not the ideal customer.

                              before i made the switch to all commercial corporate properties i serviced 150 high end properties a week but one constant that remains today even though the type of client i have today is vastly different is that the furthest i ever had to drive to the job the longest distance from my place of residence is about 6 miles.

                              sure a web site can get you hits and be seen by thousands very quickly but physical presence and local exposure through newspappers and traditional advertiseing and refferals is the best bet for success in this business.

                              if i were selling a product that i could ship to any place in the world the internet would be a great thing, but we are landscapers and everything we do relies on us going to a specific place to perform our services.

                              look at ebay, you would think all these businesses selling stuff are legit companies and all they are doing is taking orders and drop shipping what you buy after marking it up and being nothing but a middle man.

                              unfortunately as landscapers we can not do that.
                              I respect that you started your business before internet marketing was important, and I agree that quoting should be done face to face, but far more people search for a local business on the internet, compared to any other media, including local papers.
                              Not sure why you have the idea that internet marketing does not target local areas.
                              With new iphones, all you have to do to get a phone number for a local business, is ask your phone for "best lawn care service in (insert place here)" and it will find you the highest rated business by review.
                              As each younger generation comes along, they use technology to do less and less physical and mental work. They will use SIRI.

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