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-   -   Advertising Question (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=7995)

jdobbin14 01-09-2009 09:23 AM

Advertising Question
 
I have a question for everyone out there. I'm getting my advertising material ready for the upcoming season. I'm having flyers printed up and I think I may have come up with a good idea. My father in law owns an alarm system company. I've made a verbal deal with him that I would have one side of an 8"x11" flyer and he would have the other side. He would pay for all the flyers and I would put them out on doors, cars, etc. My question is, do you think I would have better results just having one business/offer on the flyer? Should I go with two separate flyers? Has anyone tried anything like this?

Steve 01-09-2009 11:52 AM

Hi Jeff,

Great idea! Yes we see a lot of co-marketing like this. In fact, can you sell the alarm service and get a % of the sale? Why not?

Did you consider offering any kind of coupons for the alarm system or for the lawn care?

I'd love to see your flyer when you are done.

jdobbin14 01-09-2009 10:20 PM

Thanks Steve
 
Ya, if I sell one of his alarm systems I get $50. I used to work for him before I started this business, so I know how to sell them. I'll try to show you a copy when I get done with it. I have it laid out, I just have to get approval from my father in law before sending it to the printer. I figure with the economy the way it is I should save as much money as possible.

Steve 01-10-2009 02:20 AM

Quote:

Ya, if I sell one of his alarm systems I get $50. I used to work for him before I started this business, so I know how to sell them.
What type of sales techniques were you able to use to sell the alarm systems that you felt were able to be used to help sell lawn care?

StartALawnCareBusiness 01-10-2009 03:12 AM

Mailing insert.
 
Does he mail monthly bills?

You could place an insert into the bill so his customers will see it when they open their bill.

Since they like his service and trust him enough with their alarm business, they might give you a try this spring.

Good luck:

Steve 01-10-2009 12:35 PM

Yea that is a very good point!

jdobbin14 01-10-2009 02:19 PM

That's a good idea Keith. He mails quarterly bills for his monitoring. I'd have to see if he would go for that. My only concern would be that most of his customers are out of my service area.

Steve,
I also worked for TruGreen Chemlawn before I started my own lawn care business. I've used more information from them than my father in laws business. I learned all the aspects of lawn care. The most important thing I learned from TruGreen was not to badger your customers. Use a soft sell technique. Offer/suggest a service and leave it at that. Don't call your customer daily and tell them their lawn needs this or it's going to die. I've found that my customers appreciate my low key sales approach. I suggest it and most of the time my customer has it done. I put a suggestion area on my invoices and in the spring and fall I usually suggest aeration and cleanup. In the hot summers I suggest watering for those that don't have sprinkler systems. Sometimes I'll suggest landscaping in a certain area of the property to fill it in or enhance the property.

Steve 01-10-2009 02:39 PM

Quote:

I also worked for TruGreen Chemlawn before I started my own lawn care business. I've used more information from them than my father in laws business. I learned all the aspects of lawn care. The most important thing I learned from TruGreen was not to badger your customers. Use a soft sell technique. Offer/suggest a service and leave it at that. Don't call your customer daily and tell them their lawn needs this or it's going to die. I've found that my customers appreciate my low key sales approach. I suggest it and most of the time my customer has it done. I put a suggestion area on my invoices and in the spring and fall I usually suggest aeration and cleanup. In the hot summers I suggest watering for those that don't have sprinkler systems. Sometimes I'll suggest landscaping in a certain area of the property to fill it in or enhance the property.
Very interesting! Now when you offer or suggest a service, is it always in the form of handwriting it in an invoice? If so, how do they go about notifying you if they approve it?

Do you suggest a service in other ways? Do you ever get a chance to talk to them in person and do this?

What is your advice on this?

jdobbin14 01-10-2009 02:53 PM

If I see the customer in person I would say something like, "Your lawn was awfully rough when I was mowing, so I checked and your soil is heavily compacted. I would suggest we get this lawn aerated. I could do that for you for $xx.xx" Then if they seem kinda iffy I go over the benefits of aeration. Most of the time they go for it if I suggest it in person. Again, I NEVER give my customers the hard sell. If they say no I leave it at that. If I leave a suggestion on an invoice they call my office and schedule the service. I always leave a price on the invoice for the suggested service. My office staff are not sales people. I'd say off the top of my head, in person sales average a 75% return and suggestions on the invoices average a 55% return. The only problem is most of my customers work during the business day.

Steve 01-10-2009 03:54 PM

Quote:

If I see the customer in person I would say something like, "Your lawn was awfully rough when I was mowing, so I checked and your soil is heavily compacted. I would suggest we get this lawn aerated. I could do that for you for $xx.xx" Then if they seem kinda iffy I go over the benefits of aeration. Most of the time they go for it if I suggest it in person. Again, I NEVER give my customers the hard sell. If they say no I leave it at that. If I leave a suggestion on an invoice they call my office and schedule the service. I always leave a price on the invoice for the suggested service. My office staff are not sales people. I'd say off the top of my head, in person sales average a 75% return and suggestions on the invoices average a 55% return. The only problem is most of my customers work during the business day.
Jeff with all your knowledge, skills and talent, you are going to kick BUTT!

This is outstanding!

Let's break this down so we can all understand it better and develop a plan of attack.

First off, how many times per year can you suggest the aeration to a customer? And how many times can you perform it where it improves the lawn? Should you do this only during certain times or seasons?

How do you check the soil to see if it is heavily compacted?

Is there something visual you do that you can do in front of the customer to get their attention?

What do tell the customer the benefits of aeration are and then do you duplicate the list of these benefits on your invoice?


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