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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Question on up selling?


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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  #1  
Old 10-16-2009, 12:53 PM
kj.mayer kj.mayer is offline
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Default Question on up selling?

I am new to this and trying to put some numbers together. Besides just cutting grass I would like to add other job that could make me more income. I am in the midwest area. What I would like to know is what percentage of costomers have you do other jobs,like mulching,fertilize,gutter cleaning,leaf clean up,landscaping? What prices do you charge for these jobs? Which jobs do people want done the most? Thanks for your time.
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2009, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj.mayer View Post
I am new to this and trying to put some numbers together. Besides just cutting grass I would like to add other job that could make me more income. I am in the midwest area. What I would like to know is what percentage of costomers have you do other jobs,like mulching,fertilize,gutter cleaning,leaf clean up,landscaping? What prices do you charge for these jobs? Which jobs do people want done the most? Thanks for your time.
kj
We upsell 85%++ of the jobs we do, we started a drain for a new client today....in the wet snow, had to stop at 3 as we were frozen...anyhow I was in the selling mood, walked away with $3,700 in additional work next spring, pressure washing, turf dressing, spraying and fixing their driveway.....grading with new Classs A. If I am in the mood which I generally am, I will upsell every customer we do a job for.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:25 PM
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My biggest requests are rose, tree, bush trimming and some weed eating. Currently so long as its a fast prune here or a quick weed eat there I don't charge for it being my first year. I am however getting ready to send all my clients a letter near the end of the year explaining that all the good will and free work I provided will as of 1-1-10 start being billed accordingly.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
We upsell 85%++ of the jobs we do, we started a drain for a new client today....in the wet snow, had to stop at 3 as we were frozen...anyhow I was in the selling mood, walked away with $3,700 in additional work next spring, pressure washing, turf dressing, spraying and fixing their driveway.....grading with new Classs A. If I am in the mood which I generally am, I will upsell every customer we do a job for.
Andy, for the newer members of the forum, when you make these upsells, it isn't because you sat there and waited for them to ask you. Isn't that right? Won't most all of the upsells come because you pointed out issues and how you could resolve them? So ultimately doesn't the owner have to be pro-active with this?
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Old 10-17-2009, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Andy, for the newer members of the forum, when you make these upsells, it isn't because you sat there and waited for them to ask you. Isn't that right? Won't most all of the upsells come because you pointed out issues and how you could resolve them? So ultimately doesn't the owner have to be pro-active with this?
Never, I and most of the guys that work for me when not in University are proactive, I will not wait for my ship to come in, I will go find it.

My son arrived first yesterday with the excavator, I had only ever met and dealt with the wife, he sends me a text message Steve the husband is home and he is a super nice guy, they are just waiting for me and talking about his new BMW and Hockey.....I knew Steve was in good hands but my son like I can really sell, in some cases better than I however he will not quote.

I arrive with the tractor and loader and Steve was out, he had brought a coffee for my son and they were still talking cars and sports, I quickly go over what his wife and I agreed to for this drain and the cost, he offers payment before we start and I laugh and say not bud, when we are finished, he said perfect and went back inside, we talked small talk but I knew wet snow was coming so we started, first bucket with the excavator at what was to be the start of the drain revealed a spring, we see this all the time, to be safe it means to back further which we did, about 8 feet, goal is to get back further than where the water problem is starting.

While running the excavator I started to notice things, the siding has mold, the back has a pile of brush, a few fallen trees should be cut, the driveway needed new class A and crowned, the lawn looked pretty good but could be better.

An hour into this Steve comes out for a smoke, I said it's going well buddy but we went back further than discussed due to a spring which by now was starting to fill our trench, showed him quickly and he was pleased, anyhow I said I was noticing a few things and I don't want you to feel I am trying to get my hand in your wallet however for what it is worth, we offer...............I quickly went over various things, he said they had quotes but never had the work done, he didn't care for the personality of three other companies, I gave him on the spot quotes for each item but added it would be April if interested as we are winding down due to the weather, he said fair enough, come back in April, send me a follow up email this weekend with the prices and the work is yours, we like one stop shopping, we laughed and he went back in, Seth and I went back to work.

The owner of a lawn care business has to be proactive which is why door hangers, flyers etc. have limited results, one is waiting for the customer to come to them, I go to the customer direct and I love the interaction and with confidence I get the work, maybe not today but I will get it in the few months ahead, we now have 14 jobs for spring, they are not small jobs.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
The owner of a lawn care business has to be proactive which is why door hangers, flyers etc. have limited results, one is waiting for the customer to come to them, I go to the customer direct and I love the interaction and with confidence I get the work, maybe not today but I will get it in the few months ahead, we now have 14 jobs for spring, they are not small jobs.
This is really the core of it isn't it? Social networking? When you put flyers out in mailboxes, you are not giving yourself a chance to meet a new potential customer. But the way you describe it, it doesn't even have to take that long. Just long enough to talk a few, see if you share mutual interests. Show them you are on the same page with them. That you like them and then they will like you. Once this happens, many good things can come from the interaction.

As we have seen on here, if you are friendly with one customer, there is a very good chance you can reach out to the neighbors when they see you as well. It may take more time than the average business owner is used too but aren't we all in the business of selling? Doesn't that come first? No matter what it is we are selling, isn't that the life blood of the business?

Don't we have to think of ourselves as ambassadors of the business and then salesmen of the business?

These bonds we make can last a lifetime and so can the revenue!
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post

Don't we have to think of ourselves as ambassadors of the business and then salesmen of the business?

These bonds we make can last a lifetime and so can the revenue!
I agree totally. Many of my customers started out as a one time/season job. From there with just some chatting and being friendly, they have become full time year round revenue for my business. Those full time customers have also become my biggest form of advertising. Here is an example, I had a summer grass contract with a client, their dog would always greet me when I was there cutting and the client and I would usually chat for a minute or two about how the yard was progressing, this fall I asked them about a snow contract while doing a fall cleanup ... they agreed very quickly, that they would appreciate that service as well. The next time I returned I had one of my lawn advertising signs in the truck and the client commented that they would love to have one of those signs on their yard ... Funny thing was that I was planning on putting on in their yard being as how they had become year round clients. I feel that a "LOYAL" client is the best thing out there for me, they will talk about you when they are out for coffee with their coffee buds and will always recommend you to others.

I am like Andy as well and am constantly upselling my clients too. Its how to make the business grow and more importantly, if you approach it with a concerned attitude, the customer believes you truely care about them and their property.

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Old 10-18-2009, 04:24 AM
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Don't we have to think of ourselves as ambassadors of the business and then salesmen of the business?

These bonds we make can last a lifetime and so can the revenue!
I once had a neighbour who is now a very good and close friend call me a social butterfly.....I love meeting new people and learning about them, if I see a trait in a person that appeals to me, I will use it or at least try it.

We all have something in common with just about every prospect, could be a car, cat, dog.....something. Remember prospects are proud of whatever they might have, could even be a job, I quickly search for this before closing the sale, could even be kids.

Relationship selling works and works well, I was tought this in my banking days, I don't consider myself an over the top sales guy, just someone who has a program of doing this that works, IMHO it is very important to make friends with the client, or at least develop a replationship, we are working on what is probably their biggest asset/investment and the majority want it to look nice.

As I have said before, we need to look outside the box and perhaps get out of our comfort zone, if you want to make serious bucks in this business you have no choice, I realize some make a living mowing/trimming, but man look at the number of accounts it takes to do it.

There is a song/saying....I overlooked an Orchid while searching for a Rose.....don't overlook anything.
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:58 PM
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Default It happened again today

Jobs seem to hunt me down, on the weekend we do smaller jobs that take a few hours, it's to switch things up.

Had a guy stop at a job site and asked if we would chip a pile of brush Sunday, said it was about four hours work I said sure, my son and a friend went to the site at 9 am.

I stopped by at 9:30 as they said the blades needed to be changed and they didn't have the tools, so I stop by, owner comes out and said the driveway we built at a place two streets over was amazing and he would like to have his done. We talked for a bit about his travel trailer, he said he really wished he had a parking area for it, I said that is no problem we can do that, I gave him a quote and he agreed.

As I was walking back to my truck his neighbour yelled for me to stop, he needed his septic tank dug out so he could have it pumped, I said while I am here sure and I had the excavator, I charge $100.00, he said great, 30 min job. While there I said looks like the house needs pressure washing, he said you do that???? I said yes, we walked around and I quoted $350.00 he said sure do it, I said your lawn looks great in the back, we could fix the front in the spring for about $1,200 and explained the process, he said that sure would be good, can you put me down, I hate mowing this mawn as it's over an acre and I don;t have any storage for a ride on, I said well we would mow it for $100. a week and explained what we use and we were giving him a deal as I do three places one street over, he said man am I glad I saw your truck.

I said while walking away, man you have a lot of leaves. let me leave you a card, I got my leaf collection post card and explained the process, he said how much, $125.00, he said do it, in fact you should talk to my neighbour as he was complain yesterday about the leaves this year, so I went over, picked up his place for $125.00 and his brother in law across the street for $75.00.

This was all before 10:30 this morning and this seems to happen to us every weekend when we are at a site, it has to be because people are out and about and it was a beautifly fall day, when I go back and do the leaf collection for the other two, there is no question I will get more work as I noticed one place had 7 fairly large trees that had fallen.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:19 AM
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