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Knocking on Doors WORKS


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  #1  
Old 01-12-2011, 10:37 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Default Knocking on Doors WORKS

Although I'm a bit behind on trying to pick up snow removal customers (It's already snowing), I made up a quick flyer, made some photocopies, and headed out into my neighborhood yesterday as the snow started to fall again.


Due to my late start and the lousy weather, I was only able to hand out about 30 flyers, and of those, I only spoke to about 8 people who answered doors.
This morning, I had two calls to shovel driveways, and around mid day, I had a voicemail to get an estimate for a relative who lives about 2 miles from where I had been distributing the flyers.

As I was shoveling the driveway at the first customer's home, the neighbor was out shoveling his walk and said "hello". He said he saw me place my flyer in his door yesterday and that he "may be calling me." I introduced myself and we chatted for about ten minutes. During this time, he hollered down the street to another man doing some shoveling that "We have a young man here that is offering to clear driveways - I'll give you one of his cards!" (I had just handed him half a dozen)
As this gentleman and I talked, he finally said, "Hell, if you come to do their driveway, and you see snow on mine, go ahead and do mine as well."


After finishing that driveway, the customer told me that I can just come back and do it again any time we get the same amount we had today. (about 5-6" w/some drifting) She also has some small yard jobs to talk about for the spring time.


She even gave me $5 more than what I asked for "Because you were so prompt and did a nice job."



After that, I cleared a drive and sidewalk for an elderly couple. He can handle the light stuff that can be pushed, but can't lift the shovel so well.
They seemed happy to have the snow cleared and liked the fact that I was a neighbor - not someone they would have to wait for, and hope they show up.
Hopefully, they will pass my info on to others in the neighborhood.


Afterthoughts:

I went out during the "workday" in hopes of running into more older people who are home during the day, and who are more likely to need help shoveling.
Sadly, many of them are hesitant to open the door to a stranger. I can't say that I blame them. I always introduce myself by name and let them know that I'm one of their neighbors - that I live "just around the corner, on _____ street." This seems to help put them at ease and allows for a more relaxed conversation.

I hate putting flyers in mailboxes (I understand the legalities), but for a few homes, I did (mostly people I knew to some extent), because there was no other way to leave it. I did cut "X"s in the top of some of the flyers ahead of time in order to slip them over a doorknob, but I didn't leave any in that manner yesterday.

I regret not having bought a SINGLE stage snowthrower instead of this two stage beast that I have. I could do SO much more with a smaller unit. Live and learn. I can't afford another one, so I'll just have to use a shovel until we get deeper snow.

My timing was good and bad. Bad because we're already into winter and I hadn't distributed my info. (Mainly for legal reasons - I'm still awaiting my zoning approval) Good because it was SNOWING like MAD when I was handing out the flyers... "Hey, give that guy a call that was just here!"
I'm going to do some more door to door tomorrow - perhaps focusing on homes with walks and drives still with snow on them.

Here's an idea! Talk to your postal carrier!
He/she knows ALL the homes in your area - and which ones need the steps/walks cleared! They often know who is and isn't able to do the snow removal themselves, and who is just a lazy/cheap bastard that NEVER has a clear walkway. lol

This was my first attempt at snow removal "marketing"/work.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2011, 03:07 AM
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That is fantastic!

I love the idea of cutting an X into the top of the flyer as well.

Have you thought about more cheap ways to promote your snow removal services?

What about a big 4x8 piece of plywood in the middle of your pickup bed that says

SNOW REMOVAL
555-3988

Would that get neighbors to call you?

Also what is your view on why you would prefer a single stage vs a two stage blower?
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
That is fantastic!

I love the idea of cutting an X into the top of the flyer as well.

Have you thought about more cheap ways to promote your snow removal services?

What about a big 4x8 piece of plywood in the middle of your pickup bed that says

SNOW REMOVAL
555-3988

Would that get neighbors to call you?

Also what is your view on why you would prefer a single stage vs a two stage blower?

I have a cap on my truck. I was thinking of placing a temporary sign at the end of my driveway.
Also, when I park my truck, I leave the cap window open and I lean an extra shovel up against the front of the truck with the thought that it may catch someone's attention and indicate that my truck isn't "just some truck" parked on the street. Maybe someone will stop when they see me shoveling.


As for the snowthrower, I'm new to using them, but a single stage is apparently better at clearing snow ALL the way off a walk/drive, where the two stage has metal blades that must be kept off the ground just a bit and leaves a little snow behind.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:06 AM
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Before long you are going to need to change your name to SNOWMASTER from HEDGEMASTER.

Matt
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Also, when I park my truck, I leave the cap window open and I lean an extra shovel up against the front of the truck with the thought that it may catch someone's attention and indicate that my truck isn't "just some truck" parked on the street. Maybe someone will stop when they see me shoveling.
Is there someway you can get your number on your truck? Maybe write it on the inside of the caps windows with white window paint?

Even if it looks like this. It would be better than nothing.



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Old 01-15-2011, 07:24 PM
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You know, that idea ^ isn't half bad. When winter hit, business dried up, and I haven't had any money to get my truck windows lettered.
That could be a decent temporary fix - especially for snow removal season.


Also, I am going to pick up a reflective safety vest to throw on over my coat. That will certainly differentiate me from "Joe Homeowner" out shoveling his driveway.



Oh, and someone else called today regarding a flyer I left. She asked for a price, and said she'd keep my number handy in case we get deep snow again.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
When winter hit, business dried up, and I haven't had any money to get my truck windows lettered.
That could be a decent temporary fix - especially for snow removal season
Take some pictures of it! I'd love to see!
Quote:
I am going to pick up a reflective safety vest to throw on over my coat. That will certainly differentiate me from "Joe Homeowner" out shoveling his driveway.
I think that is a great idea!

It might be really helpful if you put some vinyl lettering on it too that maybe said Lawn Care or something like that.

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Old 01-22-2011, 01:05 PM
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Although it's too soon to say that today's attempts at knocking on doors didn't work, I was discouraged by how few people answered doors today. As it's Saturday, I assumed that more folks wold be home.
I left a flyer and a card at each of the places I stopped, so who knows - maybe someone will call.

I'm discouraged and hungry, so I came home for something to eat. Maybe I'll go back out later.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:00 AM
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What is your view on why people weren't answering their doors? Could it have been a weather issue or maybe a presentation issue?

Could they look out their window and see that you were going to be offering some snow removal services? Possibly with your snow shovel in hand or maybe wearing your reflective vest?

Or are you thinking it was something else?
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What is your view on why people weren't answering their doors? Could it have been a weather issue or maybe a presentation issue?

Could they look out their window and see that you were going to be offering some snow removal services? Possibly with your snow shovel in hand or maybe wearing your reflective vest?

Or are you thinking it was something else?

I don't do the "shovel in hand" knock at the door thing. I think that is reserved for the neighborhood kids looking to make a few bucks. I'd rather explain why I'm there and offer them a business card and/or flyer. If they don't need my services today, perhaps they will in the future.

Also, when I go out for the sole purpose of knocking on doors, I do not dress in my "work clothes", I wear nicer clothing for a more professional appearance.

I think that some of the people were simply not home. Driveway filled with snow, and tire tracks, but no vehicle visible. It's often hard to tell, as most of the homes here have a garage, but not everyone uses the garage for their vehicle.
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