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Cold calls. What does that really mean?


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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Old 03-27-2013, 01:09 AM
ratchetmaster2 ratchetmaster2 is offline
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Default Cold calls. What does that really mean?

This will be my third serious year in the landscaping business. I'm trying to really turn it into a business rather than a hobby. Of course, you are nothing without advertising. As I've progressed, I've realized more and more that craigslist is a weak, passive advertising tool, compared to almost anything else.
I've moved on to flyers, repeated e-mails and calls to existing customers to create repeat business, and just meeting people.
One method I'm curious about is "cold calling". What does this really mean?

Does one just run their finger down the list of phone numbers in the white pages and pick one out of random? Pick up the phone and call a stranger, who, previously, had no realized intention of hiring a (new) landscaper?

Maybe it means to call people who are kind of passively open to your sales pitch? Like real estate agents, previous customers you haven't talked to in a while, or property managers?

But then, it seems, you're just one of those pesky telemarketers. I get telemarketers calling me all the time from my phone number being on the internet. (I swear it's Angie's List's fault). Within the first millisecond I can tell it's someone trying to sell me something. And the very first thing I do is lie and say I'm someone else.

Isn't cold calling more of an annoyance for the prospective customer?
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:56 AM
LawnBoy0311 LawnBoy0311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratchetmaster2 View Post
As I've progressed, I've realized more and more that craigslist is a weak, passive advertising tool, compared to almost anything else.
It depends how it is used. I've gained anywhere from 10 to 15 accounts that way, all in 1 year.

I'd prefer craigslist over cold calling.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:27 AM
ratchetmaster2 ratchetmaster2 is offline
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Originally Posted by LawnBoy0311 View Post
It depends how it is used. I've gained anywhere from 10 to 15 accounts that way, all in 1 year.

I'd prefer craigslist over cold calling.
I definitely still value craigslist, but it's almost more of a waste of time than it's worth. People always call me trying to get me to mow their lawn 50 miles away. They are always looking for a $20 cut. I've gotten some pretty big accounts from craigslist, but you have to sift through a bunch of BS to find them.
This year, I feel like craigslist is much much more saturated than last year.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:44 AM
djlandscaping06 djlandscaping06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratchetmaster2 View Post
This will be my third serious year in the landscaping business. I'm trying to really turn it into a business rather than a hobby. Of course, you are nothing without advertising. As I've progressed, I've realized more and more that craigslist is a weak, passive advertising tool, compared to almost anything else.
I've moved on to flyers, repeated e-mails and calls to existing customers to create repeat business, and just meeting people.
One method I'm curious about is "cold calling". What does this really mean?

Does one just run their finger down the list of phone numbers in the white pages and pick one out of random? Pick up the phone and call a stranger, who, previously, had no realized intention of hiring a (new) landscaper?

Maybe it means to call people who are kind of passively open to your sales pitch? Like real estate agents, previous customers you haven't talked to in a while, or property managers?

But then, it seems, you're just one of those pesky telemarketers. I get telemarketers calling me all the time from my phone number being on the internet. (I swear it's Angie's List's fault). Within the first millisecond I can tell it's someone trying to sell me something. And the very first thing I do is lie and say I'm someone else.

Isn't cold calling more of an annoyance for the prospective customer?
Years ago when I was in the insurance business when we did cold calling we were just sent to a town and knocked doors or we were given a list of names to call and pitch them. I would say just go to a neighborhood in your area you don't service and knock doors, but you would probably be better just to hang door knockers, then the customer don't see it as being to pesty.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Does one just run their finger down the list of phone numbers in the white pages and pick one out of random? Pick up the phone and call a stranger, who, previously, had no realized intention of hiring a (new) landscaper?

Maybe it means to call people who are kind of passively open to your sales pitch? Like real estate agents, previous customers you haven't talked to in a while, or property managers?
You only have so much time or energy to apply to your cold calling if you choose to employe this marketing method.

To me, the term cold calling means to call someone out of the blue with no history between you and the other person.

Sure you can call anyone with this method, but to the most bang for your buck, you need to use it in a larger process.

For instance, you are trying to mow a specific commercial property and it has a realtor sign or a for rent sign. You could cold call the contact person on the sign and find out who is in charge of maintaining the property. This would then allow you to take your marketing to the next step and target that person.

I think to just sit there and randomly call phone numbers would be a colossal waste of time. It should be part of a bigger plan.

What's your thoughts on this?
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