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How to get new customers


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  #11  
Old 03-25-2005, 05:30 PM
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from chevyman1

Advertising on weekends and nights only.

We began last week, and I must say, the success rates go way up when you meet most of the people while their home, totally seperates you from the pack. Sunday I met so many nice people in a brand new development...out of 60 homes I knock on the door and either spoke to or left the info when I left, we signed 6 on the spot, 2 more estimates Thursday night, and a topdress job. Not even going to advertise again until this Saturday. All 6 of the people from last week are also getting an Easter Lily
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2005, 08:12 AM
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Here are some suggestions paraphrased from b.fahle,

Put before and after pictures on your flyers. Most people read flyers right above their garbage can so give them a reason to look through your flyer. You might not get another chance at showing off what you can do. Most people just won't visit your website to see this information. This should increase your response ratio and therefore lower the cost per customer lead.
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  #13  
Old 03-29-2005, 11:11 AM
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Here are some suggestions from muddstopper

One of my best marketing successes was fixing up a trifold brochure. We placed pic's of our services with a brief description and then mailed the brochures to all the area builders and realestate agents. The brochure was designed so that one side could be used for addresses so we didnt need envelopes The response was tremendous and we havent advertised since. I also placed these same brochures at the local home and garden center and at the local mower repair shop. I keep one of those business card holders at each place and make sure to refill the business cards from time to time.
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  #14  
Old 03-30-2005, 11:11 AM
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Here are some suggestions paraphrased from b.fahle,

Waiting for people to call may be the easiest way to get new customers, it also is the most efficient way for your business to fail.

There are three main types of customers.

1. People who already have a Lawn Care Operation taking care of their property and are happy with the service.

2. People who don't use the services of a Lawn Care Operator but would like to.

3. People who have a Lawn Care Operation taking care of their property and are UNhappy with the service.

Your best bet is to go after group 2. Those who don't have a LCO but would like one to take care of their property. Now the next question you should be asking yourself is, how do I find these people?

New homeowners are in this group. One way to reach them is to contact a title company that deals with houses in your area. Set up a deal with the title company where they provide you with a list of new homeowners and you send the new homeowners a thank you for your business letter from the title company on the title company's letter head that includes a coupon for a free lawn mowing which is sponsored by the title company.

The title company benefits from this because you are creating good will for their company. You are sending out a thank you letter that they may or may not have done. They also come across to the homeowner as sending out a free lawn cut they paid for as a gift, which they didn't. This is your promotion.

If you can't get a title company to take part in this with you, contact a realtor or broker or maybe even an alarm company. They would be dealing with the same clients. Maybe you could also offer them $5.00 per customer who signs up for your services after the free 'gift' cut.

The alarm company might be able to use your free cut as a gift for their potential new client to get them in the door and meet. Make sure that this promotion is focused only on the area you service.

If you provide landscaping and not lawn maintenance, maybe offer a free landscape design or a free tree planting with a job of certain value or 10% off a purchase of $1000.00 or more. You have to give the potential client a reason to use you. There is a hidden benefit here in it being a gift from the alarm company or realtor. The potential customer doesn't see this as being free but as a gift with a purchase they have made so it doesn't de-value your service. This weeds out a large percentage of tire kickers that would just want a free design from you or are simply looking for a one time free cut because they are too busy on a weekend to cut their lawn themselves. You have already pre-qualified them to be a potential customer by their new home ownership status.
A week after the letter goes out, if you haven't heard from them, call the customer and see if you can schedule a time for their free lawn cut. Let the homeowner knw the free cut is for a regular cut and not if the lawn hasn't been touched in half a year. If the lawn is in that shape, tell them you will cut the first time for a fee and then the second one will be the freebie with the coupon.
When you are finished with the cut, leave them with an estimate to cut their lawn in the future. How much per month? If you haven't heard from them in a week from that date, give them a call and follow up on your estimate bid to see if they want your service. Maybe tell them your fifth cut will be free. Not every fifth cut, just the first time. Make sure you offer that or another incentive to get them to sign up with you over a competitor.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2005, 01:05 PM
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From BCSTEEL

To get more residenals I would put out flyers in the immediate area where I am already working. Those people already see you in the neighbourhood every week so they are more likely to go with you. At least this works for me. I find it very easy to sell services to those people within eye sight of the jobs that I aready have.
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  #16  
Old 04-01-2005, 01:42 PM
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From muddstopper,

I trade with a lot of local business as I am sure everyone else does. I try to keep a good relationship with the owners and managers of these business. Most all the local convience stores have a business card bullentin board where they let anyone stick up a card. Even the local Lowes, has one of these boards.The local home and garden centers, mom and pop operations, will let you place your bcard on their counters as long as you use one of those .99cent business card holder trays. For brochures I use a tray designed for them. These items are easily found at Office Depot, Staples, and even walmart. One word of advise for anyone that wishes to do this is to place a lable on your tray and holders. This prevents others from using you property if you let it run out of cards or brochures. It also lets the store owner know who's holder it is thats setting there empty. I have had several call me just to let me know my holders where empty. I have also found other peoples cards in my holders. I usually just remove their cards and place on the counter. I will keep one so that I can contact them just to let them know where they can buy their own holders. This way they know that they where caught and usually dont use my holders again. You dont have to get nasty with the people and I have made a few contacts that way that have benefited me and the other person as well.

I also place cards and brochures at the doctors and dentist office. People that visit these places usually have to wait for a while and providing them something to read while they wait is good for my business. Even if they dont want my services they will leave the brochure behind for the next person to look at.

To me, brochures and business cards are part of a numbers game. Not eveyone that takes a card will call but if i put enough of them out there sooner or later they will fall into the hands of someone that needs the services I offer.
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  #17  
Old 04-05-2005, 10:10 AM
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Here are some suggestions paraphrased from b.fahle

To summize what I have suggested to you, you now have the ability to

1. A way to make your first contact with a new potential client. By sending the first letter.

2. A way to follow up with that first letter by making a phone call.

3. A way to provide the potential customer with a sample of your service with won't be undervalued in the customer's eyes because although it was a free 'thank you' to them, they are under the impression the first cut was paid for by the title company as a thank you for using their services.

4. You now have a chance to go over the lawn and review it before you make an estimate.

5. You now have an open dialogue with the potential customer to provide them with an estimate. This is the flyer you leave with them when you are finished.

6. You now have a way to follow up on the estimate you leave with a phone call.

7. This concept has also helped exclude freebie seekers and helped you focus on real potential customers.

Remember to make sure you follow up with your phone call no later than two weeks after your 'thank you' lawn cut. Some people will tell you no thanks because they cut their own lawn but others, being new to the area and not having the chance to get bids from other LCO's may just take you up on your offer. You made a great first impression.
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2005, 11:18 PM
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Here are some other suggestions:

1) One of the most effective ways to get new clients for me (it's been touched on here but it bears repeating) was to target a neighborhood with door-to-door canvassing. Talking to people face-to-face and being able to advise and quote on their property makes for an easy sell (even better if you can do the job immediately). As well, when you find a neighborhood you like I would keep at it, returning in person or with a flyer monthly. It's a sweet thing when you can spend a whole day in a single neighborhood working (no windshield time)!

2) Use 'Buddy Businesses'. Create alliances with other companies that offer complementary services (i.e. window washers, cleaning services). Often, if someone uses one of these services they also use the other. You could put in a good word for each other... possibly trade customer lists.

3) Remember that your marketing is not just your advertising... it's everything you do. So an important step in getting new clients is being committed to providing outstanding professional service all of the time. *
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  #19  
Old 04-12-2005, 10:03 AM
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Suggestions paraphrased from Woody

I feel that flyers and/or business cards are the more most inexpensive means of advertising your business. They are great especially for those just starting out. I would like to point out one specific thing that will make a big difference.
Do Not just put your flyers in doors or mail boxes. You want to put them into people's hands. You want to meet face to face with a prospective customer and hand your marketing material to them. This is the most effective way to gain new clients.
If you just leave a flyer in their door, they will quickly forget about you and your services. But if they meet you and meet you more than once, you will be more easily remembered when they need you. Remember that the home owner may not need you at that moment, but they may need you in the future and you want to be the first person they think of when they do.
Another thing you should be doing is to ask your current customers if they are happy with the service you are providing and if they have any friends or associates they could refer you too. Get their contact information and call them. When contacting these referrals make sure you tell them which friend referred you to them.
My best sales leads have come from this process. I make sure when I call that I say their friend 'John Smith' recommended I contact you. This gets me in the door.
Make sure you stay positive and people will respond in the like. If you are negative or down you will get a negative response.
Now go out there and meet people!!!
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  #20  
Old 04-22-2005, 01:25 PM
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Here are some suggestions paraphrased from Don,

1. Determine who your target audience is.
Get a map of your area and draw a line around the most expensive homes. This will be your target. You want customers that can pay you for your services and your upsells.

2. Make your target audience an offer they can't refuse.
You want to work very hard initially to get these customers by offering them such things as a Free trial mowing of their lawn. The goal is to give up some of your time now in labor to get the potential customer to sign up with you for the long term. Think about it, would you provide a free mowing initially if a customer was going to then sign with you and pay you $100.00+ a month potentially for years to come in the future?

Here is a preview of what you can use. Try handing these out to 50 homes. Make sure to put your picture in the flyer.



Download a 150dpi version of this flyer here.

The next day you will most likely find some of the homeowners have indeed followed the steps for you to more their lawn for free. After you more the lawn, go to the door and hand the homeowner this second flyer. Show them the services you can provide them and the cost. Then try to get them to sign up with you on the spot for the services they check off. Let the homeowner know you will invoice them the end of each month.

If they can't make a decision at the moment, get their number and call them when they say they will be able to have their decision by.



Download a 150dpi version of this flyer here.
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