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Turfdoctor1
04-27-2007, 08:31 AM
I'm just getting started in this business after working on the golf course for several years and in turfgrass research for the past 4 years. I have a BS in turfgrass management and a MS in Horticulture. And, I am working very, very hard to build a customer base.

Yesterday I drove about 10 miles to a gated golf club community with about 200 houses. I have had one customer there for about a year, not a weed one. Driving down the main road, I count 15-20 houses in a row with ChemLawn signs. Every single house for several blocks on both sides.

I'm jealous. I want those houses. I wouldn't trash anyone for their success, whether it be agronomic success or just financial success. However, it is soooo frustrating to see others with few qualifications succeed when I know how hard it is going to be.

just a sob story for the day.

Runner
04-27-2007, 12:26 PM
You buy yourself a $1.75 notebook, and go back and write all these addresses down. you are at one advantage already (actually two). First, you have found perfect targets to market. Why - because they are already in an area that you do? NO. (even though that is a big plus). But because you have found people who you KNOW are already in the market for such a service. You know what to do from there.

TAZ
04-27-2007, 12:48 PM
I have to agree with runner there. Since you already have an example in their comunity a letter to them advertising your services should go a long way to getting your foot in the door.

It's kinda like the pretty girl that you see with some jerk. The jerk got her because he asked ;) ..... Most that can happen is that they don't call.

-TAZ

Nathan Robinson
04-27-2007, 02:11 PM
I smell a salesman. Write the addresses down and put them on direct mail and wait for TG Chemical Lawn to make a mistake. Tru Green is there in that density because they knocked on doors. I knocked on doors and had pretty good results. You cant be offended when people slam the door in your face though. You just drive by later that night and through a water ballon in there lawn with round-up in it. That will teach them to quit slamming doors in your face...lol.... Or you could throw bird seed in them,.....up to you! Nathan

heritage
04-27-2007, 02:50 PM
I smell a salesman. Write the addresses down and put them on direct mail and wait for TG Chemical Lawn to make a mistake. Tru Green is there in that density because they knocked on doors. I knocked on doors and had pretty good results. You cant be offended when people slam the door in your face though. You just drive by later that night and through a water ballon in there lawn with round-up in it. That will teach them to quit slamming doors in your face...lol.... Or you could throw bird seed in them,.....up to you! Nathan

Nate,

Don't do the roundup bombs :) Birdseed or red clover....Perhaps...ROTFLMAO!

Pete

sclawndr
04-27-2007, 07:04 PM
I'm just getting started in this business after working on the golf course for several years and in turfgrass research for the past 4 years. I have a BS in turfgrass management and a MS in Horticulture. And, I am working very, very hard to build a customer base.

Yesterday I drove about 10 miles to a gated golf club community with about 200 houses. I have had one customer there for about a year, not a weed one. Driving down the main road, I count 15-20 houses in a row with ChemLawn signs. Every single house for several blocks on both sides.

I'm jealous. I want those houses. I wouldn't trash anyone for their success, whether it be agronomic success or just financial success. However, it is soooo frustrating to see others with few qualifications succeed when I know how hard it is going to be.

just a sob story for the day.

There's a few good lessons in that story if you're open to it. First, you don't need a turf degree to make a great lawn. Lawn care is very straight forward - for example, there are really only two kinds of weeds - grassy and broadleaf. Customers don't care whether it's oxalis, clover or whatever. They only want to know if you can get rid of it. So forget the biology lessons. That's not to say education isn't useful, it's just not overly helpful when selling a customer.

Second, sell yourself! The way to beat ChemLawn is to offer a personal, responsive service at a reasonable (not cheap) price. Your advertising should reflect your strengths and your service should back it up.

Third, sell, sell, sell. Go back to that 200 house neighborhood and leave door hangars at the 199 you don't do and point out the one you do have as an example of your work.

Fourth, don't work hard, work smart. And don't confuse one with the other.

americanlawn
04-27-2007, 07:44 PM
I agree. I also appreciate the comedy in this thread. I am a grad hort, but I am no better than anyone else. I learned 95% of what I know in the field.

To me, attaining a college degree says one thing only..........you stuck it out, and you passed the needed tests in order to acquire a piece of paper.

I remember putting in 86-hour work weeks many times.

I remember doing lawn applications at night with my truck's headlights on just so I could see where I was applying.

Bottom line: Sure, customers like it if you have a college degree, but it is no substitute for long hours, honesty, or hard work.

Our local TruGreen has paid their employees 50 cents for every address that had one of our flags in it. Not sure if they are doing it this year.

Saturdays are best for going door to door, cuz many people are home.

Most people do not work on weekends (must be nice).

We try to stop working weekends from mid June thru late August.

Good luck.