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JB Lawn Services
01-18-2000, 08:32 AM
What do you guys feel are effective advertising words in a flyer? My current flyer includes the words &quot;Honest, Reliable, Low-Priced Lawn Service&quot;. I question the &quot;Low-Priced&quot; part. Do you all recommend a different wording?<p>What do you all think are effective advertising words?<p>Thanks,<br>JB Lawn Services

HOMER
01-18-2000, 08:46 AM
In my opinion I would not mention anything about price until you were standing in the yard with the customer face to face. People could interpet low price a lot of different ways. Some may think you are low-balling the competition and do less than average work and you're just trying to get #'s. One other thing, never give an estimate over the phone, if you do make it a broad range price like 50 ---75 bucks. If you say my average yard is $35.00 they will expect you to cut their 3 acre farm for that! No, leave out price, everyone knows you have to charge. Stick to the good points. Here is a statement I put on mine under the heading &quot;ABOUT US&quot; the last sentence is &quot; and the owner is always on the job site&quot;. This works right now, there may come a time when it doesn't. You are a consumer, what do you look for in an ad? Be original.

Green Acres
01-18-2000, 10:40 AM
Are you going to drop the fliers off at homes or in a parking lot of a big shopping mall? If you but them on the house some people say they leave a price as to how much it would cost to mow there yard. Do you guys think this is a good idea?

HOMER
01-18-2000, 02:29 PM
Yes, if you are going to leave it at the house and you have a good feel for how long it would take I would then pre-price the brochure. Keep in mind that you would be pricing it for a basic job, or price it higher if it was for the works. As for the wording on the brochure you could put a line stateing &quot;YOUR PRICE&quot;__$35.00 PER CUT OR $100.00 PER MONTH. If you received a call then, you probably are going to land it or do a little haggling.

AandB
01-18-2000, 03:09 PM
&quot;ASK ABOUT OUR FREE MOWING SERVICES&quot;<p>That's going on my next batch of flyers/mail-outs. If that doesn't get any attention I don't know what will.<p>The idea is to get a call back and then offer to do the yard for free the first time (similar to what was posted here recently).<br>Hopefully, I won't get too many jerks who only want one free mowing.<p><p><br><p>----------<br>A and B Lawn Services<br>

Lazer
01-18-2000, 03:15 PM
In my market you're just straightforward. Tell them the services you do and what your qualities are. <p>Forget the gimmicks, I would never use a company that has misleading sales tactics. A special offer is a great idea, a catchy gimmick doesn't wash.<p>In sales, sometimes less is more.

HOMER
01-18-2000, 03:18 PM
Take out a yellow page ad. Look around at who has the business and then go to the yellow pages. If they are in there, theres your answer. I know it costs money, believe me I have to pay it every month, but.........I get a call at least every other day from somebody wanting something. A lot of times it may be for a 1 time clean-up like today but you also look more like a legitimate business when in there. If you use it , they will use it. You may only have to run it one year to have all you want!

Green Acres
01-18-2000, 03:20 PM
A and B you should tell them one free mowing with a year contract. Even though if someone did back out I won't take them to court but with a contract people might be more likely to keep you all year. Instead of just one time like when there on vacation or something. You might be running around mowing for free all summer.

cantoo
01-18-2000, 04:16 PM
I thought of offering the first mowing free too but now I think I will change it to say fall cleanup free or some other work free instead. I don't like the idea of cutting everyone's lawn once only. If you have a flyer that says FREE THIS AND FREE THAT then when they call you have a few rules they might just hang up. I think you have to make it clear on the flyer.

AandB
01-18-2000, 05:39 PM
A little more on &quot;free mowing services&quot;.<p>I'm not 100% sure how I will do this but I have been thinking that I will limit the free mowing offer to people who have been using another lawn company, not to people who have been mowing their own yard.<p>My idea is to get my foot in the door by having potential customers call back. If they don't call back then I won't get anything. If they do call back then at least I have a chance of getting their business.<p>One other possibility is to offer 50% off the first mowing as an incentive to try us.<p><p>----------<br>A and B Lawn Services<br>

Lazer
01-18-2000, 05:57 PM
A and B,<p>You offer 1 month free on a signed 8 month contract, that is if you want to mow for free. <p>I'd suggest free aeration on a signed 8 month contract. Or a 1 free turf application. That way you're promoting services which are more profitable as well as getting paid for all your mowing.<p>At any rate, don't specifically target your competitors lawns.

AandB
01-19-2000, 04:11 AM
Lazer...<p>My idea was just to give one day's free mowing in order to give the homeowner a sample of my work. I did think about a free aeration with an annual contract but the idea here is more to get the customer to call back from the flyer than to get a contract. Hopefully, the annual contact will come after the homeowner sees my work.<p>My basic target is the homeowner who wants a new lawn company--for whatever reason. If I didn't target these people I would be missing out on the largest segment of the market. If my campaign works I'm sure I will take some business away from other companies but that's just part of the game--some will be doing the same to me.<p><p>----------<br>A and B Lawn Services<br>

gorrell
01-19-2000, 04:47 AM
I have a sign on my trailer that says &quot;Ask about our free mowing&quot;. When people ask, my reply is: We don't do free mowing, we just like people to ask about it. That usually brings a smile to their face. Then you tell them about your company and usually get good results. Having a good sense of humor goes a long way in this, or any other business. Thanks, Lynn

thelawnguy
01-19-2000, 08:27 AM
Never ever EVER quote a price over the phone without looking at the job. You are just asking for trouble, and it relays to the customer that you are anything but professional. Every job is different. Treat the customer like their job is unlike any other. When you quote a price, quote an exact figure when possible. Guesstimates are for amateurs. Nobody like to be quoted, &quot;5 or 6 grand&quot; when pricing a new mower now, do they? <p>Believe it or not, I recently had an electrician quote me a price for upgrading my service over the phone. All he asked was the service size, I know that the job is much more involved than what he had in his head. He didnt get the job. Same with a tree removal, the guy asked a couple questions and quoted a price over the phone. Im tempted to call him on it, but its surely a loser for him and there will be nothing but bad vibes all around so Ill probably pass. <p>Bill

JimLewis
03-03-2000, 09:54 PM
lawnguy,<p>I disagree a little. I think there are some times when it's good to give a quote over the phone, in a flier, or elsewhere. But it all depends on your geographical location, the way the sub-divisions are set up in your area, etc. Let me explain our situation so you know what I mean.<p>In the are that we service, almost every single house has about the same size yard. They almost all have about 1000 sq ft in front and anywhere from 1000-3000 sq ft in back. I've been in business in this area to know that for the majority of houses, I can provide service for $105 per month (year-round, flat rate). And we can mow, edge, blow, and do whatever chemical or fertilizer needs there are in about 15-25 minutes per home. Very few homes have yards big enough to make me raise that rate. <p>So while I NEVER actually quote someone a firm price without seeing the lawn I can always safely answer the price question with &quot;Well, our standard maintenance package starts out at $105 per month for most homes in this area. Of course, if your lot is a lot bigger, the price goes up a little but that's what we usually charge......&quot; And I am not giving them a line either. I am being honest. I DO charge that same rate for almost all the yards we do. <p>Furthermore, if they tell me which street they are on I can tell them with 90% assurity what we can do it for. That's because in any given subdivision, all the homes heve about the same size yard. And I've mowed so many lawns in this area that I just know how big of a yard they have just by them telling me the street. <p>Still, even without this level of knowledge (which some readers may not have yet) I would still not hesitate to give people a &quot;average&quot; price over the phone. At least in my area, nobody, and I mean NOBODY has anything even close to an acre. So even if I underbid on the phone I wouldn't be underbidding that much. And besides, whenever I've told anyone something like &quot;Now you understand that without seeing your lawn I can't give you a precise estimate. I can only tell you what we normally charge for the average lot in this are.&quot; I find most people totally understand that. They almost always say, &quot;Oh, I know that. I just wanted an idea.&quot; So I give it to them. Seems to work out fine. <p>I should also explain that I usually never even get too much into bids over the phone anyway. The above info is only used if the customer is being really insistent. What I usually do when someone asks how much we charge is say, &quot;Well tell ya what. Why don't you give me your address and I'll drop by and give you a free estimate?&quot; Most always they say 'Yes' and give me the address. Thus avoiding the whole issue. But if they persist and really want a price over the phone, I use what I mentioned above. <p>Jim Lewis<p>----------<br>Jim Lewis - Lewis Landscape Services<br>http://www.lewislandscape.com

yardsmith
03-05-2000, 12:48 AM
good points here-<br>I tell people the price varies & depends on how big the yard is, is it hilly or flat, are there alot of trees to mow & trim around, etc. I tell them I have a $25 min. for smaller residential yards. I definitely charge more, or don't take it at all if the back is fenced in! People have half an acre back yard fenced in with a 30&quot; gate. #$^@&*! I offer a higher price, or if they install another or bigger gate (or have me do it), I can charge less. I then give them all the benefits of a bigger gate- Can get swingsets in & out, Get equip. in if they have sewer dug up, can get a pickup in with lumber if they build a deck, etc. Sometimes it works & sometimes it doesn't. I don't want to spend 1/2 hr. push mowing a back yard; I could be making more $$ somewhere else.<br>Also, for wording, &quot;low-priced&quot; sounds cheap. Our politically correct term is &quot;AFFORDABLE&quot;. Much better sounding.<br>If you put flyers out at the mall, better be sure you get permission. Guy in our town tried putting them on car windshields, & got nailed just before they finished. Had to go & remove all of them. Most times you can only pass out flyers like that if it's for a non-profit org.; sometimes not at all.<br>Try posting your flyer on the bulletin boards at Wal Mart, laundromats, bars, etc. Pin a few bus. cards on there too for the people to take home-works well. Good luck.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>

jrblawncare
03-05-2000, 05:48 AM
My spring flier has the name at the top and then the opening line,&quot; Offering quality,dependable landscape services at reasonaable rates to residentail and commercial clients.Serving customers since 1987.I to do not like the words low prices or cheep.I have had a good size ad running in the paper for about 2 weeks now ofering a Early Bird special,sign up for the mowing season and receive your first cut free or choice of another service{residential only}The only reason a have done this because I have moved into a new market and starting over.Well its NOT WORKING I have had only three calls,I did get some work but not for mowing,Maybe it is just a little early yet?

Bobby
03-05-2000, 07:36 AM
Hey guys I agree with Lazer. The public is constantly bombarded with BS adds. Keep it simple. Like Homer said, If your going to price a flyer, they need to know it's for basic service. When you show up to price the work,let the customer talk. A lot of times I will have a number in my head, only to raise it after hearing all the customer's needs. When you go to Mc Donalds do you get a price reduction on your egg Mc muffin? I don't think so. I run my operation ,not the customer. My price is my price. Once you have an appt to see a new customer, the most effective word will be a silent one called character. <p>----------<br>Bobby <br>Ft Lauderdale