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View Full Version : What do you say to a new customer?


sancho_man_orlando
05-29-2007, 08:25 PM
Ok...

So I've been getting majority of the estimates I give as work to complete.

Most of these people have commented how I'm the only one who showed up... or they're surprised I'm the only one who called back or answered the phone...

So, knowing this I think 90% is just showing up.

However, what do you guys say or do that you feel puts you in a brighter light in front of the customer?

I usually get there in my dark tinted toyota camry, hop out with the closest business card (sometimes it's the one with big mac sauce on the side or spilled coffee on it), my clip board and knock the door.

They tell me what they want and I ask if it's ok to go in the back... I usually ask if there are nekkid people or mean dogs back there... I usually get a chuckle, check it out and write out my estimate and hand it to them as I leave.

I'll sometimes make it kind of high pressure too... I tell 'em I got about 3 days worth of work ahead of you but... if you want I can knock this out for you probably tomorrow or the next day as I service "this area" on such and such day.

How are you guys handling these things?

:waving:

bohiaa
05-29-2007, 10:30 PM
well I have recived a few for just showing up too...

however in my neck of the woods.... being white and speaking eanglish. seems to go a looooooong way........

funny you should post this.... Just today I was talking to an elderly lady " it was her 2nd cut" she told me why I got the contract instead of someone else.... she told me that I took my glasses off and looked her right in the eye when talking to her.... she said some other lawn services that she had talked too woulnd even take there shades off soe she couldnt see there eyes..............

Public..... hu there a funny bunch......

lurch
05-29-2007, 11:40 PM
I make sure to make and keep eye contact...not creepily, just enough to show the customer they matter and they're not just a number...

YukonG
05-30-2007, 12:13 AM
...however in my neck of the woods.... being white and speaking eanglish. seems to go a looooooong way...

It does in my area also. I can't tell you how many of my new/prospective customers comment about how nice it is that I speak English...:laugh:

MeadowsLawnCare
05-30-2007, 02:23 AM
I used to run a business for another company and this was part of their philosphy. It doesn't matter if you mow lawns or scoop dogshit, like it or not every time you write an estimate your on a job interview. You show up in nice clothes, you shave/shower, give a good firm handshake, you dont chew gum, you dont cuss and you make eye contact. It will seperate you from the pieces of **** that are trying to make a quick buck and you will look like you take pride in your business.

Roger
05-30-2007, 06:41 AM
Obviously, situations are different in different locations. But, the "just showing up," or "just returning a call," is often the only thing needed to get a new customer in my area.

I am amazed at the threads I have read over the years on LS about "... I don't even call them back," "... why bother to make a trip," or other similar comments. And, those threads are intermixed with "how much are you spending on advertising?"

I could be wrong, but perhaps the two kinds of threads are coming from different regions of the country. But, the attitude of "not bothering to call them back," "... why bother" is so often expressed here on LS.

Apparently, lack of response is the reality in my area. People wouldn't be calling pleading to have somebody come to do their work. Two weeks ago, I told a lady "I can't squeeze you into my schedule, no room." Last week, she called back, "can you please make room for me in your schedule." She did not want to take "no" for an answer. I was the only one who returned her call in the first place. Yesterday, a woman called by referral. She wouldn't take "no" either.

My point is that often common sense will go a long way to building a business. I'm sure there are some areas where the market is more highly saturated than others. However, a simple response on callback may bring more results than expected.

Allens LawnCare
05-30-2007, 08:16 AM
Keeping eye contact is very important...shows that your into what thier saying. Also be honest...I won't take a job if I can't do it.....Also keep in touch if your suppose to be there on tuesday and can't make if give them a quick call and explain why, don't just take for granted that you can always go over Wednesday

Duekster
05-30-2007, 08:25 AM
I get the " you are the only one to call back" thing often. As much competition as there is in our area, I could grow if I could find workers. I am so backed up.

Prestige-Lawncare
05-30-2007, 09:15 AM
Funny how simple it is isn't it?

Another thing that is so simple ... yet so important and works wonders. Call them by their name! Treat them with a little respect and kindness (they are the homeowner you know) ... and that really lays it on thick.

The business is usually there if someone wants it.

bohiaa
05-30-2007, 09:18 AM
Obviously, situations are different in different locations. But, the "just showing up," or "just returning a call," is often the only thing needed to get a new customer in my area.

I am amazed at the threads I have read over the years on LS about "... I don't even call them back," "... why bother to make a trip," or other similar comments. And, those threads are intermixed with "how much are you spending on advertising?"

I could be wrong, but perhaps the two kinds of threads are coming from different regions of the country. But, the attitude of "not bothering to call them back," "... why bother" is so often expressed here on LS.

Apparently, lack of response is the reality in my area. People wouldn't be calling pleading to have somebody come to do their work. Two weeks ago, I told a lady "I can't squeeze you into my schedule, no room." Last week, she called back, "can you please make room for me in your schedule." She did not want to take "no" for an answer. I was the only one who returned her call in the first place. Yesterday, a woman called by referral. She wouldn't take "no" either.

My point is that often common sense will go a long way to building a business. I'm sure there are some areas where the market is more highly saturated than others. However, a simple response on callback may bring more results than expected.

Agree.... I know I would'nt want to be treated this way......

even if I cant take the job, just a simple call back is common curtiosy

800wildcat
05-30-2007, 09:45 AM
Wish I had you guys' problem. I'm in the yellow pages and got 2 calls from that ad since January. And one of the calls was a guy that wanted to know if I was hiring.

Being a new guy in small town USA doesn't go very far.

sancho_man_orlando
05-30-2007, 10:12 AM
Wish I had you guys' problem. I'm in the yellow pages and got 2 calls from that ad since January. And one of the calls was a guy that wanted to know if I was hiring.

Being a new guy in small town USA doesn't go very far.

are you able to pay for the yp advertising?

I got real behind in another business and it was a nightmare. With 2 calls I'm sure it's not paying for itself.

smut
05-30-2007, 08:33 PM
Returning calls and showing up will get you a long way. But most of all you need to be honest with people and show integrity. The word will get around. So few people show these qualities that it really makes it easy for the rest of us. And whatever you do never, never talk badly about your competitors. If you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all. It only makes you look bad.

bohiaa
05-30-2007, 09:41 PM
Wish I had you guys' problem. I'm in the yellow pages and got 2 calls from that ad since January. And one of the calls was a guy that wanted to know if I was hiring.

Being a new guy in small town USA doesn't go very far.

WOW... what's going on ?

this is a NEW startup Co, for me, I ran an ad in the newspaper and BAM..
I started talking to people and BAM BAM.....

I'm in a small town 3400, and there killing me......25 customers in a month.

800wildcat
05-31-2007, 08:49 AM
Don't know. Paid the yp ad for the year up front so I don't need to come up with the $ for it... just the money to live on. :-( I'm in a town of 7,500 but there are 10 lawn co's in this town as well as many others in the surrounding towns. I'm assuming everyone knows someone so they hire who they know. However, 9 out of ten are using lawn tractors instead of z turns, I don't know how they can make money. I assumed the small town lots would be fiercely competitive so I positioned myself to target larger properties. I have a Hustler 4600 dual range wing (144 in cut, z turn) and will have a 60 in Hustler Super Z with the Kohler 28 EFI when I get it rebuilt (bought it after it caught on fire) so I believe I'm positioned to have productive enough equipment to be very competitive. The local churches that have large lots also have a lawn co in their congregation so go with them. The town parks (two largest are 33 and 23 acres) and school properties would be ideal, but they mow it themselves and don't even know their costs. That makes it a tough sell. I've talked with both, but there's a fine line to tread between selling them that I can do it cheaper and sending the message that they're inefficient.

I need to find out the operating costs and real world productivity estimates of a 12 ft. 3 gang pto driven mower towed by a John Deere 4600 tractor at around 4 mph. That would allow me to estimate the costs of the town's operation. Then I can hand them a proposal that would tell them what they are already spending and what I would charge. Maybe then I'd have a chance. The town has 3 employees that spend most of their hours just mowing, two are summer help. So if I ever could get that contract, I'd be off and running.