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View Full Version : New to the lighting area and looking for marketing ideas and thoughts


PatriotLandscape
12-05-2007, 12:24 PM
I recently attended a Cast ligthing seminar and liked their products and have sent out mailers to existing customers looking for work. I have talked to a few new clients regarding lighting and have come close but the price is getting in the way.

The Cast seminar was saying that peopel charge 300 per fixture and that includes everything box,wire, etc. I have priced out a few systems and that seems inline with my estimates where the small system get a 300 tag and the larger systems are around 265/fixrure for a 30+ light system. My issue is that people seem to think it should be inexpensive because they see the cheap systems at Home Depot. How do you market/sell these clients?

Do most understand the difference. Of course I have already had them hold each item to see the physical differences but other thatn that how do you sell them? Or is Cast just abnormally expensive and if so what is the alternative.

The Lighting Geek
12-05-2007, 05:37 PM
My first instinct is that you are in front of the wrong customer. But if you search the archives you will find several threads pertaining to marketing and such..

PatriotLandscape
12-05-2007, 07:59 PM
That may be the case and I am always looking for better customers. So you don't have issues with price? Do you pre-qualify your customers?

Lite4
12-05-2007, 08:03 PM
Always pre-qualify over the phone or your just wasting your time.

Chris J
12-05-2007, 08:12 PM
Speaking of pre-qualification over the phone, what questions or comments do you guys make to callers to "feel them out?" Can you give me some examples of how a typical phone conversation would/should go with one of your callers? I struggle with this as I don't want to insult any potential client. However, I feel that it is important to let the client know what they are getting into because a lot of people are under the impression that lighting systems will cost in the hundreds instead of the thousands. Any suggestions on the topic of "phone skills"?

PatriotLandscape
12-05-2007, 08:26 PM
These are customers that are already spending 30-40k.

For instance we are installing a heated paver driveway at a customers house and the person has Malibu lighting currently. While i have not heard a "no" on adding the lighting. He immediately divided out the fixture/cost (26 lights at $265) and made a comment. The lights seemed expensive to him but 45k for the driveway didn't phase him. even though he knew the differences and felt the difference between the two lights.

My clients are typically in home worth 800k -1.5 million and have homes that warrant lighting. Lighting is not big here yet and I am trying to get in before the market is saturated. My gut feeling is that if I can get a yes then they would start to sell. I installed a system at my home the other day and they do look great but getting past the price is a struggle.

What is your closure rate on these systems? is it 30% or more like 10%

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-05-2007, 08:27 PM
Chris, when I receive 'cold' calls or inquiries to my company over the phone I always pre-qualify them before an on site consultation.

I generally use two techniques. I ask them about their property and what parts of it they are interested in lighting. I then let them know that most properties break down into "zones" and that our zones start at about $3000.00 and go up from there depending upon complexity.

The other way that I pre-qualify is to quickly direct them to my website: www.integralighting.com I save this technique for those callers who give me the sense that they have no idea of what a professionally designed and installed lighting system entails. Since my site is graphically rich, and focuses on the types of properties that I am most accustomed to working on, it tends to send the tire kickers and price shoppers packing.

That being said, I probably only recieve one or two cold calls per year, so it really isnt a big issue here.

JoeyD
12-05-2007, 08:42 PM
Chris, to go along with James. Establish what you want to be your minimum job cost. $2000, $3000, $10,000. Whatever it is. Then when you are on the phone you let them know that hey so you know mr homeowner I dont install jobs for less than 3 grand. Now he either freaks out ans says OMG I was looking to spend $500 or he says ok come on out.

Another trick is to always know your territory. I know for me that if a guy tells me he lives in Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Jolla, or Poway I can pretty much assume he has some money and a decent property. Grant it there may be a crummy home in those towns but chances are it is worht me atleast checking out. Some people are really modest ove rthe phone then you get to the house and it's a monster and they have a Ferrari collection.

My favorite trick is to ask them for a copy of last years taxs. Then I have full access to how much they make. I make them fax it or email it then I can decide if they are rich enough for my system. .............................I"M KIDDING!!!!!!!!LOL DONT DO THIS!

Joey D>

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-05-2007, 10:27 PM
What is your closure rate on these systems? is it 30% or more like 10%


Consistant close rates of 90%+ every year for a decade... You want to sell the sizzle... people can find a great steak anywhere.

pete scalia
12-06-2007, 09:06 AM
Any legitimate book on selling will tell you that if you are selling 90% of the people you are in front of then you are selling too cheap and are leaving money on the table. I have also found those claiming 90% closure to be gross exaggerators and or outright liars. 50% closure is a respectable goal. Let this be a lesson for you that you have to sift through alot of misinformation here to pick up some jewels that will help your business. Don't be discouraged by the garbage information. Good luck with your new endevour.

Pro-Scapes
12-06-2007, 09:33 AM
These are customers that are already spending 30-40k.

For instance we are installing a heated paver driveway at a customers house and the person has Malibu lighting currently. While i have not heard a "no" on adding the lighting. He immediately divided out the fixture/cost (26 lights at $265) and made a comment. The lights seemed expensive to him but 45k for the driveway didn't phase him. even though he knew the differences and felt the difference between the two lights.

My clients are typically in home worth 800k -1.5 million and have homes that warrant lighting. Lighting is not big here yet and I am trying to get in before the market is saturated. My gut feeling is that if I can get a yes then they would start to sell. I installed a system at my home the other day and they do look great but getting past the price is a struggle.

What is your closure rate on these systems? is it 30% or more like 10%


Dont assume just because they have the money they will spend it. Its all about the value. That 45k driveway was a valuble thing to him. Perhaps they are turned off by low voltage because of thier experience with malibu. This is the case where a demo would help ease the sting of a quality job. He was obviously interested. He obviously has a home worth lighting and he is already your client. I would set the demo up and leave it while your doing the driveway for a few days or a week

It might be how you are approaching him and how he is reacting to that approach. Pricing by the fixture is not doing you or your client any justice. What if there is excessive transformer locations ? UPB system ???? bores ? Extra wire ? Now on the other hand what if its a half a day install and you can do it with your eyes closed ? As you see niether of these scenarios would apply to some manufacture stated 300 a light stuff.

I tried the price per fixture... then couldnt figure out why some jobs even tho they went for more money actually made me less. Read nate mullens book. Then develope your own sales style. I always look at it a bit diff. I dont sell... I consult and propose a solution.

The Lighting Geek
12-06-2007, 10:12 AM
Any legitimate book on selling will tell you that if you are selling 90% of the people you are in front of then you are selling too cheap and are leaving money on the table. I have also found those claiming 90% closure to be gross exaggerators and or outright liars. 50% closure is a respectable goal. Let this be a lesson for you that you have to sift through alot of misinformation here to pick up some jewels that will help your business. Don't be discouraged by the garbage information. Good luck with your new endevour.

Pete,

I do close 90% of my jobs, period. It is not guess work or leaving money on the table or what ever you want to call it. I spend $60,000 a year in marketing. I target the right people, and they see me 3-4 times in the different media I use. I also rarely bid against other contractors as well. I charge 275-350 per fixture on average. Sometimes I charge even more if it warrants it. I expect to do 1.2 mil next year and it is not due to word of mouth. Word of mouth is icing on the cake and everyone loves it. BUt it is the most unpredictable and inconsistant type of marketing there is in the beginning. When I get in front of a customer, it's over! They buy the fact that I am the most passionate person they have ever met. They buy because they do not believe they will meet anyone who is more passionate and knows his/her stuff than me. They cannot believe I actually wear a tactical assault vest and use a laser that could rival a light saber. They usually ask "how long does it take to install?" My answer is "25 years and 3 days, it took me 25 years to figure out how to this in 3 days." They laugh and they get the point. I also tell them that I have a limited room in my schedule, and you cannot get on my schedule without a deposit. I am currently looking at a 100,000 back log of work. I am not talking out my butt here, although my exwife might want to debate that. I am willing to share anything I have done to help the industry, just most people don't listen to the meat of it. By God, if a millionare told me that I would be a milloinaire if I did 25 jumping jacks naked in my backyard everyday, I would do it. I have to go now, I'm due for my jumping jacks since I am not a millionaire yet.

klkanders
12-06-2007, 02:44 PM
Thank God you live in California Tommy! I hope you have a privacy fence!
Take Care and dont catch a cold.

PatriotLandscape
12-06-2007, 04:00 PM
I don't do unit pricing for anything. He took the cost and divided the number himself. I have done a demo with him but not much more than setting them up and hooking them to a battery individually. The idea of leaving them there for the week is a nice one and I will try that.

I do not assume anythign when I meet with clients I have had high-end clients flip out over a fall clean up and low-end client that spend 30k on construction. Dealing with clients has never been an issue with me but getting in front of clients that are interested and qualified is what I am looking for at the moment.

JoeyD
12-06-2007, 04:05 PM
I don't do unit pricing for anything. He took the cost and divided the number himself. I have done a demo with him but not much more than setting them up and hooking them to a battery individually. The idea of leaving them there for the week is a nice one and I will try that.

I do not assume anythign when I meet with clients I have had high-end clients flip out over a fall clean up and low-end client that spend 30k on construction. Dealing with clients has never been an issue with me but getting in front of clients that are interested and qualified is what I am looking for at the moment.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=207046

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-06-2007, 04:22 PM
Pete,

I do close 90% of my jobs, period. It is not guess work or leaving money on the table or what ever you want to call it. I spend $60,000 a year in marketing. I target the right people, and they see me 3-4 times in the different media I use. I also rarely bid against other contractors as well. I charge 275-350 per fixture on average. Sometimes I charge even more if it warrants it. I expect to do 1.2 mil next year and it is not due to word of mouth. Word of mouth is icing on the cake and everyone loves it. BUt it is the most unpredictable and inconsistant type of marketing there is in the beginning. When I get in front of a customer, it's over! They buy the fact that I am the most passionate person they have ever met. They buy because they do not believe they will meet anyone who is more passionate and knows his/her stuff than me. They cannot believe I actually wear a tactical assault vest and use a laser that could rival a light saber. They usually ask "how long does it take to install?" My answer is "25 years and 3 days, it took me 25 years to figure out how to this in 3 days." They laugh and they get the point. I also tell them that I have a limited room in my schedule, and you cannot get on my schedule without a deposit. I am currently looking at a 100,000 back log of work. I am not talking out my butt here, although my exwife might want to debate that. I am willing to share anything I have done to help the industry, just most people don't listen to the meat of it. By God, if a millionare told me that I would be a milloinaire if I did 25 jumping jacks naked in my backyard everyday, I would do it. I have to go now, I'm due for my jumping jacks since I am not a millionaire yet.

AMEN Brother!

I have said it before and I will say it again. Those who have the Passion will sell the jobs. The clients love your commitment, your skill, your understanding and your ability to deliver.

90+% close rates are a reality and a great goal to set for yourself.

"Pete", you speak of what you do not know... Don't for a minute think that you understand my business, my market, my clients or my bankbook. Heck you are probably loosing another sale right now with your sour attitude.

The Lighting Geek
12-06-2007, 04:25 PM
By God, if a millionare told me that I would be a milloinaire if I did 25 jumping jacks naked in my backyard everyday, I would do it. I have to go now, I'm due for my jumping jacks since I am not a millionaire yet.

I must admit that would be a scary sight, maybe traumatic!:eek:

pete scalia
12-06-2007, 07:11 PM
Sorry fellas i ain't buying it. 9 out of every 10 calls closed i don't believe it no matter how passionate you are . there will always be those that you as a contractor won't want to do for whatever reason . Unless you have no selectivity and will do anything that comes done the turnpike. I don't care how good you pre- qualify . There will be some that just cannot afford it no matter how good your dog and pony show is. People are the same all over. Your markets are no different than mine. 90% closure is an exxageration. I'm still working Granola. Sorry the same can't be said of you.

The Lighting Geek
12-06-2007, 07:38 PM
My first goal: take over the market in Northern CA.
2nd: get on Opra
3rd: take over the world

pete scalia
12-06-2007, 07:40 PM
Go gettem Tommy

Lite4
12-06-2007, 08:12 PM
and I suppose you will have sharks with "freaking" lasers!!