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View Full Version : New Fert/Squirt service - when to send letter?


DA Quality Lawn & YS
01-15-2009, 01:33 AM
Hi Guys,

Some of you guys are familiar with what I am starting up...

In the process of getting my Pest Appl. Lic and thus would like to build some Fert/Squirt business from scratch - starting with my mowing customers and branching out to new customers from there. This would all be small residential business as I plan to backpack spray this season. Honestly, if I got 10 new customers on a new service this season, I would be grateful/thrilled. More, wow.

I have already sent a feeler e-mail to my mowing customers, asking if they would be interested in a fert/squirt bid for 09. Most were receptive. So, my question is this: when would be a good time to send my letter out, fully explaining what I offer, and asking for seasonal (or one time) committments? I live here in the frozen north of MN, keep in mind. I don't want to mail too early, but yet I don't want the Trugreen/Spring Green letters to come in before mine, and my customers all go and re-up with them.


Thanks

(Also, do most of you offer program pre-pay discounts?)

whoopassonthebluegrass
01-15-2009, 01:38 AM
Right when Spring Fever hits. The moment people sense that the warmth might be coming is the moment folks seem most keen to dive in.

LawnTamer
01-15-2009, 11:35 AM
Send more than one.

Send one now, yesterday if you can!

Send another one in a month and one more in the Spring. I am not joking. If your market is anything like ours, you clients will be bombarded with adds and offers, the sooner you get them committed the better. We offer a prepay discount, we do this for a few reasons:
1. to boost winter income, and help us buy spring product.
2. to lock people in, once they have paid, they aren't going to be looking at all the ads they will be getting, offering free applications etc.
3. it is easier to just enter one invoice and one payment.

You need to consider doing the following. Put together a program, we will help if you need it. If you aren't sure how much people will do, offer 2 programs, a basic and a deluxe. Then sell your programs! Sell them hard, with every mailing, every invoice.

I don't even do single apps anymore, it's not worth it. Seriously, go do a lawn once, it will be full of weeds and under fed, you will use a ton of product, then that's it???? Why bother? Plus you now have to keep a record of the app for 3 yrs, (at least in my state). I don't make much money on my first apps, not the 2nd either but I make a very good margin on my 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th apps, because the lawns are very clean, they have had good spring feedings, pre-em, weed control and in many cases insect control, so rounds 3-6 are just a matter of keeping them green and knocking out a few edge weeds. That's where the money is. And that is what people want, a consistently healthy, green lawn, no weeds.

azjojo99
01-16-2009, 12:55 AM
Since you are going after your mowing customers first, I would make sure you have everything in order first. Get your program on paper, so you know it inside and out and can sell it and answer customer questions about it.

Also, some states get crabby if you advertise before you have your license.

But, time is a wasting, get those letters out. Once you start mowing you will not have time to do it.

mngrassguy
01-16-2009, 01:53 AM
I'm sure TG has already sent out their "first flight" of letters. Start out with a 10% pre-pay and maybe even 6th app free. Tuck your customers in now or someone else will.

mikesturf
01-17-2009, 07:11 AM
You have to be different/better than the competition otherwise people have no reason to switch from their current vendor. Don't be different by cutting your throat by being the cheapest. Also, put yourself in the potential customer's shoes, "why should I trust this guy to spray chemicals on my lawn?" Find your niche and use it to gain business. LISTEN to your customer; they will educate you.