View Full Version : Do You Believe

02-27-2002, 10:18 AM
Does anyone believe you can get 40 contract customers in a new area based soley on putting out 1,500 flyers and no word of mouth?

02-27-2002, 11:02 AM

I believe flyers are a waste of time and energy. The best way is to offer something to your present customers ie for referrals. You will get the most bang for your buck IMO.

02-27-2002, 11:03 AM
I believe that anything is possible dependant on a number of conditions. When I started, I put out about 500 flyers written in letter form stating I am a new business and I am offering personal service.
I got 15 accounts for weekly service from that round. It escalated the next year from word of mouth but you must be prepared for the PRICE SHOPPER. As a newbie I had lots of people bustin my hump to do work for lower than usual prices, not really knowing what I was doing, I took some of that work. It wasn't long before I came to regret the low price shoppers and had to get rid of these accounts.
If your conditions are right, anything is possible but know your costs and stick to your guns on price. Don't take lowball jobs just to get work. Good Luck

02-27-2002, 11:14 AM
I totally agree that word of mouth is what gets most of your business and could KILL most of your business if the quality is not there. But, if your in an area 450 miles from any grass you've ever cut for anyone you need something else. With that said, could a professional looking flyer, brochure in a population of 164,000 people bring you 40 accounts? Who do you all feel are the best target customers. I feel it's wdows, elderly, and middle class.

02-27-2002, 04:14 PM
Newbie... 164,000 residents translates to how many houses that are in your target market? Not all of those residents are qualified home owners (apartment dwellers, renters, etc) that would buy your services.

Figure on flyers, you'll get a 1% response rate. It's a numbers game. If you know that you want 40 customers, work the numbers backwards.

I did this calculation on another thread similar to this... but here goes again. The numbers are arbitrary - so don't look at them too closely.

Assume 5,000 flyers will get you 50 phone calls
Of the 50 phone calls, you pre qualify 35 for an onsite consultation
You submit 30 bids after meeting with people
You get 15 returned contracts - or 50% closing rate

Therefore, you might need 15,000 flyers at the above numbers to get the response you want. This might cost you $1,000 in flyers, plus the time to deliver. A big task.

Can you get more out of your calls? How you raise your success rate?

1) Know your target audience for what you're selling
2) Design a professional looking flyer to meet your target audience
3) Better chances with good timing and multiple hits. The more you flyer season after season, the higher your response rate will be over time as people become familar with your name/logo and see you out working.
4) Prequalify well on the phone so when you go out to meet in person, you have a better lead.
5) Your sales approach, pricing, repuatation, service, etc. will help to determine your closing rate.
6) Follow up with those that don't buy from you... keep selling to them. If they called you once interested, you might not get them today - so contact them this fall, next winter or spring. In the meantime, they might not take you up on weekly maintenance, but they'll take you up on snow plowing or aeration, etc. A foot in the door is all your asking.

Good luck! Hope this helps.

02-27-2002, 05:01 PM
Originally posted by thelawnguy

I believe flyers are a waste of time and energy.

Funny, I have had many high profit, year round contracts obtained from flyers, I'm glad my customers didn't know this wouldn't work.:rolleyes:

02-27-2002, 07:38 PM

I believe flyers are a waste of time and energy. The best way is to offer something to your present customers ie for referrals. You will get the most bang for your buck IMO.

Since I am starting and I have no customers guess I should quit b4 i get started. Hope my potentials are like Kirby's and do not know this.


Fantasy Lawns
02-27-2002, 08:55 PM
A killer Flyer (color with PHOTOS of sample yards) .... with a intro cut price (so what if it only covers hourly cost ....I only need to show the quality of work to get a contract) .... coupons to encourage call back ....given to a target area for yards you want in your schedule do Work .... at least for us they do

"If you ain't advertising to win ..... your advertising to lose"

02-27-2002, 09:01 PM
I don't waste my time with flyers either, personally, to me its seems like a desperate way of advertising... walking around and puttin flyers in box's.

the other day, I landscaper put a flyer in my box... he said " Free spring cleanups with new maint. contract" i had a good laugh for a minute. then realized why i dont do flyers. Don't take offense if you do do flyers... its just not practical for me

02-27-2002, 10:08 PM
If you know what you would be charging in a paticular area, what would harm mailing a color pamplet along with a free estimate for cut yards. You could add that other services upon request?

02-27-2002, 11:57 PM
Well flyers do work, but the return in the hours spent placing them might not be worth the time. I have used flyers and newspaper ads, but the return is the about the same. Just starting out, use flyers they are cheep to produce and get you name out... until you can use word of mouth....:blob4:

Ground Master
02-28-2002, 12:28 PM
Recently received a flyer from a lawn company on more door. They had so much crap on it, I could have read war and peace.

Keep it simple, offer a deal or 2. Perhaps a discount if 2 neighbors join in together (cuts down drive time).

I've had success with offering free aeration if they agree to a season's worth of mowing. I may do 10 or so of these free aerates a year, but I've been able to build my business this way.

Do the free aerates on saturday, and you will usually get several neighbors intersted.

I've only offered discounts on aerating thru the years and have been able to build up a route of 200 plus aerates in the spring.

02-28-2002, 05:16 PM
shouldn't a newbie be at least aware that too many accounts too soon might actually be a problem?...my approach has been to make sure I know what a typical week is REALLY like b4 I sign up too many jobs and then find out I'm not as efficient as I thought I was or that effort estimates are lower than they should...haven't seen this mentioned on this forum b4 so maybe I'm all wet...but it seems that worse than having too few accounts, is having made committments to people and then doing a half baked job because you are over your head..if that happens, it won't be long b4 you have no accounts..just my strange point of view perhaps

03-02-2002, 01:56 PM
From what I have read and my own personal experience with flyers is that a typical flyer will net no more than a 1 - 3% response rate. Of coarse this is an average and individual respose rates to flyers will vary based on the quality of the flyer, the service, etc. I get more response to just working in a neighborhood. Flyers are hard work, but they can help you get started.


03-02-2002, 03:55 PM
Response rate is one thing, closing rate is another...

03-02-2002, 07:06 PM
I like the idea of offering an existing costumer lets say 20 dollars off their monthly mowing bill for giving me a new costumer! It would be just like where my wife works, they get a bonus if they get a new employee! Might just be a great marketing tool! :D

Tim Canavan
03-03-2002, 03:29 AM
Try going to your local post office and ask about bulk mailing. In Houston it costs about 11 cents per piece. For 1,500, thats about $165 and the only driving you will do is to make copies and go to the post office. Of course there will be the time devoted to making your mailing. It can be a flyer folded twice and either stapled shut or taped shut. You could also stuff them in an envelope if you don't mind the extra cost. Any way you take them to the post office and pick out mailing routes. They print the addresses on the mailer for you and send them out. I personally think this is a much better way of getting an advertisement to a potential client. It's sent directly to their mailbox so you know they will open it. Most people do not want to come home and have a piece of paper taped to their door or mailbox. I've even seen guys put fliers in a bag with a rock in it and throw it in your driveway. Littering in someone's yard is not a good way to get a new client. Just my opinion though. It might even work. Just make sure the information that you provide is something new and different. Find your niche.

Here's another way to drum up buisness. Find a home that is in a high traffic area with an existing well maintained landscape. Ask them if you can cut their lawn for free as long as you can put a sign in the yard. Yard signs are great. They will get noticed. Make sure you don't get into a yard that looks like crap. You don't want people thinking you do a bad job. Good luck.

03-03-2002, 08:55 PM
I agree with you Tim, I HATE getting junk at my door or in my wiperblade in a parking lot. I actually have herd of a mall here in town that sent a parking lot cleanup bill to a company that was putting flyers on their customers cars.

My plan was to mail the flyers and by the great comments by you guys, I've got some new ideas!


03-04-2002, 10:30 PM
I just sent out 7000 flyers. I had a response rate of about .5%. I have closed over half of those. I walked from some because they just wanted too much for too little. I am getting smarter there...

I didn't mail or hand walk these out. I paid $50.00 a 1000 to have them inserted into a small regional paper. Not the main city paper, but one that covers just my target market.

I would expect to get a higher rate if the weather hadn't gone south (north?) and snowed the weekend I sent them out. LOL

At any rate, I will hit them one more time around the third week of March. After that, I am going for word of mouth to fill out the week.



03-06-2002, 07:21 PM
In my first year I generated $30,000 worth of business from 2500 flyers (WITH THE PRICE ON IT) I went door to door.
A friend dropped tons of flyers with NO price and got 4 calls.;)

03-07-2002, 09:47 PM
How did you put the price on them? Did you guess? Look at the lawn or gamble? Roye

03-08-2002, 12:09 AM
i think the guy's how are stuck on word of mouth advertising are kind of well, missing the boat. if you wait to get paid your going to get paid last. billions and billions of dollars are spent in advertising every year, does coca-cola depend on someone saying hey this cola is friggin good (no) flyer's do work. if you think a little leg work is not worth revenue than what is? if you work hard daily, why not work hard all around at every aspect? i use flyers, telemarketing, direct mail, fax solicting and yes word of mouth. i never quiteselling my company, even if i'm at the store. if you think a 1% return is not worth it than your losing that 1% of revenue
my $.02

Always Green
03-08-2002, 02:10 AM
We only do flyers in the area right around a job we're currently doing,I sent one guy several houses oneway and another several the other, put up a site sight on the job and see if anyone call the office, but cold call flyers never worked for me.
But then we do the WORST thing we telemarket all the new homeowner that closed on a house in out area every month, the listing of homes sold are in the sunday paper every week.
Word of mouth is best and a good name that people rember will do you the most good,also letter your truck really nice. I have 4 trucks and people tell me the see my trucks all over, but they told me that when I had only 2 It's the name and the nice bright trucks. Look like a million bucks and people will respect you.:blob2: