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View Full Version : 2 new sales guys start monday.


David Gretzmier
07-30-2009, 12:18 AM
I am trying out sales people again this year in an attempt to continue expanding our commercial sales in Christmas Lights. I'll keep you guys posted in how this works, as last years experiment with a new guy failed. This year I am going with one guy who has experience in door to door cold caling, and one guy who worked for me last year in sales and was my shop manager. 10% commission, cold calling, and I provide literature. I'll try to update this thread weekly.

addictedtolandscaping
07-30-2009, 05:16 PM
Good luck Dave!!

turf hokie
07-30-2009, 05:31 PM
Keep us updated. I am very interested in how it works out. I wont need a sales guy this year. but my business plan shows I would possibly need one next season.

Good luck. One of them should work out.....

David Gretzmier
07-31-2009, 11:50 PM
I am hoping they allow us to break through the 40 new customer ceiling I have been at the past few years. Since I have done all the sales, managing and most of the paperwork, collecting, etc, by sending out guys to go after the commercial market, i am hoping that the next 45 days ( sept 15 is our normal start install date.) lead to perhaps an additional 20 plus jobs I would not have gotten normally in that time frame. After that, maybe the sales guys can pull in another 20 jobs between sept 15-Oct.31. we'll see.

LouisianaLawnboy
07-31-2009, 11:52 PM
Keep us updated. I am very interested in how it works out. I wont need a sales guy this year. but my business plan shows I would possibly need one next season.

Good luck. One of them should work out.....

Definately keep me updated.
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David Gretzmier
08-01-2009, 06:46 PM
Have gotten thier sales kits together, and Polo shirts will be ready on Friday next week. I'll let them wear some of my logo shirts til then. I wish I had more copies of the new catalog, I only have 6, It will be here in bulk around Aug. 15.

David Gretzmier
08-06-2009, 08:30 AM
A quick update. -

gotta tell you, you can write it down. you can lead a horse to water...but you can't make them drink.

Day one, monday. - both sales guys "start" one full time, one part time. The part time guy has a job in the mornings from 3 am to around 12am-1pm. he said he was dedicated to 1pm to 5pm. Both have uniforms, sales kits, and training to meet and greet folks. After going through an initial walk through, the full time guy on monday seemed excited, but then "had other things to do". he said he was going to visit 30 business that day after he ran some "errands". I should have stopped him, but I am mr. laid back. I said ok. He calls me at 3 pm or so, said his errands got out of hand, and would start tuesday morning. ok, fine. I repeat to be successful in this business, you need to visit at least 40 business a day. you can tell in 1-3 minutes if a lead is cold or warm, and you either work it or move on. called part time guy, Part time guy never calls me.

Day 2, tuesday. meet with full time guy, charge him up and encourage him like a kindergarden kid on first day. he starts at 9:30. never hear from him until wed. morning at about 11 am. I'm concerned. he was supposed to call me at the end of the day. part time guy does not call back. decide to leave ad in paper for another few weeks.

Day 3. part time guy calls back. he has been busy. when pressed, he has gotten off his other job at noon and 1pm, but has other things to do. he still says he wants to do this, but actions speak louder than words. Full time guy calls and wants to bring in his stuff and quit. the heat is bothering him, he feels like a failure. he says he has visited 15 businesses, but I have not seen the paperwork. He even says he only worked about 2 hours. I talk to him about numbers and how cold calling is hard, which is strange because he cold called at his last job by visiting folks at home for chemical lawn care. he said he knows, etc, he's low on gas and needs money, money, money. I agree to help him out with gas, but he acts like he does not want it. he says he'll give it another shot ( wednesday ) but I sense he is already done after 2 hours.

Day 4. that is today. 7:30 am. Although I have not found out what full time guy did yesterday, prediction- both of these guys seemed excited about the job, both are outgoing, friendly, sales guys who have done sales before on straight commission. Both will fail because of absolute lack of effort on thier part and lack of a forceful boss ( me ), who does not make them start and work at a certain time. Giving people freedom is a bad idea. I have got to treat this like a regular job, make folks clock in, and make folks work regular hours. Otherwise, given the choice, people will find any reason not to work. sad.

turf hokie
08-06-2009, 05:24 PM
Ahhh, I was afraid of this. This is similar to what happened when I made the offer to a friend of mine. They only want the guaranteed income. Especially this time of year because they dont think that anyone is going to be interested in Holiday lights now so they are just going to be wasting their time.

I offered my friend a straight 10% commission. I even told him I would take him with me the first couple of days, and I would still give him the 10% off anything sold. He would need to cold call businessess, but I would also schedule him first on the calls into the office and I would take the overflow.

First day he is supposed to show up, I have 5 appointments scheduled. Start off easy. He does not show, says he has some errands to do, sounds familiar David. So I go out and sell 3 of the 5 jobs, call him up and tell him he just lost out on almost $700 in commission on the first day. My wife is friends with his wife, well wife is p-o'd because he sat around the house all day....

I give him another chance, the following day, but tell him I only have 2 appointments scheduled we will need to do some cold calling so there is inherently less potential. He tells me he would rather get paid hourly as that is guranteed.....no thanks, last thing I need is an hourly salesman wasting my time.

A buddy of mine got lucky and found a great saleswoman, he broght her on and she sold $230,000 in her first season. cold calling as well as taking the office appointments. She almost doubled his business in one year.

Good luck with the hunt, they are hard to find, but the are out there.

David Gretzmier
08-06-2009, 06:39 PM
I often wonder if great sales folks are made or found. The guy I bought a kirby vacuum from, that guy was awesome and probably made tons of money. I need the same type of person that will go after it like you can make money at this.

I spoken with a few folks who have called, I am trying to really screen them on the phone.

turf hokie
08-06-2009, 07:25 PM
I often wonder if great sales folks are made or found. The guy I bought a kirby vacuum from, that guy was awesome and probably made tons of money. I need the same type of person that will go after it like you can make money at this.

I spoken with a few folks who have called, I am trying to really screen them on the phone.

I think they come with some assembly required. I think the bulk of it is just personality, ambition and just a knack for it that simply requires a bit of fine tuning and experience.

Many people I have run into, are simply square pegs in round holes when it comes to sales.

lifetree
08-06-2009, 07:38 PM
Generally speaking, technical people like the shop manager you mentioned, don't make good sales people !!

David Gretzmier
08-06-2009, 11:14 PM
I would normally agree. he is not your normal shop guy. very outgoing and friendly. I have hope for him yet.

Update on the "full time" guy. he officially quit this evening and will be turning in his stuff tomorrow. he said he has about 10-15 businesses on his route list. at most, 2 hours of work. who quits after 2 hours? I remember as a kid, sellling papers door to door, popcorn for scouts, trying to pick up lawns, etc. I've sold cars and had weeks go by without a sale. I have spent thousands of hours selling, and I agree, it takes a certain person with some assembly required.

So I've learned- set hours and they must have a firm start and stop time. require them to do 40 business visits a day unless they do a bid or close a sale. In arkansas, you have to pay at least minimum wage anyway, so I may offer the next person 1 buck for each visit they actually visit, with that fee going against thier commission when they close a sale.

David Gretzmier
08-07-2009, 06:33 PM
Picked up the sales materials from the full time guy. checked his route sheet. 7 business checked in with. ridiculous. He mentioned how hard it is in this economy, the recession, how he can't find a job, etc. How is it you give people: opportunity, training, lierature, uniform, and be thier cheerleader, and all they have to provide is effort. and they fail. Then he blames the economy? I can visit 7 businesses a day just living and eating. This guy did 7 this week.
while effort may not always equal success, at leat you TRIED.

turf hokie
08-07-2009, 07:35 PM
this is going to be fun for me, I get to watch you figure it out and take notes so that hopefully I can skip half the headache in the future.

Your the best David:waving:

David Gretzmier
08-08-2009, 05:54 PM
I am that guy.

I remember buying a brite ideas franchise after looking first hand at an existing Christmas Decor franchise. Christmas Decor obviously looked way more like they knew what they were doing. The videos, diagram drawing training, ect. and this was 9 years ago.

with Brite Ideas, I have had to figure out the marketing thing ( what works ) , the uniform thing ( still working on that one actually ), the "what do you put in a client file" thing, how to hire temps ( still figuring that out ) , pricing ( they helped some) , bid forms, and now how to find, hire and train a sales force. Along with warehousing basics, and a hundred other things I have figured out on my own, You'd think paying 20 grand plus way back when, Brite Ideas would have trained me how to run and grow this thing. they did not. But I did get a trailer, inventory, and access to unique product. And they sort of had training. those things helped me lug along while I figured out everything else.

addictedtolandscaping
08-08-2009, 05:59 PM
Geez Dave, sorry to read that it didn;t work out. I was actually considering doing the same thing here. I thnk this year, we are going to go with the mailers and see what that brings, it is going to get us at least noticed in some high end neighborhoods. Our business cards will be printed this week, and then out the door the wife goes while I make more money to support this venture. Hopefully she can hit some good shots with some of the commercial clients.

David Gretzmier
08-09-2009, 06:09 AM
I truly believe if you visit all your business's in your town with the goal of leaving your card and maybe a brochure, and just do a 1-3 minute spiel of "who does your outdoor Christmas decorating?" you will get clients. The hot ones will want a bid, and you should close 1 out of 3 of those. The cold and warm ones will call you if they ever feel the need for it.

As a funny anecdote to this saga, I picked up a small tree job from a lady that was setting next to the new sales guy and me when he was getting some training on pricing in a restaurant. just 200 bucks, 700 mini-lights tightwrapped in a tree a few days ago, but it just shows how well this business sells when folks know about it. She will leave these up year round because the tree is right next to her pool area and she wanted light, so we will redo these lights every year. The sales guy knew I made this sale, just sitting there, yet he was either too afraid or too lazy to go out and talk about this business to folks.

addictedtolandscaping
08-09-2009, 08:51 AM
I defintely hope so, I think part of my issue is going to be exposure, design8 came up with some great lettering for the trucks, the business cards should be printed this week, and we still have all the catalogs from the HBL level we entered at, then the new ones will come, i am thinking might just as well districute the existing ones before getting new ones, though I think the new ones are absolutely amazing.

My fiance' is going to stat hitting doors as soon as the business cards are complete, I have to find time to get the contracts put together. I thin we are going to use as many of the HBL forms as we can, why recreate the wheel so to speak, next year thing swill be much more organized and run much smoother, with any luck we will end up with some residential and commercials this year, and that way we will have the experience on both sides of the street so to speak to learn and grow from.

As usual Dave, thank you for the encouragement. With any luck, I will be able to do the same for some one else down the road that you guys have done for me.

hotrod1965
08-10-2009, 11:40 AM
Last year we had a lady with sales experience, who even owned her own business. She wanted to work a few hours per week to make some extra cash.
Her issue was that she would never talk to the places I told her to talk to, She would focus on Churches. She quit after about two weeks because she never sold anything....



Picked up the sales materials from the full time guy. checked his route sheet. 7 business checked in with. ridiculous. He mentioned how hard it is in this economy, the recession, how he can't find a job, etc. How is it you give people: opportunity, training, lierature, uniform, and be thier cheerleader, and all they have to provide is effort. and they fail. Then he blames the economy? I can visit 7 businesses a day just living and eating. This guy did 7 this week.
while effort may not always equal success, at leat you TRIED.

David Gretzmier
08-10-2009, 05:08 PM
Talked to a new guy today, explained it is a numbers game. you gotta work 9-5, you gotta talk to 40-60 businesses a day. park and walk 4 business to your left and right, cross the street and do the same. one stop, 16 businesses. with those numbers, you should get a bid or two per day and close a job every other day. I'm just going to keep hiring guys til I find someone who can work.

David Gretzmier
08-15-2009, 09:30 AM
Hired a new guy that will start monday. seems motivated and a go-getter, but we'll see. He has set hours and is expected to work monday-friday 9-5. Part time guy is supposed to "get after it" on monday as well. have a third guy I may hire to try. 2 girls have called interested. I guess I can just keep trying folks until I get one or 2 that are willing to work.

andyslawncare
08-20-2009, 06:18 PM
I have hired more guys that don't work out this year than ever before! I still do all of my sales myself because I know more than I can teach someone about what I can do for someone at this point-if that makes any sense. I don't understand why people will get so excited to work and make money and they all complain on how no one will hire them and the economy and blah blah blah... Well no wonder these guys don't have jobs and need money!! They have no desire to actually work and just expect the money to come to them while they sit and think about it!! I have found that maybe one out of four people I've given a chance actually stick with it and will help make money for me instead of me having to baby sit them!!!!

Good luck David, and I'm curious to find out how the next few weeks go for you, as I would like to hire someone on commission maybe this winter to help my sales.

David Gretzmier
08-21-2009, 07:04 PM
quick update, that guy never bothered showing up. I have spoke with a few others on the phone, and it seems as though this idea will not work unless I get a true door to door sales guy. still hoping.

David Gretzmier
09-02-2009, 07:47 PM
quick update. just about ready to give up on this position. I've has several people call about the job, but no real takers. I've had some folks call that had telemarketing experience and were on straight commission, but they have no car. And believe it or not, this has come up 3 times.

How can people have no car? I understand they are unemployed, but didn't they buy a car when they had a job? I have always had a job or run my own business, so I have always had a good car. but I have had plenty of cheap cars and trucks that were great transportation. 500, 1500, 2500 buck cars have treated me really well.

TexasFire221
09-02-2009, 10:20 PM
I dont understand it either David. Hell, when I go out of town I NEVER ride with someone else because I can't stand being without a vehicle. When I run ads for employment the first 50 applicants don't have a DL, transportation, a phone, or common sense. It gets really frustrating. Hang in there!

andyslawncare
09-03-2009, 03:24 AM
:confused:
I'm sorry to hear this again. What the hell is wrong with people?!?! Do they just want OBAMA to fix their problem for them (just like wasting money on things we don't have money for...) even though a simple landscape guy is trying to give them a job?!?!?!?! Makes no sense. Keep your head up David!
Hope someone works for you.

How do people live w/o a car?!?!?!

hotrod1965
09-03-2009, 06:39 PM
I am having just as hard of a time finding someone......

I will say that it is very easy to live without a car in a lot of areas. Lots of people do it here. They ride the bus, walk or ride a bike.


:confused:
I'm sorry to hear this again. What the hell is wrong with people?!?! Do they just want OBAMA to fix their problem for them (just like wasting money on things we don't have money for...) even though a simple landscape guy is trying to give them a job?!?!?!?! Makes no sense. Keep your head up David!
Hope someone works for you.

How do people live w/o a car?!?!?!

David Gretzmier
09-03-2009, 08:32 PM
Ok, without a car, I totally agree that in the new york city area, and much of the northeast, and any place that has excellent mass transit- London, much of england and scotland, I have been there and done that, no car can be done. But here in Northwest Arkansas, no way. Even as a student at the University of Arkansas, The busses only carry you so far. Can't even imagine living without a car here.

David Gretzmier
09-29-2009, 11:23 PM
Just thought I'd update this thread. This idea of a straight commission salesperson turned out to be a total failure this year, and I am frustrated by that. my shop foreman guy has got to be included in this failure attempt. even he admits he only talked to maybe a few dozen folks.

Although I still believe if you have a true door to door sales guy this can work, in the end, everyone that either tried this or said they would try it had absolutely no desire to work 8 hours a day toward a goal. They liked the idea of it at best. but the thought of actually walking in the door of 80 business's a day to leave a card or ask who does thier lights was just too much for everyone.

perhaps if I was willing to invest 10 bucks per hour in a person, 80 bucks per day, and just set a quota, say 60-80 businesses talked to per day. lets look at that number.

pick the busiest commercial area you can think of. high density. pick one business, and then look to the 4 to the left and 4 to the right of it, then across the street, up 4 down 4. and go into each for 1-3 minutes. ask who does thier lights, find out who makes that decision and get a name and number written down and the name of the business, move on. on foot you should be able to easily hit all 18 of those business's in an hour, unless you have a warm or hot lead. drive down, buy a coke, and do it again.

if you spend 4 hours talking and 4 hours walking/driving, that is around 80 businesses a day. I am reasonably certain there is a closed job waiting in each of those 80.

I am still debating on hiring someone this year on a new wage plus bonus system.