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View Full Version : Door to door solicitation ?


Bunton Guy
09-24-2002, 09:31 PM
I had done this thisevening hit a complete neighborhood homes in the 200,000+ range 75 homes in neighborhood in a well known area. 80% of people where home I got 3 people who will think about using my services ( 12 month service agreement) and 1 person wants a quote on aeration is this a good thing ? or do you think I didnt get enough ? If I could get one customer I think that would be worth my time but I have so far only 3 people who are thinking about getting a quote they didnt even ask for a quote. Should I keep going with this ? I have tried just about every way to tackle residential maintenance everything from brochures, fliers, cold calling, news paper adds, door to door solicitation, introductions letters ect....only thing I havent done so far is yellow pages add and that is because they forgot to put it in this year ! What do you guys think

walker-talker
09-24-2002, 10:07 PM
I live in a city of about 450,000 and place and ad in the service directory. The cost is $140 for on month. It might gross me $1500 or more. I have an add coming out in the yellow pages in November. I have heard mixed opinions on this one, but have to at least try.

MATT

jocko1104
09-24-2002, 10:37 PM
I tried door to door a few times and have gotten limited results. I think that it has about the same % as flyers door to door so why not save the time knocking and start walking.

As far as the service directory... I'm not sure that I will do that again anytime soon. I live in a town of 1 million+ and it just covers too much area (i.e. shotgun vs. rifle method). I turned down more work than i got due to out of area. And anyways most people call everyone in the listing (20+) creating a lowballers market.

Yellow Pages... same thing, shotgun. But nice for credibility if you can afford it!

Good luck man.

Brickman
09-24-2002, 11:11 PM
Cold calling did me VERY little good in the residential area. Commercial was ok.

I wouldn't give up on yellow pages just yet. What I found is ya got to get specific with your advertizing. I got tons of biz from there. After realizing the low income group was mostly what was contacting me, I began wording my ads to read, Commercial and Large Residential Welcome.
That seemed to make a huge dif.
You got to tell potential customers that YOU are what they are looking for. By wording the ad that way they realized that you were not a little dude with little equipment. Put in your ad how many years ya got in biz, or experience. If you got insurance and license put that in as well. The guys that run Walker brand, Walker will allow you to put a Walker mower in your ad for free. They feel it is free advertizing for them too.

Good luck.

awm
09-25-2002, 05:35 PM
illl differ . i think this buisiness lends itself to cold calling,if u know how to sell.
if u dont flyers better, probably.
i get my new buisiness from referals an a small ad in a local shopper type paper.
if i wanted to work that hard ,i can add new accts cold calling anytime. just knock on enough doors ,and i dont have the time,nor am i dressed properly for it most of the time. but it can wk,for certain individuals.another thing work gained by cold calling is very iffy for the first yr or so.
jmho

Bunton Guy
09-25-2002, 09:57 PM
AWM what has worked best for you ???

cantoo
09-25-2002, 11:13 PM
Bunton Guy, I'm not sure how you did it but I would think that if you could give them a price on the spot it would be a big advantage. I buy and sell stuff and when I see stuff for sale if there is no price on it I don't even look twice. I right away figure they want too much for it. Give them a price on the spot and you will have a better chance of getting the job.

walker-talker
09-26-2002, 10:07 PM
This might be a little unrelated, but I have found that if I give an estimate over the phone, I very seldom get the job. If I meet the homeowner on site, I will close on about 80% of the jobs. In the spring I closed on 100% of every job I looked at and gave an estimate. Made me think that my prices are too low. I kept telling that to myself. This winter I am going to do some serious cost of doing business analysis.

MATT

NBLL
09-26-2002, 10:24 PM
I've gotten good results on commercial accounts with cold calling. Residential: Flyers have scored about 2%. The best has been word of mouth and people walking up while mowing in their neighborhood to ask if we can get to them. If you do a quality job people notice. When their LCO quits or does poor work or someone new moves in, they remember that good lookin' lawn down the street.

MATTHEW
09-26-2002, 11:19 PM
Walker Talker, you must be a likeable person.
It is sales 101. If the perspective customer like you, you will get the sale. Even if you are a few bucks higher than the others.

Flyers are for getting the name out there. Same with the book.

If you can win them over during the sales pitch, you've got one. Not only that, they will refer you to friends and relatives.

Instead of researching the stats on advertising, learn how to be a people person. First notice something about the customer like the Vette in the garage, or the flower garden or whatever, and compliment their taste.

Good luck

Hoosier Mower
09-26-2002, 11:51 PM
So far all I've tried is lots of flyers, local newspapers and shopper ads. I've had good luck with all of them but are going to try the door to door thing in the early Spring next season along with some cold calls. I've also taken pics of some of my clients yards and sent them as an attachment to business email addys, have gotten a few calls that way. Any type of advertising is worth it if you get one new customer.

BigJim
09-27-2002, 12:03 AM
Nah door knocking is for Avon Ladies,Politicans, and Real Estate Brokers,as I am the worlds biggest chicken at knocking on strange doors I'll stick with jamming flyers in mail boxes.I like it even better when people come up to me when I'm working in a street and ask me for a price on their lawn.:)

awm
09-27-2002, 07:23 AM
clean uniform or work clothes.
go strait at them with what u offer.
dont pay attention to the first negative
looks. your challenge is to change that.
open friendlyness , knowledege of what u talkin. a tough mind. some o the hardest wk ,i ever did.
im not the best . he passed away not long ago. once saw him turn a violotile sp situation[we was bout to get thrown out]. situation into a multiple sale.
to be honest the best at this are born to do it. they would sell skunks ,if thats all they had.:)

Hoosier Mower
09-27-2002, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by BigJim
I'll stick with jamming flyers in mail boxes.I like it even better when people come up to me when I'm working in a street and ask me for a price on their lawn.:)


Is'nt "jamming mail boxes with flyers a Federal offesnse? Unless you've sent them by mail of course?

JimLewis
09-27-2002, 02:04 PM
Some good advice above.

I agree with Cantoo. A price - on the spot - helps a lot. These days, when we do flyers we always list a price on the flyer in big red ink. No need to call us for an estimate - they already have one! It simplifies the decision process.

If you are truly hungry for more business here's what you need to do;

1) If you don't have them already, you need to get your truck lettered up with vinyl lettering. Be sure people can see it from a distance, not just when they are up close. You HAVE to establish a brand name (or USP). And to start, you gotta get known.

Everyone around here knows our company because we've worked hard to establish our name around town. Our trucks all look the same (bright red paint, all same lettering, etc.). People have seen us over and over again. But there are landscapers in my area who've been doing it way longer than I have and still have less than half the business we do. Why? Because they never worked to hard to get people to take notice.

If you are seriously hungry for business then your name should be all over your trucks, the back of your trailers, on an A-frame sign on the sidewalk while you are doing a 1-day clean-up, etc.

Here is one of our trucks, as seen by people driving by. My crew was working on one of the houses on this street when I took the picture.
http://www.cybcon.com/~jimlewis/chevy.jpg

2) Flyers work. You say you've done flyers. And I know they can be discouraging for the first little while. I know because I shunned them after my first several tries to. But finally I realized they do work! And they probably work the best out of all marketing techniques (except maybe door knocking, like you are doing). So don't give up on flyers. Realize a) It's a numbers game. Put out several thousand GOOD flyers and you're bound to get good results. But if you put out a hundred or two, you may not get anything. That's how it goes. b) All advertising (incl. flyers) are most successful in the spring and early summer. Don't expect amazing results this time of year. They will still work this time of year. But not as good as they do during other times. So you gotta put more out to get results.

Flyers also need to be repeated often. We flyer our target areas every 3-6 months if we are looking for business.

Also, work on developing your flyers. Coupons give clients a reason to call. Ask for help on this board. How good your flyer is determines your results.

3) Door knocking is a great method. It's just like flyers except you're actually delivering them in person instead of leaving them. By the way, you should be leaving a flyer on every door if they are not home when you go knocking. You're already there - don't pass up the opportunity.

I know a guy who built up a REALLY big lawn care business really fast by just knocking on doors. He went on to become a builder and is now a retired multi-millionaire. But the point is, knocking on doors, however discouraging, does work. Only problem is nobody wants to do it. But if you are willing to do it, it will work. Again, time of year will yeald different results.

4) Newspaper produces decent results during the spring only in my experience. But even then, it seems to attract lower end customers more. I'd stay with flyers and door knocking.

5) Yellow pages are not worth it IMO. We've had 3 YP ads in the past. I've had small ones and I've also had the largest ad in the "Lawn Care" section before. They can produce decent results during the spring and summer. But you pay all year and that really sucks.

Well, there is a lot more I could say but I've already just about written a book here. Main point is that if you are hungry for business, you gotta be in people's face. Use the techniques above and be relentless. People need to see your name all over the place. We even place little red signs in people's yards we maintain. Whatever it takes.

The good news is, once you get established, you won't have to work NEARLY as hard. Took me 5-6 years, but nowadays I hardly have to advertise at all.

BigJim
09-27-2002, 02:46 PM
Is'nt "jamming mail boxes with flyers a Federal offesnse? No not here,our Feds spend their time putting bad guys in jail,not small businessmen,in fact if you pay the Post Office(We privatised them too,their a private company,not Govt run here)they will do the jamming for you.We're the land of the free here we don't have all the petty zoning and licensing rules and regulations that you guys have to put up with there.
With all the gun threads I've read here wouldn't door knocking in the USA be a serious hazard to your health?.
Agree with Jim Lewis too,once your business is up and running you really don't need to advertise, it pretty much builds itself with referals,word of mouth etc,thats advertising you cant buy.Cheers....

JimLewis
09-27-2002, 03:08 PM
With all the gun threads I've read here wouldn't door knocking in the USA be a serious hazard to your health?. No. That is a gross mischaracterization of the U.S. True - there a lot of gun owners here. But we don't just shoot people who knock on our doors. :D

Now if you bump my pickup truck, I might shoot ya. But not for just knocking on my door. ;)

BigJim
09-27-2002, 03:35 PM
1998, there were still 95,000 people in the United States that sustained gunshot wounds.

You knock,I'll keep you covered then:D

Brickman
09-27-2002, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by BigJim
You knock,I'll keep you covered then:D



Remember that some of these wounds come from the knuckle heads that don't know to unload the fire arm BEFORE trying to clean it. :dizzy: :dizzy: