PDA

View Full Version : most successfull specials or ads


grassmasterswilson
12-29-2011, 04:11 PM
Starting to work on a direct mail campaign for the new year. What specials or ads have you had the most success picking up new clients? Looking for things that can get you on the property and allow your salesmanship to close the deal.

I already offer a pre pay discount for the season, but thinking of short term specials to get more calls. Maybe X% off 1st application? Free soil test(always nice to give something free that ends up being a good proof of an upsale)? Guess the customer couldn't do both discounts, but maybe the choose one?

RigglePLC
12-29-2011, 05:07 PM
Sorry Pat, no personal experience here as I used referral awards for most of my new sales leads.

My suggestions:
Free test for acid soil (do this with a pH meter so no expense involved). Maybe, full $20 laboratory test free with first paid application. Naturally you have to come out to take the soil sample, and return to explain results, if they are not sold yet.)

Free check for grubs. Sample under sod in three places. Perhaps check for mole nests. Plant a cluster of 6 high performance flowers.
Keep the ideas coming. Got to be quick and cheap.

lawntennis
12-29-2011, 05:24 PM
If you do anything off an app make sure you make it the last one. They could cancel after the first app.

lawntennis
12-29-2011, 05:25 PM
What do you guys do for referals? I am embarrassed to say I have never used them. As a result I am afraid of all the people that have refered in the past wanting the same deal. Any suggestions.

grassmasterswilson
12-29-2011, 06:38 PM
I do referrals, but can't seem to get many of my current clients to participate. I'm going to try and add a line on the invoice in hopes that I can keep reminding them.

I give a discount on the next app if a current client refers a new person. The discounted amount depends on the value of the referral.

mikesturf
12-29-2011, 08:08 PM
Spend some time this winter by going to Amazon.com and type in "referrals" and to a search. Buy (or go to library) some books on marketing and sales also.

I've read dozens of business books and have applied what they suggested. Because of that I haven't needed to advertise in years; I get referrals all the time (most of the time, too many referrals). You have to sell and prove yourself to your current customers so that they will give you endless referrals (neighbors, family members, friends, church groups, tree care companies, etc ...) You also have to differentiate yourself from everyone else.

I never gave anything out or discounts for a referral, just a thank you. Most people that give referrals are very happy to help you. I do also mention to the people who give me more than 3 referrals, "I will treat your lawn like I do my own personal lawn".

RigglePLC
12-30-2011, 12:33 PM
In years past, I gave the next application free for a referral that was sold. Limit $50 in value. (Flexible if it was a really big job sold). Remember it costs about $80 to acquire a new customer--(when you add up the cost of all the postcards, the time to measure and call back all those sales leads that don't pan out).
I suggest a special referrals promotion month. Everybody gets a letter or handout with their bill urging them to recruit their neighbor. Point out the advantages of having lawns clustered together, and how it reduces unwanted mailings, calls and post cards. And how you will do a better job because your business depends on complete customer satisfaction, and excellent reputation--not based on flashy advertising.

Perhaps next month have a sign-up-your mother month.

mikesturf
12-30-2011, 12:51 PM
Call ALL your current customers and make an appointment to see them and ask them if there is anything I can do to improve my service to you. Ask what you don't like and what you do like about my service. LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN some more. Don't interupt and try not to take anything personal. Take notes to show you care about what they are saying. Then repeat what they said back to them and how you can help them. Many times this will lead to an upsell to more services!

When you are all done, ask them if they might know of anyone who uses a lawn service that would like a quote...or you fill in the blank with whatever you feel best saying.

Then ring the doorbell to 15 of the houses surrounding this customer's house and tell them I service Mr. Jones' lawn and can I give you a quote for next year. GET their name and phone number, then give them a quote. Put them on a call or mailing list. Stop by their houses during the growing season and offer them FREE TIPS on things you see needing improvement.

It is much easier building a network of LOYAL customers than mailing postcards. Would you rather your wife be Happy or Loyal?

lawntennis
12-30-2011, 02:56 PM
Mike- Good posts but I'm hoping my wife is both happy and loyal.

Agent Dollar Spot
01-03-2012, 03:24 PM
Call ALL your current customers and make an appointment to see them and ask them if there is anything I can do to improve my service to you. Ask what you don't like and what you do like about my service. LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN some more. Don't interupt and try not to take anything personal. Take notes to show you care about what they are saying. Then repeat what they said back to them and how you can help them. Many times this will lead to an upsell to more services!

When you are all done, ask them if they might know of anyone who uses a lawn service that would like a quote...or you fill in the blank with whatever you feel best saying.

Then ring the doorbell to 15 of the houses surrounding this customer's house and tell them I service Mr. Jones' lawn and can I give you a quote for next year. GET their name and phone number, then give them a quote. Put them on a call or mailing list. Stop by their houses during the growing season and offer them FREE TIPS on things you see needing improvement.

It is much easier building a network of LOYAL customers than mailing postcards. Would you rather your wife be Happy or Loyal?

well said!!

Turfdoctor1
01-03-2012, 04:57 PM
You just have to get your name out there.

You are not going to see a bit of difference in rate of return based on a special. It's all about hitting the right house at the right time, little to do with anything else. Does someone that needs your service get your advertising piece at the time that they are ready to buy? If yes, you get new customers, if no, wasted your time and money.

Like it or not, making money in our business is quantity, quantity, quantity. If you send 1000 post cards, you might get 10 new customers. Hard to build a base that way. If you send 10,000, you might add 100. Now you are getting somewhere. If you send 10,000 and only add 50, either something is wrong with your advertising, or your market is not a good one to be in.

If you have 100 existing customers, and 10% give you a referral, you still only have 110. Whereas, if you have 1000 and you get 10% referrals, you add 100. Whether we like it or not, it is quantity based. Only time and lots of effort are going to build that base.

You have to stop looking at your marketing in such simple terms. The offer you put on the card is not going to drastically affect your business. Getting your name and what differentiates you from your competitors to as many people as possible, that is going to affect your business.

It's postcards, networking, social media, knocking on doors, truck advertising, being seen working in neighborhoods, you name it. It's not, "what offer should I put on my cards, or what do I give for a referral." You are missing the point, if that is the basis of your marketing approach.

phillie
01-07-2012, 01:44 AM
You just have to get your name out there.

You are not going to see a bit of difference in rate of return based on a special. It's all about hitting the right house at the right time, little to do with anything else. Does someone that needs your service get your advertising piece at the time that they are ready to buy? If yes, you get new customers, if no, wasted your time and money.

Like it or not, making money in our business is quantity, quantity, quantity. If you send 1000 post cards, you might get 10 new customers. Hard to build a base that way. If you send 10,000, you might add 100. Now you are getting somewhere. If you send 10,000 and only add 50, either something is wrong with your advertising, or your market is not a good one to be in.

If you have 100 existing customers, and 10% give you a referral, you still only have 110. Whereas, if you have 1000 and you get 10% referrals, you add 100. Whether we like it or not, it is quantity based. Only time and lots of effort are going to build that base.

You have to stop looking at your marketing in such simple terms. The offer you put on the card is not going to drastically affect your business. Getting your name and what differentiates you from your competitors to as many people as possible, that is going to affect your business.

It's postcards, networking, social media, knocking on doors, truck advertising, being seen working in neighborhoods, you name it. It's not, "what offer should I put on my cards, or what do I give for a referral." You are missing the point, if that is the basis of your marketing approach.


I agree with this for the most part. However, there are some circumstances were a few of the right customers will make you more money then a bunch of wrong customers. I agree that it is all of the things turfdoctor listed but I do think what you put on your advertisement does matter. I usually come up with a few and give them the choice of which they use. I also use a referral to customers that refer a friend that must sign up for a full season. I send them something in the mail that they send back to me with payment so I know they are taking the $25 off. Last year I had 2 customers that got free apps all year and one even got free aeration/overseed.

grassmasterswilson
01-09-2012, 12:24 PM
xx% of final applicatioin with yearly agreement
free soil test with yearly agreement
free crabgrass prevention with yearly mowing agreement
x% pre pay discounts
some type of price match

what do you think of any of these?

RigglePLC
01-09-2012, 02:04 PM
Save half-off the first application--just send your yearly check. (less 10 percent).
Try to use the word "save"...it has a very positive sound. Everybody likes to save. Your mother always told you to save money.

Save 5 percent with signed agreement by Feb 15th.

Free dandelion control with yearly mowing contract. Dandelions are much more noticeable and cheaper to control.

Free rain gauge. Free moisture meter. Free one pound bag of grass seed if you sign up by Feb 15.Free flower seeds with estimate (cheap). Maybe give them a free coffee mug with your name and number--of course it is marked with inches so it can double as a rain gauge.

Mug link:
http://www.4imprint.com/tag/110/Ceramic-Mugs?fs=ProductionTime&csd=ASC&page=1&mkid=1dw_69_008&s_kwcid=TC|6256|promotional%20mug||S|b|7085809922&gclid=COrow6zEw60CFYvDKgodpTvp-w


Don't ask the customer to wait 9 months to get his half off winterizer--instant gratification works better. Sure customer could move or die before fall--but relatively rare.

grassmasterswilson
01-09-2012, 02:54 PM
Save half-off the first application--just send your yearly check. (less 10 percent).
Try to use the word "save"...it has a very positive sound. Everybody likes to save. Your mother always told you to save money.

Save 5 percent with signed agreement by Feb 15th.

Free dandelion control with yearly mowing contract. Dandelions are much more noticeable and cheaper to control.

Free rain gauge. Free moisture meter. Free one pound bag of grass seed if you sign up by Feb 15.Free flower seeds with estimate (cheap). Maybe give them a free coffee mug with your name and number--of course it is marked with inches so it can double as a rain gauge.

Mug link:
http://www.4imprint.com/tag/110/Ceramic-Mugs?fs=ProductionTime&csd=ASC&page=1&mkid=1dw_69_008&s_kwcid=TC|6256|promotional%20mug||S|b|7085809922&gclid=COrow6zEw60CFYvDKgodpTvp-w


Don't ask the customer to wait 9 months to get his half off winterizer--instant gratification works better. Sure customer could move or die before fall--but relatively rare.

nice use of words riggle. Plus everyone likes free stuff!!

I don't do contracts here. Everything is with a hand shake. That was my reasoning for doing the discounted app at the end of the season. But I agree most would rather save now than 6 months down the road.

Maybe i'll stick with the free soil test. My university does them for free so I have nothing but gathering cores and taking to the county extention office. I'd guess that would be a $30-40 value for most companies. Plus it could lead to a lime app!

grassmasterswilson
01-09-2012, 03:26 PM
I'm one of the few guys who advertise. There is 2-3 local guys who do this but i've never seen a mailer or flyer from them. My main competetion is trugreen and other larger comanies. I have a professionally done post card and just looking to get some catchy specials or phrases that might get people to call for an estimate.

Ive been advertising for a few years and picking up a hand full at every spring mailing. We'd all like to charge a premium for our services. I may have to be charge less and do eye catching sales to get people to consider calling. The catch is offering discounted services that won't hurt my pocket.