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View Full Version : Gaining more accounts in certain neighborhoods....advice?


Florida Gardener
03-04-2012, 12:31 AM
Hey guys

I have 1 account in a gated neighborhood. This is an upper-scale neighborhood with zero lot lines and pretty much no grass, all landscape. They are "garden-type" landscapes so to speak. The one account I have pays great, and I would like to get a lot more accounts in this neighborhood. The account i do is EOW year-round, and I'm sure most would be the same way. An employee plus myself could do 15-20 in a day and the smallest account would probably be $100/mo. I don't need to drag a trailer in the neighborhood either....

However, I have done direct mail and that didn't work at all. I don't want to offer discounts either, but more so attract potential customers with high-quality work. The problem is is that a lot of the residents in the neighborhood are very seasonal.

Any ideas?

jvanvliet
03-04-2012, 08:18 AM
We mail an informational three fold color brochures quarterly and include coupons for a free service, as well as a discount coupon for monthly maintenance. They get mailed 10 addresses up and down from the target house and 15 across the street, that way the mailing is targeted to the people that see our trucks regularly and our work. It's not a quick response but they add up.

The quickest way to increase accounts is to purchase a route, otherwise it's slow and steady. We picked up three accounts last months (referrals), SFH $110, $135 & $190. All in the same community. Price variation is due to lot size differences and plantings.

Florida Gardener
03-04-2012, 09:03 AM
We mail an informational three fold color brochures quarterly and include coupons for a free service, as well as a discount coupon for monthly maintenance. They get mailed 10 addresses up and down from the target house and 15 across the street, that way the mailing is targeted to the people that see our trucks regularly and our work. It's not a quick response but they add up.

The quickest way to increase accounts is to purchase a route, otherwise it's slow and steady. We picked up three accounts last months (referrals), SFH $110, $135 & $190. All in the same community. Price variation is due to lot size differences and plantings.

See I thought about doing a brochure myself. I know people want a deal, but I just don't want to go that route. The people I picked up in this neighborhood were not given any deal, so I don't think it would be fair to do that for others. I want people to use my company because of perceived value. The main issue is you can't really see much of the landscape from the front of the property as most is behind the house...would you mind pm me a few pics of your brochure?
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Johnagain
03-04-2012, 09:51 AM
I let the customers do the work for me. I tell them when ever I pick up a new client that they refer then they get a $25 gift card from local restaurant. I have one subdivision that I have given out a numbers of cards. I get more referrals every year. Just picked up 3 more this year. So for just $75 I have picked up 3 accounts for around $80 monthly each. I don't think that is a bad investment.

Ric
03-04-2012, 10:15 AM
We mail an informational three fold color brochures quarterly and include coupons for a free service, as well as a discount coupon for monthly maintenance. They get mailed 10 addresses up and down from the target house and 15 across the street, that way the mailing is targeted to the people that see our trucks regularly and our work. It's not a quick response but they add up.

The quickest way to increase accounts is to purchase a route, otherwise it's slow and steady. We picked up three accounts last months (referrals), SFH $110, $135 & $190. All in the same community. Price variation is due to lot size differences and plantings.

Jvan

That is called CLOVERLEAFING off your current accounts and is a very proven method that has been discussed here many times. Of Course the quality of work you do and the Curb Appeal of your account effects your success.

If you really want to put a push on, Hand deliver those brochure by cold call and talk with the home owner. Another trick used by TG/CL is to pick a plant leaf from their yard that has some kind of pest on it, or a weed that is common in their landscape. then attach it to your brochure saying LOOK WHAT I FOUND IN YOUR YARD. The whole trick is to give them a reason to switch to you.

Many years ago when I cut and trimmed I would work early morning and take the heat of the day off. Then I would go back out to work until Dark. BTW I was fresh out of a divorce at the time and didn't have much of a life at the time. BUT MY POINT IS. People like to take walks after dinner in the cool of the evening and would see me working. A big smile and a friendly hello sold me a lot of work because of that personal contact. I would see the same walkers all the time and after a few friendly hello they would ask me questions about plants and open the door to a low key sales pitch.


Frequencies of Landscape Maintenance needs are a matter of Customer desires and the type of Plants. A real good landscape designer will actual use slow growing pest free plants that need very little care. When I did landscape installs, I did less is more type designs that might even be considered a Florida Friendly Yard.

But the fact is most people are not concerned with weekly or bi weekly bed maintenance. Which brings up my next point about up selling a Low maintenance landscape by replacing fast growing Plants with slow growing pest free plants. The real money in the green industry is in INSTALLS.


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Landscape Poet
03-04-2012, 10:28 AM
I wanna come back to this one when I have more time as I have some ideas for you diamond. I may send you a PM.

Florida Gardener
03-04-2012, 11:05 AM
I wanna come back to this one when I have more time as I have some ideas for you diamond. I may send you a PM.

Ok thnx mike
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jvanvliet
03-06-2012, 06:56 AM
See I thought about doing a brochure myself. I know people want a deal, but I just don't want to go that route. The people I picked up in this neighborhood were not given any deal, so I don't think it would be fair to do that for others. I want people to use my company because of perceived value. The main issue is you can't really see much of the landscape from the front of the property as most is behind the house...would you mind pm me a few pics of your brochure?
Posted via Mobile Device

No problem sending you a copy. Will need to figure out how to do a screen capture.

I'm on my way to Okeechobee, North of the lake to do a major installation for the State. Will get to it ASAP.

Ric
03-06-2012, 09:23 AM
No problem sending you a copy. Will need to figure out how to do a screen capture.

I'm on my way to Okeechobee, North of the lake to do a major installation for the State. Will get to it ASAP.

Jvan

I am kind of surprised you are doing Government work. Even in good times Those jobs went for little money. I have a Friend who works for the county and puts together bid packages. He tells me they can't believe how cheap those contracts are going for because of our bad economy. Of course those bids are Public information. I have posted about Road & Right A Way mowing bids being too cheap before.



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Florida Gardener
03-06-2012, 10:01 AM
A little update. I'm not allowed to leave hangers or anything by the door in this hood. Only thing I can do is direct mail(which is worthless) or become a vendor on the prop manag company webpage(which is free). Im going to do that and hope my name gets around.
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Tri-City Outdoors
03-06-2012, 07:04 PM
Try putting some "time" in. When we were slower and wanted more work in the neighborhood. We would work slower at the account or chat with the costumer(up sell). Arrive at different times and days. Brake up the extras into smaller jobs. Use the nearest gas station. Drive around the area before and/or after servicing the account. Be creative. I find this method works well. It also goes hand in hand with good service. Often the good costumers are loyal to their lawn turd. But, The will come you way in due "time"

PostcardMania
03-09-2012, 04:35 PM
A little update. I'm not allowed to leave hangers or anything by the door in this hood. Only thing I can do is direct mail(which is worthless) or become a vendor on the prop manag company webpage(which is free). Im going to do that and hope my name gets around.
Posted via Mobile Device

Why would direct mail be 'worthless'? Have you done direct mail in the past with little to no results? If yes, there could be a number of factors on why it didn't work (mailing list, design, contact info, offer, etc.).

If you'd like to explore this idea again, I suggest you take a look at some other successful direct mail campaigns. May spark some ideas!

Here's a link to a report which has 7 real-life landscaping campaigns: http://goo.gl/39Inv

Day off?
03-09-2012, 08:03 PM
Just like someone already said... Offer discounts for referrals. Wave to the neighbors when you drive by and make small talk with them if possible.

Florida Gardener
03-09-2012, 08:07 PM
Why would direct mail be 'worthless'? Have you done direct mail in the past with little to no results? If yes, there could be a number of factors on why it didn't work (mailing list, design, contact info, offer, etc.).

If you'd like to explore this idea again, I suggest you take a look at some other successful direct mail campaigns. May spark some ideas!

Here's a link to a report which has 7 real-life landscaping campaigns: http://goo.gl/39Inv
It is worthless. I did 3 in a row spaced out 2 months to the same neighborhoods. Postcard design was great and the incentives were good. I spent thousands and got nothing in return plus a lot of wasted time. That is what I call worthless.
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jvanvliet
03-13-2012, 08:54 AM
See I thought about doing a brochure myself. would you mind pm me a few pics of your brochure?
Posted via Mobile Device

Diamond, I PM'd you a question; I have my 2nd qtr brochure, do you want it?

jvanvliet
03-13-2012, 08:59 AM
Why would direct mail be 'worthless'? Have you done direct mail in the past with little to no results? If yes, there could be a number of factors on why it didn't work (mailing list, design, contact info, offer, etc.).

If you'd like to explore this idea again, I suggest you take a look at some other successful direct mail campaigns. May spark some ideas!

Here's a link to a report which has 7 real-life landscaping campaigns: http://goo.gl/39Inv

Mailing campaigns are a low return marketing effort. If you can get 1% on a mailer, you are doing good. It also requires a long term consistent approach to a large database. Lot of us don't have the kind of profit margin to support a long term shotgun marketing program.

That's why a targeted program makes more sense to me, it's cheaper and the returns are higher. Like a mailer campaign, consistency remains the most important element.

Florida Gardener
03-13-2012, 09:28 AM
Diamond, I PM'd you a question; I have my 2nd qtr brochure, do you want it?

Yes, I would thanks. I don't have what you asked tho
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jvanvliet
03-13-2012, 11:48 AM
Yes, I would thanks. I don't have what you asked tho
Posted via Mobile Device

Any MS office product?

Florida Gardener
03-13-2012, 11:50 AM
Any MS office product?

Yea I have office just not publisher
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easy-lift guy
03-13-2012, 11:54 AM
A little update. I'm not allowed to leave hangers or anything by the door in this hood. Only thing I can do is direct mail(which is worthless) or become a vendor on the prop manag company webpage(which is free). Im going to do that and hope my name gets around.
Posted via Mobile Device

Depending on your time frame and the restrictions in place, I would continue to do a quality job at a fair price. No amount of advertising will sell your self better than a happy customer. If the One account you presently have likes the work you do you will have more customers in time. That way you can gradually build your customer base and rep at the same time.
easy-lift guy

Florida Gardener
03-13-2012, 12:44 PM
Depending on your time frame and the restrictions in place, I would continue to do a quality job at a fair price. No amount of advertising will sell your self better than a happy customer. If the One account you presently have likes the work you do you will have more customers in time. That way you can gradually build your customer base and rep at the same time.
easy-lift guy
The customers love me, but they are only at this property literally a couple times per year, so they don't really know many others in the hood. I'm confident I will pick up more over time. It's a great neighborhood.
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easy-lift guy
03-13-2012, 12:56 PM
The customers love me, but they are only at this property literally a couple times per year, so they don't really know many others in the hood. I'm confident I will pick up more over time. It's a great neighborhood.
Posted via Mobile Device
Your passion will deliver the goods and carry the day.
easy-lift guy
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PostcardMania
03-14-2012, 03:13 PM
Mailing campaigns are a low return marketing effort. If you can get 1% on a mailer, you are doing good. It also requires a long term consistent approach to a large database. Lot of us don't have the kind of profit margin to support a long term shotgun marketing program.

That's why a targeted program makes more sense to me, it's cheaper and the returns are higher. Like a mailer campaign, consistency remains the most important element.

You're right, it does take a consistent flow, you can't mail once and expect things to turn around overnight. But it's like that with most marketing methods (emails, print ads, etc.). And yes, targeted mailings provide better results, which is what I suggesting. However, he's wanting to target a specific neighborhood. He's not allowed to leave doorhangers or flyers on their property, he's been pretty limited.

@diamondlandscaping - how about developing a referral program for all those happy customers who love you? Maybe something like, a free mow for every paid customer they refer? Get some business cards that have that promotion and hand it to your customer at the end of service.

jvanvliet
03-15-2012, 01:01 PM
would you mind pm me a few pics of your brochure?
Posted via Mobile Device

Did you get your e-mail?

Florida Gardener
03-15-2012, 11:04 PM
Did you get your e-mail?

I did, thank you.
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jvanvliet
03-16-2012, 08:51 PM
I did, thank you.
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You can save loads of money prinitng these yourself and targeting your market.

The next mailer will include tips (don't worry most people won't even try them and those that do will foul them up). Get Publisher and I'll send you a template you can use yourself.

Exact Rototilling
03-17-2012, 10:31 PM
If there is a way to select or eliminate parts of a zip code I'd consider direct mail.
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PostcardMania
03-26-2012, 12:41 PM
If there is a way to select or eliminate parts of a zip code I'd consider direct mail.
Posted via Mobile Device

You are able to break it down by carrier route and then have them pick out specific routes for each zip code... Is that what you're looking to do?

Ric
03-26-2012, 03:23 PM
You are able to break it down by carrier route and then have them pick out specific routes for each zip code... Is that what you're looking to do?


For less than half what you charge I used EDDM from the Post Office and do it myself. Sure It takes some time but my first Mailing was a 5,000 and I saved $ 1,000 over your price doing it myself.

https://eddm.usps.com/eddm/

Try the Demo and go to step one where you enter a actual address in the middle of the area you want to target. Click on Location and Map and a Map will come up. Also a list of routes. Place your Cursor over the Route Number and the Route will be marked in Blue.


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PostcardMania
03-29-2012, 05:55 PM
For less than half what you charge I used EDDM from the Post Office and do it myself. Sure It takes some time but my first Mailing was a 5,000 and I saved $ 1,000 over your price doing it myself.

https://eddm.usps.com/eddm/

Try the Demo and go to step one where you enter a actual address in the middle of the area you want to target. Click on Location and Map and a Map will come up. Also a list of routes. Place your Cursor over the Route Number and the Route will be marked in Blue.


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Right, the only thing is that you can't target your mailings other than by carrier route. How were your results?

Ric
03-29-2012, 09:01 PM
Right, the only thing is that you can't target your mailings other than by carrier route. How were your results?

Post Card

I closed 27 accounts out of 5,000 or just a little over 0.5%. My per card cost is $ 0.205 per card including printing. But because Florida has so many Snow birds the Post office returned and credited those addresses that forwarded to the North. So doing the Math 5,000 mailers cost me a total $ 1010.00 and divided by 27 accounts that cost me $ 37.41 each.

In my case Every one including Businesses need Pest Control here in Florida. But with the EDDM Plan you can skip Business addresses.

One other advantage to doing the EDDM myself was Mailing only a 1,000 post cards each week and only having to deal with approx 10 sales calls a week. I even skipped a week here and there because I was too busy to deal with sales calls.

Yes you have paid for a Bulk mail permit that wouldn't be economical for me to buy. That Permit allows you to target customer more selectively than EDDM. But running the Numbers my labor and shot gun advertising is not only effective but half what you charge.



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Ric
03-31-2012, 10:49 AM
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Here is a link to the EDDM video Tutorial by the USPS. Let's face it, the Post office is hurting and so they are offering some great deals.

I have found the Post office employees very helpful and willing to spend hours helping me. They are pushing hard to make EDDM work.


https://eddmkit.com/ThankYou.aspx



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Ric
03-31-2012, 01:12 PM
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PostcardMania

I am going to say EDDM is not for everyone. There is a lot of work involved in getting the Post Cards ready to mail. The question becomes which is more economical. You doing it and letting the business own work on other things. Or spending the time to do it your self. In my case I have been part time up until now when I decided to increase the size of my business so I can sell it for better money. Therefore I had the time.


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