PDA

View Full Version : Employees hanging door hangers


DFW Area Landscaper
02-20-2005, 12:02 PM
Anyone have any good advice for getting employees to distribute door hangers?

I've already figured out that if I pay these guys by the hour they're going to loaf and go really slow. I CANNOT STAND to pay my guys by the hour. It drives me absolutely nuts.

If I pay them by the door hanger, I feel like I can get pretty good production out of them. But if I pay them by the piece, what's the best way to ensure that they're distributing 100% of them (as opposed to distributing 80% of them and throwing the other 20% in the trash and telling me they did them)?

I've got to be able to get my door hangers distributed in a manner such that I'm not out driving around checking up on distribution, but rather, answering the telephone in the office.

Any tricks out there that a more veteran LCO can share?

Thanks,
DFW Area Landscaper

stumper1620
02-20-2005, 12:12 PM
Anyone have any good advice for getting employees to distribute door hangers?

I've already figured out that if I pay these guys by the hour they're going to loaf and go really slow. I CANNOT STAND to pay my guys by the hour. It drives me absolutely nuts.

If I pay them by the door hanger, I feel like I can get pretty good production out of them. But if I pay them by the piece, what's the best way to ensure that they're distributing 100% of them (as opposed to distributing 80% of them and throwing the other 20% in the trash and telling me they did them)?

I've got to be able to get my door hangers distributed in a manner such that I'm not out driving around checking up on distribution, but rather, answering the telephone in the office.

Any tricks out there that a more veteran LCO can share?

Thanks,
DFW Area Landscaper
I have no experiance with this but i do have an idea,
how about a code on ech persons hangers, like jack is 012 and joe is 013 tony is 014, then pay hourly and offer incentive bonus for responses, its their income that stands to profit from the incentive, therefore they should try harder to get more out
like i say just an idea.

aries
02-20-2005, 12:16 PM
Try this link I never used them but it might be worth a try no headaches with your employees just ck to see if they are available in your area Good Luck! http://ableis.biz/flyersby1000/

DFW Area Landscaper
02-20-2005, 01:11 PM
++++how about a code on ech persons hangers, like jack is 012 and joe is 013 tony is 014++++

That's a good idea that I thought about too. Problem is, my door hangers have already been printed without that information. There is also the problem of customers finding me in the yellow pages or calling from the signs they see on my trucks in a neighborhood where my guys distributed door hangers. How am I going to explain to my crew leader that it's just coincidence that he delived door hangers to that area and the customer turned to the yellow pages? Then, suddenly, the distrust is on me. I don't want that.

The problem with contracting out the distribution is I can instruct my crew leaders to target certain sized lots in certain areas with more disposable income. I don't think that would be as easy with a third party contractor. If I contract it out, these are going to be delivered to homes where my crew leaders live and stuff like that. People that just won't pay for my service. I figure a contractor would also distribute to larger lots that I don't really want. Whereas, I can tell my crew leaders "If it's a lawn that we wouldn't want to mow for $30 a cut, don't hang the door hangers there. And if the neighborhood is poor, stay away."

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Turf Medic
02-20-2005, 01:54 PM
Must be somewhat frightening to send your employees out with trucks, trailers, and equipment to deal in a proper manner with your customer if you are concerned that they might rip you off by tossing door hangers in the trash. Sounds like your problems might run deeper than how to pay them. trust???

DFW Area Landscaper
02-20-2005, 10:50 PM
Yes. Trust is very important. However, when you send a crew out to mow a lawn, if it doesn't get done, you'll find out about it because the customer was expecting it. No one is expecting to get a door hanger on their door, so the automatic system of checks and balances doesn't exist here. This comes down to 100% honesty and nothing else.

I guess I'll try to get out a couple of times a day with each crew just so they see me out checking up on them. Just hope I don't get any new customer calls while I'm out driving around. I don't know what else to do.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Norm Al
02-20-2005, 10:59 PM
if your guys have mobile phones have them put their own number on their hangers,,,,then they will have to hang the hangers and sell the job! based on actual starts and new customers, pay them a sweet percentage of the first months check from each sale!

nriddle77
02-20-2005, 11:56 PM
Just hope I don't get any new customer calls while I'm out driving around. I don't know what else to do.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Does that mean you don't have a cell phone as your buisiness line?

DFW Area Landscaper
02-21-2005, 12:23 AM
Yes, the cell phone is the business line. But when I'm at home, if the call quality is poor, I can ask to call the customer right back from a better line. When I'm driving down the road, I can't do that. Generally, if I'm sitting still, the sound quality is very good with Verizon wireless.

I am one of the few who require a credit card for service. No credit card, no service. Requiring a credit card is hard enough as it is without having to overcome the obvious give away of a cell phone. At least when I'm stationary with the cell phone, it sounds pretty good. But I think you see where I'm going with this. A customer calls from a door hanger. You ask for a credit card and they can tell you're on a cell phone...not a good situation.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Mueller Landscape Inc
02-21-2005, 12:35 AM
Yes, the cell phone is the business line. But when I'm at home, if the call quality is poor, I can ask to call the customer right back from a better line. When I'm driving down the road, I can't do that. Generally, if I'm sitting still, the sound quality is very good with Verizon wireless.

I am one of the few who require a credit card for service. No credit card, no service. Requiring a credit card is hard enough as it is without having to overcome the obvious give away of a cell phone. At least when I'm stationary with the cell phone, it sounds pretty good. But I think you see where I'm going with this. A customer calls from a door hanger. You ask for a credit card and they can tell you're on a cell phone...not a good situation.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

I use the cell phone too and only take CC and it hasn't been an issue for me.

DFW Area Landscaper
02-21-2005, 07:20 AM
Mueller Landscape,

Good to hear that more and more LCO's are requiring credit cards. That makes a grand total of three that I know of that require the CC...justmowit, myself and you.

I was with Sprint PCS the last two years and only switched to Verizon Wireless three weeks ago. So far, the sound quality seems to be much better with Verizon. Most of the time, it sounds like a regular land line. But 15% of the time or so, its obvious its a cell.

So, how are you getting your advertising done? Yellow pages? Door hangers? Are your crews doing door hangers or do you out source?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

JustMowIt
02-22-2005, 06:06 PM
Mueller Landscape,

Good to hear that more and more LCO's are requiring credit cards. That makes a grand total of three that I know of that require the CC...justmowit, myself and you.

I was with Sprint PCS the last two years and only switched to Verizon Wireless three weeks ago. So far, the sound quality seems to be much better with Verizon. Most of the time, it sounds like a regular land line. But 15% of the time or so, its obvious its a cell.

So, how are you getting your advertising done? Yellow pages? Door hangers? Are your crews doing door hangers or do you out source?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

We have turned more than that on to credit cards.

jamieslawnservice.com
budgetlawncare.net
gottamowit.com
mowmasters.com
allaroundlawns.com
speedygreen.com
clarkmowandgo.com

These are the companies off the top of my head......credit card requirements are coming to an LCO near you! :)

Randy Scott
02-22-2005, 06:16 PM
I don't know what the cost is in Texas, but in Wisconsin a land line is $23 a month. Even if it was twice that it's worth the professionalism it speaks. Just like having a fax machine. I couldn't even imagine being in business without a fax. I'd be embarrassed to say we didn't have one. We also have a dedicated line for the fax. Both land lines coming in run around $50 a month. Well worth the money.

Cost is always a factor, but how do you know you don't lose work because you're in the middle of a conversation on your cell and it gets dropped. Then you need to call the person back. Hopefully they don't think any less of you at that point.

Mueller Landscape Inc
02-22-2005, 06:27 PM
Mueller Landscape,

Good to hear that more and more LCO's are requiring credit cards. That makes a grand total of three that I know of that require the CC...justmowit, myself and you.

I was with Sprint PCS the last two years and only switched to Verizon Wireless three weeks ago. So far, the sound quality seems to be much better with Verizon. Most of the time, it sounds like a regular land line. But 15% of the time or so, its obvious its a cell.

So, how are you getting your advertising done? Yellow pages? Door hangers? Are your crews doing door hangers or do you out source?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

DFW,

It's funny.... I dumped Sprint a few years ago and went with Nextel. I am very happy with Nextel...... Now Sprint and Nextel have merged. I just hope that Sprint doesn't screw Nextel up with customer service.

Most Of my advertisements have been direct mail and mailers like Valpak. Some Fliers. This year will do the door hanger too. I will have some temp help do the hangers.

But getting back to the CC's. I have had no problem with customers giving me their info over the cell phone. In fact, my cell is my only business line. However I can understand your concern. I am surprised a little that it hasn't been an issue for me. At some point there is a certain amount of natural confidence that people can detect when they are talking with you over the phone, and it sets their minds at ease.

Also, I thought I was the only one that required CC's for payments, after the work is done, until I met "Just Mow It" online in this forum. Doing business this way has solved a lot of problems for me and has had other benefits that never occurred to me. People are less likely to cancel when they are not writing that check very month. How many of us have had automatic debits taken out of our bank accounts for a gym that we stopped going to over a year ago? LOL

PMLAWN
02-22-2005, 06:27 PM
Back to the topic--all my guys are smart enough to know, that to pass out the flyers will increase business and that is a good thing. If they cheat me, my business is hurt and than they are out of work. I need my guys to run the business and my guys need the business to run to get payed.

gogetter
02-22-2005, 07:01 PM
Just like having a fax machine. I couldn't even imagine being in business without a fax. I'd be embarrassed to say we didn't have one.


I don't have a fax (anymore). Can't think of the last time I had a need for one either. Should I be embarrassed?


DFW, not that it would be a 100% solution, but explain to your guys that you KNOW what kind of response to expect, so you'll be able to tell whether they were put out or not. This is a bit of a bluff, as you obviously can't be positive about the response, but they probably don't know that.

Along the same lines, bluff and tell them that you WILL be driving around to see that they are on the doors.

mtdman
02-22-2005, 10:09 PM
When I was a kid, I was a paper boy. Every week we got paid to put out these free papers to houses that didn't get the daily paper. It was the tuesday weekly. Since these people weren't getting the paper and weren't expecting it, no one would call and complain when they didn't get them. I think that in the entire 3 years I had that route, I did the weeklies maybe 6 times. The rest of the time, they would go in the dumpster behind the pizza store down the block. And I still got paid.

So the point is, for something like this, you can't trust them to just do the job. Maybe do suprise check ups on the guys when they are supposed to be out doing the hangers? Send them out to a specific place/time and drive around to check up on them to be sure. It sucks, but I think it's necessary.

:D

Turf Medic
03-02-2005, 06:42 PM
Just have the guys put their name on the back of the flyer, pay them $5-10 bonus for every customer that comes on board with a flyer from them. Ask the customer for the flyer when you are doing the estimate. If you are signing up customers over the phone, you can still ask for the name on the back of the flyer.

NCLawnMedic
03-02-2005, 07:29 PM
On the subject of credit cards, does any one use the point of sale credit card reader specifically for nextel. I have been looking at it want wanted to know how other liked it

Thanks

MacLawnCo
03-02-2005, 09:20 PM
I don't have a fax (anymore). Can't think of the last time I had a need for one either. Should I be embarrassed?
John, how many employees do you have? thats right, you arnt on the same page. There are certain costs of doing business that just can not be skimped on. No questions, a fax is one of them if you want certain types of clients.

Meyer, Dont you think you should have figured this out prior to ordering 100,000 doorhangers?

chriscampbell
03-02-2005, 09:56 PM
When you guys say that they have to have a credit card. Is that how you take your payment each month or if they dont pay then you take it from there? Next year I want to have it where the money comes directly out of their checking account/ or charges their card on the first of the month. Does anyone do this?

Mueller Landscape Inc
03-02-2005, 10:49 PM
When you guys say that they have to have a credit card. Is that how you take your payment each month or if they dont pay then you take it from there? Next year I want to have it where the money comes directly out of their checking account/ or charges their card on the first of the month. Does anyone do this?

We take payment after each service visit. Daily!!!

Grass King
03-03-2005, 12:03 AM
DFW

Forward your office phone to your cell, when your out of office.

promower
03-03-2005, 12:50 AM
Yep, just have them intial them with marker each one that turns into an account they get $20, and also mention that your doing random checks to make sure they are deliverd, and also let them know what you expect fliers per hour or whatever. With good incentives they should bust butt and try and get a bunch of new clients, more work and money for you and them.

coonman
03-03-2005, 01:01 AM
We take payment after each service visit. Daily!!!
Wow, I can't believe it. I thought we were the only ones that still billed per visit. We just leave a statement inside a self addressed envelope. We have several seniors as customers, they would never go for the checking account draft or credit card billing. Besides, they are usually home when we are there and just come out and hand us a check.

mdvaden
03-03-2005, 03:11 AM
I at least have my help do about 10 to 20 per location we go to. 5 houses one way and back, and 5 houses the other way and then back. Takes about 8 minutes. That's 100 a week, a few thousand per year.

Right next to where we are parked just before we get rolling on the job.