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Old 11-30-2013, 09:52 AM
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rcreech rcreech is online now
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Block Leading

We are going to step up our marketing efforts next year and looking into several different ideas.

Have any of you ever used block leading before?

If so what strategy did you use?
What kind of results did you get?
Did you use HS kids or adults for your leads, then follow up with a saleman to close?
How many leads/closes can one plan on per hour?
How did you pay/reward the person getting the lead and your "door to door" closed leads?

I have wanted to for a few years but just didn't get a plan together and then we got busy and didn't do it.

We are planning on running 2 different commercials and a radio ad next spring. The areas that we are going to block lead I would also like to send out two mailers during the week before we go out on a Saturday.

Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Thanks,
RC
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:18 PM
greenskeeper44 greenskeeper44 is online now
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Are you talking about door to door sales by knocking on doors or just "block leading" by measuring the properties and then sending them mailers?

For door to door....I have not done it and always wanted to....I think the best way, which I learned at a real green seminar, would be to send out 2-4 college or highschool kids and knock on doors and tell the homeowners that there will be a salesman in the area later on. If the homeowner says they would like an estimate the kids notify the salesman and he goes and talks to the homeowner and closes the sale. This way the door knockers are able to knock on more doors and the salesman is spending his time closing instead of knocking.

I have been reluctant to do this because I hate door to door sales people at my own house, and the neighborhoods around here really don't allow you to do this..I know it can be an cost effective way to pick up customers....weed man and other national companies do this effectively in the spring.

If you are going to block lead I would just measure homes online and store them in your marketing database and then send them mailers with pricing on them for their property.
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:50 PM
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rcreech rcreech is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenskeeper44 View Post
Are you talking about door to door sales by knocking on doors or just "block leading" by measuring the properties and then sending them mailers?

For door to door....I have not done it and always wanted to....I think the best way, which I learned at a real green seminar, would be to send out 2-4 college or highschool kids and knock on doors and tell the homeowners that there will be a salesman in the area later on. If the homeowner says they would like an estimate the kids notify the salesman and he goes and talks to the homeowner and closes the sale. This way the door knockers are able to knock on more doors and the salesman is spending his time closing instead of knocking.

I have been reluctant to do this because I hate door to door sales people at my own house, and the neighborhoods around here really don't allow you to do this..I know it can be an cost effective way to pick up customers....weed man and other national companies do this effectively in the spring.

If you are going to block lead I would just measure homes online and store them in your marketing database and then send them mailers with pricing on them for their property.
Yes

Real Green is where I learned about it 5-6 yrs ago.

I think it can work.

Just would like some feedback from someone that may have tried it.

I would probably get atleast 4-6 HS kids and if we could even just close 1-2 an hour per person that would be huge!
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:31 PM
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Efficiency Efficiency is offline
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The big companies only do it because they have to. Nothing else works for them. One of the best local TG girls doing door to door was trying to get me to hire her as she didn't like their revised rules this year. She was painting a really rosey portrait of her performance and I still didn't like the numbers.

Rod, you have something that works. Why change until it doesn't? I can't imagine a pitch that would even remotely get me interested in a quote from a lawn company if I was a paying consumer. Are you going to convince them of your superior customer service while standing on the porch? I would argue that's a broken promise from the get go. If Suzy is preparing lunch for her kids coming home from school at 1, you think she gives a rip about your better products? At this point, you are interrupting their day. It's whats known as interruption marketing. That's the days of old.

You are going to get very short term clients who are easy come, easy go. Especially if they buy only for a special deal. Can you say price sensitive?
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:44 AM
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rcreech rcreech is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efficiency View Post
The big companies only do it because they have to. Nothing else works for them. One of the best local TG girls doing door to door was trying to get me to hire her as she didn't like their revised rules this year. She was painting a really rosey portrait of her performance and I still didn't like the numbers.

Rod, you have something that works. Why change until it doesn't? I can't imagine a pitch that would even remotely get me interested in a quote from a lawn company if I was a paying consumer. Are you going to convince them of your superior customer service while standing on the porch? I would argue that's a broken promise from the get go. If Suzy is preparing lunch for her kids coming home from school at 1, you think she gives a rip about your better products? At this point, you are interrupting their day. It's whats known as interruption marketing. That's the days of old.

You are going to get very short term clients who are easy come, easy go. Especially if they buy only for a special deal. Can you say price sensitive?
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Effeciency,

We know what has worked in the past and will continue to do that. But I am always willing to think outside the box and try new things. What works best one yr may not work the next so I want to have "new" ideas so we can continue to grow at the pace we want.

I don't know of anyone doing block leading around here including the big guys.

I think if done correctly it could be very effective. Our focus would be our local cities, HOA's and a few other highly populated areas that have awesome homes and where we can really fill in our routes.

There is an HOA that is literally 8 miles from me. There are probably 200-300 homes and we are probably treating 20 in there max. Most of the people probably don't even know who we are. I have a problem with that!

What we are finding is people don't know they have a choice other then Tru Green. People are getting pissed at Tru Green and once they find a way out they jump on it. Trust me it isn't PRICE!!!!! They just want a good service and want what they pay for.

If we can combine our marketing efforts (TV, Radio and post cards) followed up with a block lead visit and promote a LOCAL business that has a successful and proven business...I know it can work.

I am sure that we may upset a few people or get a few doors slammed in our faces...but if we can go out and pick up 10-15+ new customers in a day that is our goal. You do that for a couple Saturdays and its well worth it.

Then the more time we spend in that neighborhood during the year the more chances we have of being seen and picking up their neighbors during the yr. And hopefully getting referrals from them (our newest customers get us the most referrals ). Makes sense though as an older customer may have already referred their family and friends in previous years.

As you know the key to business is growing your business...and the more customers we get the lower our costs, more effecient we are growing our sales force. We look at all of our customers as our sales force.

50% of our 2013 growth was from referrals.

These are the reasons I feel that I feel block leading would work but I may be wrong.

I guess I would rather try it and fail then wonder if it would work or not.

Just looking for some feedback. Sounds like no one on here has tried it yet.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:35 PM
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Efficiency Efficiency is offline
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I'll text you
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:38 PM
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americanlawn americanlawn is offline
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I agree with Efficiency 100%. Everything --- and I mean EVERYTHING that Efficiency mentioned also applies to my company.

I never measure/analyze a property if I can't see it in person. Snow cover = they will have to wait. I still have over 100 credits on GoIlawn, but don't like to use it unless I am desperate. Same with all other online measuring tools. Reason = too often unreliable regarding square footage of actual turf, etc, etc.

1) My credibility is on the line.
2) We advertise that we inspect properties before making recommendations.
3) We mention we have actual horticulturists.
4) We mention we have 35-years-experience in the industry, etc, etc.

I've seen hack job outfits use these "sales" techniques. Most don't last. The others have a high cancellation rate. imo

Question? Would you personally choose a "door-to-door salesman" over a company who does not rely on this type of marketing?

Not picking on you RC, cuz I know you run a quality company. Just raising questions.
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2013, 04:54 PM
Service 1st Lawn Care Service 1st Lawn Care is offline
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Weed- Man was doing block leading in our town this year, even though my company truck was parked in the drive way still knocked on the door and asked if I wanted an estimate. I asked the fella what he thought my lawn needed? he said well I'm just getting a yes to the estimate an a salesman will call you, I asked do you have a solicitors license which is required in our town he said he didn't know. I said sure go ahead.

A few days later there salesman called, and gave me a run down of the services I would receive for said price. I said how do you know what the size of my lawn is? He said we have computer software that measures folks lawns. I said does that also tell you if the lawn might need some additional attention in some areas? He said they would figure that out on there first application. I said a competitor to them would do it for $5.00 less an app he said well we could do that, I said why didn't I get that price to begin with how did the price all the sudden drop $5.00? Must have had some phone problems because we some how got disconnected, hmm he never called back. Didn't even get a chance to ask if he had a solicitors license.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:09 PM
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rcreech rcreech is online now
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Larry

You must know what block leading is.

A young adult knocks on doors and when people are interested they tell the homeowner that a lawn health specialist will be by soon to do a free lawn analysis
Then and there we will inspect the lawn measure and price.

I am not sure what you are agreeing with effeciency on?

What's the difference between knocking on someone's door vs TV vs post cards?
They are all different ways to market

As far as measuring lawns in goilawn...I would love to know the $1000s of dollars that we saved this ur with it on fuel and time.
With the amount of growth we has this ur we couldn't have looked at every lawn we quoted.

We always quote with goilawn and ONLY physically drive to lawns that people have committed on.

You may drive and measure 1000 lawns and only pick up 500. That means you have investment in 500 lawns that you didn't get and that adds to your cost of the ones you get.

We have been very successful in the way we do business and won't make changes in the way we quote as we want to keep our costs as low as we can and use our resources as efficiently as we can.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2013, 09:45 PM
georgialawn88 georgialawn88 is offline
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rcreech,
Sounds like a jam up idea to me. Altho I have never tried that exact same thing as im a one man operation, for now. I have went door to door and priced a well detailed estimate and slipped it on their door knob. I got 2% off this last year. Now most of my lawns are clustered in areas. I like the idea! let us know how it works!
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