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View Poll Results: Should I include a business card inside our Christmas Cards or not?
Yes, definitely. Nothing wrong with it. 38 41.30%
No, that's tacky. Just keep it simple and sincere. 54 58.70%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 12-13-2006, 04:54 PM
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Beau Rivage Beau Rivage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petekief
well can i just get a plasma rifle???

ps. get the trimmers - money very well spent
They're illegal in Md. Besides...the movement can't spare any at this time. I'm sure you understand. I've got the money for the trimmers now, I'm just trying to decide which ones. I'll probably go with stihl even though they're quite pricey and is my first year. What the hell...

Oh, and good decision Jim.
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  #22  
Old 12-13-2006, 05:01 PM
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WJW Lawn WJW Lawn is offline
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Good call Jim!! Send em a Happy Holidays and a Thank you. Heck..if you do good work...they already have your name and number lol
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  #23  
Old 12-13-2006, 05:25 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJW Lawn
Good call J Heck..if you do good work...they already have your name and number lol
Yah, you'd think that would be true. But in a lot of cases it's not. Sure, when we do a $12,000 landscape install and the customer is happy with our work, those customers will always hang onto our card and remember us. We were there long enough to create a lasting impression. And of course the customers we do regular weekly maintenance have our number and know us well.

But it's the customers who we did small, one-time jobs for that tend to forget us or lose our card. For instance, someone we did a one-time clean-up and mulch job for. Or someone who we did a small planting job for. Those kinds of jobs. And I know they loved our work and were happy with our prices because they say so when they hand me the check. But still, a lot of those customers never call us back. And then the following year I see another truck at their house doing something that we do. And I think the problem is they liked us but just lost our card and can't remember our name. It's a common problem most businesses have - they don't take advantage of their previous (happy) customers as much as they could. And I know if I just made a point to get our name and number in front of them every few months or at least twice a year, then they'd call us next time. So I've been brainstorming ideas in my head ways to try to get our name in front of ALL of our past customers more often.

I think quarterly newsletters are really the ticket. But I was also thinking just a spring reminder letter would be good too. Something like "Hey! Remember that job we did for you last year? Well, please remember us if you or your friends need any work this year." Obviously, I'd word it more professionally than that. But that's the kind of letter I was thinking of.

So I was just thinking perhaps the business card in the Christmas card would help toward that effort. But I've concluded, with your guys' help, that I won't do that.

Anyway, my point is that you can't always count on people remembering your company. At least not in a busy metropolitan area. There are HUNDREDS of landscape contractors and LCOs in my town. It's difficult for customers to remember them. Cast in point - I just had a new garage door opener installed this spring. I loved the work the company did. I thought there price was fair. And they were extremely prompt. But I can't remember the name of that company for the life of me. And I have no idea where we put the receipt. It's not that I wouldn't refer them to friends or use them again. It's just that I was busy and don't have anything handy to remember which company it was. I am sure it's the same for many of the clients who we did smaller one-time jobs for as well.
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  #24  
Old 12-13-2006, 08:05 PM
Let-it-mow! Let-it-mow! is offline
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There's nothing wrong with sending a Christmas card...as long as it's really a Christmas card and not an advertisement. I gets several Christmas cards from companies I do business with every year.

If the phone company sent one, I'd know it was nothing but an ad; but when I get a card from someone I do business with and actually know personally, it's nice. I appreciate it. I'm sure you all know your customers well enought to send a Christmas card.

Putting a business card inside would be tacky. But "good will" can go a long way in building relationships. Business is about relationships.

If you want a card that advertises for you (If you have deep pockets) you could always do something like this:

http://www.upfrontgreetings.com
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  #25  
Old 12-14-2006, 06:04 AM
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Tharrell Tharrell is offline
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I understand where everyone is coming from and the reasons why some are reluctant to include their company card. However, I've been in a lot of businesses and I'm telling you it is done. Unless your name is a household word, a big corporation WILL NOT know who you are.
You don't have to include a card, you could sign it, "Your friends at XXX lawn etc..."
The point is, get your name in front of them.
Heck, I'm thinking of sending a few to customers I WANT to have.
I'm sorry but, business is ruthless and you all should know that.

Touchy feely is reserved for family, not customers.
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  #26  
Old 12-14-2006, 10:55 PM
Precision Precision is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLewis

But it's the customers who we did small, one-time jobs for that tend to forget us or lose our card.

Anyway, my point is that you can't always count on people remembering your company. At least not in a busy metropolitan area. There are HUNDREDS of landscape contractors and LCOs in my town. It's difficult for customers to remember them.
Unless you want to moonlight in publishing the best way to pursue those people is to have someone track those jobs in Outlook and when completed put a reminder in for the expiration / renewal time for the job. Then send out reminder letters like the dentist does.

Say you do a mulch job in October and it needs to be refreshed in April, then have the reminder pop up in March and sent out a quick post card or letter to that effect. You could even include pricing since you did it once already.

My $.02
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  #27  
Old 12-15-2006, 04:54 AM
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Beau Rivage Beau Rivage is offline
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[QUOTE=Tharrell]You don't have to include a card, you could sign it, "Your friends at XXX lawn etc..."[QUOTE]

I did this...much more tasteful than an actual business card, and while business may be ruthless, Christmas certainly shouldn't be IMO. But then again I don't target "big corporations" only residentials owned by human beings. You're right to an extent about companies keeping their names in front of customers. I still work my corporate job (at least til spring) and while the Christmas cards have been pouring in every day I've yet to see one with a business card in it. Usually they're attached to a cheap Chinese present of some sort or if we're lucky, food. Business cards are so common in the corporate world...Most companies wouldn't dare degrade Christmas with one, even with they're customers. I don't know...maybe it's just a southern thing.
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Beau Rivage...or my Unitarian Jihad name of Brother Plasma Rifle of Faith and Glory.


04 Toyota Tacoma
05 5x10 trailer
04 Exmark Lazer Z 60" Ultra-cut
91 Lawn Boy S21ESR commercial
06 Husqvarna 125L trimmer
08 Husqvarna 326ES stick edger
06 Husqvarna 145BT backpack blower
06 Maruyama EHT23DS hedge trimmers
06 Fabworks OEM trimmer rack

Last edited by Beau Rivage; 12-15-2006 at 05:04 AM.
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  #28  
Old 12-15-2006, 06:09 AM
jeffex jeffex is offline
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The best thing going for you is YOU have their address and phone #. Sending them a letter in the spring is a good idea. Maybe they will remember your Christmas card and you can cash in on that goodwil. At least they may call you. I have learned to anticipate my regular customers needs just like you and many others. The real trick is getting into the head of these one timers and maybe making them regulars or at least yearly -one time services. The news letter has proven to be effective in educating customers as well as keeping your name in their face. I have found a personal visit to be a good way of re connecting with some of my pressure washing customers. Many times they lost my card and were glad I called or showed up. I do aeration and leaf removal for non-regulars and I always call or drop by on them because they are an easy sell. Its more of a reminder than a sell .
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  #29  
Old 12-15-2006, 11:20 PM
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Lawn Enforcer Lawn Enforcer is offline
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I put business cards in my Christmas cards, so they have one for reference. Also I got a hold of some "Fresh Cut Grass" scented candles for the lady customers
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