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  #11  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:18 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,655
You really have to build a thick skin in this business about doing bids and expecting folks to call you back. they won't. And they won't answer the phone either. This started about 4-6 years ago, and has become the norm among people. this avoidance of telling people no or not telling people they can't afford it. middle class and wealthy people think now it is better to give contractors false hope when they leave the house, and in reality, they made up their mind not to do it the moment they saw the numbers. ( or the absent spouse will not approve of the bid).

This is the reason so few people answer the phone anymore. So many people are avoiding so many phone conversations that they do not want to have, that they voicemail screen every call, even if they just left you a message.

I did a bid for a smaller home today and was refreshed when she said, "whoa!, that is way out of my budget! I am gonna pass!" I never get that from folks that can actually afford this service. they are too embarassed to tell you no or that they can't or won't pay that.

got 5 no's today ( well one no and 4 promises) , so almost caught up on my close ratio. should start selling again tomorrow.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:32 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Location: Fayetteville,AR
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#13 and 14 today. smaller jobs, but happy to have them and helps me fill up my tree. 2k add on today made the sales day nice. started talking about that with the client after last year, put up the regular job and caught the homeowner home while I was out inspecting it and closed the deal.

Don't know if I have ever shared this, but my lovely wife draws a large tree that fils a large piece of posterboard every year, and I start at the stump, and then divide the tree into 3 or 4 sections. then I write the names of all my new and add-on sales in and I get to move up the tree as I cross a sales threshold. really feels good for the ego to write on the tree all new sales activity. It further tells me at a glance who was sold in order so I know who the next new job should be on the install schedule. I put the star on top of the tree as a $$ bonus for me if I write names in the star.

I suppose I should keep the other years sales tree up so I can compare years at a glance as well, but I find it does more harm than good. I get real depressed when I see names on the last few years tree that no longer do business with us. We lose about 10-20 customers a year now, And even thought that is close percentage wise compared to all the other years we have been in business, it still bugs me to think about clients that have moved on and no longer do business with us. So I leave the old ones in the closet except for the end of the year. Then I get it out and compare what date we moved from one zone to the next, Average new customer sales that year verses this year, and so forth.

I stayed up til 1:30 last night really going over what we have to do and what crew is doing what which day. Looks like I am booking new sales on the tuesday after Thanksgiving today, assuming good weather and all employees show up. So I Got up at 6 and did my morning routine, felt so tires because I stayed up lat ethe night before, got to the shop at 7;45 or so and had a quick meeting with the guys. did a 9:30 sales appointment, sold it, and then woke up to that rumble vibrate thing on the interstate doing 75. luckily I was fine, but went home and ate and slept for an hour before my next 3 appointments. going to bed soon. I need to watch my sleep for the next 3 1/2 weeks.

I am going to call Dec. 10 the cutoff for sales, so 25 selling days left. I have sold my first job from a sign today, sold 3 from a postcard mailer and a few from website and yelow pages.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2012, 01:08 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Location: Fayetteville,AR
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15, 16, 17 today. medium jobs. another postcard job from mailing, so at 4 jobs for that card in one saturation route on one mailing of 800 or so. That is a very good return on investment. but same card, no jobs on saturation 2 other walking routes. go figure.
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  #14  
Old 11-17-2012, 02:18 AM
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PlantscapeSolutions PlantscapeSolutions is online now
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Buda,Texas
Posts: 2,638
I did three batches of direct mail and the thought of the $5100 bill has me on ups and downs like a Prozac pill popper depending on how the days go. I only lost one customer but it was mutual and I didn't want his business at any price.

1. I got one great job that went from $1800 to $3800 with my first batch of mail.
2. One maintenance customer signed up for about $600 in simple lights.
3. One customer who insisted on keeping his lights himself had them all stolen. $2500 later he has lights again.
4. One small senior citizen job for $600 as a PR job since it's in an area where a tiny 1200 sq ft home cost $400K and a regular 2000 sq ft place can cost a million.
5. Small $750 job for some trying to afford something on their new million dollar home for their kids to look at when they get here from CA. Next year it should grow.
6. Tree lighting job (1200' lights was 1800') that I thought I lost to a Decor guy but it looks to be mine after all.
7. Existing customer has added $5000 to his display.

Hoping to hear back from some more bids. Especially the one in the pictures. This house is 7000 sq feet but it looks even bigger. This is house would probably sell for around four million because it's on Lake Austin. I'm looking at 600' of C9's and a dozen 16' tall Italian Cypress tree's with 2400' of lights on them. There are houses under construction on both sides. I really want this job.
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Market- Austin Texas Area
Employees- 3
Sales $330K+
Owner- David

Services-AutoCAD Landscape Design & Install, Maintenance, Landscape Lighting, HD Holiday Lighting, Masonry (Stone, Block, Brick, and Stucco), & Arborist Work

Accreditations & Memberships- BBB, TNLA, TPCL 611373, & Class 1 Nurserymen.

Market Niche- High end residential.

-http://plantscapesolutions.net/
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  #15  
Old 11-17-2012, 09:28 PM
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CleanCut1 CleanCut1 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Village Mills, Texas
Posts: 59
Sold six through eleven since Monday and three small add on's, including two small commercials.

But, the phone seems to have stopped ringing. Only one call yesterday and two today and all were "can you hang my lights" calls.

It seems like last year around this time, the phone went crazy. I hope the rush is still coming.
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  #16  
Old 11-17-2012, 09:30 PM
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CleanCut1 CleanCut1 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Village Mills, Texas
Posts: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantscapeSolutions View Post
I did three batches of direct mail and the thought of the $5100 bill has me on ups and downs like a Prozac pill popper depending on how the days go. I only lost one customer but it was mutual and I didn't want his business at any price.

1. I got one great job that went from $1800 to $3800 with my first batch of mail.
2. One maintenance customer signed up for about $600 in simple lights.
3. One customer who insisted on keeping his lights himself had them all stolen. $2500 later he has lights again.
4. One small senior citizen job for $600 as a PR job since it's in an area where a tiny 1200 sq ft home cost $400K and a regular 2000 sq ft place can cost a million.
5. Small $750 job for some trying to afford something on their new million dollar home for their kids to look at when they get here from CA. Next year it should grow.
6. Tree lighting job (1200' lights was 1800') that I thought I lost to a Decor guy but it looks to be mine after all.
7. Existing customer has added $5000 to his display.

Hoping to hear back from some more bids. Especially the one in the pictures. This house is 7000 sq feet but it looks even bigger. This is house would probably sell for around four million because it's on Lake Austin. I'm looking at 600' of C9's and a dozen 16' tall Italian Cypress tree's with 2400' of lights on them. There are houses under construction on both sides. I really want this job.
If you get that job, be sure to post some pics when done. Should look pretty awesome.
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  #17  
Old 11-18-2012, 01:38 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,655
After getting 3 out of 4 yesterday, I was due for a batch of no's. got 4 of those today. Or at least a wait and see. so no closes today. seem to be close in jobs sold where I was in 2009 and 2010, ahead of 2011. 2 appointments scheduled tomorrow.
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  #18  
Old 11-18-2012, 09:58 AM
TimNNJ TimNNJ is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Mid New Jersey
Posts: 319
I have 95% of my rehangs..a couple nice add ons...I sent my postcards out right before the hurricane..not getting the response that I got last year....met with 7 people nothing yet..understood..we are getting great work from downed trees and blow over stumps..I can't complain there..we are plenty busy..I made up another 10k in flyers..one side downed tree work/excavator..the other side is going to be the front of my Christmas postcard I sent out..still have about 50 lawn signs to put out..I think after Thanksgiving is when I will get my hit..some folks still don't have power..Plenty of time left to make those sales!..Keep plugging everyone
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  #19  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:42 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,655
18,19,20 today. 3 appointments, 3 closes. Small to medium jobs. Booking nov. 28th now, but guys are catching me. I sell 3, they put up 6. And since i closed 3out of 3 today, now I am due 6 no's statistically before I get a yes. Dang.
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2012, 01:39 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,655
21 and 22 today. one small, one medium. also sold 2 small landscape light jobs, so more work to do during the break from install stop to takedown start. But close ratio is way too high right now. I did have 4 appointments today, I have 5 appointments scheduled tomorrow. and statistically, all 5 tomorrow should say no. Maybe the economy is doing way better, or I need to raise my prices.

As of today anyway, I am ahead of all previous years, yet I have no idea why. I am not getting more bids from any source, I am just closing more. But I look back over previous years, and I have these dry spells where your close ratio catches up with you.

Had a fun day where I bid a residential job side by side with the Christmas Decor owner. I have a fairly good talking relationship with them, and we share stories. They or she may even read my yearly sales threads. But I have always been a fairly open book here, and I highly doubt they would change anything they do or what they charge because of what they read here. But it was interesting to explain to the client with both of us standing there the difference beween our companies.

That was one I did not close, but to be fair, Christmas Decor did the one across the street. She may yet call me. never know.
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