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  #11  
Old 11-19-2001, 09:16 AM
SprinklerGuy SprinklerGuy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona/Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 1,777
Val pak and others need time........I have been doing them for about 6 years and the first year or two was pathetic. But, my rep told me to stick it out and she was right. Now I do almost 40% of my business with these things. Amazing, I think people want to see you a few times before they call you.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to SPEED UP word of mouth? We usually give a $10 off coupon to someone who refers a customer to us, but, we don't advertise that. Should we?
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2001, 09:40 AM
CSRA Landscaping CSRA Landscaping is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Beech Island, SC
Posts: 1,232
Yeah, Augusta, Cos. Nice place. Ft. Gordon is what brought me here too, only thing is that I stayed!

As far as the flyers' cost goes, whatever it costs you to print them/photo-copy them, then just take them out and stick them in doors/newspaper boxes (no mailboxes!) or what have you.
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2001, 02:37 PM
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cos cos is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: southeast pa
Posts: 1,253
Anybody have any experience with the phone book? And How effective is it? Do you get your monies worth?
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2001, 05:46 PM
kutnkru kutnkru is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: 93-04 (Zone5b) 05-now (Zone9a)
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The only truely effective point to them thar yellar pagez IMHO is that many people when looking for a replacement contractor want to deal with someone who has been listed for several years.

I talked with a fellow who had stopped us for a quote a while back. He asked how long we were in the phone book. I told him that I wasnt and he tried to flag me on. I told him that since I changed the name of the company when I bought it I hadnt placed an add to generate clientel. Our work speaks for itself. I told him to look us up in the '90 directory and he would find us there 10 yrs ago.

Sure enough he took the time to look up the name and he called today and left a message asking for a quote. People are funny that way sometimes.
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2001, 09:48 PM
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Stonehenge Stonehenge is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Midwest
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I've never had that, someone wanting to know how long we've been in the YP, but also the services I offer are one-time things, usually. With that in mind, people usually use the YP as a quick reference. They don't know who to call, so they just grab the yellow pages and call a few companies whose ads caught their eye.

Those sales are a little harder than word of mouth, but they're still great prospects.
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  #16  
Old 11-24-2001, 05:47 PM
MATTHEW MATTHEW is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: NE OHIO
Posts: 665
just last night...

Just last night a friend moved back to town and stopped over. He was a marketing manager of a $5 million business a few years back. He says the best program is to blanket a big area with some sort of visual literature (coupon or add, ect) Then hire a telemarketing team to call that area and get you QUALIFIED leads of whatever # you want. Then, you leave a flyer and price quote. The next step is the most crucial! If you skip it, you will get the usual 1-2% response. CALL THEM BACK. Have a sales pitch and keep it strong. And ask the question "can I sign you up for next year?" Yes or No. Do not accept " i'll think about it" Probe for objections and overcome them on the spot. Ask again "can I sign you up for next year?"
I am going to go this route NOW. I am only going for lawncare customers, and I'll let you know how things go over the winter.
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2001, 01:52 AM
KindGardener KindGardener is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 186
I have a sign on each side of my truck - about 16 x 28":

The Kind Gardeners
"detailed garden maintenance"
714-567-8374
Will Johnson, Owner

(remind me to add a digital camera to the christmas list!)

I regularly have people stop & ask, & occasionally call.
I'm almost too busy right now, but if I wanted more work, I'd drop flyers to the houses in the area I wanted work.
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  #18  
Old 11-25-2001, 10:00 AM
GroundKprs GroundKprs is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Bend, IN
Posts: 1,969
The only advertising I have ever used is my work. Over 20 years ago I decided to try to see if one could make a living in grounds maintenance, and gave myself 5 years to find out; was well on my way in 2 yrs. I did continue to work at other jobs parttime in the beginning, but soon found them to be a handicap.

I had worked with someone else, and started my business with 3 accounts of my own; he couldn't handle some, so soon gave me a dozen more. Referrals from my work on one of my original 3 now account for about $16K in annual revenue, from another around $14K, other one $11k. No name or any marking on truck. I am not just speaking about word of mouth either. Every year I have at least a dozen people stop their cars and chase me down on a property to ask about my services; from one of these I now do $4.5K a year.

You should be thinking about sales as obtaining a long term relationship. In any service business it is the regular customers who keep the business going. In ours especially, you cease to exist if you can't provide regular, dependable, consistent service. Take good care of what you have, and the rest will come. Remember, Bill Gillette did not get rich selling razors, but by selling razor blades. And he didn't have to advertise blades at all. If you already have 2 or 3 or more accounts, they should be your basic advertising. Right out in public for all to see, and doesn't cost a cent.

Special hint: corner lots draw more attention, and a corner lot at a stoplight or 4-way stop will get you 5-10 times as many contacts as any other lot. Instead of just working for what you can get from the client property, do your work to show others what you are capable of.
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North central Indiana
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  #19  
Old 11-25-2001, 10:32 AM
PINEISLAND1 PINEISLAND1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: WEST MI
Posts: 201
I was considering signs at my snow customers- "snow removal by Pine Island Services" with a phone number. Anyone ever do that on their jobsites?
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  #20  
Old 11-25-2001, 11:14 AM
kris kris is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: nowhere
Posts: 1,833
Networking... get involved in the community.
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