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  #31  
Old 11-18-2010, 07:23 PM
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addictedtolandscaping addictedtolandscaping is offline
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Two more estimates sent out today, keeping the margin at a minimum and then offering a 200 discount, and then offering three different payment options :much much more than expected, way to expensive." Got to wonder why even try anymore.
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  #32  
Old 11-18-2010, 08:28 PM
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addictedtolandscaping addictedtolandscaping is offline
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So as usual, another fantastic waste of a day with wild goose chases. 10k in advertising, another 1000 in fuel not to even try to calculate time, thinking very firmly that this year is it. I will continue to service the people that have come on board, but that's it no more money for advertising etc. Can not see the sense in consistently throwing time and money at something that here just does not seem to work. I read each day about you guys closing sales and I think it's wonderful, for some reason, they all want it for nothing here. I want to thank everyone that has offered advice, suggestions etc through my journey. I do have to say though, at this point it is damn near heart breaking. Sucks to dump your heart and soul into something to end up falling flat on your face.
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2007 Ram 2500 with the 6.7
2001 Ram 2500 opec proof gasser with the 360
1996 Mack RD Tri-Axle Dump Truck
2000 Cat 312B
2000 Cat 304 CCR
2000 Hyundai H70
2012 Scag V Ride
2009 Ferris IS3100 z
Brown Bed Edger
Multiple trailers, hand tools and smaller stuff
A son to teach the value of life, business and honor
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  #33  
Old 11-18-2010, 10:27 PM
hotrod1965 hotrod1965 is offline
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Sent out estimates? Have you tried doing them right on the spot?
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  #34  
Old 11-19-2010, 12:21 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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I hate leaving or emailing bids. I have done a couple of dozen and closed maybe one. I need to meet the customer and get to know them and have them get to know and trust me. I do bids on the spot.

I did the slaes thread last year to kind of track my sales and see how everyone else is doing, and then I look back and have been comparing last year to this year and will do the same next year. I never meant for this thread to become some sort of "rubbing it in" kind of thing. sorry.

#18 and 19 today. 1k ones, from yard signs and truck graphics.

the best time of year to close jobs is coming up. and the best marketing tool for this time of year is yard signs, large, easy to read, colorful and most important, in the right location. If you are limited on the number of signs you have, I would encourage you to put them out on friday afternoon around 4pm and then pull them back up monday morning around 6:30-7 before the sign police pull them. and then put them out again at wed at 4pm and pull them back up monday morning after thanksgiving at 6:30 am or so. and the friday after that. You have got to put them up across the street from where folks leaving the most expensive subdivisions will see them when they stop at the front gate. I put them across the street and they work.

we will close 10 jobs off the signs we put out this year at least.
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  #35  
Old 11-19-2010, 04:09 AM
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addictedtolandscaping addictedtolandscaping is offline
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Yup but they all want to see it in the damn design software.

Dave I don't see it like a rub it in situation, not at all. Truthfully, I am just sick and tired of wasting time and money. What I have wrapped up in the advertising alone I could have paid for almost an extra year on my dump truck. Then just in the "need to have on hand product" I brought in, there was 2 more payments. That makes money. I figure by the time all is said and done, end up up with about 2.5 hours wrapped up in each estimate for the sake of round numbers, drive there, spend time with the person, show them the product, get pictures, drive back, do the design(s) - three of them low medium high end. Even going with financing option, opened a merchant account for credit cards, and doing a discount right off the bat, no sales. Margin starts at 45% - then take 15% off that for shipping, then have been offering $200 discount. HBL estimating software used, not going with full install presets. All said and done, profit is minimal. Just a waste for me. The way it is going, I am already about 14k in the red this year.

How sad is this, 310 am and I am so bothered by all this I can't even sleep. Pathetic
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2007 Ram 2500 with the 6.7
2001 Ram 2500 opec proof gasser with the 360
1996 Mack RD Tri-Axle Dump Truck
2000 Cat 312B
2000 Cat 304 CCR
2000 Hyundai H70
2012 Scag V Ride
2009 Ferris IS3100 z
Brown Bed Edger
Multiple trailers, hand tools and smaller stuff
A son to teach the value of life, business and honor
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  #36  
Old 11-19-2010, 08:10 AM
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turf hokie turf hokie is offline
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I so want to help. I hate that you are not doing well.

Couple of things, hand written estimate on the spot will get you sales, a blank piece of paper and a quick hand sketch of the house etc to show them what you are proposing, a portfolio with as many local pictures as you can.

Why do they even know about the design software, screw that, I have done 2 estimates using the design software in 6 years of doing lights, waste of time. There is no time for spending 2-3 hours on each estimate. I put no more than 1 hour on average into each estimate with drive time.

Too late this year, but the chamber mailers are not working, look for a Smart Shopper or Clipper type magazine. I use them to keep the name out there, locally they go to 100,000 homes and it will cost under 2k to run a full color, COVER page. Direct mailers are a waste up in this area as well, I just learned that the hard way.

I have to run and get the crews going..

Call me or PM me maybe I can help further?

Bryan
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  #37  
Old 11-19-2010, 08:28 AM
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Birchwood Birchwood is offline
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Same here, I have a hand written proposal in the back of a packet, explaining us and our products, 30 min tops. 10-15 discuss options and their thoughts, show product. 10 min to write up quote, and break everything apart, roof, garlands and wreaths, trees, and that becomes my low, medium and high, they can add it up themselves. A second trip for $500 or your too high, is too much of a waste. I will know that in 5 min or the follow up call the following week.
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  #38  
Old 11-20-2010, 12:58 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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not to hammer this nail too deep, but I too don't use the software because of time. I will be honest, deep down I know I would sell more work per job if I did do the software, but I would have time to do far less bids and so I think I would sell less overall. and even though I used to show and tell the light link story at every bid, I have pretty much accepted the fact that 90% of the folks want c-9s, garland, wreaths, and minis. so i bring those to show folks and we use the best.

please- I would be interested in your results next year if you just invested $1200 in 250 24x24 full color 2 sided yard signs and paid an honest part time high school guy 2 hours a day to make sure they were in place every day from Oct 10 through Dec 10. don't do radio, newsletters, postcards, or anything else. just do that.
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  #39  
Old 11-20-2010, 12:59 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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got #20 today and got a 1k add on.
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  #40  
Old 11-20-2010, 06:18 AM
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addictedtolandscaping addictedtolandscaping is offline
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I got to agree with you guys completely. I love the software, I really do, but it is killing me in time. The direct mail is getting leads, just not closing. As much as I want to say to he** with it all, four more estimates lined up between today and Tuesday. I tried something new last night, told one lady point blank her first year is a sizable investment, then after that she has just installation, removal, and storage. I really hammered that home, she still wanted an appointment. Mentioned she wants some lights, wreaths on all her windows. Sounds pretty simple, I will show her the LL in the catalog, but thats going to be it.

I have some blank proposals I am putting in my truck this am, no more computer printed crap. If they go with it, I will put a printed one together when I get back home and email it to them so it is broken out.

I'll try to give you a call later Bryan.

Dave: been putting signs out, I will try to get one of the proofs up on here later if I can still see straight when I get back.

Thanks guys!!!
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2007 Ram 2500 with the 6.7
2001 Ram 2500 opec proof gasser with the 360
1996 Mack RD Tri-Axle Dump Truck
2000 Cat 312B
2000 Cat 304 CCR
2000 Hyundai H70
2012 Scag V Ride
2009 Ferris IS3100 z
Brown Bed Edger
Multiple trailers, hand tools and smaller stuff
A son to teach the value of life, business and honor
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