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  #51  
Old 11-22-2010, 11:39 PM
britelights britelights is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Seabrook, TX
Posts: 91
Ok David...I counted and we're at 17 new customers. We're pleased with that. And we always have alot of add-ons from existing customers and we still see a very high renewal rate. We're both dead tired but we'll get thru it -- we survive every year.

I have gotten a TON of compliments on our new postcard design. A couple people called just to say how much they liked the postcard - lol. I've also received alot of compliments on the new business card design.

I will tell you though -- I still haven't put out the "bandit signs." I just can't bring myself to do it -- I'm afraid of all the price-shopper calls and people wanting a whole house done for $300. And also -- since we're trying to deal with our new building and moving everything out of our existing office warehouse at the same time we're in the crazy season -- I'm scared of the results . This season reminds me of the season after Hurricane Ike!

Dennis -- congrats on the sales the last couple days. My heart also goes out to you -- it makes me want to fly to New York and spend a week selling with you . We have learned so much over the years...and it was only last year that we really started to see the difference on C-9s vs. lightlinks and realized how many jobs we were giving up because we only wanted to do lightlinks. We do alot of C-9s now -- and I try to get lightlinks in there on the peaks...or at least starbursts on stakes -- some kind of product to help differentiate them from their neighbors.
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  #52  
Old 11-23-2010, 07:37 PM
TexasFire221 TexasFire221 is offline
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I branched out in west Texas this year and am getting great results. I just cant get people to go with the light links. There is a Christmas Decor person in the area and has been for years and people cant get away from the C-9's. I sent out post cards and do have a few yard signs out and am getting at least 5 calls a day from that area. My sales guy over there did a $9,000 C-9 proposal last night but I cant even get them to look at the light links. As far as my area I cover now I am getting zero leads. I have signs out, sent out post cards, chamber, but just cant seem to get any bites. did have a guy call me yesterday, lives in a $500,000 neighbor and wanted his very large oak tree decorated for $40.00. Yes $40.00 I didnt leave out a 0! I am hoping after thanksgiving we will start closing some jobs. As of right now we have closed 5. Im not too happy about that.
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  #53  
Old 11-23-2010, 08:12 PM
hotrod1965 hotrod1965 is offline
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Location: SE Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addictedtolandscaping View Post
Have officially closed 2 this year, one was an upgrade to LL, not alot made on it, but the exposure in the 500k plus neighborhood will help. Rehangs is what I am concentrating on, am ok with not making alot the first year, it is the repeat that has most of my interest. Average on the rehangs if 700-1000. Not to bad when considerring that all the work - measuring etc is done in year one, all yo ugot to do is show up put it back up, and you already know where the quirks are so it goes alot easier.

In the midst of doing one now that has turned into a nightmare. 11 of the LED snow flakes that I got last year s.t.b. Called 4 times today, and can;t seem to get an idea of how and what happens. My client is blowing my phone up on an hourly basis. The tough part, client is essentially doubling the mini;s from last year, had it figured for 8 hours again for the rehang, now am at 8, large blue spruce is only half done, rain here, got a solid 8 left on it, then have to come back when I finally know where the snowflakes are going to be at. LED's, were displayed for 30 day, and died. Something smells bad about LED's to me now.
Its all about the quality of the LEDs you use... we fail 1% year to year.....
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  #54  
Old 11-23-2010, 10:29 PM
addictedtolandscaping's Avatar
addictedtolandscaping addictedtolandscaping is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: NY
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I can tell you that it was the only LED product I brought in, Mike has the Chinese factory sending me the wire harness to get everything squared up, but once and only once will that ever happen. To bad too, they really set the tree off nice. I finished it today, added 1200 more mini's hung the snow flakes with the galvanized wire I use for wreaths, got windy as could be as I ws tightening everything else, looks awesome. The wind swaying the tree makes it look like it is glistening, then the snow flakes swing with it, I am happy with it.

Texasfire, I was going through the same issue. losing my pants trying to sell light links. However, I wasn't looking at 9k projects. I worked to cost out and the client actually can have the same design except use c-9's and they save roughly 1k. People love the light links, they are a unique and beautiful product, but expensive. People here are few and far between that are willing to spend the money for them. I started pushing c-9's instead, and low and behold started closing jobs. I don;t know what Mike did with the direct mail this year, but I know that the last one hasn't landed yet, and my phone is still ringing. I am not getting anything off my signs, but the direct mail is working. I managed to get myself into some high end neighborhoods, 500k plus and though I am not making a killing up front, I have picked up 1400 a year in the two rehangs though. It took until last Friday for me to close a project, I looked at more work than i care to mention, and essentially got the door slammed in my face.

I spoke with a gentleman from LPG, he was telling me about their product, am waiting to get the email from him to look at it and see what is what with pricing. I just bought 2k c-9 clear incandescent from Holiday Light Source, and though I think I got a decent price, they just finished a blowout at .09 per bulb. I haven't been a fan of LED as we can't fix them, but after this experience, and I must emphasize, Mike has and continues to do everything he can possibly do to help me get this squared up, but it only takes one lesson to remember what you can go through. No more LED for me.
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  #55  
Old 11-23-2010, 11:50 PM
hotrod1965 hotrod1965 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Michigan
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yeah, but on the flip side, I watched one of my guys spend 1.5 hours fixing a bunch of incandescent strands for a customer on Sunday. (it was a favor...)

My repair rate per customer is typically 0.1. Meaning one out of ten customers actually will see us between install and removal... That's a pretty darn good sales pitch for LED if you ask me!

Anyway... Stay focused on the C9 pitch. Easier product to sell, easier product to work with!



Quote:
Originally Posted by addictedtolandscaping View Post
I can tell you that it was the only LED product I brought in, Mike has the Chinese factory sending me the wire harness to get everything squared up, but once and only once will that ever happen. To bad too, they really set the tree off nice. I finished it today, added 1200 more mini's hung the snow flakes with the galvanized wire I use for wreaths, got windy as could be as I ws tightening everything else, looks awesome. The wind swaying the tree makes it look like it is glistening, then the snow flakes swing with it, I am happy with it.

Texasfire, I was going through the same issue. losing my pants trying to sell light links. However, I wasn't looking at 9k projects. I worked to cost out and the client actually can have the same design except use c-9's and they save roughly 1k. People love the light links, they are a unique and beautiful product, but expensive. People here are few and far between that are willing to spend the money for them. I started pushing c-9's instead, and low and behold started closing jobs. I don;t know what Mike did with the direct mail this year, but I know that the last one hasn't landed yet, and my phone is still ringing. I am not getting anything off my signs, but the direct mail is working. I managed to get myself into some high end neighborhoods, 500k plus and though I am not making a killing up front, I have picked up 1400 a year in the two rehangs though. It took until last Friday for me to close a project, I looked at more work than i care to mention, and essentially got the door slammed in my face.

I spoke with a gentleman from LPG, he was telling me about their product, am waiting to get the email from him to look at it and see what is what with pricing. I just bought 2k c-9 clear incandescent from Holiday Light Source, and though I think I got a decent price, they just finished a blowout at .09 per bulb. I haven't been a fan of LED as we can't fix them, but after this experience, and I must emphasize, Mike has and continues to do everything he can possibly do to help me get this squared up, but it only takes one lesson to remember what you can go through. No more LED for me.
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  #56  
Old 11-24-2010, 12:32 AM
britelights britelights is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Seabrook, TX
Posts: 91
hotrod --- when you say a 1% fail rate on LEDs -- is that just on the LED c-9s and LED minis? Where do you buy yours?

We've had trouble with LED light links and starbursts -- and that's embarassing trying to explain to your customer when you worked so hard on the front end promoting the LED product. And it's frustrating because you can't repair them.

TexasFire --- where are you located?
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  #57  
Old 11-24-2010, 02:06 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
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I would say we average 1 repair per customer per year. while we have many customers that seem to work perfect, we have several that seem particularly problem prone. 2-4 c-9's also seem to unscrew themselves about 1/8 of a turn on every 3rd c-9 job we do. That never happened until copper prices went crazy about 6 years back and the 1/10 of a gram of copper that used to be in every c-9 socket apparently had to be shrunk down to 1/25 of a gram to save 70 cents worth of copper per 1000 foot spool.

I would love a .1 per customer repair rate. I would only have 20 service calls per year on 200 customers ! but we had probably 10 today alone on turn-ons, gfci's and bulb fixes. I did 4 this evening by myself. 5 repairs scheduled tomorrow. With the massive plug in turn on thursday evening, friday will easily be 15-20 fixes. frustrating thing is, I did some of these installs and I KNOW all the bulbs were lit and no brighties, yet I turned one on today after 3 weeks of dust/rain and 3 bulbs are out.

closed number 25 (1k) and my number 26 possible's check clears friday. did another ton of bids today, 2 landscape light bid and 6 christmas. closed another landscape light job to do when we finish installs.

1200 add on today as well.
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  #58  
Old 11-24-2010, 09:05 AM
hotrod1965 hotrod1965 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by britelights View Post
hotrod --- when you say a 1% fail rate on LEDs -- is that just on the LED c-9s and LED minis? Where do you buy yours?

We've had trouble with LED light links and starbursts -- and that's embarassing trying to explain to your customer when you worked so hard on the front end promoting the LED product. And it's frustrating because you can't repair them.

TexasFire --- where are you located?
I dont do links...ect. Tried to sell them a few years back, but no takers...

We actually import our own strands of lights. We bring in enough to support our installs and our retail business. We do some wholesale as well, and will continue to grow that side.
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  #59  
Old 11-24-2010, 08:16 PM
TexasFire221 TexasFire221 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 470
We are near Austin.






Quote:
Originally Posted by britelights View Post
hotrod --- when you say a 1% fail rate on LEDs -- is that just on the LED c-9s and LED minis? Where do you buy yours?

We've had trouble with LED light links and starbursts -- and that's embarassing trying to explain to your customer when you worked so hard on the front end promoting the LED product. And it's frustrating because you can't repair them.

TexasFire --- where are you located?
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  #60  
Old 11-24-2010, 08:23 PM
TexasFire221 TexasFire221 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Texas
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Next year I will take a different approach for the season. I have sold some nice Light Link jobs my first season but last season and this season is a bust. I have done tons and tons of estimates in $500,000 sub divisions and they say no I dont like those light links, we want C-9's. They have a nice budget to work with but dont want them. I am seriously thinking about pushing the C-9's more than the light links. Plus the last two years I havent been to happy with the light links. I have opened boxed with broken welds, rust, bulbs out. Maybe this happens to everyone Im not sure but its frustrating to say the least.
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