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Old 03-17-2003, 12:24 AM
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mower_babe mower_babe is offline
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Location: Illinois
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cannot seem to find more customers

Hello Everyone,
We have been in business for 5 years and this seems to be the make it or break it year. I have a good customer base - and I am trying to pick up more customers, but my efforts have not been successful. I have tried newspaper ads, distributing business cards, sending out personalized letters and just do not receive responses. In previous years, I have asked new customers what drew them to us and the answer was always - word of mouth. So, how can I effectively boost our customer base, in addition to word of mouth? Please me help if you can. Thank you and have a good one!
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Old 03-17-2003, 01:05 AM
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TurfGuyTX TurfGuyTX is offline
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First, congrats on making 5 years. Many in this industry don't. A couple of thoughts for you. I'd recommend that you send out flyers. Not a handful, but 3-5 thousand. There are business that'll deliver them for you. If you gotten a good amount of business from word of mouth, then offer a referral program for your customers. Do a search on referrals, there are several ways it can work for you. Good luck.
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Old 03-17-2003, 01:21 AM
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mower_babe mower_babe is offline
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Hey Bryan, thank you for your ideas. Tried the flyer thing in 2000 and 2002 - I don't think I received one response from that. Sometimes I wonder if there is such a thing as market saturation... The referral incentive sounds like a very good idea. Do you have any personal experience with that? Thanks again Bryan!
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Old 03-17-2003, 01:36 AM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Have you tried offering your current customers an incentive (i.e. free mow, 25% off next service) for referrals that lead to a new customer?
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Old 03-17-2003, 01:37 AM
ABM ABM is offline
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In my line of work (home maintenance) I have found the referal method is what works the best. I offer a discount of fifty dollars on any service over one hundred dollars to any customer who sends work my way. It has paid off very well in that new people are getting my name from someone they trust and they are getting something in return for their effort.
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Old 03-17-2003, 01:40 AM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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ABM - Hah, I beat you to it by one minute!
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Old 03-17-2003, 12:49 PM
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PaulJ PaulJ is offline
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Location: Columbus, NE
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Try this with fliers

Go to the area around your current customers or any area you wold like to get some/more work in. Go yourself, go to the door and ring the bell or knock. ( late afternoon works best because you catch more people home)
Introduce yourself and hand them the flier, ask that they keep you in mind for this season(don't be pushy) answer any questions if they have any. Take down their name and address if they ask for a bid (a few will).
If they don't answer the door by the time you have the flier rolled up and ready to attach to the door knob with a rubber band then just hook it to the door and move on
If you see a house you know you don't want , skip it.

This has worked ok for me. The calls I have gotten for bids are from the people I handed the flier to in person. I got a couple from just the filer but more from the personal contact. And Some have asked me to get them a bid when I handed them the flier.

I haven't put out a lot of fliers this way but am taking it one block or neighborhood at a time.

I think the one on one contact is what makes a difference. And they actually seam happy that I am not going to try to sell them something right then and there, just give them my info.

I also return to give them the bid in person. I like to give that personal touch but I have so few accounts right now it isn't tough to do.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-17-2003, 02:07 PM
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mower_babe mower_babe is offline
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Thanks guys, I really like the incentive idea - going to definitely do that ASAP. You guys inspire me to keep hangin' in there. I have heard the first five years are tough...ain't that the truth! Thanks Again!!
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Old 03-17-2003, 11:28 PM
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TurfGuyTX TurfGuyTX is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mower_babe
Hey Bryan, thank you for your ideas. Tried the flyer thing in 2000 and 2002 - I don't think I received one response from that. Sometimes I wonder if there is such a thing as market saturation... The referral incentive sounds like a very good idea. Do you have any personal experience with that? Thanks again Bryan!
We have done referral incentives in the past. Right now, between the yellow pages and flyers we can't keep up. If you decide to try flyers again, let some of us proof them for you. Good luck to the new season.
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Old 03-18-2003, 08:52 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
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Provide an estimate for someone on a warm sunny pre-spring Saturday afternoon...if you are in the right neighborhood (small, but affluent), you will be approached repeatedly...neighbor after neighbor....what was supposed to be one estimate will turn into 6,7,8,9 etc.... people like to see the same company working in their neighborhood....they live there for a reason and they hire their service providers for a reason.
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