Advertising accomplishments!!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by cos, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. 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?
  2. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    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.
  3. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,253

    Anybody have any experience with the phone book? And How effective is it? Do you get your monies worth?
  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    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. :eek:
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    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.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    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.
  7. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    I have a sign on each side of my truck - about 16 x 28":

    The Kind Gardeners
    "detailed garden maintenance"
    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.
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    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.

    PINEISLAND1 LawnSite Member
    from 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?
  10. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Networking... get involved in the community.

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