anyone else finding that leaf removal marketing isn't getting much response??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GarPA, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    first season to cold sell leaf removal....4000 flyers hung on knobs in "leafy" nice neighborhoods....consisent block ad in a well thought of community newspaper for past 6 months.....results have been almost non existent...not even tire kickers calling for leaf info...they do call for other things...started the marketing in late august and repeated the flyers twice...thats 8000...we are having a late leaf drop...could that part of the problem? I have plenty of other work but I hope to get a dozen or so larger cleanups ...if nothing else than to justify why I spent all that money on the Z and the vac system...maybe its just a little early here in the Mid Atlantic...thanks for your perspective
     
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Late leaves? Yes. Also, many people will wait until a lot are down before they call. I have had people that had my fliers for months and even years to call. "I just kept it in case I needed it". Just the nature of the leaf beast.
     
  3. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    And to add to Hoss's post....

    I've found that leaf customers don't do anything until those #%@*! leaves are driving them absolutely bonkers crazy!! THEN they call and want it done yesterday.

    So don't sweat it too much just yet.

    When they DO start calling, tell them that you'll add them to the list and will get to them as soon as you've done everyone else's before them. And you don't know exactly when that will be because of rain/snow, early dusk, some yards having a lot more than met the eye, etc.

    Hang in there, it'll come.

    If you've done 8000, I think you're going to end up with a lot more than a dozen or so. I think you might be slammed getting toward Christmas. Around here, everyone wants the yards cleaned up for the holidays. The closer to Christmas, the crazier everything gets.
     
  4. dr grass

    dr grass Banned
    Posts: 242

    dont sweat it! i put a mail-order flyer out about 2 weeks ago. it goes to every house in my county. only had about 4 calls for cleanups. like its been said, most people wait til the last minute, than they will blow your phone off the wall!!!!!!!


    shep :p
     
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Gary,

    Most people approach the idea of taking care of the leaves like they do when having to go to the dentist or getting their hair cut...they wait until the VERY last minute.

    Hang tight and just hope you have bitten off more than you can chew with 8000 flyers floating around my friend. BTW, the leaves are late this year...at least a week, maybe even 2.
     
  6. Cooper Landscaping

    Cooper Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 214

    this year we passed out a little over 400 fliers and had 9 people call from them. We put a 10% off coupon that was valid if they were booked before October 20. It worked pretty well as opposed to last year without the coupon. But yes there are still te people who are calling now and thats just to be expected. I wish my leaf season went until christmas lol
    -Coop
     
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    The Mowerdude wrote:

    When they DO start calling, tell them that you'll add them to the list and will get to them as soon as you've done everyone else's before them.

    Wait a minute here. Isn't kitzy soliciting their business? You don't bait potential customers in and then tell them they will have to wait. Now if they were cold calling for a cleanup then you can end list them. If you want to advertise a service then you'd better be prepared to do it in a timely fashion.
     
  8. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 372

    Well....maybe I didn't explain fully.

    By the time this season gets rockin, it's the only way we can handle the traffic around here. Obviously you wouldn't have to do this at first. Sometimes I take a little much for granted, but hey, I'm just thinking positive :)

    I've found that, as a general rule, the most that we can handle in one day is 3 small to medium sized yards. So, if I get 5-8 calls, I'm already getting stacked up. I've also found that I cannot guarantee any kind of arrival time. The weather is turning foul, one yard has a few leaves while the next is buried and maybe some of the guys decide to take an unscheduled day off.

    Based on past experience I'd say that once the calls start coming in, they're going to come in truckloads.

    Baiting?.....Naw, nothing to be gained by that, but factoring what I just said, it's just being honest and not putting yourself under any unneeded pressure. I'm just saying don't make promises that you can't keep. Kinda like the old thing where your mower dealer tells you that he can order a part and have it in a day or two when in reality, it's going to take 2 weeks. At the end of a week you're pretty upset with him. But if he'd told you it was going to be 3 weeks and it only took the 2, you'd be very happy with him.
     
  9. MATTHEW

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    Remember that that problem is OURS to deal with.

    Richard was right in stating that a sales call matches priority with contracted customers. The last thing they want to hear is that they will have to wait. What you will do is solidify a cancel and probably never get any business from them again.

    Especially with new customers. A prompt first response will let them know that you are accountable to your word. Once you sign them up and they get to know you, THEN they will let you slide on being late for a service visit.
     
  10. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    I have only had a few responses so far, because alot of people wait until they are really heavy. They only want a cleanup maybe twice. I have found that most of the non-regular clean-up customers call just right before Thanksgiving, and they want you to come over ASAP. Then again right before Christmas. Then early spring.
    Some of my regulars are done weekly or bi-weekly.
     

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