Do you just walk in?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Coumbe, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. Coumbe

    Coumbe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    I want to sign up some commercial accounts. I have the equipment and the man power to take care of fairly large properties. But I am not sure how to go about getting commercial accounts. Yellow Pages yes but is it common to just walk in and ask to talk to someone? And if so who?
     
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I have done it. Ask to speak with the owner or the manager.
     
  3. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Posts: 1,878

  4. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

  5. Mudmower

    Mudmower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    My commercials have a bid time which in our area is just starting. Go in and ask about what properties they will be accepting bids on and get a "Packet" with info on size and expectations. But be prepared, they are starting to "require" that you "add and waive" them. This means add them as additional insured on your policy (you pay this before they will award the bid) and waive the right of subjugation (sp), additional cost.

    Not sure how big you are, but two of mine have gone on notice that they will require Commercial coverage on any vehicles you drive onto their property. I am a one man show and this cost is going to KILL me. I only work about 7 to 8 days a month pulling my trailer and equipment, but will have no choice. I told both that the price of mowing is going WAY up next year!!!!!
     
  6. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

  7. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    If you are going to make cold calls, be sure to have something to leave with them--brochure, flyer, etc. Photos of your work, sample contract, etc. It's unlikely they will have time to talk much and they most likely won't make a decision right then- so the purpose is to introduce your biz and YOU (sharp appearance) and

    Have at least one goal for the visit-

    1) To find out when they want bids for next season
    2) To get invited to bid
    3) To bring to their attention something you can help them with (i.e. pruning of their shaggy trees being neglected by the current contractor).
    4) Find out their satisfaction level of current provider
    5) Other contact names in the organization (mngr may not the decision maker for the bid, or other managers at other branch offices).
    etc....

    Try to leave with a follow-up date:
    "May I call you next week after you've had a chance to review our information?"
     
  8. summergrove

    summergrove LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    This is a great way to get new accoumts. I worked for a larger outfit in south ATL last year in one month sales I increased onehundredfifty thousand worth of gross mowing accounts.
    moved to a more rural area with an open market to try it on my own every account I have gained has been this way.Just be persistant , I have sold maybe one out of five visited. The more doors you walk through the better your chances.
     
  9. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    You might need to ask several people in an organization to get all the informaiton you need. Try to get the basics from the underlings. Mailing address, contact phone/fax, etc. Find out who the site manager is and who makes the decision for the contract. Is it made by the store manager or does a property management company care for the site? If it's a property management company (which may already be listed on signage outside), ask for the management company name and phone.

    Once you get to the who the decision maker is then you'll want to know if they're satisfied, would be willing to consider your bid, what is the bid cycle (when do they make the contract decision), do they have specifications? Asking about specs gives you an opportunity to probe with suggestions for service that they are not currently receiving, finding out if what you're offering appears to have any value. Through conversation you want to find out what the determining factor is for the bid. By trying to define the specs you'll have open conversation which allows you to ask questions about how they want to pay (contract type) and you can ask their budget. Ask who their current contractor is. How much do they currently pay. Don't be afraid to ask anything. Just line up the questions... the more receptive the prospect is to answering your questions and the better the flow to your discussion, the more informaiton you'll get and the more likely you'll be to get pricing and contract information about the current guy or competitors bidding on the work.
     
  10. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    One thing to consider is whether or not your a salesman. The tricky part of this business is selling yourself to prospective clients..........if you think your strong in this area then go for it.........if you think your weak then you might consider a part time salesman........or even your wife.........whatever it takes to make the sale. If your unsure about your selling abilities then have someone critique you or make a video for yourself and see what you could improve on. I know this sounds kinda dumb but peope in general are fickle.........they like you or hate you in the first 2-3 minutes of an interview and won't give you a chance if you don't "click" early in the interview.
     

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