Door to door advice!!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by joelslawncare, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    I had a funny experience last year going door to door... I realize some have no issue, while others despise it. Nevertheless....

    As I'm walking down the driveway from just knocking on a door with no answer, a car is pulling in the driveway. The guy rolls down his window and asks if he can help me? I introduced myself and he got super super irritated. I'm slightly perplexed and he said it's private property. I said I apologize. He then went on to ask why I didn't obey the sign? I told him I didn't see it, otherwise I would have. Again, he got more agitated. So I said OK no problem I will leave.... but sir, are you interested in any landscaping services for 2012? He about flipped! I got a chuckle. As I'm leaving I turn around to find the sign I missed and there was a small sign about 5"x8" sitting in the garden about 20 feet to the right of his driveway that said no tresspassing. It was so damn small I didn't even notice.

    Doug
     
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    I've always wanted to hire easy on eyes females for this task....
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  3. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    Good marketing technique.

    Doug
     
  4. lawnpropm

    lawnpropm LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 579

    This sounds like an idea....
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  5. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,486

    i did a good amount of door to door sales back in november when we had that storm that took out a ton of trees, and i made over 10,000 that month 100% from knocking on doors, now it did take a lot of people slamming doors in my face and saying no before i got a yes, but it was still worth it. that is how i bought my landscape trailer, and my wood chipper and that has made 6x the 10,000, which included loading literally multiple ton's of brush and logs into my dad's 15 yard dump truck for 4 weeks straight, usually by myself because i didn't wanna pay someone to drive around with me hoping i might get work. anyways it payed off big in my opinion, i'm if i did more knocking on doors i would probably have done much better this year. the biggest thing to remember is don't get discouraged, and don't lose your pride no matter how many no's you get, alot of people didn't go with me, because they didn't think i do the work or they wanted a more professional company doing the work, but they still were happy I did knock on their door and inquire about the downed trees in their yard. I always Thanked anyone I talked to and said have a nice day to them as well, no matter how rude they might have been. Door to door sales aren't easy but can really be worth it if your a good sales man and i am not much of one, good thing my work speaks for itself.
     
  6. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,057

    In most areas, "No Soliciting" signs have no legal standing- they just express the person's preference. Check your local laws to be sure. "No Trespassing" signs can be legally enforced, and, in theory you could be arrested for ignoring.
     
  7. lawnpropm

    lawnpropm LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 579

    Thanks, any idea where one might check? Court house maybe?????
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  8. pthorn0

    pthorn0 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Hey guys PC landscaping here. Just wanted to let you guys know my strategy and the success it has. Basiclly my marketing strategy is selling customers on mulch. I go into the higher end neighborhoods and knock on doors where it looks like they need mulch. All i do is knock on their door and step back about 10 feet to make them feel safe when answering the door. Once they answer the door i say "I'm sorry to bother you but I have a crew of guys working in the neighborhood and we're laying down some mulch for a client and we just finished and have a whole trailer full of it left...and all im doing is going through the neighborhood looking at homes that seem like they could really use it...and your yard kinda stuck out. Right now we are pulling weeds and trimming bushes for free if you let us install the mulch." Then i shut my mouth and either they say "no thank you" or they say "how much will the mulch cost me?" If they ask how much then i tell them "We charge $8 a bag and that includes the Prep, Mulch, and labor and if you give me 1 minute ill tell you how many bags it will take"...then i step back and look at their garden area and estimate in my head how many bags it would take...usually a small job is anywhere between 30-50 bags. Then i tell them the price and make sure to let them know that they are getting more than just mulch...they are getting their bushes trimmed and weeds pulled....normally a small job for me is 40 bags...and going door to door i sell a minimum of 500 bags a week...even during winter. The profit is selling it by the bag and buying it by the yard. I can get 40 bags out of 1 yard of mulch at $8 a bag. Saturdays are the bread and butter days because people are home all day...i remember one saturday i sold 400 bags in 1 day at $8 a bag...thats $3200 and it cost me about $500 in materals for all the jobs. We also do stonework and once i sell a customer on mulch thats just getting my foot in the door with them...once i land the job then i pitch them on all kinds of other hardscapes...stone,plants,retaining walls. I have had extremely good success with this and 99% of the time if you are friendly and apoligize for bothering them at home then they are really cool about it. Just yesterday i sold a guy on mulching his front yard...told him it would take 80 bags at $8 a bag and made $640 and it took me 2 yards of mulch at $30 a yard to do the job...so i profited about $580 for 2 hours of work...then after we finished he asked if we do stone work and i told him yes so he took me out back and i sold him on a retaining wall and some flagstone and quoted him at $6500. Usually about once a month of going door to door ill land 1 big hardscape job along with all the other little mulch jobs. So i tell you all this to say that going door to door is one of the best marketing strategies for an up and coming company...dont ever let anybody tell you otherwise. I am 23 years old and have only been doing this for a year...a buddy of mine taught me everything and now im trying to build up my business. One thing to remember is people love to hear the word "free" so when selling them on mulch always mentions that you will trim the bushes and pull the weeds for free if they let you install the mulch. And also when i sell a customer on stonework like stone borders...i charge $13 a linear foot and usually i will tell them that if they let me lay their stone then ill cut them half off on the mulch. The profit margin is so big with the mulch that you can come down on the price to land the sale and still make really good money. So out of 1 yard of mulch at a cost of $30 you can sell 40 bags at $8 a bag for $320.

    Keep ur head up and keep goin door to door...sounds like your really doing great!
     
  9. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 298

    Interesting strategy. I like it, although there's no way in hell I could do bags for any jobs that I do. Most of my minimum jobs are in the 5-7 yards range with more of an average being 8-10 yards. I did quite a few in the 20+ range as well for residential customers last year.

    Doug
     
  10. pthorn0

    pthorn0 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    My company really doesnt mow lawns or do maintanance right now but we are thinking about getting into it. i cant tell you how many times ive sold a mulch job and the client ask about setting up a maintenance plan for mowing and such. But right now with selling the mulch and doing the stone work i just dont see the money in mowing lawns unless you have 100+ accounts...i dont like the idea of mowing a yard for $25 when i make such good profit on the mulching and hardscapes. Plus with the mulch you dont need a whole bunch of equipment. All u need is a truck, wheelbarow, shovel, trimmers, and some garbage bags. A trailer is not completely essential with the mulching because you can fit 2 yards of mulch in the back of a truck bed. But once you get going then a trailer is definately good to have...but you dont need it to get started.
     

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