How did YOU land your commercial accounts?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WildWest, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    What did you do? Did you call, walk in and speak face to face with a manager or did you bid on the jobs. Whats the average size of you commercial accounts?
    Basically what was the process you used?

    Just looking for some experienced answers. I HAVE to land some bigger accounts, the loading and unloading at all these residential accounts I mow for a Management company is killing me.
  2. south jerz

    south jerz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    where houses are miles apart, why don't you drop your rates, market accordingly, and acquire a denser route. You can ride your Z up and down the street and knock out residentials like nothing. IMO commercial can be hard to get into, and insurance is always a must, also more store bystander liability, etc. You also need a perfect job done every time, where at residentials you can occasionally cut corners unnoticed. Also no offense but the big guys have much better equipment than you, which equals you probably getting lowballed and losing bids. There is definitely money in residential mowing.
  3. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    Yeah I do agree, there is money in residential mowing, but mowing for a property management company isn't very profitable....the accounts I've attained on my own (usually a door or two down from where I mow one for the management co. or word of mouth) have proven to be well paying accounts.
    I'm not on the hunt for HUGE properties, just a few in the 500.00 to 1500.00 a mo. range....for now. I need something to replace the $$ I make at Disney...two full time jobs SuCk!!!
  4. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    Some of the guys i've seen mowing some properties, I wouldn't mind having, look WAY less professional than myself. Beat up equip. nasty truck, grungy clothing.... I'm not saying that there arent alot out there way more "funded" than me, but some.....ugh...funky!
  5. jeffh1988

    jeffh1988 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Posts: 112

    I love how people like south jerz get on here and don't answer the question you ask but tell you what you should be doing. I don't have much experience commercially i have 3 commercial accounts and all have come from people i know coming to me and asking me. I was hoping to get some advice from this post also since i am looking for more buisiness commercially.
  6. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Cold calling and referrals has been the best way for me. Finding out when they start getting bids is key, strong references and some good selling. Once you get a few bigger ones it gets easier cause you can use them as references. Typically I average a little less per man hour on commercial but it comes out to the same as residential cause theres less travel, load and unload time.
  7. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    I watch for commercial accounts where the present LCO tends to skip trimming curbs routinely (very common deal here) or places where the grass gets out of hand before they mow it again. Then I prepare a bid which includes pictures of accounts we do. The pictures seem to be a big hit and in fact landed me most of the commercials I have now. When I present the bid to the manager or whoever is in charge of hiring the mowing done, I like to sit down with them and go over the pictures included in the bid, because the whole idea of actual pictures is to show how much care we take to manicure the property. I have a sentence on the bid sheet that says

    "This is not a low lets just mow bid, we may not be the lowest, but we feel we can give you more for the money you invest in maintaining your property"

    I have three commercials that I would consider rather large for one crew
    1. 22 acres
    2. 23 acres
    3. 38 acres

    Thanks Brad
  8. promower

    promower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Pictures are a great selling point. I landed an excellent property management account due to pictures. I had been trying to sell my services to the guy for 2 years, finally got him when I sent my last bid in with a bunch of photos of our work.

    Hey Brad did you get some rain yet? Those pics you posted were some of the worst drought conditions I've ever seen
  9. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    The Big, true Commercial accts that pay the most money will be done through RFP's
  10. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    fill me in...RFP's?

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