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how much population and years to be full time?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by David Gretzmier, May 2, 2009.

  1. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    We are fully booked into August and I just hired another full time installer who starts this coming Monday. We are starting a $90K, 13 zone job on Mon. So far this year I have not done any traditional marketing or advertising and we are getting about 1 solid lead every week, so things are pretty good.

    Not sure what next year will bring us though as there are zero home starts in my market this year. But there still is a lot of opportunity to return to some old clients and update / expand upon their systems.
     
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,104

    Hey Dave,* We have found most of our leads are resulting from direct mail 1st and our magazine article second. Almost the same amount of leads from both.* We only got around 15 leads in April which is below what we were hoping for.* I will have to look at May but we were around the same, maybe a little more.* The quality of customer is about the same from either campaign as they are hitting the same population area and reinforcing each other.* I am expecting the call volume to pick up a bit more as we have finally started getting some better weather and gotten out of the ark. Firefly is a new company in the area, so it is not totally unexpected to have a slow ramp up.* We have been making our customers very happy so I am sure our referral network will start growing and begin to help.* We are all selling a luxury item and as we are all aware the phone is not ringing as often for our services, but when they do we really have to go out of our way to really be remarkable to our clients.* One very important thing that is becoming extraordinarily clear to me.* When we have an overload of leads it is very difficult to spend the time necessary with the client to build the necessary repore and confidence needed to close many sales when you have to run off to another appointment.* We have made it a point now to only schedule one appointment per evening and everyone gets a demo that evening and proposal on the spot asking for the sale.* I know the opinions on here are mixed about the use of demos, but I am here to tell you.* Nearly every one I demo,** I CLOSE!!* The reason I do it is not even because it shows them what it will look like; that is just a side benefit.* The main reason is, it gives me an excuse to spend even more TIME with that potential client making a friend and building more trust and repore.* My goal at the end of the night is for that client to be at the point where they wouldn't even consider wanting to use anyone else for their needs.
     
  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,104

    There is nothing better than a good referral.
     
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I agree on doing a demo for everyone, I've got one scheduled for tonight. It has been so long since my last one, I am not sure where my demo kit is ! I understand that leads are slow coming for a new brand.

    You might try and get on servicemagic.com. the leads cost about 20 bucks apiece. I got quite a few leads that were not low voltage lighting, but then you could forward those to your other electrical divisions and still make money off them. I am thinking that in your market of 2 million plus that you would see 2 or 3 leads per week from them

    I really mean this in a nice way, but do you feel you are getting enough leads from the amount of money spent? Phrased another way, I am going to spend around a grand per month over the next 3 months, and that is really hard for me to do, and if I only get 1.5 leads per 1000 bucks spent, I would need to close every lead just to break even for the profit to cover the cost of advertising.
     
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,104

    I guess if you were closing every lead and the average ticket was say 5k + it is justifiable. I am somewhat disapointed at the number of leads generated currently in relation to what we are investing. It isn't just us though. I am sure anyone on here will testify to the fact that regardless of what advertising media is going out, the volume of calls is way down from years past. This is the main reason we are spending so much time with each client so we can increase our chances of converting them to a customer.
     
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I agree somewhat. the importance is the 5k plus. My average install this year is around that, but I don't have a bigger one ( 10-12k plus ) yet this year to bump up the average like in years past. It just saddens me that it takes a grand to make 5 or 6. I would be way happier with a 10% advertising cost than 20%. and this is money spent on top of an already good reputation, and other advertising in place by way of yellow pages, truck graphics and signs, and yard signs.

    my call volume is down some, but I have gotten a referral boost from my BNI network group, that 500 bucks spent has resulted in over 7 grand in work in my first 3 months of membership from march thru june, 2.5 grand of it lighting. you might check out a successful BNI group in your city, one with at least 25 members and see if there is an opening for the outdoor lighting spot. there is usually a landscaper and he will have to give up that category. I am the landscaper in my group, so I have gotten all the lighting plus the grunt work.
     
  7. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,104

    Yeah, it sucks that we have to put so much more money out for advertising but we still have to get in front of the people. Me especially starting from scratch in a new market. I hoping by next year I will be getting a bit more referrals.

    I joined a network group a couple of months ago. I have gotten a few leads that I am still trying to get closed. I joined it because of the landscaper that is in the group. He is one of the premier ones in our area and does some incredible work. He does his own lighting on small projects and hires another lighting guy for his bigger projects. I have been feeding him a few leads and am hoping to pick up his work.
     

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