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Lots of leads... having trouble closing.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Rayholio, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Rayholio

    Rayholio LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,461

    I'm in my second year, and my advertizing is really paying off.. (or so I thought)..

    Last year, I closed 90% of delivered quotes.. But I didn't have any formal advertizing. This year, I've done a home show, door hangers, Chamber of Commerce, and even some radio advertizing... In the last 30 days, I've had around 50 quotes go out.. of those I've been able to get strait answers out of approx. 10 of the customers, either on the phone, or in person. 2 of those have been closed... 8 said no... prices too high.. competitor got the job... etc. 20% close rate is not good enough for me.

    So.. how do I close more of these? Right now, I typically go look at the lawn, and then mail the customer quote a couple days later, the following week I call on them to close. Is there a better way?

    Maybe I should try to make time to deliver the quote in person, and make them tell me yay, or nay right there?? Sad thing is it's hard to come up with that time..
  2. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,373

    You shouldn't put the customer on the spot by asking for a "yay or nay". You may want to call after they have had a couple of days to look over your quote just to ask them if they have any questions about it, not to seek an answer for your question. The soft sell approach works best for me.

    Perhaps it is worth a re-examination of your pricing. Or perhaps, for your price, you deliver a high quality service, in which case you may want to learn to be happy with a 20% close rate. Do what you do and do it well.
  3. GrazerZ

    GrazerZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 671

    Unfortunetly that is what I am going to recommend. It is much easier to close the deal when you can speak to them in person. Just call to find a time that they will be there. Also when people see you they will have a harder time saying no. Not that you want to pressure people, but its just a sales fact. On anything commercial I set up a formal meeting with the client and try to be as professional as possible.
  4. gqnine44

    gqnine44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 501

    I respectfuly disagree with this. You WILL close far more sales by meeting the customer face to face and giving them a price right then! By the time you get them the quote someone else has already done what you should of in the first place. They gave them a quote right away and you should have too. I also totally believe you should ask for the sale. That is one of the first things any salesman learns is the close. You must ask for the sale.
  5. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    sales training 101
    always assume the sale, this may take practice but can be done without being overly pushy

    also...sales in lawncare is basicly a race. if your sending info through the mail then waiting to call you lose the race. leave your info at the door when you are there to evaluate/quote the lawn. call back the same day...no answer, leave a message...but call back again soon. if you dont.....you lose another race to the company that wants that lawn.

    source of leads will also determine your close rate. home shows, radio, door hangers. while all good things to do, typically will generate many tire kickers and will end up with a lower close rate.

    another thing....dont give up on the 'no gos'. recall them in a couple of weeks, you may want to offer some incentive for them to say yes this time.(maybe a % off the first app) definately keep all leads in your data base and solicit them through out the season. "still time for crabgrass control" ,,, no go? ok...few weeks later, "nows the time for a grub preventative control"...no go?, ok.... you get my point

    20% is a low close rate. get a bit more aggessive and watch that rate increase.

    sales is my thing. there are many other ways to increase a close rate. always think of a new sales as a race. you want to win the race, right? get out quickly when a prospective customer calls and follow up. follow up follow up!!

    good luck
  6. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    i read this response after i typed my response.

    this advice is right on the money!
  7. Rayholio

    Rayholio LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,461

    So, for the 'on the spot' quotes.. do you put them in writing? or do you do a verbal contract followed by paperwork the next day?

    I've been doing pretty much all of my quotes via PC, and thought that this was a good oppertunity to provide the customer with optional services, and information about my company. It has frankly been very time consuming, and I'd gladly start handing out contracts in the field..

    FYI.. I'm not new to sales.. but I am new to this industry, and I've found that different sales tactics work better in different industries. My last sales experience was very profitable, and effective with the quote, and wait for decision method.. but we were dealing with pubic safety, and big industry. very different.

    Thanks for all your advice.. Thus far, very good!
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    It is oh sso much easier to say no over the phone than in person.I would hand deliver the quote the next day if possible.You are hesitating too long.
  9. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    My closure rate was near perfect earlier this year. However since Spring has arrived, it has fallen down dramatically. This is largely because of price pressures from the TGCL offering huge discounts on the first application.

    I will NOT bend over and stoop to that level of pricing. My customers will get the right treatments at the right time without cutting corners.
  10. Greg Amann

    Greg Amann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 161

    I have pretty good luck with getting a quote into their hands within 24 hours of the phone call.
    I get the message over an alpha pager that comes from a 24/7 answering service. I then call the potential customer back immediately. I usually ask how they got our name (90% are from referrals), get the info. I need from them and let them know I will be by to leave a quote within 24 hours. I let them know if no one is home I leave it at the front door. I tell them to look it over and feel free to give me a call if they have any questions or would like to get started.
    I leave a package of info. regarding all of our services with the bid.
    I get 90+% of what I bid.

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