Marketing towards Landscapers

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jkelton, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. jkelton

    jkelton LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    Looks like most (if not all) of you guys are marketing to residential and commercial clients. My question is this: What form of marketing do you think would be best for getting information into the hands of landscapers? I am asking this because my largest customer base is other landscapers - I have a mulch blowing business and I am usually a subcontractor for other landscapers. Direct mail (i.e., postcards, letters, etc.) seems to work the best, but do any of you have other ideas? I have thought about "telemarketing", but I personally hate it when someone out of the blue calls me up and I do not want to subject anyone else to it.
     
  2. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Posts: 587

    i have tried telemarketing a few times. i used to do it for a job when i was 16, and then as a mortgage refinance guy for a short stint several years later, so i had some experience at it, and i have good phone manners. i got zero leads when attempting this feat in the lawn care industry. i am done with trying that.

    also, what is the status of the legality of it these days? do you have to check numbers against a 'do-not-call-list' before you call?
     
  3. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,578

    I don't think there is anything wrong with calling them up. I've had guys call me and I'm interested in what they are saying because it is directly business related. Perhaps just a simple introduction and ask if they would be interested in seeing some material.
    I'd also set up at some trade shows in your area.
     
  4. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 707

    definately call them.

    trade shows also a good idea.

    with our fert business we market landscapers all the time. One thing that works well for us (but kinda late for you at this point, maybe next year) we send out invitations to all area landscapers. Put on a mini seminar for free. Educate them why using our service is to their benefit. Feed them free coffee and pastry (or pizza and subs). One of our customers owns a catering business and has a rental hall, we trade our service for the use of his hall and he supplies the equipment to brew coffee and brings in fresh pastry.

    we have a saying, "feed a landscaper, have a friend for life?"

    In your mulch blowing business maybe you talk to your supplier and he helps you out in this, whether he helps with $$$ or maybe he brings in a speaker or two. You making more sales will also benefit your supplier. You could talk about perenials/annuals or proper pruning of ornamentals. You get the idea. Heck, bring in a nursery guy and he might also reap benefit from new sales.

    If you invite the landscapers early and offer free food/drink, they will come.

    something to think about?
     
  5. Team Gopher

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

    Hi jkelton,

    You could mix your direct mail with follow up calls, that way the LCO will have already heard of your company.
     
  6. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    I am in the same boat kelton. It is hard to get the attention of other landscapers. I think the main thing is just advertise the savings contracters love to hear about saving money, well don't we all. As for going about it I would love to get some help for that. I personaly do alot of just dropping in at some of there offices and piching my services. But the best way I have found is word of mouth, but i am sure you know that one. I wish you luck in this biz because I know how hard it can be to find work at times! That big rolling billboard is a Great help too!!! But hey any more info you landscapers can give us would be great. What do you all look for and where do you look when looking for a sub. any other info would be great keep it coming.
     
  7. Clark Landscaping

    Clark Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    I bought a bark blower this spring and find myself in your same position. I am sending out brochures and then following up with phone calls, whenever I am out I try to approach anyone I think may be interested. I have a lot of interest but no firm dates yet.
     
  8. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    I am looking at doing a demo for a group of landscaping companies. I have quite a bit of work. I have been filling in the holes and am pretty much booked for the year. But i am looking to expand for next year. So i want to get started ASAP so I am looking at having a demo day with food and such just showing what our trucks can do. I go to a rather large church and they have agreed for me to use ther facilites to demo my services. Of course they are getting a free mulch and top dressing job but hey it is a great place to show off what we can do. Just an idea. But still wondering what other landscapers are looking for in a applications sub so keep the ideas flowing guys.
     
  9. Clark Landscaping

    Clark Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    That's a great idea, sounds like a great right off as well. Maybe I will try to set that up. My brochure emphasizes how I can make the landscaper money. I lay out an example of how the landscape charges the same amount as last year and has me do the application and the landscaper pockets the difference. Good money for them, good for me. Another analogy I use in the brochure is the difference between an excavator and a shovel. Both move dirt but clearly both have their applications. If you want me to spread 1-3 yds use the shovel, if you have 10-100 yds call me for the excavator.
     
  10. jkelton

    jkelton LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    Making the landscaper understand when it is appropriate to use a blower service is a hurdle.

    I use another analogy - using a blower is like painting with an air gun, and mulching manually is like using a paint brush. When air guns were brought into being, painters did not thow away their paint brushes. Sometimes it's better to use the air gun, sometimes it's better to use the paint brush. Knowing each methods pros/cons, a landscaper can pick which method is best for them for each situation.
     

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