most successfull specials or ads

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,519

    Starting to work on a direct mail campaign for the new year. What specials or ads have you had the most success picking up new clients? Looking for things that can get you on the property and allow your salesmanship to close the deal.

    I already offer a pre pay discount for the season, but thinking of short term specials to get more calls. Maybe X% off 1st application? Free soil test(always nice to give something free that ends up being a good proof of an upsale)? Guess the customer couldn't do both discounts, but maybe the choose one?
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,930

    Sorry Pat, no personal experience here as I used referral awards for most of my new sales leads.

    My suggestions:
    Free test for acid soil (do this with a pH meter so no expense involved). Maybe, full $20 laboratory test free with first paid application. Naturally you have to come out to take the soil sample, and return to explain results, if they are not sold yet.)

    Free check for grubs. Sample under sod in three places. Perhaps check for mole nests. Plant a cluster of 6 high performance flowers.
    Keep the ideas coming. Got to be quick and cheap.
     
  3. lawntennis

    lawntennis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 415

    If you do anything off an app make sure you make it the last one. They could cancel after the first app.
     
  4. lawntennis

    lawntennis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 415

    What do you guys do for referals? I am embarrassed to say I have never used them. As a result I am afraid of all the people that have refered in the past wanting the same deal. Any suggestions.
     
  5. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,519

    I do referrals, but can't seem to get many of my current clients to participate. I'm going to try and add a line on the invoice in hopes that I can keep reminding them.

    I give a discount on the next app if a current client refers a new person. The discounted amount depends on the value of the referral.
     
  6. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 789

    Spend some time this winter by going to Amazon.com and type in "referrals" and to a search. Buy (or go to library) some books on marketing and sales also.

    I've read dozens of business books and have applied what they suggested. Because of that I haven't needed to advertise in years; I get referrals all the time (most of the time, too many referrals). You have to sell and prove yourself to your current customers so that they will give you endless referrals (neighbors, family members, friends, church groups, tree care companies, etc ...) You also have to differentiate yourself from everyone else.

    I never gave anything out or discounts for a referral, just a thank you. Most people that give referrals are very happy to help you. I do also mention to the people who give me more than 3 referrals, "I will treat your lawn like I do my own personal lawn".
     
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,930

    In years past, I gave the next application free for a referral that was sold. Limit $50 in value. (Flexible if it was a really big job sold). Remember it costs about $80 to acquire a new customer--(when you add up the cost of all the postcards, the time to measure and call back all those sales leads that don't pan out).
    I suggest a special referrals promotion month. Everybody gets a letter or handout with their bill urging them to recruit their neighbor. Point out the advantages of having lawns clustered together, and how it reduces unwanted mailings, calls and post cards. And how you will do a better job because your business depends on complete customer satisfaction, and excellent reputation--not based on flashy advertising.

    Perhaps next month have a sign-up-your mother month.
     
  8. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 789

    Call ALL your current customers and make an appointment to see them and ask them if there is anything I can do to improve my service to you. Ask what you don't like and what you do like about my service. LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN some more. Don't interupt and try not to take anything personal. Take notes to show you care about what they are saying. Then repeat what they said back to them and how you can help them. Many times this will lead to an upsell to more services!

    When you are all done, ask them if they might know of anyone who uses a lawn service that would like a quote...or you fill in the blank with whatever you feel best saying.

    Then ring the doorbell to 15 of the houses surrounding this customer's house and tell them I service Mr. Jones' lawn and can I give you a quote for next year. GET their name and phone number, then give them a quote. Put them on a call or mailing list. Stop by their houses during the growing season and offer them FREE TIPS on things you see needing improvement.

    It is much easier building a network of LOYAL customers than mailing postcards. Would you rather your wife be Happy or Loyal?
     
  9. lawntennis

    lawntennis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 415

    Mike- Good posts but I'm hoping my wife is both happy and loyal.
     
  10. Agent Dollar Spot

    Agent Dollar Spot LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    well said!!
     

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