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My first whining here on Lawnsite...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GarPA, Sep 4, 2002.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Being in its first full time year, my business has done well and our reputation for doing high quality dependable work is commented on by nearly all of the customers. To date, all work has been gotten by referral. But I need a larger customer base....and I would think fall is a good time to do some 'cold call' marketing....so I prepare 200 very nicely done door hangar fliers with bright yellow paper and bold letters with LAWN DROUGHT REPAIR AND LEAF REMOVAL....2nd page details other fall services and the benefits of core aeration. These were very well done if I must say so myself. So I target 3 different neighborhoods that are upper middle income...not rich folks but the homes are 300 to 350k. Dropped the weighted (thanks Hoss) bags at base of each mailbox. Now I know that the response rate for this kind of shotgun marketing is very low...so out of 200 I only expected maybe 4 calls and if I landed 2 jobs that would be very good....well....its been 11 days and I have not received a single phone call...even from someone wanting free advice or price shopping...frankly I'm disappointed. 75% of my biz is small to medium commercial...and I love that niche but I need a bit more residential....Guess I want you to tell me my results are not uncommon....but right now I'm a bit disgusted with the cold call approach...am I doing something the wrong way???...I only have so many days this fall to build up the base and the clock is ticking... whine whine whine whine.....boo hoo
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Timing! You may be surprised how many people will keep your flyer and call later on. Many people don't call until they need you. As far as the number, only 200 out isn't very good odds. You need a few thousand at a minimum.
  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    agreed 200 is a small number...will be doing more this week...not having done this b4 I was being conservative with the first batch...will get the higher numbers out as you suggest...
  4. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Get 2 or 3 thousand flyers made at Office Max or one those type places. Then go to local newspaper and ask them to insert the flyers into the newspaper by zip codes. It is cheaper than you think.
  5. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I thought cold calling was just that.....calling up people in that neighberhood and putting them on the spot to talk to you or make an appointment to meet with you. But maybe some call it something different.

    Anway, just like 65hoss said............they aren't likely to call as soon as you drop the flyer. A few may be intrested, but put your flyer aside until they decide to call you or are ready for your services.

    The best way to do this would be go onto one of those internet searches where you can get people's names and number by street name and call all of them to follow up. Ask them if they recieved your flyer that you left on such and such a day and if they would like any more information on services you offer or would like you to come visit the site, etc.

    You have to follow up or else your ad will get burried with the rest of the **** in the drawer.

    Good Luck!
  6. turfmarketing

    turfmarketing LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 49


    I haven't seen your flyer, so I don't know why it isn't working. One thing I do know. Most marketing efforts...advertising, flyers, mailers, whatever, do not provide a compelling reason to act. If these homes are aready buying lawn care from someone else, why should they buy from you.

    You say that you are professional...who says they're sloppy! You say that you are cost-effective...who says they're over-priced! Many businesses don't take the time to find-out what differentiates themselves from the competition and exploiting the difference. Find-out what is important to the prospect and then present yourself as the solution.

    If done right, 200 good flyers will work better than 2000 average ones.

  7. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    If you are trying to present yourself as a professional company I would suggest having the fliers mailed or placed at the door. IMHO leaving the flier weighted in the yard is just tacky.
  8. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    Ditto the last 3 replies.
  9. dforbes

    dforbes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 195

    I agree with the other posts. The only thing I would add is I think a two page flyer may be a little much. People who pay for lawn care consider themselves busy and may take time to look over a nice flyer that is interesting and gets their attention but two pages is to much information to read at once. I think a one page flyer focusing on what your trying to sell for the time of year. Then when you get the business, you can talk to them about eveything else you do.
  10. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213


    If you have been working from referruarls, don't be dissappointed with your flyer attempt. They will call. Last year was my first year as full time. I had one helper and worried every week about getting enough work to keep busy. This year I have added 40 accounts and two more helpers and am running behind, even with the drought. I have found that returning calls and being persistent with quality work makes a big differance. Out of all the quotes that I did I only recived 2 calls from a phone book listing.

    Hang in there and GOOD LUCK.


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