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new sales 2012

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    #23 today. small to meduim job. but not from any of my 5 appointments. As far as installs and rehangs going up, looks like we will keep all our committments on getting it up by Thanksgiving. we are booked solid through Wed. after Thanksgiving. Have had a couple of folks come back on the install list that owed from last year. and some that owed from last year that have called to get their lights up, and then disapeared from face of the earth when told they still owe from last year.

    We seem to be slightly ahead or pacing the past 3 years. This is the 4th season I have run this thread and It continues to be useful for me to constantly look back at the previous years and see where I am at customer wise. nothing like a track record to push you to close more. But it has become obvious to me that I have pretty much tapped out what one guy who runs everything management wise can sell. while I have closed anywhere from 17-24 more jobs past todays date in 3 years past, I am faced with hard facts.

    Without changes to sales staff, my business growth is and will be limited by how many customers we lose every year. While I return every phone call and try to fix stuff the next day, The truth is If I want to grow this business faster and have more profit long term, instead of the front door of new customers coming in, I need to be better about watching the back door. I need to have someone who actually answers the phone. I really need a night repair crew starting probably last monday who take a list and drive around and check jobs that are lit or turn on jobs we already have installed but not on yet.
     
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    24, 25, 26 yesterday. good small to medium jobs. Today is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Two thoughts for everyone:

    One, long post: I had an interesting conversation with a client yesterday. Without getting into too many details, she was upset that we could not come and fix her lights yesterday when she called at 2. I nicely explained we had about 27 turn ons and fixes in front of her, and even with 4 crews and myself, we could not get there until friday morning. like many people that do not get what they want, she was disappointed . but unlike every other call that came in this week, This client was angry. she had spoken to one of my crews tuesday and they said they would come by. but even at that moment, they had another 5 turn ons and fixes to do. They honestly did not have time. and then they neglected to tell me that she asked that when I saw them on Wed morning, and that she needed to be put on the schedule. So my problem on the phone was what promise do I make or break. My guys are not authorized to just go and do whoever, they are supposed to stick to the schudule unless it is a quick 5 minute fix. Her lights are on the 12th season, probably should have been replaced 5 seasons ago, and she had several things that needed magic boxing and she wanted her mini lights redone, so this was an hour to hour and half fix for 2 guys. in the end I told her we could schedule it for friday morning, and I would have to keep my promises I made to the other fixes that day.

    She got further upset by my reasoning, did not like my tone and hung up abruptly. and then her husband, whose business is a client, called me later, and he was very nice and logical, understood perfectly, and I called her back and left her a message and said I was sorry again, but could not make it until friday morning.

    This is my second uncomfortable conversation with her. she had wanted a discount earlier this year that I offered to give her, but told her I was no longer giving folks discounts they no longer qualified for. again, she got angry with me, was very rude that I would speak to her that way. I again, was nice, and pointed out that I had given her discounts in the past twice that she did not qualify for, but after this year I was done with that. she left me a very rude and angry message on my machine, but in the end, sadly, like a child, not only angry she did not get what whe wants, but that I did not give it to her with a smile. I may be off base here, but sadly, after 12 season she probably will not be a client in 2013. It really is 5 years past time to replace all her product, and I think she needs a new person to treat badly.

    And my next thought, to show that Old dave still has to work, I was on the roof of a walmart last night until 11pm All by my self trying to work out their power situation. If there were any reason to go to LED c'9s, this one screams it. They have 9 outlets on the roof for the AC units, but only 2 breakers. at nearly 750 c'9s, this one is more than tricky. We have to run 300 feet of each c-9 strand, cords in all directions to the outlets we can find. While talking about residential power in another thread is fairly easy to upgrade and install, on a walmart or commercial building you have to run conduit 1000's of feet, and that is 1000's of dollars. so this one you have to work with what you have. There is not a shortage of outlets, just breakers that run all those outlets to handle 6000 or so watts. This one will have to go LED next year.
     
  3. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,980

    Sold three more today and think I'll get a fourth. This will put me at 10 new jobs. The client with the grand house in the picture has yet to return a single email I have sent her.
     
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    27,28 on friday and 29,30 today. doing fixes, sales and trying to keep guys on installs. really tired.
     
  5. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,743

    All I have to say is so far it has been a below average close rate season...

    Today must have been the day that everyone decided that they were giving up on trying to put up the lights themselves because we took a ton of emails and phone calls today....

    I forgot how running 7 days a week meeting with 5-8 potential clients a day will wear you out. Especially on a Sunday when you are trying to make it to your son's 3 basketball games.

    Hope everyone is doing better than I am with the closing rates, I need a hot streak bad right now.
     
  6. NY Landscape Lighting

    NY Landscape Lighting LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

    # 18 today. Light links are moving well this year. C9 not so much. People willing to go the extra dollars for links. 2 years ago mostly c9.

    Anyone need a Holidynamics cherry blossom tree or two let me know. Also have a menorah and horse an sleigh.
     
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    Got an early start this morning, got a full nights sleep and ready to take on the next 5 days. I added my 15 year old daughter after school last week on a daily mini light and stake light crew, my lovely wife has been driving her around like crazy during her week off from school and she'll do after school every day this week. this is out last big push, as all 5 crews ( including my daughter as a mini light crew now) are booked solid through Thursday, and I need another 6-8 sales or rehangs that I have written off to activate to keep every body busy through Saturday. looking back the last 3 years, after this date I close about 13-15 new jobs, not including the smaller rental jobs from 2010 that I have come to regret. My hope is that things fall along the same lines, but you never know. I am already planning other things to keep the guys busy the following weeks to keep them paid and get things done if the weather is good.

    I never seem really ready for the big silence when all the installs are finally done. It is like a big frenzy for so long, then it is like, oh, we are done? what do we do now?
     
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    #31 and sort of got 32 today. 7 appointments. not sure if I should count a signed contract and a credit card number if they then tell me to run it friday. I got the vibe they will back out. nice home, nice neighborhood, but we'll see.

    worked from 5:30 this morning and got home at 10:15 or so. and I am talking I got up at 4:41 and was doing paperwork this morning at 5:30. I think I took a break from that around 7 and posted here.

    I think if I can push through to friday or saturday most of the craziness will die down.
     
  9. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,980

    My new lighting client list is at 13. Two from existing clients, three from Home Adviser, and nine from direct mail (five grand). That $583 per client from direct mail but in the long run I think it was still money well spent. I went from 6 existing clients to 19 new clients so far.

    But my meager six clients spent over $7,000 this year on material.
     
  10. kawasaki guy

    kawasaki guy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,992

    how do you advertise?
     

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