New Sales 2013

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by turf hokie, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,980

    Longhorn is the local Decor franchise here. Here is the link from the Decor website http://www.christmasdecor.net/cdi2/longhornlights. I won a bid last year because the customer wanted to buy lights and Longhorn only wanted to rent them. Both customers I picked up this year from Longhorn were rental as well.

    Maybe they are doing something they are not supposed to do as a franchise member. If I recall correctly you are a Decor member yourself. Are you not supposed to rent?

    You would think if you were going to shell out the bucks to buy into Decor you would have a decent website but Longhorn has nothing but the tad of info on the Decor site.
     
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    Décor rental is usually priced between my rehang and purchase price. but sometimes their rental is less than my rehang. just depends on how high, commercial, etc. so in the very long run, purchase and then rehang is usually cheaper for the client. the break even point is around 4-5 years.
     
  3. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,743

    I'm don't going to get into the details of our sales approach and I think that is where this is going to lead.

    But...as it should be just based in how things are set up with rental vs purchase. Somewhere between 3-6 years the two methods equal if you look at the surface.

    A couple of questions to those that sell:
    How long do you guarantee material?
    At what point do you charge for service/repair/replacement?
    What if a customer wants to change from white to multi? Or c9 to light links?
    Do you charge for storage separately/additionally?

    I have spoken to the guys at longhorn in the past. Seemed like good guys. It's tough to sell material when you are set up as a rental/service. You really run into issues when you try to sit on the fence and not pick one method. I have tried and ended up with lots if headaches.

    Some people want to own. Some want to rent. Some are open to either.

    I have lost customers who I did for a few seasons that out of the blue insisted on owning the material. I move on as best I can. Can't win them all. But I will say I win most of them using the rental model.
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  4. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,980

    For rental I worry about the issue David G had where they don't stick around long enough because they have no skin in the game. The rental allows you to sell to people on tighter budgets but those are the people where I worry about longevity. When you have a grand or more invested in lights chances are your going to have better longevity. I realize their are pro's and cons of both. Is the Decor sales model to push rentals?
     
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I tend to guarantee product until the end of the product life. for me that is around 8ish years on brite ideas product and 10ish years on hdy product. although that also changes dramatically when folks run their lights more than 6 hours a night. we refurbish some and replace some. but I really need a formal refurbish/replace program that calls and reminds customers and prompts them in the off season to let us replace light sets. while one or two refurbs during the crazy season are doable, I have probably 20 or 30 customers right now that need to be refurbished with new c-9 bulbs and new mini light sets. that number is going to jump in the next few years to 100 that need work.

    Even though I have some product out there that is 12 and 13 years old, amazingly some of it is still holding together. I started putting up noble garland in 2003 from hdy, and even though it is on it's 11th year, the 6 hours a night folks light sets are still mostly in pretty good shape. but the all night long folks started to be replaced a few years ago. So I know it is coming.

    around 5 years ago I remember talking to the third guy ( pat?) in Omaha that spent 2 months refurbishing product in the off season. If we continue to hang onto customers and keep closing new ones like we are now, that will be us in a few years.

    If folks want to change colors on c-9s we charge a buck a bulb and save the old ones in the same boxes. if they want to change back we have them and do it for 70 cents a bulb. We exchange or buy back mini's if they want to change colors. but we do save the old ones in their boxes.
     
  6. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    Dave how are you able to guarantee the product for that length of time. I haven't used any Bright IDeas product, however, and I do not want this to turn into a bashing - I have had consistent issues with HBL/HYD wiring harnesses. I swore I wouldn't buy the LED again, but I trust Mike when he said there were major improvements, and did, I have some thing yet to check that are in my rental program, but incandescent I bought last season, I have bad harnesses on - plug and socket issues. I am just trying to understand how you are doing it.
     
  7. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,743

    It seems that "refurbishment" and off season replacement incur costs to the customer that they would not see from a rental agreement. So doesn't that kinda of make the break even point of 4/5 years a little grey?

    I am not understanding how a guarantee for the life of the product can include any refurbishment cost. Am I wrong to assume that if a strand of lights goes bad in year 4 your charge to replace? Or so you just replace at no cost to the customer?

    Dave. Your pricing on the swapping of c9 bulbs is obviously for Incan. Otherwise your crazy!!!! We have several customers every year that change colors etc and there is no charge for that. So here is another price difference.

    I'm not even sure I am comfortable discussing the nuances of the rental v. Purchase and how we as individuals offer them. So if you don't want to go into further detail. I understand.

    As far as the product itself. The HDY have had a few issues but they stepped up and did the right thing in those particular manufacturing issues. I have more than enough product in the field to say that overall I am very happy with the quality. We are restringing the last of our incandescent light links to led this year. The LEDs have been holding up well so far. I have some Brite ideas material in the field from customers that switched to us. That led product is good quality although the 12" garland leaves some room for improvement.
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  8. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

    If they quit buying your service, you just use the product on another job. It's not like you just set the lights in a box never to be used again.
     
  9. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,980

    My deal is I hate to put the time and effort into cutting lights to fit, creating the installation schematic, labeling everything to store, creating spools store the lights, and then next year it turns out to be a wasted effort. Just like rental the real goal is long term and it's a bummer to end up with a single year client.

    Last year I ended up with multiple nutty first year clients that won't be back. Another sold her house.
     
  10. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,980

    Every market is different but I'd be interested to what filters you use to compile your mailing list. For landscaping I stick with million plus values (and work down) and ones 20 years old or less. I'm pondering setting my filter for older homes to kick in around $750K and less only. Do any of you in high growth markets with lots of high end homes use age as a factor at some point with your filtering.
     

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