New to the lighting area and looking for marketing ideas and thoughts

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by PatriotLandscape, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    I recently attended a Cast ligthing seminar and liked their products and have sent out mailers to existing customers looking for work. I have talked to a few new clients regarding lighting and have come close but the price is getting in the way.

    The Cast seminar was saying that peopel charge 300 per fixture and that includes everything box,wire, etc. I have priced out a few systems and that seems inline with my estimates where the small system get a 300 tag and the larger systems are around 265/fixrure for a 30+ light system. My issue is that people seem to think it should be inexpensive because they see the cheap systems at Home Depot. How do you market/sell these clients?

    Do most understand the difference. Of course I have already had them hold each item to see the physical differences but other thatn that how do you sell them? Or is Cast just abnormally expensive and if so what is the alternative.
     
  2. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 882

    My first instinct is that you are in front of the wrong customer. But if you search the archives you will find several threads pertaining to marketing and such..
     
  3. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    That may be the case and I am always looking for better customers. So you don't have issues with price? Do you pre-qualify your customers?
     
  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,143

    Always pre-qualify over the phone or your just wasting your time.
     
  5. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,837

    Speaking of pre-qualification over the phone, what questions or comments do you guys make to callers to "feel them out?" Can you give me some examples of how a typical phone conversation would/should go with one of your callers? I struggle with this as I don't want to insult any potential client. However, I feel that it is important to let the client know what they are getting into because a lot of people are under the impression that lighting systems will cost in the hundreds instead of the thousands. Any suggestions on the topic of "phone skills"?
     
  6. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    These are customers that are already spending 30-40k.

    For instance we are installing a heated paver driveway at a customers house and the person has Malibu lighting currently. While i have not heard a "no" on adding the lighting. He immediately divided out the fixture/cost (26 lights at $265) and made a comment. The lights seemed expensive to him but 45k for the driveway didn't phase him. even though he knew the differences and felt the difference between the two lights.

    My clients are typically in home worth 800k -1.5 million and have homes that warrant lighting. Lighting is not big here yet and I am trying to get in before the market is saturated. My gut feeling is that if I can get a yes then they would start to sell. I installed a system at my home the other day and they do look great but getting past the price is a struggle.

    What is your closure rate on these systems? is it 30% or more like 10%
     
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Chris, when I receive 'cold' calls or inquiries to my company over the phone I always pre-qualify them before an on site consultation.

    I generally use two techniques. I ask them about their property and what parts of it they are interested in lighting. I then let them know that most properties break down into "zones" and that our zones start at about $3000.00 and go up from there depending upon complexity.

    The other way that I pre-qualify is to quickly direct them to my website: www.integralighting.com I save this technique for those callers who give me the sense that they have no idea of what a professionally designed and installed lighting system entails. Since my site is graphically rich, and focuses on the types of properties that I am most accustomed to working on, it tends to send the tire kickers and price shoppers packing.

    That being said, I probably only recieve one or two cold calls per year, so it really isnt a big issue here.
     
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Chris, to go along with James. Establish what you want to be your minimum job cost. $2000, $3000, $10,000. Whatever it is. Then when you are on the phone you let them know that hey so you know mr homeowner I dont install jobs for less than 3 grand. Now he either freaks out ans says OMG I was looking to spend $500 or he says ok come on out.

    Another trick is to always know your territory. I know for me that if a guy tells me he lives in Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Jolla, or Poway I can pretty much assume he has some money and a decent property. Grant it there may be a crummy home in those towns but chances are it is worht me atleast checking out. Some people are really modest ove rthe phone then you get to the house and it's a monster and they have a Ferrari collection.

    My favorite trick is to ask them for a copy of last years taxs. Then I have full access to how much they make. I make them fax it or email it then I can decide if they are rich enough for my system. .............................I"M KIDDING!!!!!!!!LOL DONT DO THIS!

    Joey D>
     
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102


    Consistant close rates of 90%+ every year for a decade... You want to sell the sizzle... people can find a great steak anywhere.
     
  10. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    Any legitimate book on selling will tell you that if you are selling 90% of the people you are in front of then you are selling too cheap and are leaving money on the table. I have also found those claiming 90% closure to be gross exaggerators and or outright liars. 50% closure is a respectable goal. Let this be a lesson for you that you have to sift through alot of misinformation here to pick up some jewels that will help your business. Don't be discouraged by the garbage information. Good luck with your new endevour.
     

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