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send letter or call first?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by greenman, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    When you guys want to bid on potential clients, do you send an informative letter and then wait for a reply, or call to ask permission to submit? Which is more professional and more successful? I have always got my work mostly through word of mouth,but I want more commercials and I know I am going to have to work for it through marketing. Mail a letter to "whom it may concern"? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
  2. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    I find a lot of the times that it can be somewhat difficult to get your "foot in the door". Remember that a lot of commercial accounts look at $$$$$ only.
    Anyway, to answer your question, I have found it best to target select accounts, set up an appointment w/ a manager. Discuss your intentions and what you have to offer (do not pick apart the compettion's work). Ask to be placed on the bidding list and when that is so you may make a note to yourself to call and re-introduce yourself prior to that date. Finally, make sure they provide you w/ bid specs. That way you're comparing "apples to apples".
    There are exceptions to the above esp. if you're going for smaller offices and or strip malls, but all of the bigger commercials will spell it out for you. Make sure you have enough insurance as they will ask for ins. certs.

    Good luck

  3. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    thanks. I do have a few commercials now, but they were by word of mouth. So you don't think sending an informative letter is sufficient? I target small commercials such as office complexes,strip malls and medical clinics,etc.
  4. Equipguy

    Equipguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    We work a lot with Condo's and Home Owner Associations. We found sending an intro letter and brochure followed up with a phone call several days later works well. We also make cold calls in person to the property mgt company, leave info and then make a follow up call for a face to face with the manager/owner. This is an ongoing process year around. Good luck!
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I would send a letter then give a follow up phone call. They see your name first. Sight is a powerful thing. It locks your name in their memory regardless of how quick they scanned it. Then when you call they have something in their memory of you.
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I personally like the idea I heard of of calling them to first. Simply asking them if you can give them a free landscape evaluation, which doesnt require them to do a walk around. You'd prefer to put together YOUR package and then compare it to what THEY have done in the past.

    Then you go out, take your numbers, submit your cover letter and in your cover letter give them a time frame in which you will be calling to discuss YOUR proposal. They will have already agreed, to the opportunity for you to bid, so now its simply a matter of comparing packages, and fine tuning if necessary to meet their needs!!!

    So far this season it has worked well doing it this way.
  7. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    Thanks guys!!

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