So frustrating....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Husky05, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Husky05

    Husky05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    This week and all of last week I have been driving around going into different business and trying to talk to managers or owners of commerical properties and/or business's and asking if they contract out thier grounds maintenance (mowing, fertilizing, and landscaping if need be). Out of the 40+ places I have gone into I have gotten about 5 possible leads, where someone will say oh well we might be interested please send us an estimate which is great. But most of the people are like no sorry, or I dont know what you are talking about, or Im not in charge, cant help you. So I just try and leave a business card and ask them if I could be considered for the contact list for the future. Its just so annoying but I suppose if I want this business to grow this is a vital part of it.

    I also got some door hangers printed so next week I am going to be walking neighborhoods, try my luck with some residentials.

    Anyone else have any luck doing any of this? BTW last season I sent letters out to commerical places and I probably sent 75 and got 3 calls back. So I figured this year I would personally go around. So far no luck
     
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    That's life.... door to door salesman.

    If you've got new construction in your area, a new bank, restaurant, whatever, get there now, even if the building isn't up yet. Ask to speak with the general contractor if you don't see a name on a sign yet.

    That's the easiest way to get your foot in the door.

    Most places that I've dealt with over the last 17 years, if it's the same owner / manager, and they're happy with who they've already got, they stick with them.

    The only time it really changes, is if it's a company that's publicly owned, meaning on the stock market, then they might be more inclined to go with the cheapest bid, depending on how things are going in other aspects of the business, to pad the bottom line for investors.
     
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    Getting 5 leads out of 40 places visited is probably considered a good return. What were your expectations?
     
  4. Sin City Lawn Care

    Sin City Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    so you sent 75 letters and got 3 calls...thats a 4% return.

    you went to 40 businesses and got 5 possible leads...thats a 12.5% return.

    Why are you so discouraged? or did I miss something?
     
  5. Woody82986

    Woody82986 LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,128

    I would love to have a lead percentage that high.
     
  6. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 946

    Yes, 12.5% is pretty good. You are not going to land everyone that you talk to and you are going to get more no's then yes's (usually). It is just like any other sales job. It is a numbers game. If you know that you need 10 accounts and you know that it takes 40 to get 5 leads to convert one to a customer then you know that you need to talk to 400 people to get your 10 customers. I think that your res. would be higher than comm., and these are just numbers. I am not saying this is what it will take.
     
  7. crzymow

    crzymow LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 378

    I have found the best ways to get into a commercial place is to know someone that works there, not neccisarily the one that is taking the bids, but they can get you in touch with the right person.
     
  8. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    Alot of condo associations, subdivision, apartments, and commercial properties use property management services. Larger real estate agencies will quite often have a property management branch. Ask them to be included in their requests for proposals list.
     
  9. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    I walked "the beat" last year. Meeting and greeting possible customers. It wasn't worth the time. For every house where I didn't talk to them, I left a hang tag with a nice slogan and my card. After about 80 houses, I got one call and she turned into the biggest PITA. "But the boy next store will do it for $12!" Sheesh.

    My best advertising was either word of mouth or the paper. Here's a tip. In the ad section of your paper, the will list the ads alphabetically. So, your ad must start with "A..." something. Otherwise, you won't be the first ad they see.
     
  10. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    I have a day job that is not in this industry. I was a plant manager for awhile and part of my job was to look after repairs and maintenance. I would get calls and flyers almost everyday from people or companies wanted to sell us stuff or services. If at that moment I was in need of that service I might call them but not likely. Most companies we used were recommended to us by other plant managers I knew or were referred by employees that worked under me. When I first started as plant manager I tried to meet with some of the guys who showed up at the door because I knew what they were going through. After awhile I realized I didn't have time to meet with these guys and there was very little chance I would hire them anyway. You need to network with the people who make decisions or who can at least steer you to who make these decisions. BIA,s, Kinsmen, Lions, mentor groups etc. Ask your friends that work if their companies need your services. If you walk into a commercial place you better make a good impression on the receptionist or you aren't going anywhere but the recycle bin quick. Mine would screen everyone and if she knew I was busy you were gone before the door shut behind you.
     

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