Tips: How to get new customers, Some different suggestions

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Team Gopher, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Tips: How to get new customers, Some different suggestions


    We did some research and found some great information that we wanted to pass along to you.

    Please feel free to post your suggestions as well.
     
  2. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Here are some suggestion paraphrased from 'TLC' who sells yellow page ads. These suggestions apply to yellow page ads as well as website design.

    - Don't have your name at the top but instead a headline telling the reader what benefits you can offer them or what you can do for them.

    - Within the body of the ad, list the most profitable work you do, the type of jobs you offer and/or the most common requested information.

    - Put Free Estimates right above your phone number to generate more calls.

    - Put your name close to the bottom of the ad just above the number or to the left of it.

    - Put your web address at the bottom too. If they can't reach you on a weekend, there is a good chance they wil go to your website to learn more about your company and the services you offer.

    - Make sure your website has testimonials.

    - Include before and after pictures on your website.

    - Always have your phone number forwarded to your cell if you are not in your office. Many customers will try another company rather than leave a message on an answering machine or with a answering service.
     
  3. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    All good advice there Gopher. One thing that you mentioned, that I don't have, is the testimonials on my website. By the way, thanks for the template....check out what I have done with it. I am not quite finished or happy with it, but it's a start and my first.

    www.progressivelawn.com

    There are still a couple typos in there that I should get to today. Do you know how to get that "estimate form" page to work? I pulled it out completely until we get it figured out.
     
  4. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,297

    Also, you could have a "speak with a customer program' The cyclone rake has somthing similar to this, they allow prospectiev clients to speak with a customer who already has the product, for an honest and open opinion. This could be used here as well.
     
  5. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,475

    walker, if it's the formmail script that they include with their templates, make sure you've got the script file in it's own directory that is set to "execute". don't put it in the cgi-bin folder, but into something else, such as "phpscripts" or some such.

    also, when you get time, you might look at getting a more secure form. no offense intended to gopher, but i'm not sure why they haven't upgraded theirs (it's pretty old), but it ill-advisedly uses your email address as the recipient in the html code. this could, and does, allow spammers to actually use your form to send spam out.

    another suggestion is to change the formmail file to something unrelated to forms. that's another security issue that spambots look for.

    just my 2 cents on formmail...

    tony
     
  6. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Ok TonyGreek....that was all Greek to me...haha...no pun intended. I will send this info on to my wife. She is a computer programmer and I am just the lawn guy. Thanks for the help.

    Matt
     
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Here are some suggestions paraphrased from Jim Bettke,

    Create a 'Before and After Book.'

    Take pictures of any jobs you do before you start them and then when you are completed, take an after picture. Insert these photos into a photo album with the before picture on the left and the after picture on the right. Take this book with you when you meet a new client and show them your different before and after pictures.
     
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I did happen to do this on my website. Both for lawn scalping and lawn rennovations.
     
  9. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Here are some suggestions paraphrased from Lawrence,

    Don't wait for people to call you from flyers. You must go out and actively meet with new potential clients.

    Go to local mower shops and hang up your flyer so if a customer's mower is in the shop being fixed, they can call you to service their lawn. Once they see how much easier it is for you to mow their lawn they may decide to stick with you rather than do it themself.

    Knock on the doors of residents in your neighborhood and others. Offer them to mow their lawn on the spot. When you are done, knock on their neighbor's doors and show them how you just finished the next door lawn. Offer them a good price to mow their lawn since you are already there.

    Many home owners who have a company maintaining their lawn may not be happy with the level of service they are receiving but will stick with that company out of convenience. If you meet with the potential client and offer your services, you give the client a great opportunity to switch to you.

    Get in touch with realtors and let them know you are available to service the lawns of the homes they are trying to sell. A home with a nicely mowed lawn will sell faster than an unkept one. Also ask the realtor for the names and numbers of home owners who rent their houses to maintain their lawns as well. Read your local paper's homes for rent section and contact the numbers advertised to offer your services. Contact local businesses that need a nice looking lawn that you could service.

    Remember if you are sitting their waiting for people to contact you from your fliers, take advantage of your time and reach out to them. Make it happen.
     
  10. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Here are some suggestions paraphrased from b.fahle,

    Customer Aquisition Costs:

    If you hand out 200 flyers and get 5 calls from them you can figure out a baseline. If your costs for handing out flyers is $0.10 per flyer printing and another $0.10 per delivery, you get a total of $40.00 to get 200 flyers out. Now divide that number by the amount of calls you received.

    $40.00 divided by 5 calls = $8.00

    You paid $8.00 to get each phone call.

    If one of those callers converts to a customer, your marketing cost is $40.00 per customer. If two callers convert to being a customer then your marketing cost is $20.00 per customer.

    Are these customers signing up for one-time or re-occuring services. How much will you make from each of these customers? Will you make more than it costs to aquire them? Are you making more than the $40.00 it costs you to aquire a single customer as shown above? If you are then keep it up and get out as many flyers as you can each month.

    If you are losing money with this process you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. Your customer aquisition costs are too high so you need to figure out a way to make your flyers get more customers (offer a better service discount) or find another avenue of delivery to get your message out.
     

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