Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jocko1104, Mar 27, 2003.

  1. jocko1104

    jocko1104 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    I wanted to expand this year into a more upscale neighborhood so I went off to distribute flyer's.

    What I could not believe was that in the 3 days that I was passing door-hangers I saw count 13! Lawn care co's not to mention 2 - 3 different flyer's already on the door!. Mind you this was Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, not the busiest days. Where do all these people come from ( thats a whole other topic).

    My thought was this:

    Is it better to market areas that are upscale to attract a better client, but is HEAVILY marketed. Or market middle class homes that have a few more problems with clients and the beginning quality of yard but with less competition?

    I have already gotten a few calls from the door-hangers but I am beginning to wonder.
  2. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 626

    I have found my self targeting the middle class for last couple of years. They seem to be the ones who pay. Around here the "upper class" seem to be living beyond their means and in most cases want to do a lot of price matching. I finally got tired of bidding on properties and not getting them cause of a 5 dollar difference. Also I have found on flowerbed work they do not want to pay what it is worth to do them. I would rather do 4 postage stamp yards at 30 bucks a pop in an hour to hour and a half rather than spend an hour on a $65 yard. Just my $0.02!!

    P.S. I have never had problems with the "middle class" types. They may live in a lower class neighborhood but they do have money left over at the end of the month to tuck away in savings rather than blow it on a tremendous house note just so they can keep social status. It seems the "richer" they appear the tighter they are.
  3. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    cajuncutter made a very good point. It's about time and money. However, the middle class will not have the ad-ons (fert, clean-up, beds maint, mulch, etc..) as frequently as the more affluent area. Middle class also rarely have irrigation, so if there is a drought and all you do is mow.....well, there's a problem.

    Ultimately, the "upper class" know they can price shop because they know they are targets of service providers. Some do live beyond their means. But others, who may seem like price shopping cheap-skates, are actually just wise with their money. If they are willing to go with a company who costs $5 less than you and you are offering the same services, then it is your fault for not making you the "only option". In order to do this, you really, really have to stand out.

    That does not merely mean a better looking flyer.

    A lot of full service maintenance companies know that mowing is a "foot-in-the-door" service, that they can charge less for, so they can get the contract for the fertilization, weed control, bed maintenance, shrubs, pruning, aeration, seeding, mulch, etc...

    So if you are only bidding mowing, and your price is $50 and they say another guy offered $45, don't think he just plans on doing their mowing.
  4. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 626

    Sean in a way I will agree however I know this market and yes they are just as cheap on the other services as the mowing. And yes there are those that have the money but the majority of the people are there for the social status. This may not be the case in your area. I have been here for 32 years, I have been in the biz for 17 years. One eventually learns how to read people. All my business is strictly refferal not promoted by fliers etc.
  5. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Referral business is certainly the ideal way to grow a solid group of clients, but eventually at some point salesmanship has to take over and prevail.

    Upscale clients are usually upscale because they understand money, business, and how to sell and be sold.

    I'm not saying middle class clients are bad to go after and/or have, but ultimately if you can sell upscale people to make them realize that their property is an investment and certainly part of their "social status", they will buy into it and make your service a requirement as opposed to a luxury.

    Putting yourself in their shoes will aloow you to understand their true needs and wants - their hot buttons.

    When a client admits you made your service seem impossible to pass on, and instead they will pass on their annual ski trip, you know you hit their "hot button".
  6. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 626

    Yeah perhaps EVENTUALLY but as of right now I am not hungry so I don't budge on prices. I suppose if you are trying to build your client base you do what you got to do. What works for one doesn't't necessarily work for another. Jocko good luck with your endeavors.
  7. jocko1104

    jocko1104 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    Yes as of last year I did primarily middle class and saw few if any other LCO's in the area.

    The upper class neighborhood is already becoming a pain. They really have a better understanding of their position buying power wise. Which is not necessarily a bad thing it just requires more salesmanship and patience. Why would someone have a 400K home with a weed garden in front? I don't know but they do!

    I am beginning to sway back toward middle class just because the customers that you will get are trying to be the "big house" on the block.

    I am just amazed at how heavily marketed these higher end areas are.

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