Approaching commercial customers

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Magiccc, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. BrendonTW

    BrendonTW LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Oklahoma City
    Messages: 1,011

    How do you guys go about prospecting for these facilities directors? How do you identify, locate, and develop relationships with them? Do you do much outbound or is it mostly inbound?
     
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  2. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,198

    They call me. I think I’ve stopped in and inquired about 1 biz. I landed it and still have it but the rest have called me. I despise cold calling. If you like/need to be out busting down doors, do your thing. If not, build your biz to be attractive to other businesses.

    I’ve had a good mix of calls between my website/seo and referrals.

    It’s all about networking imo. Once you get a commercial acct, take care of them. Not only do good work but cater lunch in or drop off some donuts. Show them you appreciate their biz. It works and works well. I just did my lunch cater rounds. I use a local restauraunt that I service(which everyone loves their food) to cater to my other businesses.
     
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  3. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,497

    Hey Brendon - we do very little commercial marketing relative to residential. Because we are full service and large enough to on board most any customer quickly, we make it easy for businessses to do work with us.

    I have enough relationships in the community that work tends to find us these days. We brought on 15 new full service commercial buildings in the fall of last year, work is made up of four separate businesses we weren’t currently maintaining - all that work came to us because of referrals.

    One of the referrals for five of the buildings came from the owner of a concrete company that installed our parking lot expansion. The buildings owner was complaining about trying to get sprinkler damage repaired from new concrete work and the previous lawn contractor was taking months to get to it. We had someone on site the next day, got the system up and running after three days of extensive repairs. Commercial account manager met the owner on site and asked for all the business - we provided a proposal for all the buildings the next week and were awarded a three year contract.

    Side note - 14 out of 15 of these buildings have their own facilities director and aren’t managed by an outside PM company. I don’t know the exact percentage, but would guess that 85% of our commercial book of business has a facility director we report to rather then a PM company.
     
  4. BrendonTW

    BrendonTW LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Oklahoma City
    Messages: 1,011

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing. We do work for very few property managers. The ones I'm trying to build relationships with are ones I know to not bid work out every year. Loyalists. I guess that is fairly rare in their industry. We do have a few customers who we report to the facility director and those are some of our best customers.
     
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  5. snomaha

    snomaha LawnSite Bronze Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 1,497

    In 28 years of business, I can think of 4 property managers that were "great" to work with. They set expectations with clients based on pricing, held us accountable to the SOW, didn't shop us around every year and fed us additional work if we held up our end of the bargain.

    I agree - rare to find a great PM to work with.
     
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