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Christmas Lighting

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by NewLeaf, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    I guess the guy should have waited to have you put up the lights!! Then he wouldn't have burned his house down! That is a crazy story though! But at least you get to work in Florida!
     
  2. E.J.

    E.J. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    No, I didn't put lights on his house, it was a little freaky to me how our schedules didn't match up for a couple days and then all of a sudden it is gone.
     
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    Most selling books will tell you your close ratio should be around 25-35%. any higher than 35% and your prices are too low, any lower than 25% then your prices are too high. I bumped to 6.50 a foot this year after being stuck at 6 bucks since 2001.

    Along with 3 new hungry competitors this year, that has got my close ratio at 27% right now, down from 35% last year. 12 jobs closed and 44 bids so far this year. completely booked on appointments tuesday and wednesday. I am still hoping to get 15 more new jobs this year between tomorrow and Dec. 5th. still well short of my goal of 35 new customers.

    good luck guys, 11 days of prime selling left. the phone will die around Dec. 5th.
     
  4. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Taking 10-20 calls a day and booking 4-5 appointments a day. Except when I go out in the field. Snow and rain killed us yesterday and today. Gonna have some peeved customers at the end of tomorrow. But what are we gonna do? Tell them we will be there on Friday and hope for the best. Looking for 10-15 more jobs to finish the year. Which after taking account for lost customers would put us at about a little behind on the total customer growth but ahead on total sales. which I will take any day of the week.
    Good luck all
    I am ready for this to be over all ready. Had a customer call today, LED roof 250 feet she has one bulb out and wants us to fix it tomorrow.:hammerhead:
     
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    we preach a 48 hour service guarantee, but customers want it now. I put a message on voice mail last year on December 24th at 7pm. we are closed for Christmas for time with my family, we will begin takedowns 26th, If you have problems we are sorry, all our crews have went home to be with thier families too. I had one customer leave a nasty message that her lights were out and she could not believe we would not come out on Christmas eve. she did after all "pay a lot of money for these lights" .

    Is there no line in the sand anymore between my time and when customers can demand I come to thier home and fix thier problems?
     
  6. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    David, I am beginning to think that the "I pay a lot for my lights" line trumps any common sense. I have a customer that used that line and wanted me to plug in the lights thanksgiving morning b/c she did not want to "mess" with the cords and timer. Mind you the timer is set and the cord is about six inches away from the timer. My instructions were complicated. Pick up the extension cord and plug it into the timer or wait until Friday(she doesnt want them plugged in today, that would be craziness)

    We also preach a "within 48 hours" service rule unless they lose an entire section of lights or a timer fries in the snow or rain. Then we will try to get there within 24 hours of the call. But we also tell them that we usually wont run a service call for one or two bulbs on a roof. But it usually goes in one ear and out the other.
     
  7. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    I thought you needed to be a lisenced Christmas Light installer to plug in timers :)
     
  8. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    The timer WAS plugged in, we went around the license for the homeowner. The hard part is plugging the cord that connects the timer to the lights.:hammerhead:
     
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    Alot of my customers don't want to touch the cord, but for different reasons. They don't want to be held responsible for "messing with it" and have to pay for a service call because they plugged it in wrong. truthfully, this can happen in a double gang outlet situation. we can have 4 photo-call timers going to the same double gang ( 4 places to plug in, 2 separate 20 amp breakers) outlet box. some plugs might be loaded to 8.1 or 8.2 amps, and plugging in the two heavier ones might cause the one side to trip, but not likely.

    keep going guys, return those phone calls, 8 more premium days of selling left. we're still booked a week out with three crews, but I am hoping for 10 more new jobs. we'll see. Happy Thanksgiving !
     
  10. E.J.

    E.J. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I just booked up December 6th & 7th for one job; but will be working on it the majority of the time by myself (three of my guys are involved in the same function). I am use to working alone though. I envy you who have reliable, solid crews. I might have just found a great guy to work for me again next season if he is still around.

    Looking forward to two huge palm tree jobs coming up soon. Doing a couple decently big Canary Island Palms (requiring me to rent a lift). I am definitely under on the price, but I really want them for my portfolio; the pics. from one I did last year got lost in my hard drive crash.

    One bulb- I would have had to work hard to replace her the following year...that's all I know. I have one customer who did that to me today, but it was my neighbor. She is crazy, but I did it so both their house and mine would look great tonight.
     

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