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getting new customers

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I have had some folks pm me about specifically what it is that I do to get 30-40 new folks every year to sign up with me, and could I offer any advice.

    I'd like to say that first off, if you have read any of my sales posts, I am probably not an expert, and I make tons of mistakes, and this advice may be one of them. I also go back and forth between the sky is falling and things are awesome. I always seem to think this year is the year that I won't do well and folks won't buy from me. but I have to put out there something that has come up the past few days that I have closed a few jobs that I don't think I have talked about.

    advice number one -when folks call me they almost always ask how much this costs, and I give them the pretty honest cost range of new jobs I closed last year. I say "pretty", because many guys don't like to give specifics, but I do. I have been saying this to folks this year-my lowest price new customer last year was 481, and the highest was 31k. If they stay on the phone with me, and we set an appointment, I know they are already thinking the bottom is 500, and if they have a larger home, they are already thinking 1000 and up. I think this single thing qualifies the customer enough that I tend to close 35-45 % of my jobs without offending folks on the phone with a "minimum job". even if you only did 2 jobs last year, and one was 650 and one was 5k, then say that. if you set an appointment, they are at least thinking 650.

    another thing I have done 3 out of my last 4 closes is just outright ask- but only after I did the range thing and I am at the appointment, do you have a budget number in mind for this project? and I have been told a number, so I figured out a way to make that job happen for that number. This will get you jobs, but be aware, as I am aware, probably I left money on the table on 1 of those closes. when someone says they have 1000 budgeted, you can almost always get the job if you are 1000. But when folks are thinking 1000 and you wow them with something at 1600, they sometimes find the money. without asking budgets, I have also closed 3k and 4k jobs and folks told me later they thought they were gonna spend 1000 or so, but they were blown away. but if you want jobs, ask for the budget number and find a way to get there. If you want less jobs but larger ones, don't ask.

    tonight the small job I closed had a budget of 700. measuring her home my full price was 1027. about 160 feet c-9s. I could have rented it, but I want my clients to have ownership in thier lights and value the product and not see this as a service or a commodity. so I sold her the first 115 feet or so and gave her the rest for free this year only. next year, her rehang on the part she purchased is 350, and she agreed to buy the remaining product for
    327, so next year I get 677. finally in the 3rd year she pays what her rehang would be her first year, 513. I may get burned on this deal next year, but again, closed deal, got check, and she is already preparing for next year.

    I had a lady tell me one time that her husband gave her the choice, $800 for Christmas lights, or a new dryer. as she was laughing, I gave her a third choice- buy a 500 dollar dryer, and pay 500 on christmas lights now, and pay me 300 in february or march when she receives her tax refund. she bought. again, a small job, but any job closed that you have a check for just lifts your heart. and got paid full price, just had to wait for it. financing folks is risky, but sometimes wealthy folks are willing to spend more if you give them some terms. 1/2 down and 1/2 in january closes a few jobs. I have even done 1/2 and then 2 1/4 payments in march and june. but you get the risk, but you also should have the product in your storage as some insurance. I would never do less than 1/2 down though. if they don't have half the money, they never will.
  2. greenbaylawns

    greenbaylawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    I love your post's, makes me want it even more. Just being a sponge. Thanks David!
  3. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    Dave this is fantastic. I was been going over how to do something like this, actually have a client I did the walmart rehang for last year, asked me if there were any financing options last night when I was talking with him. 1) he wants the LL and 2) I want in the neighborhood.

    Next year I will also do the homework and see if there are financing companies out there that will cover this type of service as they do with some other projects.

    Any suggestions how to set up a rental type system with LL
  4. britelights

    britelights LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    I haven't had a chance to log in for a while...but I had to chime in on this post. Last year we started offering 3-year contract options to a couple HOAs. They typically want the product and display but just don't have the budget to pay for it all in the first year -- but they love the idea of a 3-year contract. And my contract states they don't own the product until after the 3rd year. I basically just take the 1st year cost, 2nd & 3rd year renewal prices -- divide by 3 -- and that's the price they pay for the 1st 3 years. I should consider adding a service fee for allowing them to do that :). It has worked very well. I haven't done it on residential...but I did do a residential rental this year for a C-9 job. I charged $4/ft and she's basically just paying for labor.

    Hope this helps!
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    britelites! good to see you ! hows the season?
  6. britelights

    britelights LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    It's going good Dave!! Busy busy...which is good. I'm not as on the ball as you are so I don't have a count on new customers right now -- but we're pleased so far. You have to talk to Carlos though...the whole 2-crew thing...he's having a really hard time doing that. He still thinks he has to be at every jobsite and I'm afraid he's going to drop over from exhaustion soon. And he's got a good thing for a 2nd crew leader -- his dad!! His dad retired last year and said he would be willing to head up a 2nd crew for us...but Carlos is doing everything possible to avoid it. He doesn't have a choice this week because the schedule requires 2 crews -- so we'll see how it goes.

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