Hello and Advise be not be ignored

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BottomLINEGuyNY, May 25, 2013.

  1. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,852

    Since you have Adwords experience, run, don't walk away, from Adwords Express. It's an overpriced profit machine...for Google, has less tight controls, and, far and away the worst thing, only utilizes "broad match" keywords, which is absurd. The only one who wins is Google.

    If you haven't found it yet, there's also a web marketing sub-forum here.
  2. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,098

    Don't overlook cold calls (in person). They allow you to pick the properties you want to target. You will get some work from it. It sounds like you have the time to take a day and do nothing but sell. Dress nice, be polite. Small businesses especially like someone with the confidence to walk in and show them how sprucing up their business' appearance is good for their bottom line.
  3. BottomLINEGuyNY

    BottomLINEGuyNY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    You are a mind reader sir..For the last decade, i've trained hundreds of thousands of people on the art of a cold call..Not to brag,but i'm very well known for that,in fact i did 5mil in B2B cold calls (1k deals) in 2012.A company record,when the next guy up did 200k.But im starting to wonder if i can somehow harness this skill and morph it to this business..I mean,im sure you can,the question is,how?

    I certainly dont want to bug residential people on the phone right?

    So i assume,cold call for comersh leads?

    Im thinking,get to the Decision maker,pitch and set up a meet?
    My thing is,im so new,i dont know how to even underbid someone if i tried..
    The whole bid/estimate thing scares me cuz i feel like im just guessing... But a guess,is an Estimate afterall..Ive certainly screwed myself by undercharging,Already...

    Hmm great point about the cold call...
    Would someone care to expand (just the basics) about a lawncare/landscape cold call?

    i love the replys guys,i can tell you guys know your sh#$... im luvving this feedback! As soon as i make something im donating! lol

    and to Tony:
    i wanted to comment to you that you are so right...i did this hastily,and once the phone calls stopped i srt of started to realize the bunch of calls i got were probably to "reel" me in ya know? Give me a taste,then bill the crap out of me with no calls

    So thanks tony...Its been a while since ive done actual adwords,but your advice is taken,and done..I will get on that....

    EDIT: one last thing...i have done little demographic research on lawn care in new york.. having such a bad,slow week (my fault) my brain is starting to think that people who want contracts,especially commercial ,already have their lawn guys lined up for the year..
    Is this just me being negative or is it really too late to get the worm ???
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  4. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Hey there Pal.... I am a new Owner/Operator myself but I have been in the industry for 15 years so my situation is a bit different.... First off, where in Upstate New York are you? I always bust peoples chops because they say upstate but I am 35 minutes from Montreal upstate! Now that is upstate.... Landscaping Cold Call...... Easy... I won't give away all my secrets but here is one.... Pick a neighborhood to target for the day..... Now, it's all about the middle ground. You don't want to target the homes that are overgrown simply because they need to be "cut." These lawns are long for a reason. Either the homeowner is lazy, incapable,cheap, super elderly with no $, landscape company juggler. Whatever the reason, stay away from these houses because they are long for a reason. You also don't want to target the nicely landscaped houses with fresh cuts and maintained beds/etc. These homes either have a family member that loves maintaining the grounds or they already have a landscape company. It's the middle ground that you want! The nicer homes that are maintained decently.... but you can tell that whoever is mowing really doesnt want to be doing it.... There is a lot of promise around the house in terms of flower/mulch beds and such and maybe they were done at some time but you can tell that hubby is more into working on his classic car now-a-days than working on the lawn. These guys can't wait for a landscaper to ring the doorbell because now they don't have to do it themselves anymore, but they also don't have to admit that fact that they can't/don't want to do it anymore... Win Win! "Jeez honey, you know..... I COULD take care of the lawn but this fine young man looks like he has a good outfit and he's giving us a good price so why don't we give him a try?" Now, of course there are exceptions to the rule here.... I have actually gotten a bunch of work from a house that I cold called that had 4 ft. long grass in the front yard when I rang the bell... It all depends and there is no one set strategy that will work every time.... I will say this though... If you come from a Sales/Marketing background..... Then you know how much psychology and researching your subject come into play... Here is a question for you..... How much Landscaping/lawn care experience do you have?
  5. BottomLINEGuyNY

    BottomLINEGuyNY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Experience ? Not as much. That's why i starting out only marketing Lawn care as opposed to landscaping.Im certain there is so much i can learn about this.But with my customers,i tell them i am new and am upfront about my capabilities..They respond well to my honesty..
    My wife is the Plant/Landscape expert..
    Upstate NY? im from buffalo-rochester area...

    Walking up to houses/cold call is something i could do.Though ive never had someone come to my home personally to pitch me,so i didnt know it existed...

    Question..Regarding cold call etc etc,do you use this same approach for cold business/commercial leads?
  6. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    I do not.... I have been selling commercial bids and jobs in a very simple manner... Again, reluctant to give out secrets here but I am feeling generous tonight and if there is anything other than God running this universe then it is definitely Karma and I havn't paid the toll in a while..... This is a great idea and guess what? I personally guarantee that you will get work this way(by the way, this is nothing new, i didn't invent it, learned it from my old Boss and i'm sure others on this site have done it) I go to properties that I would like to do. Either because they are on my route, or because they have a nice set up(landscaping wise), Or I am an admirer of the business(example.. dunkin donuts.. i love coffee) I take photos of everything that is wrong. Things like mulch 3 ft. up the base of the tree... No trimming... Grass clippings all over all of the vehicles. I then go back the next week with the photos of all the shoddy/ sub-par work and also my image resume. I simply introduce myself, tell them that I mean no disrespect to them or the current company but this type of work is unnacceptable for someone trying to promote a certain image. Then I sell them on my service at 5- 10% more than what they are paying now. The last part is important.. They will obviously see that you will provide a better service and any business minded person knows that great service is not given away... You are doing them a favor by stopping in letting them know that they have a better option... Don't diminish yourself by saying something stupid like "Look how nice your place can be, I will do your place for whatever your guys are charging you now" No, No, No!!! Think sales! Think psychology!
  7. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    "Two ferris zero turns blowers,trailers..Have everything i need for now"

    Sell some of this equipment as early in the season as possible, sounds like you won't need all of that till maybe the 3rd season.
  8. toasted

    toasted LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    You want your overhead as low s you can get it to start and definitely try to secure some alternative income to take the pressure off of yourself because your quality will suffer.

    Sounds like you have the marketing thing going but you have got to know how to recover your overhead in order to be competitive and charge appropriately. If there's one thing I can say is that growing slowly and picking the right clients has made all of the difference for me as I actually enjoy going to work every day.
  9. BottomLINEGuyNY

    BottomLINEGuyNY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Oh yes TOTAL sales psych 101.. dont drop your pants while stating you have a better service...Its not logical... BUT,though its sales 101,i wouldn't have thought of it because im totally out of my element....So thanks...

    The thing i wonder is,is it too late in the season for a business like that to change a contract?

    Also,a place like dunkin donuts would obviously have a corporate office etc..In the sales i did,i would run from corporate businesses or places i couldnt get in touch with the decision maker.. So my question is,is the decision maker/check writer of say for example,Dunkin Donuts,someone you can just walk into and show these said pictures to,would they be at the franchise,or is that handled by a regional corporate place or what?It has always kind of boggled my mind. Knowing little of corporate businesses,ive not dealt with these types,so i dint think a dunkin donuts,wendys etc etc manager could write a check,in fact ive ALWAYS wondered how a corporate business,interacts with local suppliers or service companies like landscaping...

    And yes you are giving me some serious juice here man,and i appreciate it..I promise to pay it forward..But something you have said will probably make the difference on my families dinner table so WE thank you,so very much.....

    @toasted -
    Being from sales,its funny,how i can spot a Pain in the butt customer a mile a way...But when its your only income,do you turn it away?I had one guy i almost turned away,because i knew right off the bat he was going to want every piece of grass MINT,and boy was i right...Total Jerk... Im not calling him next year fo sho.....The overhead thing is something i dont have to worry about (as far as the equipment i have) not to get too deeply into it,someone did me a very big favor,and i dont have to worry about paying for the equipment :)
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  10. toasted

    toasted LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    Wow you have good friends.

    You have to stick to your value proposition. If you want to be the guy that goes out and cuts anyone for cheap then take the accounts but something tells me that's not you.

    My value prop is that I care for people's properties as if they were my own. If I took on new customers who only cared about price then I would be letting all of my good customers down because time is valuable and corners get cut when your schedule gets full.

    This is why I have actually turned some folks down despite having to put food on my table for my family. It's counter intuitive but the good clients will always give you more work and the referrals are priceless.

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