Hunting for new contracts


LawnSite Senior Member
southern ontario
Guys,<p>My partner Adam and I are going to go after new snow accounts next week. I know many of you probably started pursuing contracts weeks ago, but with all the rain here in Ontario we've been way behind in our landscaping chores and bogged down with long, wet lawns. <p>Anyhow since I'm the resident pesticide &quot;expert&quot;, Adam is going to take on the responsibility of securing new snow accounts and handling the invoicing during the season. <p>The first thing he/we did was join SIMA. We'll definately be playing up the fact that we're members to potential clients,and other than some Clintar company guys (it's a big Ontario property maintenance franchise) we are the only ones in our area who belong. <p>This past february when we had a freaky warm thaw (we had shorts and T's on) we scouted out some potential year-round commercial maintenance sites. We scoped the grass, garden beds, and paved areas. We also got the contact names (i.e. purchasing mgrs.) for each location. <p>No luck with scoring any new customers then - poor timing plus our intitial quoted prices were too high. But we're looking to add to our snow list now and we'll take &quot;snow only&quot; accounts or full year, doesn't matter.<p>Here's what Adam's going to do; draft what basically amounts to a company resume outlining our company's history, philosophy, description of services we provide, equipment list, insurance coverage, professional association memberships and references from current/previous snow and/or year-round customers. <p>He's also going to draft a sample contract outlining the way we typically invoice our customers and detailing what IS included in the contracted price (we're looking for seasonal contracts) and what is extra (eg. snow REMOVAL from site). <p>Adam will be phoning each contact person and trying to set up face-to-face meetings with them to discuss the possibility of becoming their contracted snow plowing company.<p>Obviously, it would be easier for you guys to critique our approach if I were to post the &quot;package&quot; Adam's going to work on but he hasn't started yet. So, what I'm hoping for are some ideas as to what has, or hasn't, worked for you when trying to line up new commercial customers.<p><br>Thanks guys.<br><p>----------<br>Dave in S.Ontario<br>

Deere John

LawnSite Senior Member
Hi Dave - that freaky warm thaw killed my logging show in February two days after it began. Then, on March 10 when it froze, I worked 24 hours by 6 days to get the rest of the cut wood out of our swamp-based winter road. <p>I like your approach. Business like we do is as much about relationships as it is with the service we offer. The number one thing I can suggest is to look professional, and it sounds like you already have that well at hand. People want to be seen to be professional themselves, and their associations with others are all a part of the game. Business cards, your company CV, maybe particulars of the skill sets of the partners, past (prominent) success stories and the like are all important.<p>Re-assure them with your associations, dedication to being there next year and also with your insurance coverage.<p>The only other 2 cents I will add is do not try to discuss business particulars over the phone- just set up a meeting time and be there on time. In person is the time to go over detail, and if they request a proposal, try to still meet in person to get all the details and start building a relationship.<p>That's it for me - I'll let the others have a say too. Regards,<p>John (in North Bay, where the grass is green and the mail is slow)

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