Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by zimm4, Feb 4, 2001.

  1. zimm4

    zimm4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    What are some of the best ideas you guys use for new clients. Do you track the results? Do flyers work the best?
    Do you have any examples?
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    If you want some really outstanding results, you can't use the 'traditional' methods. Everyone has kind of gone numb to those. They've learned to tune them out. I have a biz degree w/ Mktg emphasis, but the best book I ever read about marketing, for a small biz, is Guerrilla Marketing. Can pick it up in any bookstore for $15-20. It'll give you all kinds of great ideas for marketing your business. And will help you think of others.

    With one of the ideas I used from this book I had some coverage on the local TV news, and big article (2 pages) in the local paper. It cost about 30 hours of my time and about $100.

    Start there.

  3. Chip

    Chip LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    I have come up with a complete company brochure describing all the services offered by my company. It is a folder with mission statement business card and summarized landscape services. The total cost per packet printed on home computer is around $3.50. I'm sending these to high scale realestate managers and companies that have at least 2 acres of property. I will let you know how things progress ass the spring season comes upon us. This is the most aggresive approach I have taken since I have been in business. I plan on expanding my business threefold this year. In the past I have relied soly on word of mouth which has worked fantastically. My marketing budget this year is $2500.
  4. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 621

    You guys are on the money. You do have to be diffrent in marketing. Last year we created a porfolio of our work-hardscaping only- on a CD ROM. It was set up as a slide show of our work. We broke it down by raised patios, flat patios, retaining walls and the like. I met with over 100 prospects last season and only 1 did not own or have access to a windows based computer. People were very impressed with that disc even though the resolution was only adequate. We scanned in regular 35mm photos and lost some clarity. For 2001 we have gone all digital. We still used our portfolios during the intial meeting. We would leave the disc. It allows the prospect to look at their own pace. Beatuty is, they shared it with a co-worker, relative or neighbor. It is very effective. We had clients that want a copy of the 2001 disc with thier project on it. I guess they can show it to the friends.

    In 2001 we are taking it a step further. We are using it as a business card. Costs us about $.50 each. We are going to give 100 each to our biggest suppliers. The also sell to the public and we get a tremendous number of referrals from them. We feel it will give us the edge going into the first meeting with the prospect over all the other companies.

    We track all of our sales calls. We break it down into various segments:
    and all other segs

    from here we come up with total numbers for potential and revunue. We then break it down by segment. These numbers tell us where we can spend more or less money and or time in our marketing efforts.

    How do you guys sell once you get that phone call your great marketing has brought to you? This is were we used to "drop the ball" on occasion. Now we have a brand new approach to selling. And, we have tripled our closing rates by eliminating the dredded "shoppers" and the other "time wasters".

  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Rexmann - First off, welcome aboard.

    As for the CD Rom, that's something I was also tossing around. The thing I was wondering about was how you ensure that your customer's PC can run the slide show? Did you put it into a media format, or did you include the software to run with the slide show? Also, do you have a nice label put on the CD? I may not get to doing it this year (lots of other mktg irons in fire), but I think it's a great idea.

    As for weeding out price shoppers, we're getting better about pre-qualifying leads on the phone. We haven't done this yet, but if you charge up front for design, then you've got more ironclad commitment. Well, that's not completely tru - we do a design, and if they want to keep it after we've shown them, we charge. But they can have the estimate for free.
  6. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489


    One of the best things we have done in marketing is to publish a company newsletter. Statistically a newsletter is read by 3 other people besides the client before being discarded. It is also a great tool for upselling. It gives you a venue for showing off your expertise and doesn't come across as a advertisement. We send it in a separate envelope, not in the monthly statement. It will really set you apart from the competition. When it is done right, your clients will never even think of looking somewhere else. We do ours in full color. I would highly recommend doing this.

  7. kermit

    kermit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    We have our pictures on CD with a program called SLIDE SHOW by easy photo. It has a built in program to run the cd on any computer you put the disk in. Put your own label(as in business card type info) and pass them out as business cards.(Only to those who you know have computers) since these things costs a little more(not much) then magnetic business cards. Not many others using this yet so it really sets you apart. Just part of a good selling job. This blows 75% of our competion out of the running and allows us to be the most expensive landscaping company around.
  8. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 621


    We use a slideshow program like Kermit described. The program packs itself into itself. Meaning, you do not have to have the program on your machine.

  9. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Mueller -

    I'm also greating a newsletter to go out to customers. I also just attended a mktg seminar while at the MIDAM trade show. The speaker receommended to have 'newsy' items in the letter, and avoid making it an advertisement, otherwise everyone would toss it.

    What kind of content do you have in your newsletters?
  10. Mueller Landscape Inc

    Mueller Landscape Inc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 489


    I use 4 basic ingredients in our newsletter.

    -personal message ( This can be about your family, an up an coming employee, special training, cudos for someone, awards, etc.)

    -an detailed article about a maintenance service you provide or an install. (This will set you up as a expert in your clients minds. It should be relevant to the time of year. It also sharpens your own knowledge. Anytime you study a topic in order to teach it, you learn more.)

    -happy Mueller customers. (I use a survey twice a year to get feedback from our clients. I get permission to quote them and will use their quotes in the newsletter along with their names. People love to see their names in print and hear real life qoutes.

    -a list of our services, (Along with the detailed article, the list of services is an upsell tool. It makes sense to have it there but doesn't come across as an advertizement.)

    The rest is graphics, historical quotes, mission statement, pictures etc.

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