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I gave up mowing this year for a number of reasons but primarily to concentrate on getting more application customers with the hopes of having a full route by the end of this spring. Well, its not happening yet. Round 1 is almost done and I still need at least 250 more customers ASAP. Telemarketing is not an option here in my area (due to the saturation of telemarketing done in the past, locals just don't respond to it any more), I have pretty much blown through my advertising budget already. The referals are trickeling in but I need to hit my number (at least 250 more) or I'm in deep stuff. I have been selling mulch instals and pruning to help soften the blow of dropping mowing but I really need more fert. sales.

Anyone have success with adding this many new fert. & squirt customers in this short of a time frame? If so, any advise will be much appreciated.

Thanks, David
 

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David,
Even though the term " fert and squirt" makes me shiver. I would say your marketing needs to be ongoing, and not any one source but a constant program in all you do.
We have had great luck in very mature markets ( such as Dayton) with doorhangers. they let you directly target your market, and are easy to track where the leads come from.
You must identify what makes your company any different than the other 100 guy's out there doing ( " ferts & squirts) otherwise why would a customer choose your company?
1. identify why you are different, Is it personal service? locally owned? do you offer organic options/? etc.
2.target your market after you have identified your niche. lawn care is a numbers game. you put out 100 flyers look for 5 % return if well written and reaching the people who need your service.do the math to get your 250.
3. there are few shortcuts that dont reach a dead end street.
4. what are you doing thats creative to generate leads? a coupon offering something free for referals is another good source.
we gave away a plastic rain gauge with our co name and number and logo on them, got hundreds of referals.
5. once you get an inquiry, follow up do what you say you will do, and do it better than others.
6. Rather than rely on ' x number of " Fert & squirts" expand your revenues per customer to add on services like grub apps and aeration/ seeding. take a 250.00 fert & squirt to a 600.00 rannual revenue acct. and do 330 versus 500 for same revenues.
7.persistence and patience, your going to need both.
Good luck.
3.
 

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chickensdoo has told it like it is, persistence, time, etc. will challenge you to hit your goals. Also be persuasive, overcome
objections professionally when they first say no. Remember,if you can get through the nos', the yeses will come. Remember one thing, the most successful veteran sales people have been said no to many times over. Its called persistence. Getting present customers to let you put a sign in their lawn, getting your present customers to work for you is another good way of attracting a good customer for the future.
 

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I target lawn maint. and landscapers some don't have a
license. And many don't want to mess with chemicals.
Most don't no who to call when they have a problem.
They advertise for you!
 

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I agree with scweedman. Most of the LCO's around here don't spray, they hire ChemLawn. I've been after them instead of hitting the advertising scene. The only problem is, most have probably already signed their properties up for this year. I'd have to also say you're going to find that out with other property owners as well.
 

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The weed problems are just starting to show here in Ohio as the temps continue to make a climb, epsecially the dandy explosion within the next 2 weeks. Stay persistent at getting flyers out and work take a day off during the week and work saturday knocking at the doors.
 

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The great thing about this business is there are 1 thousand ways to skin a cat.
interesting observation about picking up sub contract work, that is certainly one quick way to add accounts. we have had some bad experiences getting paid on sub work in the past.
I would advise getting a good legal contract, and consider credit checking references.
A large subcontract burns you and your done.

food for thought.
 

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I would go aginst what you say and get on the phone. Most big guys are done calling and you can pick up a good many that have waited. it you get ahold of customers with trugreen or other co's offer to beat there price by 10% -most will switch for a vary small savings -- have other estiments that havent signed ?? follow up on these now. call for upsells --- peremiter pest, tree and shrub, whatever. chase trugreen trucks -- leave an estiment for less call um and sign them up --cut cost, use less fertilizer you dont need a pound of n in the spring-- add a fuel surcharge --add an envoromental fee -- earth day is comming up get a booth at an earth day event and ask everyone that is walking by if they would like an quote. hire sales people on commision, if they dont sell they dont get paid -- be relentless it can be done
 

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Follow trugreen trucks and underprice them? cut back on fertilizer? yes this sounds relentless alright.
but it is a recipe for business failure. every season there are 5 to 10 like this in every market, most dont make it. Charge for your service, set yourself apart from others.
Dont be a menace to our industry. otherwise go ahead and call yourself FREE SPRAY LAWN CARE, and we mill e-mail you @ taco bell too.
 

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I loved to be jumped on, its so much fun :D lol.
He wanted ideas, I gave them to him. maby I have been in companys that demand large sales and revenue increses to long but what I said dose bring in those numbers. if your happy with a small business put out a few adds and wait for customers, and wait and wait some more. if you really want to grow you have to find customers instead of waiting for them to come to you.

as for the taco bell comment, if you must know my last name is bell, and people started calling me taco back in high school and it never went away. If you want the business contact info istead of mine personaly its [email protected]
 

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My experience with price-cutting to get new customers hasn't been ideal. If a customer switches to your company to save a few bucks per application, they will do it again for the next price chopper that comes along. You just don't grow a loyal customer base that way.....
 
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