new sales 2009

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. OP
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    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    closed #24. really happy to get it, sold the last of the noble garland I had left over from last year. sold 2 wreaths I had. I really cannot believe that I closed 2 on the 24th, and I went 4 days ( although that includes Thanksgiving ) and 11 appointments befoe closing number 24 on today , the 28th of November.

    What makes it tougher is I know Christmas Decor is basiaclly booked for the year, they are telling folks they cannot hang work until Dec. 10. I think they only have one rooftop crew, and everyone else just does ground work.

    I have time to hang work, as we have run 3 crews nonstop since Nov. 2, and now we have the time, trained folks, trucks, and now, we will run out of work pretty much on tuesday after most fixes, my house and installs are done. I am actually looking at doing some landscape lighting this next week just to keep one crew busy. we are also going to call all customers on monday just to ask if thier lights are working properly and if they need any add ons. If I have no appointments, I will start visiting every job trying to upsale folks on mini's, wreaths, adding on sides, etc.

    I have one appointment tomorrow. maybe I'll close that one.
     
  2. OP
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    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    #25 today. good one. lots of calls for folks to hang thier lights. If they have it half up and just need help with the high stuff, referring that out to a friend. I always start off with we only install what we sell. I have probably 20 signs out all over, and no appointments scheduled. but monday morning after Thanksgiving usually has a lot of calls.

    3 crews booked til after tuesday, then only fixes and jobs I close after today. Still hoping for an after Thanksgiving rush of 10 new clients that we can do on the 2nd through the 6th maybe with 3 crews.

    I think I had said previously that at 20-25 crews I am just really maintaining the size of my company this year. looking at the rehang dollars lost and gained, i am ahead. anything added from this point on is growth and I will take what I can get.

    I have enough c-9 cord and clear bulbs to do 10 or more homes, and enough snowflake links to do a couple of houses. I also have a couple of cases of garland left and a few noble wreaths in all sizes, so I am ready to quickly add on jobs if neccessary.

    The problem is if folks want something I do not have in stock and I have to wait 2 full days to get product.

    we'll see how the year fleshes out in the next week.
     
  3. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    Phone is still dead. Has not rang since last Tuesday.
     
  4. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Part of the first year doing it deal probably.

    Have faith it will pick up, heck, drive the new lettered truck and trailer around so that people will "see your trucks everywhere" Put a couple signs out on busy corners.

    My wife(secretery) called me at 5:30 and said she was done with the phone her ear hurt.

    Sold 3 more today, puts us into David territory as far as new sales, but they still dont add up to the dollars that we lost. If we hit last years numbers we will be doing awesome. Took two big hits and just wont be able to make them up without some luck.

    Crews are booked thru Sunday, but lost 1/2 day to rain so some jobs will get pushed. Fresh cut trees arent here yet and that is a problem as they were supposed to arrive yesterday for an install tomorrow morning.

    5 appointments tomorrow, 2 Wed and 2 Thursday so far....

    Good luck all, dont lose sales because you cant get there fast enough, find a way to get them installed
     
  5. OP
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    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    #26 today. great gated neighborhood home. have added several in that neighborhood this year, it is considered the nicest subdivision in two counties. have one appointment tomorrow across the street from #26. hopefully it will be #27. I hope the past rings true, I usually close 75% of my appointments after Dec. 1st. Of course, the past sure has not framed this season. two new start ups from last year along with Christmas Decor have really gotten a ton of jobs I have bid.

    beware, soapbox sermon !

    It really breaks my heart to see a bid I did go to a competitor. not really so much a bitterness thing now, money lost or whatever, but I really make a connection with some of these folks, I like many of them after talking with them for an hour or so, and I know that the two new startups will be out of business in 3 years or less, and will provide really crummy service either this year or next.

    it is the path that all cheapies follow- over a period of 2-3 years, grow like wildfire because of low pricing, then have no money to buy trucks or pay good money or have time to train crew foremen. no time or money to find good product. no time or money to train folks to repair and do fixes. no money to offer any kind of warranty. once you have 60 customers, you start working til midnight, and around 100 customers the stack of cards falls. cannot get to people to get lights up, weather racks up 40 gfci calls. bulbs start burning out. no mini-light repair box, mini's out everywhere, etc. etc. They look at the end of the year and think, 100 customers times 300 bucks was 30 grand. or whatever. and they have 5 grand left at the end of the nightmare. and they will say it was not worth it.

    I have watched a dozen companies come and go that followed this exact same path. and then they just quit and sometimes they leave folks the lights. I just converted my 2nd cheapie customer in 9 years. she had lights done 5 years ago. but at least 15% of my bids every year are folks who used to use the cheapies. and They will never step up to me. they will pay the next cheapie, and the next. They ask all kinds of questions about how long I have done this, what happens if I go out of business, yadda yadda. then I drive by and see the new cheapies.

    It is just sad to see folks that would and could have paid a fair price, and gotten great service, great product, and be a 5, 10 year or more customer with tons of value for both me and them, be forever poisoned against Christmas light guys that charge enough to keep the doors open.
     
  6. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    I should have put something on here before or asked God to give us a little boost as the phone blew up yesterday. Naturally I was 60 plus feet in the air hanging a 12' wreath and it took off, had to wait until I got done last night. I have an estimate scheduled every night this week. Thank you Lord. Today we start canopy lighting 14 trees, hopefully will finish today or tomorrow, morning, then pick the in coming order up, new install on Thursday (weather dependent) another on Friday, rehang Walmart lights for a customer who wants to change to light links next year, and unless we hit some of these estimates, we are out of work after that.

    Truthfully, I can not complain. This is our first year, and the first time people have seen this service, I can not count the times I have heard that. I default to what Bryan has said, first year you get going, second it takes off, third you get your feet under you and the fourth, wow how did we get here. Part of the problem is I have the bug, I could honestly do this all year long so to speak. We may have gotten really lucky yesterday, I was up in an office placing a timer for the wreath and the building owner came out and was talking to my foreman, absolutely thrilled with the wreath. He then proceeded to tell him that the tree made from single diode C-9 next to where we are working is paid for by the city to the tune of about 20k a year. Well my eyes popped open to say the least. When I was looking at the wreath we installed from different view points, I couldn't help but notice they had several bulbs out. For 20k, I would think they would have taken the steps to ensure that the bulbs were all lit before they left. You can tell where my thoughts are.
     
  7. OP
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    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    #27 today, tiny job, 86 feet c-9, and 3 big 1 grand add ons, all were new customers this year. #28 is supposed to paypal me tomorrow for a job going up thursday. we'll see. 3 appointments tomorrow. All 3 crews scheduled wed for work and fixes, but Rain predicted Wed and then three days of sunny colder weather, thurs, fri, sat. If it rains, then I think we will have work for Thirsday, friday, and maybe saturday. but I then it will be mostly over. not completely sure.

    Still hoping for breaking 30 new customers this year, maybe more. oh how the mighty have fallen. original goal, 50 new customers. commision sales staff was a disaster, so updated goal, 40 new customers. competition thrashes me, ok, fine, can I at least get 30?
     
  8. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    People are still buying now. I sold 3 yesterday!
     
  9. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 480

    Yes they are still buying. I sold a big job today and am working on three estimates right now. I am kinda still solo with some help. Next year I will have to get a good crew together. I have 11 jobs on the books for the next couple days. Good work this year with only about $200 worth of flyers and $100 for a business ad in the local paper that ran 1 day only, Friday after Thanksgiving.
     
  10. OP
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    David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    I had a good day today, closed the mentioned #28, and got #29 and #30. woohoo, finally broke 30.

    I actually had #31 closed , gave a preexisting landscape light customer the deal of a lifetime. get this- offered him rented, installed, taken down, 200 feet clear c-9's, 2 24 inch starbursts and 2 12's hung on his planter , local bought large red and gold bows on 4 carriage lamps, tightwrap 400 mini's each on 6, 8 inch diameter 8 foot tall columns, tightwrap 6-800 mini's each on 2 small trees. he used me for landscape lighting on the front and back and deck of his house, and I figured it would take my guys most of a full day and we are at the end of the season, so I offered him all this for 1000 bucks. he agrees ( of course ) and I schedule him for friday. On the way home he calls me and asks if I can do it any cheaper. I'm not a renter, but my rehang prices on this stuff should be-

    650 for the c'9's, 4000 mini's runs about 500-750, depending on complexity/ time, and I rehang starbursts for 35 each, so 140 on those, and I pretty much give the cheap red bows away at 10 bucks each so that is 40. so with no rental money for me at all in the product, I would be at 1330, and I figure if I am renting I need to get something for the wear and tear on product, So I figure 15-25% of the new purchase price, as this stuff lasts 5-8 seasons pretty easy. so figure another 500 for your rental fee or product replacement fee. an 1800 buck job for 1000 is a killer deal.

    So i am already way too low, but I knew that, and then to be asked to cut my price further kinda hurt. he said he has always gotten it done for 3-500 bucks, and just could not stomach paying double. I asked him if anyone else had reccomended starbursts, tightwrapping the trees, red bows, or any real touches that mark a professionally done home. he just came back with he does not want to spend "that"kind of money. even though he and his wife agreed to it happily 8 hours earlier.

    buyers remorse. happens at least once every year, but the first time for me with a client that has spend close to 10 grand with me for landscape lighting. So they know and trust me, but just can't bear to take thier home to the next level, or spend what it takes to do so.

    have appointment tomorrow to close the new #31. one other appointment in the afternoon.
     

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