new sales 2010

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    I have been running into the same aspect with the light links as far as customers not buying. Once I started with the c-9's things changed.

    I haven;t had the issues withthe damaged product, but I tell people point blank, that unless they want something completely different, w can build you a beautiful and elegant display with the c-9.
  2. britelights

    britelights LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    I have truly taken a different approach with light links this year. When I go to a new appointment -- I always hand them a catalog to browse while I'm measuring. The catalog is beautiful and impressive and there's alot of displays and foliage in there as well. Plus -- it makes you look professional - how many other Christmas light companies are handing them a 100+ page catalog like that?? I have my printed Retail Price Sheet that I put inside the front cover - and I always leave the catalog with them.

    But I also have my binder with me of houses we do locally...and there's a C9 house on the first page. I start out discussing C9s -- I then tell them if they're looking for something different and unique we can discuss light links -- but they are quite a bit more expensive the first year. I have some people that call us specifically because they want something different --- and that's great. But I now start off with C9s -- I have never done that before -- in fact we used to refuse to do C9 jobs. Man I missed out on alot of work.

    With light links -- we haven't experienced broken welds and rust...except maybe 1 or 2 isolated links. But my main issue with the light link is if it goes out -- the whole link (or half if it's an ice flurry) goes out. Why can't just 1 bulb go out???
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Funny how HBL's business with me actually started with a broken link Scott sent me. It broke at the ratchet rivet during shipping, and since then they have modified the design to put the ratchet on a stem and the top is fully welded. I have had some rust show up at welds, and especially notable on the starburst centers where the hollow 1/4" rods are welded to the hinges. I have rewelded about a dozen starbursts and probably a hundred links over the past 5-6 years, but we are talking out of thousands of pieces. I don't like it, but I also remember when Brite Ideas started moving welding to china in 2002 and fully sold all chinese stuff in 2003. on Brite Ideas stuff, You have to bend all the links rather than ratchet, and I broke hundreds per season. I have mentioned this here before, but I will never forget breaking 35-40 links to put up a 44 link job. Once the ratchet links were available from HBL, it was a no-brainer to see they would break way less. but yes, when you try to bend them around corners on the older design with the ratchet on top, they will break. it takes 5 minutes to weld them back. HBL does cover this under thier warranty, but who has the time to deal with shipping and keeping up with it?

    But the true tale is In 2001 and 2002 when Brite Ideas did the welding locally in Omaha,Nebraska. I broke 2 or 3 out of probably 1000 pieces bought those 2seasons. not to sound like an old timer, but those were the good old days.

    to be clear, I am not bashing HBL here. When you talk to Mike, you get the sense they are continuing to try to fix the things that don't work. The catalog sells jobs and upsells customers period. The personalized light pole sign, 3d star, shooting star tail, along with the noble garland and wreath foliage are big sellers for us. Even when folks get c-9s, they usually get wreaths, garland, starbursts, bows, etc. all HBL items.
  4. britelights

    britelights LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    Local welding in Omaha....I remember those days! I was brand new to Brite Ideas and I saw the manufacturing area and met a couple of the people actually that seems like so long ago. And the quality --- it was awesome. Man those were the days :).

    As far as HBL and the catalog and upsells --- I TOTALLY agree. Their mixed noble foliage can't be beat -- I sell alot of the mixed noble garland. I am very picky about my foliage and the mixed noble always impresses customers.
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    #26 closed and have contract signed on 27 and 28, need check to clear tomorrow on 27 and need to pick up check on 28 tomorrow. lots of fixes and turn ons tomorrow. but funny thing is, most of these fixes are self imposed. when driving by jobs I am seeing bulbs out, yet customers have not called. so I head them off at the pass before they call. been working some crazy late nights and have seen a lot of my jobs at night for the first time.

    honestly, only about 12-14 selling days left. last year I closed my last job on the 8th of december I think. in the past I have closed one or 2 around the 10th.

    but a more telling statistic is I closed 12 jobs after Thanksgiving last year. don't know if I will pull that off again this year, but it is the time of year that jobs seem to close easier.

    Hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving today and have work and bids to do and great weather to do it.
  6. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    Great Dave, congratulations!! I am still back on number 1, have had about 4k in add ons, but can;t seem to get passed that. About 10 estimates done since then, spoke with one lady yesterday, she said she couldn't read the email and truthfully we were out doing a rehang, so I wasn't able to tell her what the pricing was. That would be a nice job, 4 cases MN 48" 2 cases Mn garland and about 12 or so bows. I do have three or four calls to try to return today again, and an estimate scheduled for Monday. Mike said the final direct mailer is supposed to land or has just landed. I am thinking I want to try something different next year as far as that goes.

    I did get confirmation on the big job I had last year, going to start that one tomorrow if all the paperwork is in order at their main office, we have about 4 days or nice weather coming up, lots of rain seems to be the pattern going on right now, pouring out currently.

    I have about 12 or so lawn signs left, thinking I am headed out to put the remainder out, will have to get them picked up Sunday or they will disappear as the rest have. There are some still floating around, but not generating any calls from them. I have two bids to put together this am, one is rehang my decor (action lighting products) but it is a situation where I will not have to warranty anything so put it up get paid, take it down get paid, they store it. Sooner or later they will convert and it is my understanding the guy that used to do it had several homes in the neighborhood like that. I did get some calls from the tree we finished up the other day, hoping to get those. I did manage to get myself into some neighborhoods I really didn't know about this year, so part of me is expecting to do more there next year. I did find a roof guy, normally a roofer, these new houses around here are about 30' high and a 8 on 12 pitch. Nothing to tie off to so it may prove really interesting.

    If I remember correctly last year you said that the 10th is pretty much it, so I haven't given up yet, still got some time. I wish I had expressed my thoughts about the links vs. c-9 to you guys earlier, the advice (as usual) worked and got a new job, and into a new neighborhood. I read somewhere that it takes three to four years to really get a hang of this. Last two seasons have been a real learning curve, but the hard lessons are the ones that stick with you.

    On a different note, seems HBL has a new design for the shingle clips for LL, instead of just being a hook, they now have a clip now comes back up to the main body, but it is to wide to fit the link. I will take the time to cut it down if it saves me having to constantly run to rehang LL again. 5 times I have been to one house this year, so far.

    Got some paperwork to finish. Good luck all, hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  7. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Keep working it!

    I'm only on #7 this year. Kinda been a slow year... But the phone is still ringing!
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    check cleared on 27, and old #28 with signed contract called and cancelled this morning. gotta admit, she told me she did not have enough money for the deposit and I gotta respect that. I did close 2 out of 3 today on appointments, 2 small ones, 500 and 800, but those are still #28 and #29.

    I am going to call Dec 10th the official last day of the selling season, although I have sold a few jobs after that in the past. so the countdown begins. counting tomorrow the 27th, we officially have 14 selling days left.

  9. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    Nothing yesterday at all. However did get everything squared up with rehang and add on to the big job from last year, 5600 this year, so that is a bit of a relief, now to just get it completed before the weather switches. Long range weather is calling first decent storm for next Sunday, so thinking things will either get crazy or hit a complete stop.

    I did line up a screaming deal on a bucket truck though, 36' 6" reach, plus my height so I will be at 42', on board generator, tons of cabinet spaces, ladder rack, enough room to put enough material in for any install, so seems like a great fit. It will be nice to have anything I can need right there and not run back and forth losing time. It will be used primarily for lighting, on the road in October, off in February. I did get some repairs made to the main pickup as well, light sets arrived from China to repair the snow flakes, so as my son put it, rather productive day. Job I finished last week had a lead go bonkers, so fixing that was how the day started. I gotta say I loved the feeling I got when after only being on the site 10 minutes, we had the entire display lit again, and a very relieved and satisfied client.

    Did return the calls from Wednesday night again, still nothing there. Order is due at Fed Ex Tuesday, hoping to sell a couple more as I am almost out of Garland again, and do not wan tot bring in just garland. That is three cases this year, I believe the wreaths on the order coming in are gone as well. The greenery does much better than I expected, have a project I looked at that is two cases alone, would be nice to get a hold of that as the whole project is all greenery and bows, 4 cases MN 48" and then the above mentioned garland. A couple prospects are out of town yet, so fingers are crossed there. My new approach is obviously the C-9's and am aiming at the rehangs, not the upfront profit. Trying to ensure that the regular cash flow each year is what increases, looking at sale profit as extra cash so to speak.

    I couldn't keep the battery operated noel LED in stock last year, haven't sold one of them yet, full case came in on first load and still unopened. I do have a couple calls on the tree we did last week, with referrals from the repair client yesterday, hoping that pops. Spoke with a lady last night, sounds like my website may have gotten the first one, and I know the area is a good place to be.

    Still one rehang yet to hear back from, he will get another email from me, never answers his phone as he is a very busy attorney, and if I don't hear from him his wreaths are coming out of the trailer, tired of trying to get around them.

    Start the new clients form this year next week when the order arrives, if I have it planned out right, should just about be done with big job, I will leave part of it if need be in order to get these new clients set up. If all goes right, I think I can have them done in a day. I have to have the big one done by next Sunday, and we have two days of rain this week and snow the end of the week looking at the weather. A little snow maybe a good thing, get people in the Christmas mood.
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    addicted- keep pushing. you will sell stuff. just so you know bad things happen to me too-

    lost #29 today, they called and cancelled and asked that I tear up the check.
    but I may end up doing some landscape lighting for them in the spring. we'll see.

    That makes 2 deals this year that have fallen through, and I have another landscape light deal working that sounded like it was falling through today. lots of wishy washy buyers remorse stuff going on right now.

    but good news too, closed the new #29 today. several appointments tomorrow. 12 selling days left.

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