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New Sales 2013

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by turf hokie, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    I am beating David to the punch this year as my phone has actually started to ring this week for lighting.

    This week I gave 2 commercial bids, one looks good as we are on our 3rd meeting just trying to hash out the details of a 5 year deal. the other is a country club that went into full sticker shock, guessing that is a no go. LOL.

    Had a residential that we turned down last year because she call late in december and could not get to her, call yesterday to get more information about this year. Got the "I have to talk to my husband" response. Which we all know translates to "Holy crap, I had no idea it would cost more than $200"

    No advertising put out, and actually have not planned any yet. All paid internet leads are still turned off (home advisor etc). All leads are referral or website direct so far.

    Hoping the early phone calls are an indication that the economy is turning around and this will be a good year. Houses are selling locally (quickly too) as well as new construction picking up which is always a good indicator of economic stability.

    Renewal contracts go out Monday 7-15. Then letters to recently cancelled customers with an incentive to come back.

    Crossing my fingers that we dont get any hurricanes or freak snow storms around halloween like the last 2 seasons.

    Any body else gearing up? Getting calls?
  2. TimNNJ

    TimNNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    I received a call out of the blue three weeks ago from a guy that swore we did his lights for him..wanted me to come out and check something out..the name of the company that did it was right in front of his house..he swore it was us..lol..I explained that it wasn't..( a leasing company) I explained how we worked and that was it..so it was him that called but I am passing on this one..but hey glad some people are thinking about it..

    I am looking to have my postcards and brochures made up in August...

    You send out your renewals this early?..have you always sent them out this early?

    We still have lots of Sandy damage here...we are still yanking stumps out and people are just starting to get insurance money..lots and lots of landscape work to be had

    With all the rain we have been having we are finally catching up with everything...

    Looking forward to this season!..
  3. OP
    turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    I always send my renewals out between July 15 and August 1st. We offer a prepayment discount with a due date of September 1.

    Try to get some money coming in to cover our early order materials and startup costs. It also makes life easier when you can focus on the selling and the work and not chasing money during the season.
  4. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 480

    No calls but doing some ordering of proposal forms, presentation folders, and more business cards last week. Going to have to shop around and look for some direct mailing info really soon.
  5. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,080

    If you have not tried Cactusmailings.com for direct mail you should check it out. Nobody has been able to beat their prices and their printing quality takes full advantage of high resolution pictures.

    Do not use the cheap mailing lists any direct mail place will give you even Cactus. Use Info USA or similar well know source. With my list I think my cost for full color both sides and UV coating for 4x6's was around 33 cents per unit. The company that advertises on this site was ten cents higher to do the exact same thing. Mike gave me an incentive to use his source last year so I went that route with good results.
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    sorry, I have been off the map awhile. But the phone has rung some for a few new clients and have done some bids for rehang clients for new add ons. But really not too different than what I am used to. Our pre-pay/early bird newsletter went out July 1 and folks can pre-pay and have us hang early to get discounts. a few jump in, but we don't push it too hard. it is a volunteer thing for now. we may call folks sept 1 if our schedule does not fill up.

    few other thoughts-

    last week we got our container load in from HDY, always amazed at how much shelf space a small semi eats up. but needed the greenery- was out of garland, 3ft wreaths, and was nearly out of 4 flats and restocked my supply of custom 5 ft wreaths. which are actually 5ft when you fluff the garland. ( I like offering 3,4,5( my custom),6 ( what they call the 5ft 3d),7.

    I notice they now label the 7ft wreath an 8ft. which is odd, given it had a true 6ft metal frame and way back when ( maybe 8-9 years ago ? ) used to be called a 6ft wreath. not really sure even if you stretch the foliage it will be 8ft. maybe they changed the design, but the box looks really similar to the 7. need to open the box and put one together and put a tape on it.

    The 48" flat is now hinged in halves and sold 1 to a box. opened up those, they assemble quick and look good. they did not cheapen the wreath, which is always my worry when they spend money on more boxes and add hinges but the price stays low. so kudos to HDY.

    Garland is now 4 to a box instead of 6 which makes carrying boxes a bit easier. but if you designed your shelves to double stack 6's, then surprise, 3 4's do not fit. sorry- you got lots of boxes, so you must redesign your shelves .

    I have 4 new Postcards are designed and ready, need to get them printed. I checked out cactus print, but I tell my consulting clients and I use them as well-gotprint.com can print an 8 1/2x11 flyer, color both sides and super glossy, on 100lb cover ( postcard ) for 8.5 cents total including shipping to you in 10000 quantity and then use EDDM to saturate high value neighborhoods for 16 cents each. yes, I do have to have my children count, weigh and bundle, and fill out paperwork, but I get a far greater response with the huge cards than the 4x6's ( plus you can't do eddm with small pieces) . and at less than 25 cents each total I tend to mail more. I use photos taken by a local pro photographer and have a local marketing company do the type and graphics for about 200 bucks per card. but once that is done I just send the file to gotprint. they do an excellent job.

    I'll be checking in more often- going to bed- :)
  7. OP
    turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Contracts are trickling back in. Had a few appointments for addons and changes.

    That's one of the renting perks for my customers when they get tired of a color or style they can just switch.

    Had one switch colors and another change from snowflakes light links to c9 bulbs this year

    Finally broke down and I am setting up a dedicated website for my Christmas decor company. It's always just been a page on my lawn care site, but I felt that was an injustice for all the work we do now. Having it professionally done. Should be up by thre end of the month and hopefully ranking by sept 1.

    I will put the link and let you guys critique when it goes live!

    I have not gotten my pre order yet, that trailer load comes early WOW. I won't be really ready for my delivery for a couple of weeks yet!
  8. TexasFire221

    TexasFire221 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 480

    So Dave you send out a flyer instead of a postcard with EDDM?
  9. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    my postcards- they are ordered on the flyer section, but no folded and it is a card stock similar to a postcard. Instead of ordering on the postcard section of gotprint.com, I order on the flyer section. when you check off the paper, use 100lb cover stock. this is thinner, but very close to the thickness and stiffness of 14 point postcard stock. If you compare the cost of an 8 1/2 by 11 postcard and this 8 1/2 x 11 "flyer" paper it is about 1.6 cents cheaper each purchased and shipped. on 10,000 it adds up, and really, I can't tell the difference in the two papers.
  10. TimNNJ

    TimNNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Do all you guys use proposal forms/hand written forms or email proposals?..what works best for you?. I usually email everything so it's all in one place?..how do you break down your estimates?...I want to stream line it this year..it's getting to the point that I need one system so that everything is consistent like everything else we do..what are your systems ?

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