Prospecting new clients

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by dsmrolla06, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. dsmrolla06

    dsmrolla06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    How many of you guys are prospecting for new clients now? Im not talking about sending out christmas cards or anything like that.

    I decided i am going to start prospecting for clients, but in a slightly different way than most people in most industries are. Let me give an example.

    I recently set up a new business line for my company. Great. Within a week i receive probably 10 phone calls for merchant accounts. When they call me they tell me all about their services and what that service can do for my business. So what i say to myself. Every single one of those calls sounded the same, all from different companies. I didnt even finish listening to all the messages i had gotten.

    "So whats this have to do with lawncare" your asking.
    How do these companies even know im interested in a merchant account? They dont. They just start right in and throw their business upon you. The same with anybody trying to make a cold call. What if instead they asked you, "What do you take into account when your selecting a merchant service provider?" This would probably throw some people off guard. I would be more willing to talk to someone, or even consider someone for business, that wanted to know my needs, and what i wanted to have done.

    What im proposing to do is to call up a number of businesses each day and prospect. Im not going to be telling them what i do or what services i offer or what makes me better than the next guy. They hear that all the time. Im going to be asking them questions. Things like what they look for in a lawncare company, how they determine who they choose. Is it price? Is it company background, refrences?

    I believe this will make you sound more personable and like you have a genuine interest in them. Not only that but you will now know what businesses are looking for. You will be better prepared to make a presentation and to sell yourself to them.

    I will be making scripts that i will use in my prospecting. I plan on starting on this following Monday. I got this idea from my grandfather, who is a real estate agent and mortgage broker. I had been wanting to contact the property managers of businesses, but really did not know what to talk about. I had a discussion with him tonite, which was rather enlightening and hopefully you may think so as well. Sorry for the length of post, maybe some of you will be intrigued.

    Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments.
  2. mak2

    mak2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    Do you know about the no call list in Indiana?
  3. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Egads!!!! I thought the telemarketing days were numbered with the advent of the "Don't call me list"
  4. goodgreen

    goodgreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Try some nice postcards - they are good for target marketing and with computers you can customize them. Inexpensive to send also. People keep them and tend to call later on when they need you.
  5. dsmrolla06

    dsmrolla06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    Ok for one, i highly doubt if you ask for the name of the person who is the outdoor maintenance manager, and ask if they are available, they will report you for telemarketing. When you speak to the manager, you introduce yourself, who your with, than you ask them if you could have a couple minutes of their time. They say no, ok, you ask when a better time to reach them would be. As i said, your not selling your services to them... your asking questions about them. Managers and business professionals like to talk, especially about themselves. There is no problem with what so ever. If this would be the case, i dont know how anyone would survive in real estate.
  6. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    Real estate agents do one of two things: A)They do not call the "Do Not Call List". Many of the MLS will scrub the name against the "Do Not Call List", and all you have to do is pull the # of through the MLS public record. In the public record most mls will state whether # is on the list or not. or B) They call using a survey. No this way gets a little bit more sticky. If it is in anyway misconstrued that you are soliciting that person for business then the commission can come after you. At least that is how it is in my state. As far as response believe me they have heard it all. I am not saying that you will not get business this way, because you can(and a lot). However, your response rate is not going to change from 1%-10% to 20%+. Just prepare yourself for a lot of "Not interested" and hang ups even if you are trying to talk about them. In addition, I would like to add it only takes 1 yes to make 100 nos worth your while.(it does work) By the way most real estate agents don't make it. 1 out of 10 quit within their first year, and then 1 out of 10 quit in the second year. Just my 2 cents...
  7. dsmrolla06

    dsmrolla06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    No most real estate agents dont make it, and neither to lawn care providers, or any business for that matter. How many businesses put their lines on the do not call list? Does the persons line im talking to have to be on the do not call list, or do they just list them all in general? If thats the case i can always use the mls as i have access to it.
  8. dsmrolla06

    dsmrolla06 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    I guess nobody really like this idea... Well to reasure you guys about the no call list, businesses dont have it. It wouldnt make sense for them to. A business will send you a fax if they dont want any more calls from you, and if you continue, then can start in a course of action against you. Im just looking to do something new instead of being in the same track as every other lawn care provider. Oh well to each his own.
  9. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    Pro Edge, you are going to produce number beyond leaps and bounds, remember sales is not alway about being the best. Tru-Green why are they so successful? Simple marketing, they constantly work for new contacts, and are alway prospecting. Those who do not prospect, will only remain one size. Now ther are many ways to propect, calling isnt the only way. What we have found to be very successful, is a personalized survey of the property. Meaning you visit the site, note the item that need attention prepare a proposal and info about your company, send it, then follow up with call. good luck remember the more you call the more opprotunities you have to sell. you should close about 2 percent off of 125 surveys and call them at least 3 times
  10. rbriggs

    rbriggs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Be careful, some people take the NO CALL telemarketing thing pretty serious. We stopped cold calling as a result. We used to send out fax blasts to many potential commercial clients. Then one day, we received a letter from a realtor's attorney advising us that we were in violation of the law (sending junk faxes).... esentially the law forbiddng insolicited fax advertising. Anyhow, he wanted $500 from us or he would pursue the charges based on larceny of paper and ink of the realtor's fax machine. Under the law, I believe they were entitled to up to $1500 or $500 per fax received. Our attorney reviewed it and advised us to pay the $500. Seemed like blackmail to me. I would guess that the realtor's attorney was a complete sleeze ball who had no real cases to work.
    Anyhow, it ended our fax blasts days. For any of you that conduct this type of advertising, I understand that it is a federal law and most states have a similar law on thier books.

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