Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GreenStar, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Telemarketing can be very effective, just like many other methods of marketing used in this industry - if carried out properly. I was reading posts about direct mail - people saying it is a waste of time and money. Some have expressed the same beliefs when it comes to telemarketing. The key is the process, the approach, and the amount of money and time spent. It is not easy for an active business owner (one still out in the field) to perform telemarketing services. But if you have the time - if you are now in the position where you only manage your operation, telemarketing is something you should do without hesitation. Forget calling people at dinner time, hiring firms to charge you per so-called "qualified leads". Go to your local library or University and get your hands on the most updated version of the Cole's Directory. You will find names, numbers, and addresses of people all over the country broken down according to income. Of course it depends greatly on the type of service you are marketing, but consider these numbers and this scenario.

    You the business owner or your manager taking 1 hour per day making a total on average of 15 phone calls. Develop a script that is simple and allows you the freedom to be a person talking to a person. It is that simple.

    "Hi, this is John from ABC Lawn Care, How are you today? I don't want to take up too much of your time, I just wanted to ask you a few questions and provide you with some helpful information. ABC Lawn Care has been serving your community since 1994 providing a variety of lawn and landscape services. Do you currently have a service or do you perform these services yourself? We are going to be in your neighborhood providing free, no obligation estimates for some of your neighbors and I wanted to know if you would be interested in us stopping by your place as well. No one has to be home. We would walk your entire property and provide recommendations for services needed and what we would charge to perform these services. Remember, this is of no cost to you."

    Now obviously you could dress up this script and make it more powerful, but you get the idea. Speak like a person talking on the phone with a friend or neighbor. People will appreciate your offer, and if they aren't interested, they will let you know. If you make 15 phone calls a day 5 days a week, that's 75 phone calls a week to the types of clients you specifically are looking for in the areas you want to perform your services. Your closing rate obviously also depends on your pricing and company presentation, but if you close only 5% of your calls, that's 4 new clients a week. In 36 weeks that is potentially 144 new clients. What do you have invested? Only 5 hours a week on the phone and your estimate time - which like a route, if it is tight and organized, will also not take much time.

    I have seen companies literally grow 5 five fold in one season because they were willing to implement a telemarketing strategy.

    Sean Adams
  2. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509


    I wanted to revive this thread.

    Is anyone using telemarketing out there for this season (and willing to admit it)?

    If so, are you paying per hour or per lead??

  3. tgclraider

    tgclraider LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    We have had alot of leads produced since bringing in our 3 telemarketers. Although we are working on the quality of the leads. Any suggestions on improving the leads? We ask all the qualifying questions..... Gate, Dog.. Mani Concern... Etc...
  4. Lawn Care Louie

    Lawn Care Louie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    When I first started in the LC business twenty years ago (oh my!), I went with a company that went from zero customers to 7500 in three years. That was with some heavy lead solicitation. Although times have changed, especially with the "Do Not Call" list, I think there is still some legitimacy to this method. In my opinion, as long as the telemarketer is just soliciting leads, and not doing the actual selling, it is less obtrusive.

    This time of year, though, I don't think you will get as much response as late winter.

    Just my .02
  5. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    we used an outside telemarketing company this season. from mid feb thru mid april.

    the leads they generated were fair at best, but we did close on about 7%

    their charge was $22 per hour (we did not use a company specific to the green industry...lots of those companies charge per lead...that can get very expensive and the leads are not very qualified...and there is a good likelyhood that they are selling the same leads to your competitors....i speak from past experience)

    as mentioned already, i believe if it is possible to have your own in house people doing the calling you can do very well at it.

    I also believe the do not call list is a benefit...the people who are on the list are the ones that would most likely hangup on you anyway.

    one to two people spending two hours per day, thats about 60 dials per hour per person ( you will get many no answers or machines) and you could do quite well.

    Real key to a sucsessful campaign is FOLLOW UP! you cant just call for permission to walk the property and leave a price quote. You MUST follow up with these leads or you will not be happy with the sales closure rate! ANyone with a 'happy, bubbely personality' will do well. Person really doesnt need to be an agronomic genius, just a basic knowledge of your service and a pleasent personality.
    (thats why i never do any calling....i'm a real grouch! :)

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