very disapointed with christmas sales

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by shade tree landscaping, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    very disapointed with Christmas light sales this year. Seems I have gone on a ton of estimates and everyone either wants their lights installed or they feel that we are to expensive. $6 a bulb on C-9's is avg for the area, and what I'm chraging. Just wondering if everyone else's sales are way down this year.
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    in terms of number of clients closed this year, we are up slightly as of now, but we have not closed the very large (10k plus) or huge ( 30k plus) jobs like in the past. I bid a few, and they went to newer companies that, from what I have heard, gave it away. but sales overall are very good and rehangs are up as well.

    Things that I work with folks on my Christmas consulting gigs are things you may already be doing- should be closing 25-35 % of your esimates, if you do the following- you are priced right , you wear a professional uniform ( Got a logo on your coat or shirt or sweater when you take off coat inside), you use a professional bid packet that includes: color folder, color proposal forms, a 3 or 4 tab cut flyer that includes your workmans comp and inurance certificate, with customer quotes and referances, your service and product guarantee and a "reasons to hire you over your competition", photo's of your work. and always a color catalog and sample you can show the client. If you have a good,fun but amart and professional attitude on the appointment and you have all those things in place, you should be closing jobs.

    This week I closed a client that was over 3k, and my competition had bid it at half that. the customer told me that the reason they chose me is they wanted a professional that would be around for the next few years. I try very hard to project that confidence and image, even though if you read my posts here from time to time I am always worrying about something or other. You have about 30 minutes to an hour to gain folks trust to spend 1000 plus with you, and everything has to work towards that.

    SPEEDSKI LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 67

    I agree 100%. I love hearing competitors call my customers and say "what happened, weren't we the cheapest?" Some will never get it.
  4. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    I didn't do anywhere near what I expected, read through, I was ready to throw in the towel a couple times. MY issue mainly seemed to be product. I was trying and trying the light links, no success. After a few pep talks on here from Dave and trufhokie, a phone chat with Bryan, I left the LL in the dust so to speak. I tell people point blank now, I can give them a presentation that can not be replicated, or we can do something really elegant and beautiful and save you a ton of money. After that, I usually have their undivided attention. Now all said and done, with the 5 or so I closed this year, all but one are c-9. Even my sisters house, and my brother in law does very well, when all was said and done, 250' of c-9. I am getting 5.50 first year, 3.5-3.75 depending on the house second and third. I am not gaining alot of money up front, but the second and third year are averaging 750 and that is really what I am after, steady flow. It has gotten me into some fantastic neighborhoods.

    I started out here last year, professional decorating had never been done in the area worth talking about. There is a Decor guy, but all the research I have done can't find anything about him. There are a boat load of copy cats so to speak now, one of them has commercials on you tube, call themselves the Christmas guys, heard an add on the radio I have my spots on, offering 250 off etc, they are using walmart product, so be it. I told the girl from the radio station, the people they are dealing with, I don;t want to. I can see where they can be successful, and I even sent an email offering to help them out with supplies and my bucket truck etc. There are alot of people in this area that just want something up and look at price as the bottom line. As I see it though, you spend the time to do a beautiful job, pay attention to small details such as white electrical tape on white wires etc, clean up your site, you eventually build yourself a reputation. Something I also started doing, build into the cost a referral discount. Everyone knows someone that wants their home done, but doesn't have the time or desire to do it. When people see they are saving money and all they have to do is refer you to someone that wants it done, starts to make a road I guess.
  5. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    Have the logo jacket, shirt, hat, on truck and so on, def not looking like "fly by nite." Do not have a color folder though, never even thought of that. I have been leaving estimates on a carbon paper,same as I do for landscaping. Can you email me a pic of how yours looks?

    Have got alot of people who either want us to hang their lights, which I have zero interest in doing. Also have got alot of people, even after telling them that we have $500 min, are in shock how much christmas lights are.
  6. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    I have been hearing the same thing. I am at 750k homes and hear it. I did do some hang my lights stuff last year, it generates some income. I have one woman that called this year, probably going to do it. I just make sure they understand the rate is the rate and I will not repair or warranty anything.

    Also if I do not remove and store the items, there is no warranty either, you have no idea of how it is maintained. The woman that called recently, did start upgrading her old stuff with my stock last year, but again, if I don't remove and store, still no warranty.

    The rehang of the walmart junk did get me an upgrade on a client to LL this year as well as a 48" MN wreath and bow. So the $300 project last year, has now become a $1400 this year and $500 rehang each year.
  7. yard_smart

    yard_smart LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    26 resi calls - 0 closes
    2 calls from referrals - 2 closes
    3 cold calls to commercial - 3 closes

    I think I know where I will spend my dollars next year.

    Over all we managed to fill in the void between mowing and snow with lights so it served it's purpose.
  8. chiefwilson

    chiefwilson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    This was my first year in the business. Thanks to David for a little advice I decided to add the Christmas Lights to my line of business. I was so slammed I worked almost every day from 6am to way after dark. Rented a 50' tow behind lift and closed more than 30 jobs. Next year I will throw even more money into advertising and try and close another 30 in addition to the 30 from this year. Hope everyone has a wonderful year. Now to take all the lights down...
  9. shade tree landscaping

    shade tree landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 915

    CHIEF...what did you use as far as advertising? closing 30 in first year isn't bad at all !!!

    YARD SMART...3 cold call commercials....what type of commercial? I cold called about 2 dozen and got zero!
  10. chiefwilson

    chiefwilson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12


    I used two local radio stations that play Christmas Music all season long. They are the two most listened to stations at that time of year. I also offered 500.00 gift certificates that the radio station auctioned off and I got a lot of promotional time on air for those. I also donated a light package to a local charity that gained a lot of air time. Another thing I used is Google Adwords and Facebook advertisements. I targeted females 35 and older within 25 miles of my residence on facebook. All avenues of advertisement got about the same return. Next year I am gonna double or triple the amount of advertisement I did this year. If you want to hear one of my commercials it is on my website

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