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Thread: Getting MORE Customers - collected tips

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Mound, MN

    Arrow Getting MORE Customers - collected tips

    I didn't come up with any of this, i just found it online.

    TJ's Business idea?
    1.) Print this page(s)
    2.) Read it with a highlighter, highlight anything that sticks out as a good idea. No idea is universal, you know your situation!
    3.) Jot down notes as you read
    4.) Plan WHEN you need to act. Working backwards from when you want all your customers. Unfortunately this year you are way behind schedule.
    5.) Plan WHAT you are going to do.
    6.) Get it done!

    Here are some suggestion paraphrased from 'TLC' who sells yellow page ads. These suggestions apply to yellow page ads as well as website design.

    - Don't have your name at the top but instead a headline telling the reader what benefits you can offer them or what you can do for them.

    - Within the body of the ad, list the most profitable work you do, the type of jobs you offer and/or the most common requested information.

    - Put Free Estimates right above your phone number to generate more calls.

    - Put your name close to the bottom of the ad just above the number or to the left of it.

    - Put your web address at the bottom too. If they can't reach you on a weekend, there is a good chance they wil go to your website to learn more about your company and the services you offer.

    - Make sure your website has testimonials.

    - Include before and after pictures on your website.

    - Always have your phone number forwarded to your cell if you are not in your office. Many customers will try another company rather than leave a message on an answering machine or with a answering service.

    Create a 'Before and After Book.'

    Take pictures of any jobs you do before you start them and then when you are completed, take an after picture. Insert these photos into a photo album with the before picture on the left and the after picture on the right. Take this book with you when you meet a new client and show them your different before and after pictures.

    Put before and after pictures on your flyers. Most people read flyers right above their garbage can so give them a reason to look through your flyer. You might not get another chance at showing off what you can do. Most people just won't visit your website to see this information. This should increase your response ratio and therefore lower the cost per customer lead.

    Don't wait for people to call you from flyers. You must go out and actively meet with new potential clients.

    Go to local mower shops and hang up your flyer so if a customer's mower is in the shop being fixed, they can call you to service their lawn. Once they see how much easier it is for you to mow their lawn they may decide to stick with you rather than do it themself.

    Knock on the doors of residents in your neighborhood and others. Offer them to mow their lawn on the spot. When you are done, knock on their neighbor's doors and show them how you just finished the next door lawn. Offer them a good price to mow their lawn since you are already there.

    Many home owners who have a company maintaining their lawn may not be happy with the level of service they are receiving but will stick with that company out of convenience. If you meet with the potential client and offer your services, you give the client a great opportunity to switch to you.

    Get in touch with realtors and let them know you are available to service the lawns of the homes they are trying to sell. A home with a nicely mowed lawn will sell faster than an unkept one. Also ask the realtor for the names and numbers of home owners who rent their houses to maintain their lawns as well. Read your local paper's homes for rent section and contact the numbers advertised to offer your services. Contact local businesses that need a nice looking lawn that you could service.

    Remember if you are sitting their waiting for people to contact you from your fliers, take advantage of your time and reach out to them. Make it happen.

    If you hand out 200 flyers and get 5 calls from them you can figure out a baseline. If your costs for handing out flyers is $0.10 per flyer printing and another $0.10 per delivery, you get a total of $40.00 to get 200 flyers out. Now divide that number by the amount of calls you received.

    $40.00 divided by 5 calls = $8.00

    You paid $8.00 to get each phone call.

    If one of those callers converts to a customer, your marketing cost is $40.00 per customer. If two callers convert to being a customer then your marketing cost is $20.00 per customer.

    Are these customers signing up for one-time or re-occuring services. How much will you make from each of these customers? Will you make more than it costs to aquire them? Are you making more than the $40.00 it costs you to aquire a single customer as shown above? If you are then keep it up and get out as many flyers as you can each month.

    If you are losing money with this process you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. Your customer aquisition costs are too high so you need to figure out a way to make your flyers get more customers (offer a better service discount) or find another avenue of delivery to get your message out.

    To get more residenals I would put out flyers in the immediate area where I am already working. Those people already see you in the neighbourhood every week so they are more likely to go with you. At least this works for me. I find it very easy to sell services to those people within eye sight of the jobs that I aready have.

    Advertising on weekends and nights only.

    We began last week, and I must say, the success rates go way up when you meet most of the people while their home, totally seperates you from the pack. Sunday I met so many nice people in a brand new development...out of 60 homes I knock on the door and either spoke to or left the info when I left, we signed 6 on the spot, 2 more estimates Thursday night, and a topdress job. Not even going to advertise again until this Saturday. All 6 of the people from last week are also getting an Easter Lily

    I trade with a lot of local business as I am sure everyone else does. I try to keep a good relationship with the owners and managers of these business. Most all the local convience stores have a business card bullentin board where they let anyone stick up a card. Even the local Lowes, has one of these boards.The local home and garden centers, mom and pop operations, will let you place your bcard on their counters as long as you use one of those .99cent business card holder trays. For brochures I use a tray designed for them. These items are easily found at Office Depot, Staples, and even walmart. One word of advise for anyone that wishes to do this is to place a lable on your tray and holders. This prevents others from using you property if you let it run out of cards or brochures. It also lets the store owner know who's holder it is thats setting there empty. I have had several call me just to let me know my holders where empty. I have also found other peoples cards in my holders. I usually just remove their cards and place on the counter. I will keep one so that I can contact them just to let them know where they can buy their own holders. This way they know that they where caught and usually dont use my holders again. You dont have to get nasty with the people and I have made a few contacts that way that have benefited me and the other person as well.

    I also place cards and brochures at the doctors and dentist office. People that visit these places usually have to wait for a while and providing them something to read while they wait is good for my business. Even if they dont want my services they will leave the brochure behind for the next person to look at.

    Good luck, hopefully this was a help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Mound, MN

    Arrow More info from the site

    1) One of the most effective ways to get new clients for me (it's been touched on here but it bears repeating) was to target a neighborhood with door-to-door canvassing. Talking to people face-to-face and being able to advise and quote on their property makes for an easy sell (even better if you can do the job immediately). As well, when you find a neighborhood you like I would keep at it, returning in person or with a flyer monthly. It's a sweet thing when you can spend a whole day in a single neighborhood working (no windshield time)!

    2) Use 'Buddy Businesses'. Create alliances with other companies that offer complementary services (i.e. window washers, cleaning services). Often, if someone uses one of these services they also use the other. You could put in a good word for each other... possibly trade customer lists.

    3) Remember that your marketing is not just your advertising... it's everything you do. So an important step in getting new clients is being committed to providing outstanding professional service all of the time.

    I feel that flyers and/or business cards are the more most inexpensive means of advertising your business. They are great especially for those just starting out. I would like to point out one specific thing that will make a big difference.
    Do Not just put your flyers in doors or mail boxes. You want to put them into people's hands. You want to meet face to face with a prospective customer and hand your marketing material to them. This is the most effective way to gain new clients.
    If you just leave a flyer in their door, they will quickly forget about you and your services. But if they meet you and meet you more than once, you will be more easily remembered when they need you. Remember that the home owner may not need you at that moment, but they may need you in the future and you want to be the first person they think of when they do.
    Another thing you should be doing is to ask your current customers if they are happy with the service you are providing and if they have any friends or associates they could refer you too. Get their contact information and call them. When contacting these referrals make sure you tell them which friend referred you to them.
    My best sales leads have come from this process. I make sure when I call that I say their friend 'John Smith' recommended I contact you. This gets me in the door.
    Make sure you stay positive and people will respond in the like. If you are negative or down you will get a negative response.
    Now go out there and meet people!!!

    1. Determine who your target audience is.
    Get a map of your area and draw a line around the most expensive homes. This will be your target. You want customers that can pay you for your services and your upsells.

    2. Make your target audience an offer they can't refuse.
    You want to work very hard initially to get these customers by offering them such things as a Free trial mowing of their lawn. The goal is to give up some of your time now in labor to get the potential customer to sign up with you for the long term. Think about it, would you provide a free mowing initially if a customer was going to then sign with you and pay you $100.00+ a month potentially for years to come in the future?

    There is no one magic bullet for quick success in this business. You need to work many different angles simultaneously.

    The free mowing concept is a good one but I would suggest only offering that in the neighborhood of your current customer base. You want to keep your routes tight for maximum profit by minimizing drive time.

    Create a referral program your current customers will benefit from if they bring you more business. Maybe give them a free cut if they bring you a new yearly contract customer.

    Get your employees into this as well. Offer them an incentive to sign up new customers. How about a $50.00 bonus for each customer who signs up for a yearly contract?

    Remember there are plenty of referrals out there for you. All you have to do is ask. Ask customers, employees, friends, and family for referrals.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Here are some suggestions from elwood

    I have used door hangers with decent results, or as good as expected with hangers, but I prefer direct mail. A little better response and a well drafted letter or well done post card works great.

    The problem with door to door is this: You may run into people who are outside or who are interested in talking with you and you may actually sign some accounts, but you may also catch someone who does NOT want to be bothered, especially by a "salesman" on what little free time they have to themselves. I know I am not keen when "strangers" show up on my doorstep, especially when I am NOT in the mood for it, but if I get something in the mail, it will lay around until I am ready to read it. Yes, many times it gets pitched, but so do door hangers.

    The old saying is "It takes 12 good things said about you to correct one bad thing said." I don't wan't anything bad said about my company in a new area I am trying to get into. Who knows, the guy I upset on Saturday afternoon in his back yard may be the CEO of a sweet commercial site that would be great to have as well as his own home.

    I have offered discount coupons for OTHER services than what I am targeting if a one year agreement is signed and it works very well.

    Offer a FREE $100 coupon book if they sign an agreement for mowing. Your coupon book can have $25 off shrub trimming, $25 off fertilizing, $25 off spraying, $25 off flower planting or any other services that you provide. They will take advantage of the coupon, see your quality results and chances are very good they will have you perform the same service, at full price later in the season or next year. A great way to get your foot in the door and also hit them hard on upsells!

    First, it works like a charm! Second, there is a large number of people who DON'T even use coupons once they have them, but they feel they are getting $100 for FREE when they sign up. Of course, my coupons expire on 12/31 of that current year and they are not transferable.

    I have sold a TON of upsells this way. In most cases, by only giving $25 off any service, I am not giving away most of the expense, just the profit and maybe a small part of the expense. Then, like I said, after seeing the results, it is usually a home run.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Well this morning, I tried one of the ideas I found on here. I printed up 40 letters introducing myself and the services I offer. I also ordered some of those magnets from Office Depot that you can stick a business card on and made 40 of those. I folded up the letter, stuck in a magnet and a handful of peppermint candy and placed all that in a ziploc bag. I then drove through a nearby subdivision early this morning before the mail ran and dropped a bag on the ground beside the mailbox. In all I might have had $50 invested and it took me roughly 3 hours to print everything, stuff the bags and drive around dropping them off. I have not gotten any calls yet, but we'll wait and see! I mowed a yard there in that neighborhood several times late tlast summer and the owner got TONS of compliments. I'm hpoing all those folks remember me and give me a call! I'll keep you guys posted!

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