New lawn care business owners are constantly writing me and asking how they can gain new clients. When responding to these questions, I like to give specific examples a lawn care business owner could do today or tomorrow to help them achieve their goals. Here is a specific example of how one lawn care business owner marketed his business and gained over 50 new lawn care customers in less than 5 months.
Recently on our lawn care business forum, a new member Egreen wrote and said "This is my first season in business. Last winter I called several businesses ex. gas stations,7-11 small shopping centers in my area and explained to the manager that I was NOT trying to sell them anything. I told them I was considering a lawn care business and was taking a survey about their current lawn care service provider. This allowed me to build a rapport with the business owner. I asked who serviced their property, how often, how much they charged and if they were happy with the service provided. Before hanging up I told them if I considered opening shop I would call them and let them know how it was going.
These phone calls allowed me to gather a lot of information from them that they may not have told me otherwise. When I did open shop I called each one back and explained to them who I was and that I could service their lawn and property. I could also solve the problems they had with their current lawn care provider and I could save them a few dollars. I landed 11 out of 12 commercial accounts!"
Now any lawn care business owner that has been around for a few seasons knows the return they will make on many marketing strategies. For instance passing out lawn care service flyers in your neighborhood may help you get a 2 to 3 % response. But can you imagine landing 11 out of 12 accounts you targeted? That is an amazing response!
We asked Egreen further detailed questions to really hammer down the steps in his successful lawn care marketing process. He responded by saying "When I called the potential clients, I just took a spiral notebook and took notes. Everyone felt free to tell me most things because I told them up front I wasn't trying to sell them anything. The most common complaints I heard were that the last lawn care company didn't do a good enough job trimming."
Now this is very insightful information, but I immediately thought even with this information, it would be difficult to land these commercial lawn care account because I was certain there would be lawn care contracts involved that wouldn't be up for renewal until the end of the year. To my surprise, after talking further with Egreen he said "The lawn care contracts allowed 30 days written notice to cancel. That was fine with me because I had to prepare myself anyway. When I was ready to present my estimate, I was able to beat the competition's price by a few dollars but I had the information that they told me in the past ex. Bad job trimming. This allowed me to go into detail about how well I trim all areas. I learned not to sell price but sell the quality of work."
Now once these accounts were landed, what was the chance Egreen and his lawn care business would fall into the same trap the previous lawn care business owners did. The trap being a lack of communication. There was a disconnect between what the customer wanted and what the lawn care service company was providing. So I then asked Egreen if he was handling his communication with his new clients differently than the previous lawn company. He responded by saying "I call my residential and commercial accounts about once a month and ask them how we are doing. I explain that I would rather have them tell me if I'm doing something wrong (regardless of how small the problem) than not have a happy customer. I feel this personal touch is better. This is my first year in this business, I started about five months ago and I have 53 residential and small commercial accounts. The biggest lesson I think is to make them feel that they have a friend in the business. They will hopefully be a little more loyal. I do get word of mouth calls also. I also walk door to door and tell the customer I was in the area giving an estimate to a neighbor and since I was in the neighborhood I wanted to stop by. I mention what I do and point something out like an unedged sidewalk and explain the clean look of an edge job."
Can you imagine that! In only 5 months in the lawn care business, Egreen has been able to land 53 new lawn care customers! Talk about being a lawn care marketing machine. There is no stopping him. I do hope this story will help your lawn care business grow and flourish. If you are just starting out or if you have been in business for years, we can all learn from Egreen and his success story. Pick up the phone and talk to people. Reach out to your customers and gain their feedback. Let them feel you are their friend in the lawn care business and you will grow. If you would like to read more success stories, visit our lawn care business forum at http://www.gophersoftware.com.
Read our free e-book, Be A Lawn Care Business Rebel, learn and grow your lawn care business. Also available for free download, hundreds of green industry lawn care venture logo templates, flyers, door hangers, web templates, lawn care business contracts as well as our 30 day trial of Gopher Lawn Care Billing & Scheduling Business Software. Go to http://www.getgopher.com. Don't forget to watch our Lawn Care Entrepreneur Business show GopherHaul.