12 steps to get more commercial lawn care customers.

One of the biggest questions we see on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum is about getting new customers. There are some techniques that are similar between getting commercial and residential customers but there are some techniques that differ as well. Here is a list of 12 steps your lawn care business should consider taking in order to improve your chances of landing more commercial lawn care clients.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I found for our company that the best way to approach commercial lawn care accounts is with persistence and lots of patience. Here are 12 steps you can take to improve your ability to gain commercial lawn care accounts.

1. Create your company portfolio. This should include pictures, letters, insurance and so on.

2. Grab a phone book or google the property management companies in your area of business.

3. Go and visit those on your list and hand out your portfolio and ask to be put on there bidding list.

4. Make sure that each manager get’s a portfolio and you get a business card from them.

5. Wait for a couple of weeks and either email them or call them asking if there’s any properties available that you can bid on. Don’t over push or sell yourself.

6. Do not, I repeat do not, guess on pricing. Get your surveyor’s wheel out and measure the property. Then use your lawn care estimator calculators. You’ll be surprised to know that when guessing a property even though you might be close on your man hours, you’ll lose money on your fert, mulch etc.

7. When dealing with a property management company, never say ‘I Don’t Know.’ Tell them their question is noted and you’ll email them a reply or get back to them.

8. Get the property manager to rely on you as much as possible. My goal is to do their job for them. I have a few managers that instead of performing weekly visits, they visit the property once a month or longer to inspect it. I manage the property and they’ve come to rely on me for it. So when you got a bid out, they’ll be the first one’s telling the board members that you’re the best thing since slice bread.

9. Get to know the board members if your in a community with board members. Property management companies come and go but most of the time board members stay longer and have the final say.

10. Return calls ASAP even if it’s just to tell them that your busy and will call them back later.

11. Give back to the community. I’ve budgeted 20, 3 gallon plants per year that if need be, I use it. When I bill them I let them know it’s at no charge.

12. When doing a walk through, don’t point out things you see wrong. Let them do all the talking if possible. Only acknowledge what’s being said and take care of it.

I don’t waste my time giving out unsolicited lawn care bids. For me it’s a tacky way of trying to generate business. With the portfolio it’s all out there. It saves you the time of measuring out a property, just to have it tossed in the trash, also what if you come in at a higher price? For me there’s too much negative in doing it that way.

There are a few other things but I found this list includes the most personal & cost effective methods for our company to operate. The bidding process is like filing a job application and like a job application most of the time (more than not) it gets filed under TB (Trash Bin) and you’re forgotten.

With the way I handle getting new commercial lawn care clients, I’ve got management companies calling me out of the wood works and all I did was introduce my company & myself to them years ago letting them know that I’m here when they need me. Heck I’ve got a management company that only calls me to bail them out. We’ve even gone as far as walking properties with them and pointing out what we saw wrong in order to help them (managers) manage the other lawn care companies that are dropping the ball.

So try these techniques out and I am sure they will improve your ability to land more commercial lawn care clients.”

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