You might read the title of this article and think to yourself, there is no way one can land a commercial lawn care account without having a mower, but this new lawn care business owner did. How did he do it? He knew the right people. But how did he meet the right people? That’s the trick.
What he did can be replicated and you can do it too. This is a lesson in offering multiple services and making yourself available to your customers.
A new lawn care business owner wrote to us of his experience on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and said “I have been doing snow plowing for 6 years now and one of my customers asked if I would mow this summer. It is a commercial property and I looked it over and asked a lot of questions to the manager because I had never offered this service before and he gave me a general idea of time it was taking the previous lawn care operation to mow the property. So I create a bid from what he had told me and went in to drop my bid off and BAMMM. The manager said let’s do it and signed the lawn contract right then and there.
Now this was not for one property, it was for two commercial properties. Just like that I am $25K in the black and I have no mowers. So next up I was off to the Toro store and haggled two zero turns, one grandstand mower 48″ deck and a last year model brand new 400 series, both come with warranties, for a great price.
I got excited about offering lawn care service and put an ad in the paper on Monday. A couple of days later I had a customer signed up and I just got my second call Saturday for lawn care as well. I will meet with him next week to get a signed contract. Can you believe this? One week of ads and already two more customers. I hope it keeps up, as the season gets warmer I am sure I will be getting more calls.
I am also working on door hangers and hope to get them printed this week. My logo is done and we are off to market mowing for next season. I will be posting my door hangers using the cloverleaf method of house distribution. I am going to be offering Spring and Fall cleanups as well as gutter cleaning. I am pushing for 40 residential this year and 80 next year. I am more aggressive than most guys around here doing it so I believe it is in my favor.
This all started with a question and ended with a signed deal in the first two weeks of Winter, after a snow fall.”
A lot of newer lawn care business owners have a tough time getting into commercial property maintenance. Can you give us your insights as to how they should go about doing this?
“If you are first trying to get into commercial property maintenance you really need to know someone. That always helps you get a job quickly. Commercial property managers,¬† tend to dislike their last lawn guy. If you can get in tight with them by offering one service, say for instance, snow plowing, and they like your snow plowing then it will open other doors.
When the property manager asked if I could handle their lawn care maintenance, the first question I asked was how long did it take the previous company to mow the property?
The answer was two days. I looked at this person and said how many people did you have working on it? They said 4 but they were hired help (meaning Lazy). This property should take 4 hrs to trim it all. So we will have two people doing trimming while the other two run the mowers. When it is done, two will push mow certain small areas where the ZTR can’t reach. The other two will blow off drives and sidewalks.
Most people around here are honest and will tell you prices and man hours. They want job their property maintained properly.
Ask the right questions in a non-threatening way and you will get most your answers. If they refuse to disclose, then move onto another question, but always ask the question they didn’t answer in another way after they feel comfortable with you.
By doing this, I have not had anyone say no to any of my questions.”