Doing a quality job has got to be one of your best calling cards when it comes to lawn care. Whether you are onsite or not, a lush green and landscaped lawn will grab attention and speak volumes about your lawn care business. In this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, one member tells us how one of his commercial lawn care jobs led to a residential job. This residential job then gave him a foot in the door to an upscale neighborhood he had been trying to break into for a while. Check out how he built upon this small opening to further promote and expand his lawn care business.
He wrote “I went on a call for a lawn care estimate this morning in an area I have been trying to penetrate for over a year now. It is in this upper class lake view area. When I got to the home, the person who called already had 3 of his neighbors there waiting to meet me.
After a short discussion, I came to find out the homeowner is a general practitioner at the local hospital which I happen to have the commercial lawn care contract for. He said he liked the way I kept the hospital grounds and heard I treated the lawn with only organics. That got him to give me a call after seeing my truck and trailer onsite for the hospital’s weekly lawn mowing. He said he wanted to get rid of his current lawn service because their lake has been showing signs of high nitrogen/phosphorous levels due to all the chemicals being applied to his and others lawns. He felt that by switching over to organics, it would be better for the lake and his community. He wasn’t alone in that thought either.
I initially went out to give one lawn care estimate and ended up giving 4! I signed two others on the spot, with one starting next week and the other next spring.
What I found very interesting about the area was that they were told starting next year, all lake community properties usage of non-organic fertilizers, pesticides and week killers was to be banned. This got me thinking about how I could target the area more specifically with a focused message that takes the new town ordinance into account.
It is amazing how in one afternoon, just by asking a few questions and listening, I got a big business boost and a new lawn care marketing plan of attack. This plan may take some time to enact but that’s ok. To start plan on taking a drive through the neighborhood and write down all the addresses of the lake community homes. Then I will put together a nice detailed and informative brochure to spotlight the new town ordinance and all my Organic services.
I am going to have a nice medium size postcard made and mailed to all the collected addresses. Then to follow it up I will go door to door and have one on one meetings with the home owners. I could mail the postcard once now, then in about 2 months mail it again. The clients may remember the postcard the first time but it will be the second time that may get them thinking. This marketing message should really give me a foot in the door. I can also have a post it attached to a cover letter mailed saying something like ‘Contact ______ to make an appointment to discuss my Organic Services.’
I will then contact the HOA about setting up a meeting with them to show what I can do for them on their common areas. Maybe they will allow me to speak at their monthly meeting about going Organic? If they allow me to speak I will have them put an ad in their monthly flyer, bulletin or website. Which will also include the date I will be presenting my company organic information. I am thinking I will set up a display like one used at a home show.
Lastly I can use the clients I already have and give them referrals cards to hand out to their neighbors in the development. On the card I can offer them and the new customer a discount on price if they get me some referrals. I will also try and get them to display my message specific lawn care sign, to really hammer my marketing message home.
From my experience direct mailing alone one time doesnâ€™t really work, without further follow up. To target a certain area I am a firm believer in referrals. I like going into the neighborhoods I want to service and talk to people one on one. When I am driving through an area I want to service, I keep my eyes open for home owner property care issues. Once I find them, I try to start some small talk with the home owner about what I see and that tends to lead into a sale. This sales method has worked for me on several occasions and seems to be helping me continue to grow.”
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