The Good, Bad And The Ugly Of Referral Marketing

The Good, Bad And The Ugly Of Referral Marketing

 

I had a great AHH-HA (…the lights came on really clear…) MOMENT a while back when I was quoting for a LawnGreen prospect…

This prospect told me how she was listening to Graham Ross’s Garden Clinic radio program on 2GB recently…she relayed the conversation some lady listener was having with Graham Ross about LawnGreen (and myself). This listener told Graham and the 300,000 Sydney listeners (home gardeners) that she was impressed with the prompt quote provided by Gerry of LawnGreen. This lady, however, said she did not go ahead with the job because it was too expensive for her!

You know what! That lady did me the best favour! By that comment on the radio-waves, she basically pre-qualified all my future prospects.

The flip-side here is…if you are a cheapie when it comes to giving quotes and winning them all, then all those customers will refer you to their friends and colleagues.

…and You know what? All those friends and colleagues are going to be CHEAP-SKATES! You will NEVER make any money out of them.

So if you want to be SUCCESSFUL in any HOME SERVICES business, then you need to get hold of some really good PROFIT MAKING Reports like the ones below:

  1. “How To Prepare Winning Quotes For Your Lawn Mowing and Gardening Business”
  2. “Ready To Use Templates of Real Quotes and Proposals for Residential, Commercial and Industrial Sites”
  3. “Starting A Lawn Mowing Business – From Scratch”
  4. Your “Getting Started” Occupational Health & Safety System assessment package

How Important Is “Price” In Getting The Quote Accepted

How Important Is “Price” In Getting The Quote Accepted

 

What goes through your mind when you don’t get the jobs that you have quoted on?

You do all the right things like return calls (back to the prospect) quickly and get to the quote within a week. You come across as a good operator and all. But when the prospects call you they say they have gone with another contractor.

Are you thinking am I too expensive? Is it [price] they have gone for?

Or is it something else?

Let’s look at it this way! Do you own the [cheapest car]? …and why not?

You don’t own the cheapest car because other factors (besides price) come into play…like safety, reputation, design and other things.

So the people you give a quote to are not just buying on PRICE. There are other factors, you just need to find out what it is that makes them go with your competitors and not you.

So after a week or so, send them an email/letter as follows:

Dear PROSPECT, I am writing to see how we got on with the quote (last week) for the gardening/landscaping. Please call us on 0412.766.955 if you want us to go ahead, and we will book the job in for the next 7 days. If you have gone with another contractor that is fine too. However, to help us improve our service would you mind letting me know what things made you choose the other contractor over us.

This letter works well on 2 fronts. First, it’s a reminder for the prospect that you are keen and waiting to go ahead. And secondly, it asks to prospect what were the soft factors like the “safety, reputation, design etc” benefits that made them pick your competitor.

Once you are aware of the soft factors then you can implement them into your quoting and lift your conversion rate! So instead of getting 3 out of your 10 quotes, you are converting 5 or 6 out of 10, then you have lifted your sales by double or more with a simple marketing tip!

A Makeover At The LawnGreen Website

A Makeover At The LawnGreen Website

 

A quick note to let you know that our LawnGreen website has had a makeover with a fresh new look to it.

Hope you  like it!

If you know anyone that loves their lawn and has little time to look after it then send them to www.LawnGreen.com.au .

Let me know what you think of it…

You Should Be Charging Double Your Hourly Rate

You Should Be Charging Double Your Hourly Rate

 

That got your attention, I’m sure!

I am also sure that, if you are charging out your time based on an hourly rate, then you are being ripped off by your own customers!

I was talking to a contractor the other day, and he said he was charging some customers $45 per hour.

I think he is short-changing himself big time. You see, he told me that if a random customer wanted a bit of gardening done, he would tell the customer he could do the work on a do-and-charge basis. In other words, if the job went for 2 hours, he would invoice the customer $90.

This is crazy!

For a start, he could ask the customer what needs to be done. A bit of weeding, some hedge trimming and a quick mow. He should estimate this will take 2 hours, then give the customer a fixed price of say $190.

Very quickly the whole job takes on a different meaning as follows:

  1. You earn $190 instead of $90, you are in front!
  2. The customer refers you to her friend and says you do a great job. They might say you were a bit price-y, but they will always justify this by saying you did a great job!
  3. When you were charging $45 per hour, the customer would most probably tell their friends you are cheap – then those people’s expectation is for you to be cheap for them.
  4. You are judged on your performance, not on your time!This is critical, as you can test the market by putting your FIXED price up with new customers and see “how much the market can bear”! You will find that maybe there is a ceiling price of say $300 that people will baulk at for a job that may take 2 and a bit hours.
  5. Another important point is…you own equipment that might have cost you $3,000 or more to purchase. You need to factor in a “hiring fee”for this machinery (ie. mowers, petrol garden hedgers, whipper-snippers, vacuum blowers etc). If the customer were to do the job on their own they would need to hire this equipment… So there would a fee attached to hiring this equipment!!!

What do you think? Leave a comment below…

Just Do It

Just Do It

 

Some of the best marketing advice I have received is from an Aussie bloke called Scott Bywater. Go check him out!

One of the things that sets Scott apart from other “Marketing Gurus” is that he pumps out emails of business wisdom everyday. That’s right, every day of every week!

One of his “pearls of wisdom” suggests that you should toss out the business plan, and Just Do It!

So in your case, rather than planning your way to nothing, write up a little flyer advertising your services, print off 300 and go deliver them in your local area or closest target market area. This will take about 4-6 hours all up and has only cost you a bit of ink, some computer paper and some sweat.

Scott reckons that with this small investment you will find out very quickly if you have a business go-er. Personally, I think it will go well.

If you want to see a little flyer that I have had great success with, then go to our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/YourLawnAndGarden , LIKE our facebook page and in return I will send you a copy of our flyer.

Q: What next? A: Just Do It!

Your Lawn And Garden Business Plan

Your Lawn And Garden Business Plan

 

Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Everyone needs a Business Plan going forward…don’t they? Failing to plan is planning to fail! Right?!

  

  

 

 

.

Wrong!

You know what? I felt a touch of guilt because I didn’t write something last week here at http://www.yourlawnandgarden.com/

A Business Plan is not going to tell you what you should be doing each minute of each hour of each day…

So, toss the Business Plan! It has no use in your business.

What you need is a 1-page(r) Work Planner like what I have inserted in my diary. Like I said, it’s a 1 page document

Whether you are just starting out or an old hand at looking after lawns and gardens, you will notice patterns emerging in your life daily, weekly, monthly and so on!

It’s these patterns and work habits that you need to document in to your 1 page Work Planner.

At the start of each week, you write into your diary the important tasks that need to be completed on whatever day they are due to be done.

The 1 page Work Planner may need to be revised  every few weeks, and in no time your life will run with more order and calm!

I write more about this on page 5 of my report – “Starting A LawnMowing Business – From Scratch”.

Starting Your Own Lawn Mowing And Gardening Business

Starting Your Own Lawn Mowing And Gardening Business

 

I am getting the feeling some people are scared of making the transition from a (secure) FULL-TIME job to running their own lawn mowing and gardening business.

 

It does not need to be an agonising decision of whether I jump ship or not.

Rather, the answer should be, “Do both, to test the waters!”

Quite simply, the answer is “Hang on to the Full-Time job and run your business Part-Time?”

This idea of testing the waters applies so much to people in the essential services & shift-work type situations. This truly applies to people who have established careers with Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade, Hospital Nurses and the list goes on!

To help you get across the line, you need the following PROFIT generating REPORTS:

  1. “Starting A Lawn Mowing Business – From Scratch”
  2. “How To Prepare Winning Quotes For Your Lawn Mowing and Gardening Business”
  3. “Ready-To-Use Templates of Real Quotes and Proposals for Residential, Commercial and Industrial Sites”
  4. “The OHS Starter Kit”

 

What Grass Is That

What Grass Is That?

 

Plenty of contractors, new and experienced, need to be confident when quoting on jobs. Most contractors can get by with their identification of garden plants but many struggle with their knowledge of Turf Grasses.

A quick summary as follows:

  1. There are 2 broad categories of grasses, Cool Season Grasses and Warm Season Grasses
  2. Cool Season Grasses include grasses like rye grass, fescue etc – these are more commonly used in cooler climates, for example, Canada, UK etc
  3. Cool Season Grasses are mostly single stem plants, mostly not a runner type grass
  4. Warm Season Grasses include couch (bermuda grass as it is referred to in North America), kikuyu, buffalo (St Augustine as it is referred to in North America, zoysia, seashore paspalum
  5. Warm Season Grasses can be built with Stolons (above ground runners) and Rhizomes (below ground runners), OR with only Stolons

For more easy identification of grasses refer to the following video:

Also, go to http://www.LawnGreen.com.au/What_Grass_Is_That_-_A_Guide_For_Lawn_Mowing_Contractors for more detailed explanation of the above summary points!

Just a QUIET ANNOUNCEMENT: The Team at LawnGreen are looking to grow their business in Sydney, NSW, Australia. If you are interested in joining the team with your own LawnGreen Franchise (preferably the North Shore side of Sydney), we would love to hear from you. LawnGreen’s email address is: mail@LawnGreen.com.au

This opportunity would see the new franchisee benefit from a very hands on teaching/coaching role by Gerry Faehrmann – Managing Director of Lawn Green.

The 3 Key Components Of Your Advertising Flyer Or Brochure

The 3 Key Components Of Your Advertising Flyer Or Brochure

 

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the need to have a good structure for your flyer or any advertising piece you are putting together.

The 3 key things you need for your flyer are:

  1. Headline
  2. Copy
  3. Call To Action

The Headline is a catch-your-eye thing that grabs the customer’s attention. However, the Headline must shout out Customer Benefits. I talked about Customer Benefits (a while back) when coming up with a good business name.

One of my old advertising flyers (for Garden Makeovers) demonstrates the Headline as follows:

So You want to turn Your Over Grown Back Yard into a Landscape Showpiece!

The Copy is the story of your Lawn & Garden Maintenance Service which might read as follows:

So, with the Latest Gardening Equipment, a Little Bit of Time and Lots of Know How, the Garden Makeover Experts:
->turn old shrubs and bushes into Beautiful Hedges and Plants
->add Lots of Colour to Your Gardens with Great Plant selection, etc, etc

The Call To Action is the last thing you want your prospect to do. This may be to go to your website and give prospect’s name and contact details. It could be to Call Now on “whatever phone number.

Call LawnGreen Now on 1300.55.74.72 for an obligation free assessment of your lawn and weeds

It sounds a bit basic but you have to spell it out to prospective customers! You must tell them exactly what they need to do to get your service.

If you LIKE this, could you please go to https://www.facebook.com/YourLawnAndGarden and hit the LIKE button up the top!

NRL Bulldogs and Finals Fever

NRL Bulldogs and Finals Fever

 

Tonight, my team, the Canterbury Bulldogs are doing battle with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. So I am going to be quick!

I have a couple of Facebook pages, that is, https://www.facebook.com/YourLawnAndGarden and https://www.facebook.com/LawnGreen and I want to ask a big favour of you!

Could you pleeease go to both of these pages and LIKE them?

Thanks a lot!