VisionsLandscapes: “Is the end of the season the best time to gain more clients for next season, or would you guys say near February or March next season? Or, possibly both to double-remind them?”
lawnwizards: “I don’t pass out flyers, but it seems like you would get better response right before the season starts. No one is really looking for lawn care in the winter, and your flyer would probably just get thrown away.”
VisionsLandscapes: “But, what about contracts? Would it be a good idea to pass out flyers so people would ask for estimates before they sign their new contracts?”
DLAWNS: “I would say right before the season would be better. People are not thinking about grass or anything like that now. They are getting ready for the cold. Just my opinion.”
whoopassonthebluegrass: “My best flyer time is that first warm weekend in the spring. Everyone’s out in the yard gearing up. Phone will ring off the hook if you time it right.”
VisionsLandscapes: “I passed out 500 flyers last February late, around the 28-29, and I received 25 calls for extra work, and I also received four full-service accounts worth over $16,000 and about four regular mowing customers. I am planning on making some flyers ASAP; passing them out in February again to some high-end places where I have never even passed them out before. I’m thinking about making 1,000 this year because I’m wanting to pick up 12 to 20 lawns.”
Big Bad Bob: “Pass out flyers in the fall; don’t expect any results. Then, pass them out again in March. I get 20 percent call-back from flyers now. When I only passed them out in the spring, I was lucky to get 3 percent callback.”
yard_smart: “Door hangers are another good way to get in front of customers. The most important rule of direct/target market is constant contact! Multiple exposure to the targeted customers is the key to getting great returns. One flyer isn’t going to do the job. Here is my point:
“Husband gets your flyer and reads it at the kitchen table. Thinks, ‘Hey, I could use these guys.’ (Ding dong.) Husband goes to check the door. Meanwhile, the wife cleans the table up for dinner and in the trash goes the flyer. There went your chance.
“But, send him one two weeks from now and two weeks after that, and you have a better chance of getting a call.
“I pass out flyers almost year-round. I also keep a small ad in the newspaper and always keep a stack of business cards in all the local gas stations. This works! Picked up a $200-per-mow account from a business card in a gas station.”
IcutgrASS1: “The guy who said the warm days at the end of winter was absolutely right. People are just finally getting outside and their minds start going over what they want everything to look like and their goals. I think you have a two to three-week window of great opportunity to get full-service accounts for the year. I usually pick up about 50 to 70 new accounts every season in that time frame. Use your winter months to keep putting money into making flyers and just put them away. That way you’re not scrambling in the spring to try and get them all done and made up. I’m usually all set for the next season by January, and I found this makes life a lot easier.”
Team-Green L&L: “I know this should stir up the pot, but the fact is that you should never stop using handouts, and I would suggest passing out 1,000 a month until March, and 5,000 per month through April. An effective campaign is a consistent campaign. Frequency increases results at a much more rewarding rate. Stay broke if you have to, and you’ll thank yourself come spring. Just take that tax return and buy some equipment for your new clients because you will probably need it.”
CNYScapes: “I like what Team Green said about never stopping to put out flyers. Why not put them out all winter whenever you have the free time? Usually, I am doing nothing anyway when it’s not snowing out, so this year I might buy, say, 10,000 to 20,000 door hangers and go to town. Anyway, to get your name out there and get that idea in their heads is one more step in the right direction.”
tinman: “If you pass out something at the end of the season, maybe print a small calendar on it for when to do certain lawn activities (trim crepe myrtles, monkeygrass, fertilize, etc.). That will increase the chance of them hanging onto your stuff.”
pnkflydlvr: “Flyers are OK, but they can’t ensure you business, because half of the people just throw them away. Use the Internet to your advantage. Advertise to people who need year-round services.”
“In Your Own Words” is contributed from the lawn care and landscape forum at www.lawnsite.com, which has been named one of 10 Great Media Sites by Media Business magazine and has been chosen as a winner of the Most Engaged Media Brands for 2010 by min, a firm that tracks the media industry. Visit them, and join in the discussions.