1. Rely on a one-step marketing strategy
All marketing methods work to some degree. But relying on just one method can greatly reduce the return you get on your marketing investment dollar.
Consider this example: It’s possible than 95% of your door hangers go straight into people’s trash cans. That’s because most people view the door hanger at a time when they are not urgently in the market for landscaping or lawn care services. But they still see your name, which is a good thing. When they do start shopping for lawn care services, they will be more likely to think of your company and feel good about giving you a call. Additionally, if they then go online to search for lawn care companies in their area and see your company pop up in the search results, they’ll be much more likely to give you a call.
Every impression counts. And when everything is working together, it helps build awareness and generate leads at a much higher rate. That’s why door hangers or direct mail often work well with online advertising, and social media works well with company newsletters, for instance. The trick is finding out what works best for you, and putting a good mix together.
2. Copy competitors
Many marketers, not just lawn care companies, make the mistake of trying to emulate the market leaders. Sure, there might be a thing or two you can learn from them. But you have no idea if what they’re doing will work for you—or if it’s even working for them!
You must remember that consumers are overwhelmed with communication today. You must stand out to get noticed. By copying your competitors, you simply ensure that you’ll blend in with everybody else. And when you look like everybody else, price becomes a more prominent factor in negotiation.
Also remember that the success of a given lawn care company is the result of many factors, not just advertising. Years in business and skilled, tenured employees likely have a lot to do with it. These factors have nothing to do with marketing.
So quit trying to emulate your competitors. They likely aren’t marketing experts either. There are many ways for you to stand out in your market. Look at what’s being done and brainstorm ideas that are different. You want to catch the consumer’s attention in a way that creates a favorable impression of your company. Then translate what you do into how it will benefit them.
3. Don’t connect with customers enough
Failing to say in touch with existing customers is an extraordinarily costly mistake. The biggest asset your company has, along with its employees, is its existing customer base. Existing customers are not only a source for current business, but also for referrals.
The second your existing customers feel like you don’t care about them, they’ll become open to the notion of hiring a different contractor.
Many lawn care companies are afraid to contact their existing customers. They are afraid of bothering them. So these lawn care companies end up ignoring their customers except for those times when they need to send the customers a bill. What kind of message do you think that sends?
There are many sensible, non-intrusive ways to stay in touch with existing customers. You can publish a regular email and/or printed eNewsletter (quarterly or maybe even monthly). You can talk about your services, changes in your company, what’s going on in the community, funny stories, people profiles (employees), and seasonal tips and advice. Just don’t be boring. Most of your customers don’t care about your latest seeding technique. Keep it conversational and “human.” Be personal and strive to build a relationship.
4. Not real good on the phone
When a prospective client calls you, it’s a hot lead. If you are unable to answer the phone, do you think that prospect will continue calling back until you pick up?
Roughly 70% of callers hang up without leaving a voice mail. Most are then calling another contractor on their list. You can’t afford to let these opportunities slip away.