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Secret # 1 – Finding the P erfect Customer Marketing. 4 Secrets to Extreme Profit and Minimal Management. Secrets to Success. CLC. Top Line. Bottom Line. A company. An organization that stands between customers and employees. Employees. Customers. Business. A company.

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Top Line

Bottom Line

a company
A company
  • An organization that stands between customers and employees.




a company1
A company
  • We use Job Costing to raise the value of our customers




$ per hour

what constitutes a good customer
What constitutes a “Good” Customer?
  • In the right area
    • Travel time is a killer to productivity and efficiency.
    • This is such a big deal that it's worth around $40,000 dollars a year for a company with 10 crews that have 3 men on each crew to move it's starting location (the shop) 15 minutes closer to their customers.
    • .5 hours X 10 crews X 3 guys X 36 Weeks X $45/hour =
      • $24,300 in lost sales per year. $40,000 to move, you would recover in less than two years.
what constitutes a good customer1
What constitutes a “Good” Customer?
  • Able to pay the bill
    • Have a policy in place
    • Use CLIPxe to prevent


    • Some companies run a credit score
    • CLC – 2011 = $6,565 – 2% Bad Debt 300K sales

2012 = $1,713 – 0.3% 530K sales

2013 = $1,910 – 0.2% 700K sales

Credit Card “ding”, automatic

what constitutes a good customer2
What constitutes a “Good” Customer?
  • Their expectation meets our service
    • Who are you?
    • What level is your service?
    • CLC – Mow, Blow and Go!
      • No bagging
      • No landscape construction
      • No special requests
    • Small Residential
what constitutes a good customer3
What constitutes a “Good” Customer?
  • Minimal interaction with the company
  • Low maintenance customer
  • Ease of communication
    • “I want to be called before you come and do the visit.”
    • “I want to talk to your guys when they are here.”
    • Call ahead to put the dog away
    • Skip three different applications
    • The customer that calls after every service
    • The customer that wants you to cut at a different height
    • Wants to meet for a standard service
what constitutes a good customer4
What constitutes a “Good” Customer?
  • Consistency in contracts
    • No exceptions to the rule
    • Ongoing contracts from year to year
    • Normal pricing, no special prices
what constitutes a good customer5
What constitutes a “Good” Customer?
  • Property meets our equipment
    • No large trees
    • Small yards
    • Newer developments
    • Wide enough gates
    • No pools
    • Easy driving in and out
    • No aeration on irrigation systems
    • “Dog Run” – government contracts
what constitutes a good customer6
What constitutes a “Good” Customer?
  • Referral to others
    • Don’t give away the profit to get a customer
      • $800/year give away $40 you have given away 5% profit
cutting edge lawn care austin tx
Cutting Edge Lawn Care – Austin, TX
  • I want to share something we did 7-8 years ago regarding this subject.
  • Up until then, we took all clients that called for any lawn maintenance.  80% of our clients did not have sprinkler systems, and we mowed them biweekly -- until the drought that begin 8 years ago.  That summer, we went 6 to 8 weeks between mowings in June through September because it did not rain.  In January the following year, the weatherman predicted another hot and dry year. 
  • That is when Todd and I looked at each other and said, “No way!”  So, we thought about it and made a major policy change.  We decided from that point on to only accept new clients who had sprinkler systems, and who wanted weekly lawn mowing during the growing season, and who would sign one of our two annual service plans (one is 38 services per year, and the other is 52). 
  • That year, we turned down 80% of the people who called us for quotes. And, we grew 20% in sales.  The new policy saved us.  The drought has continued in Austin since then, and we have grown every year.  Last year, we grew almost $200,000 in sales. I have attached an Excel chart of our sales history.  On the far right, we made a note of the year we changed policy. Look what a difference in sales growth it made over the year before, and ever since.
  • We are so thankful that we raised our bar.  We have been really blessed. 
cutting edge lawn care austin tx2
Cutting Edge Lawn Care – Austin, TX
  • One other thing I forgot to mention was something it took about 3 years into the policy change for us to learn.  Our new clients (with the sprinkler systems, weekly service, and on an annual service plan) were worth three times the value of our old clients base (no sprinkler system, biweekly mowing and no service plan).  Originally, we thought they would be worth twice (biweekly to weekly mowing).  But the fact that they had invested in a sprinkler system and they were willing to pay for twice the mowings meant that they wanted a much nicer lawn and landscape.  So, they also bought fertilization, color plants, new shrubs and shrub trimming. 
finding the good customer
Finding the “Good” Customer
  • $20.00 Special
  • What are you selling?
  • Advantages:
    • Target Neighborhood
    • Target Customer
    • Take some of the risk
    • Eliminate the Estimator
    • Employee Buy-In
finding the good customer1
Finding the “Good” Customer
  • Marketing
    • ValPak
  • Angie’s List
    • Ask for a seasonal rate
    • Watch it closely
keeping your best customers
Keeping your best customers
  • Use Job Costing Report (Key # 3)
  • Send them chocolates
  • Find more like them
  • Sign up multi-year contracts

“We are sharing a Valentine message and a small box of Whitman’s chocolates with all 900 of our clients. We bought 1,000 plastic bags with a hole to hang on our clients doorknobs.  Each of our crews inserts the Valentine and the box of chocolates in the bag as they drive to next home   Russell Stover, who owns Whitman’s, sold us the $1.77 boxes of chocolates for 75 cents each, freight prepaid from Kansas City.  Our total cost is $1.09 each.  But our return is many times that.  We are receiving some wonderful emails from our customers who have already got their Valentine and candy.”

keeping your best customers1
Keeping your best customers
  • Use your Website to help you manage them.