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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

1st time poster, but I like reading all of the helpful input you guys have on a numerous amount of subjects.

My post is about grabbing more customers/public attention/etc.

Where I live, we have wind... a lot of wind... I have been in fencing for a couple of years, and have recently broke off on my own. Business is good, not the fantastic numbers that every start up dreams of attaining, but I won't be going out of business.

My question is, in everyone's opinion (not necessarily just my fencing brethren) is it ok to go stick my card, and maybe a rough estimate, in the front door of peoples house who have a blown over fence? (which there are plenty of here)

Is it rude? Would a customer take offense to it? or would they see that someone may have taken the initiative for them, and had a quick estimate finished and ready to go? I would like to have another 4-8 customers a month (depending on the size of the project, material availability, etc.)


Thank you for everyone's input, it is greatly appreciated.
 

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Nail Driving Fool
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Have some fliers printed and stick those in the doors. I'm skip the estimate unless they called me back.

Or maybe just go knock and say something along the lines of, "Hi I'm ********* and I do fencing and repairs, couldn't help notice you had some fence down. I'd be more than happy to give you a free estimate."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome... Thank you Robinson1... but you wouldn't think anyone would take offense to my doing that? Or should it not really bother me if it rubs some people the wrong way or not?

I would like to think that this should be more common than it is... I mean, I know that I get door hangers/flyers under my windshield wiper/etc. sent to me, but never for a specific "something that needs to be done"... they're always for pizzas or vehicle body work, or the like.
 

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Nail Driving Fool
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Actually I think that most people would take less offence from a honest comment and an offer to held than they would a unrequested estimate stuck in their door.

Yeah you might get a door slammed in your face once in a while but coming onto someone's property and measuring a fence for an estimate is basically trespassing. In my area at least this would definitely get you run off.

Good luck!
 

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Nail Driving Fool
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Something else to consider.

You are representing YOUR company. So when you go knock try to look like the owner and not the head bottle washer. Maybe get some shirts printed, wear clean pants, ect. Nothing wrong with looking like a contractor, after all you are a contractor. Just don't track mud up on the porch and wear cloths that should have been in the rag barrel 6 months ago.

Also nice clip board and have a tape measure clipped on your side. It gives a good impression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes sir, I fully believe that if you want to grab the attention of your customer and keep it, you not only have to offer a good product, quick service, and a decent price... you also have to look like a million bucks... (not a suit and tie by any means)... but we do wear a nice polo with embroidered logos, and matching black pants/shorts... even black tennis shoes with bright green laces, one of the colors in our logo.

By already helping to develop one company and trying to make a brand, I have learned that repetition pays off big. Our logo is on anything that we can slap it on... Phone cases, Clip boards, shirts, pens, heck even lip balm.

I love the journey that has gone on so far of owning and running a small company.

(the tape measure on my side is a good touch, and I will be using that)
 

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Some homeowners won't like it, so you move on to the next one. If you can't take the rejection, hire someone who can. Canvas like crazy in any neighborhood where you have an existing job - a job in the neighborhood immediately removes the average homeowner's suspicion that you're a crack-head looking for easy burglaries.

There are some good CT threads on the subject here.
 

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Nail Driving Fool
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(the tape measure on my side is a good touch, and I will be using that)
And don't carry a brand spanking new one. You want your tape measure to have a little wear on it. Makes you look like you have done it before.

Also decent ($10 or so) pen in your shirt pocket.

Man I'm putting too much thought into this! :laughing:

Also if you chew, smoke, whatever don't knock on the door with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth or Copenhagen juice dripping down your chin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Believe it or not, it is one of the few (embarrassingly few) tools that I have not lost, broken, misused, or otherwise destroyed since my early years on the farm.. and even then, it was given to me used... I may need a prettier one than ye ole' faithful.
 

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True story

1. I have seen it result in a littering citation
2. Some towns have a peddling/solicitation permit law that requires registration and a small fee

I know a successful roofing canvasser that goes door to door in a town with a peddlers permit law that pays the dinky fine gladly because he always sells a roof or two every time he gets fined.

Successful canvassing requires at least three personality traits. A thick skin, charm and confidence to be successful.

The best tip I have is to hit the area of weekends when people are outdoors or happy to be outdoors because so many don't want you to come in until they are acquainted but some will gladly show you their fence outside if you are there to offer suggestions and pricing.
 

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People like prices, that's why their posted everywhere. People also like their free time and they like to procrastinate. They know their fence needs attention but they don't want to search for a fence guy then set and appointment to meet a fence guy then wait for a price then negotiate price etc. By leaving them a quote you make it easy for them to hire you. People like easy!

Three professions, off the top of my head, that seem adverse to posting prices:lawyers,contractors, and car saleman aren't the most well thought of by the general public.
 

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With today's technology you don't have to go on someone's property to measure a fence. You can buy a laser tape measure for less than $100.

Personally, I like the idea of leaving an unsolicited estimate. I use that method and I know many other contractors who do the same.

As stated above, there is a high percent of homeowners with wrecked fences. Most of these owners don't have a clue regarding what their fence will cost to repair and they are afraid to ask because they are afraid the price will be too high and they don't want to be pressured by a salesman into spending money that may not have. These people come home, find an estimate on their door and that say, "I can afford that!"

I don't see how one person can be offended by finding an unsolicited offer to repair their fence hanging on their door.
 

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Nail Driving Fool
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I don't see how one person can be offended by finding an unsolicited offer to repair their fence hanging on their door.

Spend some time working in eastern and southern KY. :whistling There are people here who get offended just by your being there.

I've had police called for turning in someone's driveway at the end of a dead end street.

Also been cussed out for putting a single trailer tire on the grass (state right of way) in front of a house.

Had mean dogs turned loose on me for parking in front of house while working on the neighbors house. In my defense client had ZERO parking and said it would be fine, " ***** was really nice and wouldn't care." :laughing:

Got a storm damage call one night to come cover a skylight that had been broken out in a hail storm. I didn't really know the neighborhood and ended up at the wrong house. Got to stare down the business end of a 12 gauge before I even got on the porch. :eek:
 

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Before my current job I was in the D2D (door to door) business for about 3 years. I did everything from setting appointments for the closer, managing a crew, to actually doing an intro to close in one sitting. Where I live nearly all major construction companies run some form of canvassing why? BECAUSE IT WORKS!!! Many people know they need work done but they are A) To busy to address the issue B) Scared of price C) Won't get work done. 2/3 are pretty good odds if you ask me. Is it simple? Yes. Is it easy? No. There are many many factors that go into the canvassing business. So without babbling on ( I was pretty good, could go on and on ) YES you should canvass. (some people won't like it, but some people don't like the beach either. most people respect a hard working man and you will be sweating in your polo and dress pants) An estimate/card/flyer in the door? That's actually a toss up. If you can afford it without any issues Yes. If you don't have the extra cash NO. These people know they need work but like I said earlier most of these people are either to busy, scared of the price, or won't get work done, so a flyer gives you 0% chance with those people and an estimate 33%. Now will some people call after a flyer? Yeah but not near the numbers you'd expect. There are little tricks of the trade that I'll share if you'd like. But all in all YES CANVASSING DOES WORK!!!
 

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Before my current job I was in the D2D (door to door) business for about 3 years. I did everything from setting appointments for the closer, managing a crew, to actually doing an intro to close in one sitting. Where I live nearly all major construction companies run some form of canvassing why? BECAUSE IT WORKS!!! Many people know they need work done but they are A) To busy to address the issue B) Scared of price C) Won't get work done. 2/3 are pretty good odds if you ask me. Is it simple? Yes. Is it easy? No. There are many many factors that go into the canvassing business. So without babbling on ( I was pretty good, could go on and on ) YES you should canvass. (some people won't like it, but some people don't like the beach either. most people respect a hard working man and you will be sweating in your polo and dress pants) An estimate/card/flyer in the door? That's actually a toss up. If you can afford it without any issues Yes. If you don't have the extra cash NO. These people know they need work but like I said earlier most of these people are either to busy, scared of the price, or won't get work done, so a flyer gives you 0% chance with those people and an estimate 33%. Now will some people call after a flyer? Yeah but not near the numbers you'd expect. There are little tricks of the trade that I'll share if you'd like. But all in all YES CANVASSING DOES WORK!!!
I would be very interested if you would share some of your "tricks of the trade."
 

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I would be very interested if you would share some of your "tricks of the trade."
This is difficult without knowing the details of how you currently canvass or plan to canvass. Are you going out yourself? Having your Sales men go out? Or Having a appointment setter go out? One thing you always want is a sign in a yard for a job you just completed. You do this because you always want to canvass a neighborhood you just did a job in. Why? People know they can afford your price because people living in that neighborhood earn round about the same income. As mentioned below have an much ID/Logo as possible it makes you look professional and trustworthy. Never walk on the grass, yeah the mail man does it but the mail man does not want $10,000. Looks for the little things, how well is property cared for? Great flower bed? Lawn ornaments? Nice car? These are obvious signs they take pride in home appearance acknowledge and complement. After you knock back away from the door, gives a comfort level and they should open it right up. From there it depends which employee is doing the pitch. Each type would word it differently.
 
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