You may be the greatest landscaper or lawn care business operator of all time, but if you can’t sell, then your business is going to be in trouble. But how can you improve your sales technique? By learning from those who are doing better than you. Here is a great lawn care sales technique discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that should help you improve your sales techniques and improve the number of winning bids you get.
One lawn care business owner wrote “oh how I dread waiting for people to call me back after I give them a lawn care bid. My biggest problem so far has been getting callbacks from the potential lawn care customers, once I do the estimates for them. When I leave from doing the estimate, everything usually seems to be all good, and I’m expecting a call back. But after I’ve waited over a week now for ten or so people and still no calls, I want to pull my hair out. Should I start calling them, or just keep waiting? How does everyone handle this?”
A second lawn care business owner said “I close every deal I can on the spot. I would guess less than 5% state that they will get back to me. When I am on a job site, I look for buying signals from the potential customer, ask probing questions, make sure they are part of the conversation and try to close the sale.
I go at it with the attitude I have already won this bid. I know the going rates for all the services we offer but presentation and closing skills is everything. When I am finished with my sales presentation, I simply ask, when would you like us to start? If they say they have to talk it over with someone, I will ask if there is something of concern, I can tell by body language if there is an issue and if there is, I will try to determine what it is and deal with it right there on the spot. We don’t get 100% of the jobs but I bet we get 98% of the business we quote on.
You need to learn to seize the moment when you are on site giving an estimate. I understand we will all get tire kickers but over the years, I have found a way to weed these out on the phone pretty quickly. I don’t have time to come to your property if the bottom line is price. If it is, we are not the company you are looking for.
To weed out tire kickers, I will ask new callers some questions. Like, how big is your lawn, have you used a lawn care provider in the past? Did you have any issues, when was the last time they attended to your lawn? At this point based on your answers, I can tell how high in your decision process is price vs quality? If you state quality is most important we will meet. If you say both or you say price, I will follow up with where do you live? Then I will say something like, sorry we are not able to add additional customers in your area at this time however we will keep you on a list should that change. Perhaps this is a bit brash or harsh but I don’t have time to waste giving estimates to potential customers that solely are looking for the lowest price.
For the jobs I don’t want, I don’t hand off business to other companies because if something goes wrong, people have a way of making it your problem.
If they currently have a company looking after them, I want to know why they are leaving. If they haven’t, then why are they looking for a company. I need to get a feeling with what may or may not be going on.
We are in a position where we can pick and choose what we do to a certain extent. We are not even near being in full swing yet I received 11 inquiries today alone. I have to weed these out as we can only do so much and still keep our standard of work.
It’s hard to explain but you can generally tell if someone is testing the waters but not always. I had one last night. I have exchanged emails, spoke with the lady on the phone, she wanted a drain put in however she is on the fringe of my service area and I could not really tell on the phone with my questions if she was serious or not although she kept calling and writing. So I decided to have a look.
When I drove up and saw the property I didn’t have a great feeling, it is a middle to lower middle class area. It is a property that certainly needs a lot of work, anyhow I proceeded. We looked at the property drainage issue and I explained the process to fix it properly. I gave her a quote on the spot and explained what it would include. Then I knew I was in trouble when she replied ‘you are almost double what xxxx excavation would charge me. I asked what does their quote include? She said I assume the same thing. I then explained we have to be very careful what we assume and you should ask and get it in writing. The response was I want it fixed as cheap as possible…..I said well if you want a cheap job I am probably the wrong guy. We do well over 100 of these a year and I know from experience when corners are cut, the results are less than satisfactory, I do appreciate your time, I wish you the very best in your project, you may want to check the other companies longer term references for a job like this and left.
The issue is time lost for me. I do quotes with my with my fuel sipping car, so the cost to travel around doesn’t matter that much. The time however does as I am back in a situation where I am pounding 12++ hours a day, 6 days a week. I would rather land three $500.00 jobs in a good area done properly, then spend the time traveling to a $1,500 job quote, we probably won’t get and if we do, because the prospect thinks it’s high, no matter how great a job you do it will not be good enough.
As I said before, our network has grown to a point where I simply don’t have to quote everything that comes across the desk, I can be selective to a certain point and stay in selected areas, it is working. This is where you want your lawn care business to get too.”