Do you ever find yourself wishing you landed more lawn care or landscaping accounts? Do you find after putting a lot of energy into your landscaping bid that you get negative feedback from the potential lawn care customer? If you do, you are not alone. Putting together a well oiled landscape sales presentation machine takes time and practice. Here is a great discussion on improving your lawn care sales from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. In it, you see an actual landscape bid and how the presentation could have been improved on. Compare and contrast the way you present your bids and see if you can pick up a few tips.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I just gave a landscaping bid today and I was told it was too high. The job I would be doing is laying sod down in a 76ft x 18ft space. I calculated it would take 3 pallets of sod.
- We would have to clear out ivy that is on the ground (approx 10ft x 5ft space).
- Then we’d have to lay down topsoil and till the ground before laying the sod down.
- Put in mulch in three different areas. The first area is 55 cubic feet.
- Plant three plants, till, lay topsoil, do a brick border around the area that is going to have mulch in it (APPROX 78FT around).
- Cut down 2 small stumps.
- The second mulch area will be doing the same exact thing except no planting in this one. It is 28 cubic feet and the border will be 47 ft around.
- The third mulch area is going to be the same thing but no border or planting and we will have to clean leaves out and pull a small tree out. The space is approximately 35 cubic feet that mulch will be laid.
- Trim hedges (it shouldn’t take more than 10 mins to do).
- After all that we have to cut ivy back away from the back side of the house (40 minutes).
- Lay mulch on a 10ft x 2ft path. Here we need to pick up more leaves and cut more ivy. That will take about hour and a half to do.
On all of this I bid $3,650.00 to do the whole thing. I figured the landscape job it would take two days. I would have 4 workers.
The day I came out to the property, me and the landscape customer walked around the property and I showed and told them the scope of worked to be done. Then the next day I contacted them with a quote/contract. I told the lawn care customer over the phone how much everything would cost for the job. The customer responded by saying it was too high. This was quite an involved project and after all that work, all I get is that the cost is too high? What am I doing wrong?”
A second lawn care business owner said “I think one problem I see is that this customer may be trying to get you to lower your price.
You can walk the customer around their property and present these mental images of what you will be creating. When you do this, you are not only selling the presentation and the project but you are selling yourself as well. Selling yourself becomes the most important part because it is YOU that makes YOU different from your competitors, not so much the price. If you can build a connection or bond with that customer, you will get the job.
You also need to present the bid in person, not over the phone. If after you present the bid to them, they kind of flinch, you need to know your numbers and how much you need to make per hour. Then you can see if you have wiggle room to either lower the price or maybe offer fewer services at that same price. Feeling out the customer in person, gives you a better chance to seal the deal.
One of the tricks I like to employ when a customer cringes at the price, is I followÂ up with ‘ok what can we do to get this started today?’ If I work hard on this project I can probably finish it up a little quicker and save you $200. Would that help get this project started?’ And then if they still don’t know or they want to talk with their wife, you could follow up with, ‘I can understand that. How about if I just go and knock off 10% if we sign this thing right now and get started. It’s going to leave me with little profit but you are a hard bargainer.’
By doing this, you made it look like the customer really bargained you down and he will feel like he got a great deal. That’s something he can tell his wife about. You want to make an offer that he will want to impulsively jump on.
If the potential customer still can’t make up their mind, let them think about it. Then call them in a couple of days and talk to them to see if they have any further questions. But ideally you don’t even want to get to this point. You want to get the deal signed when you present the bid in person.
With residential lawn care customers you really want to try and get the job signed up right then and there because you are talking with the decision maker. With commercial lawn care customers, you might not have that opportunity to talk with the decision maker and may have to do more follow ups. In that case you want to show them you are there to serve and the follow up calls show the customer you are going to be attentive to their needs.
To increase your lawn care business sales, pay more attention to your sales presentations and try to seal more deals right there on the spot and get started. Don’t let the projects be put off if you can help it.”
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