Why do we all seem to look way out to the distance for answers to our problems? When we want to make more money, why do we feel the answer always comes down to printing more flyers and door hangers to distribute. Why do we feel new customers are the answer to making more money? As we will see from this discussion in the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, there are easier ways to go about making more money and it starts with the current customers on your route list.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I am new to this and am trying to put some numbers together. Besides just cutting grass I would like to add other jobs that could make me more money and upsell them to my customers. What I would like to know is what percentage of customer’s have you done other jobs for, like mulching, fertilize, gutter cleaning, leaf clean up, and landscaping? What prices do you charge for these jobs? Which jobs do people want done the most?”
A second lawn care business owner said “I upsell at 85%+ of the jobsites I am on. For instance yesterday I started on a drain installation project for a new client. I was in the selling mood, and walked away with $3,700 in additional work. My upsell services usually involve, pressure washing, turf dressing, spraying and fixing driveways. If I am in the mood which I generally am, I will try and upsell every customer I do a job for.
I find the best way to increase profits and sales is to be proactive. I will not wait for my ship to come in, I have learned I need to go out and find it. So when I arrive on a job site I will look around until I start to notice things. The siding has mold, the back has a pile of brush, a few fallen trees should be cut, the driveway needs to be redone, the lawn looked pretty good but could be better.
When I get a chance to talk to the homeowner I may strike up a conversation by saying I was noticing a few things around your property and I don’t want you to feel I am trying to get my hand in your wallet however for what it is worth, I think I can help you out and fix them. I will then quickly go over various things.
On this one job site, after giving the customer my sales pitch, he said they had gotten quotes in the past to perform these different tasks but never had the work done. He said the reason why was that he didn’t care for the personality of the other companies. So I gave him on the spot quotes for each item. He responded by saying ’send me a follow up email this weekend with the prices and the work is yours, we like one stop shopping.’ We both laughed and he went back in, and I went back to work.
The owner of a lawn care business has to be proactive which is why door hangers, flyers etc. have limited results. Most lawn care business owners sit there waiting for the customer to come to them, what I have learned is the importance to go to the customer direct. Over time I have learned to love the interactions I have with potential customers. When I project confidence, I get more work.
Many of my customers started out as a one time/season job. From there with just some chatting and being friendly, they have become full time year round revenue for my business. Those full time customers have also become my biggest form of advertising. Here is an example of that. I had a summer grass contract with a client, their dog would always greet me when I was there cutting and the client and I would usually chat for a minute or two about how the yard was progressing. This fall I asked them about a snow contract while doing a fall cleanup … they agreed very quickly to that service as well.
The next time I returned I had one of my lawn advertising signs in the truck and the client commented they would love to have one of those signs on their yard … Funny thing was that I was planning on putting one in their yard being as how they had become year round clients. I feel that a ‘LOYAL’ client is the best thing out there for me. They will talk about you when they are out for coffee with their coffee buds and will always recommend you to others.
I am constantly upselling my clients. It’s how you make the business grow and more importantly, if you approach it with a concerned attitude, the customer believes you truely care about them and their property.
Relationship selling works and works well. To be successful with it you don’t have to consider yourself an over the top sales guy, just be friendly to people and develop working relationships with others. When you are out there on someone’s property, remember you are working on what is probably their biggest asset/investment and the majority want it to look nice.
We all need to look outside the box and perhaps get out of our comfort zone. If you want to make serious bucks in the lawn care business you have no choice. I realize some make a living mowing/trimming, but man look at the number of accounts it takes to do it. Don’t overlook an orchid while searching for a rose. There is plenty of work out there with your current customer base if you would only take a moment to look for it.”
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