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1MajorTom
02-09-2006, 08:26 PM
Having the right equipment for the properties you service is important. Finding the best marketing technique for your local area is also important. Getting paid on time to keep the income flowing in is necessary.
But a crucial part of this business which I don't hear much talk about is:
Are you a good salesman? Do you have that extra *pop* to wow the customer into selecting your company for their lawn service? Do you walk in to your estimate with confidence, immediately putting the customer at ease with your knowledge? Talking the talking is a BIG part of this business, if you are a good smooth talker, you have a much better chance of selling your services.
This fall a guy approached Matt about installing some mulch and cleaning out some flower beds. When Matt finished with him, he had sold him on a retaining wall, mulch for all the beds, a fall cleanup, and a removal of a small tree. The guy said to Matt, "I'd love to send more work your way, but before I can do that, I will have to pre-qualify the people. Cause when you are done with them, they may not be able to afford you."

So my question is, how good of a salesmen are YOU? And what ways have you improved your salesmanship?

Green-Pro
02-09-2006, 08:35 PM
Kudos to your hubby for an outstanding job!! I have had this scenario play out similarly for me several times this past season and more recently last weekend. I had a meeting with some lawn maintenance customers (I switched them over to a full maintenance package after the first btw) they were looking at renovating one of their perennial beds, new plants, new border, fresh mulch, etc. the works. I suggested to them how a patio could not only provide more living space, but also increase property value, and lend an appealing aspect to their already forested natural surroundings. They asked for two estimates one with the patio and one without, found out today I'm adding another patio to my work for March (one other patio, two walls, and 4 plant bed installs also). Be not only personable but a good communicator as well.

hole in one lco
02-09-2006, 08:39 PM
I don't no why but my cheesy line works.
If you let me i can make this place look beautiful. Aways eye contact and smile. Now for the hand shake lady 2 hands men 1 hand and firm always firm. My dad always told me to shake hands like a man.

sheshovel
02-09-2006, 08:39 PM
Try selling them on a whole new landscape..I do it all the time.I have to be good at it or I would have no business.Looking them in the eye,having answers ready.Shaking hands ,smiling and being informed and versitile with ideas theirs and yours all help

palawnman
02-09-2006, 09:02 PM
I can honestly say that my strongest quality is my salesmanship. In the last 13 years when I wasnt cutting grass I was in sales. From being a salesman to being a store manager. I think that has really helped me in this industry immensely. Like you said, its all about confidence, once you start wavering in your own abilities, I think that a prospective customer can sense that, and thats when you lose the sale. The best thing that I can advice people is, dont just talk...learn to listen. Because once you learn what they are looking for, thats when you can reel them in. I know people that will just talk talk talk...most customers dont like that. They want to know that you are knowledgeable but also considerate to their needs. Be confident and listen.

Ron

jtkplc
02-09-2006, 09:09 PM
This is one area where my skills and experience are lacking. I'm not a super social person and I'm not very good in front of people or when I'm put on the spot. However, I am very confident in my quality of work and I have had very good success of letting my work do my selling for me. I understand that I can't always do that, but I haven't really had to do any smooth talking yet to acquire or maintain business. For the most part, my business has come to me and stayed with me because of my quality work. This has worked for me and may not for others, where being a smooth talker might work better for the next guy, but not necessarily me.

David Grass
02-09-2006, 09:13 PM
Good topic!!!!!!!!!! It is always personality that not only gets you great jobs, but connects you with people so that work is more than just work. I am so tired of all the "would you dump this lady" or blah blah whatever. A positive attitude and LIKING the people you work for makes life better, even if you have to eat some $$$$ once in a while to show there is more to life than $$$. I gave some elderly folks who were known for being "tight" a free mowing for 50th aniversary and they almost had a heart attack. Then had to do it for their brother the next year (of course) and unitentially garnered a "no questions asked" policy on anything I did for them for the rest of their lives. They raved about me to their neighbors, etc. I only wanted to give them something for free, but got back a lot more.

1MajorTom
02-09-2006, 10:06 PM
In the last 13 years when I wasnt cutting grass I was in sales. From being a salesman to being a store manager. I think that has really helped me in this industry immensely. Ron
Yep, I agree. I used to work as a sales rep for picture frames. I would have to go into the department stores and talk the manager into ordering more frames. I was always pushing for more shelf space. The manager would see me coming, and throw up his hands and say, "jodi, we want no more frames in this store till you clear out what's in the back room." When I left the store I would had sold him another half a pallet. I won highest sales in my district consistently. You got to have confidence, without it, you are a just another grass cutter trying to mow some grass. Become a salesman, and sell the extras. And yep hole in one, cheesy lines do really work.

sheshovel
02-09-2006, 10:08 PM
I think this can be developed to a point..but also I believe it is something you are born with.Being a people person and being able to put the person you are speaking to at ease like Jodi mentioned are all about honesty..honest people exude honesty and others can feel that.
Feeling someone is being honest and sincere with you opens the door to trust and trust is JOB-1 in this biz whether you are mowing lawns or spending someones $10,000 for them on a landscape all takes the clients trust.
With my work it is a big gamble for them,you can show them on paper what somethings gonna look like but it all falls to them trusting me to make it look good and spending their money wisely like it is my own.
And once I have a budget I do spend their money like it is my own..trying to get the best deals for the money spent on materials for them.This all involves gaining the potential clients trust the 1st time you are face to face with them..it is an art and an inborn gift both.

Jpocket
02-09-2006, 10:15 PM
im usually a fair salesman, but when I get the right opportunity I can be very good.

On the average sale I can get the job done, I think alot of it has to do with the customer already wanting my service, so all I need to do is say a few reassuring words to seal the deal.

sheshovel
02-09-2006, 10:16 PM
Also if I am getting alot of questions off the wall from a client when in the middle of a job I answer mostly but there is a point where sometimes I have to put down my shovel and directly address them right to the point.. if they trust me or not.
"Do you trust me with your landscape?""Cuz all these questions make me feel like you don't""Or are you just curious?"In that way I can establish if the client is just really interested in the steps I am taking or are feeling like I might be doing things for no reason.
I always reEstablish trust at that point by setting them down and explaining point by point why this has to be done before that can be done and why that has to be done at all.Then they are ok and I ask them if they trust me because I cannot do this kind of work without them letting go and letting Sheshovel do her thing.