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MAGLIGHTING
02-11-2009, 01:18 AM
Hope these ideas help some of you guys feeling the effects of the downturn in the economy

Add more value to your bids instead of lowering your prices.
Include items with high perceived value at no additional cost- ie 1 free maintenance service after 6 months, offer to illuminate something the owner holds near and dear to them (special statue, ornament etc.) and make sure they know they are not paying extra for it. Be creative but don't give away the farm.

Offer flexible payment terms if feasible

Focus your pitch or advertising more on safety and security value rather than aesthetics. Even those with money are feeling guilty spending on "non essentials". The wealthy are always concerned with safety and security especially in times such as these with the potential for a rise in crime rates.

Masterplan the property and Break bids down 3 different ways. modest, middle of the road and full blown. part of the pie is better than none. Phase in the rest of the project for future installation.

keep in touch with your clients and make sure they are satisfied. when new installs are down, focus on maintaining and or adding to systems you've already installed.

Ask for referrals, offer incentives to those that refer.

Always be promoting. keep your name in front of prospects, contractors, designers and architects. let them know you are available to bid on their projects.

Sell benefits not features

work on improving your website. Get good photos of your work and use them wisely.

get testimonials and use them

Offer to do high profile projects that have the potential to lead to more lucrative work, at or near your cost in return for prominently displaying your signage. Keep up on the maintenance and make sure this project always looks good.

Keep your trucks clean and display your signage.

Be a student of sales and marketing . Build your own reference library or go to the public library.

klkanders
02-11-2009, 01:46 AM
Mike,
It's funny I can't sleep so I am sitting in my home office writing notes on many of the items you just listed. Things I need to improve on. Things I do not have yet.
You have hit on so many good points one being selling the benefits of a system. Another is the safety and security a well designed plan and system can offer.
And perhaps just as important is the selling of yourself. Earn trust and build upon it, put yourself in front of anyone who could be a client or refer you to one. Advertise wisely, get your name in front of the public with signage, websites, etc....

Keep going with your great ideas and spilling knowledge Mike! We appreciate it.

Keith

Lite4
02-11-2009, 11:55 AM
Those are some great tips, Thanks Mike.

NightLightingFX
02-13-2009, 12:31 PM
Mike's point, "sell benefits not features" is interesting. I have discovered there is ONLY one real "feature" and that is outdoor lighting, but a lot of "benefits". I personally focus on just 6 benefits in my sales presentations.
1) Add value and elegance, 2) Enhance architecture, 3) Enjoy your landscape at night, 4) Increase living space, 5) Create atmosphere, 6) Improve safety & security.

rlpsystems
02-16-2009, 09:12 PM
Great tips.
Thanks Mike.
Good Luck to all in 09.

CedarStore
03-17-2010, 12:56 PM
Really great information! Thanks Mike!

I would also add that it's important to partner with other companies that are the contractor's side. We provide lots of commissions, discounts, and promotions to landscapers because we know they're our greatest asset!

When times are tough, only stick with those that have your best interest in mind!

emby
03-17-2010, 04:32 PM
Mike,

Its always so nice to have journeymen around like yourself to share your experiences and knowledge. This apprentice would like to thank you.

Ken

Classic Lighting
03-17-2010, 04:48 PM
I just printed Mike's post and tacked it over my computer. I need these reminders to keep focus during these times. Great tips Mike.

Pro-Scapes
03-17-2010, 07:43 PM
I know it has been over a year since Mike started this but I got news for you guys. The recession is over. You can go back to work now. Its been full tilt here this year. I didn not even get to do the patio show this year because I have just been so busy.

irrig8r
03-17-2010, 08:16 PM
Could have sworn I made a post to this thread earlier today saying that I missed Mike's contributions to Lawnsite... did a moderator remove it for some reason?

TXNSLighting
03-17-2010, 08:27 PM
Could have sworn I made a post to this thread earlier today saying that I missed Mike's contributions to Lawnsite... did a moderator remove it for some reason?

Probably...They really dont like him for some odd reason.

Mike M
03-23-2010, 01:17 AM
i know it has been over a year since mike started this but i got news for you guys. The recession is over. You can go back to work now. Its been full tilt here this year. I didn not even get to do the patio show this year because i have just been so busy.

go billy !!!