PDA

View Full Version : Question....


worx
04-14-2010, 05:44 PM
How would you go about convincing landscapers to be proactive in pitching lighting to their clients? What about trying to get involved with the landscaper early in the project by creating a lighting design based on the landscapers layout and offering it to the client as a complete package.

I feel if I can make this process simpler for the landscaper they may be more proactive with their clients. I already pay a referral fee to some and swap referrals with others. Perhaps putting educational material together along with other promotional propaganda.....?

Pro-Scapes
04-14-2010, 06:02 PM
How would you go about convincing landscapers to be proactive in pitching lighting to their clients? What about trying to get involved with the landscaper early in the project by creating a lighting design based on the landscapers layout and offering it to the client as a complete package.

I feel if I can make this process simpler for the landscaper they may be more proactive with their clients. I already pay a referral fee to some and swap referrals with others. Perhaps putting educational material together along with other promotional propaganda.....?

I have a couple of guys who hand thier clients my brochure and give me a whole hearted reccomendation. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesnt. One guy I send work to for landscape and irri calls me in before he starts the irrigation so I can work 1 on 1 with the client. This is perfect because I am allowed to prewire difficult areas and conduits with the irrigation system and niether of us are cutting eachother.

I really do not think it works well when you give the landscaper your proposal or a design then pray the homeowner says go. As the specialist you need to work one on one with the homeowner MOST the time. Some exceptions do apply like when the landscaper or another project manager has been given the power to make decisions and works as a liason to between the homeowners and the sub contractors.

worx
04-14-2010, 06:11 PM
I agree Billy and that is the way it works for me most of the time, landscapers call me in to work with the home owner. But I get the feeling there are alot of lost opportunities between the landscaper and the homeowner. Maybe the LS feels he is being too pushy to ask the customer about his or her lighting interests.
I guess the best option would be the LS presenting the client with an amazing tri-fold brochure about lighting containing your contact info. and hoping you get a call......

Classic Lighting
04-14-2010, 07:07 PM
In the past, I have found it difficult to work with landscapers/designers. They want to do it themselves which boosts their profit. I can think of a few jobs that I bid on with a landscaper and did not get the job. Go by in the future and lighting is installed with Malibu.

David Gretzmier
04-14-2010, 11:04 PM
That has been my experience as well.

landscapers in general don't like other folks on the job making money on job sites they see as "thiers". irrigation, ponds/water features, concrete/stone/pavers, pools, lighting , even outdoor kitchens and pergolas, retaining walls, french drains, landscapers cannot keep themselves to just LANDSCAPING - sod, trees, plants, flowers, living things !

This seems to be a growing trend among landscape designers and architects as well. there just is not enough folks willing to pay them to draw, so they have to take on building things. and lighting is one of those things that gets snapped up.

and of course, all of the above folks do lighting poorly. My wife and I drove through a hgh end neighborhood this evening to touch up some aiming on a job i have been installing this week. not one house in the neighborhood had what I would even call decent lighting. pretty much all bad or none.

Tim R.
04-15-2010, 06:50 AM
Well, I can speak from experience on this one having been a landscape designer and installer in the past. Most times you are working with a limited budget and are trying to get all of your design objectives in within the budget numbers. Lighting often is just usually icing on the cake when what the homeowner really wants done is the cake. Often times the landscaper will have the opportunity and will know they are working with a client or budget that will permit lighting, but most of the time, they just want to get as much of their own work in as possible. If it is a matter of doing a 25k landscape remodel and really tricking it out so he can use all 25k on pavers, plants, fountains, etc.. he is going to do it as opposed to cutting his design back to 20k and giving up 5k to us. I feel it mainly just comes down to them having the right opportunities to share with us, when budget numbers are not as big of a concern as the final outcome and getting it done right.

worx
04-15-2010, 08:32 AM
That has been my experience as well.

landscapers in general don't like other folks on the job making money on job sites they see as "thiers". irrigation, ponds/water features, concrete/stone/pavers, pools, lighting , even outdoor kitchens and pergolas, retaining walls, french drains, landscapers cannot keep themselves to just LANDSCAPING - sod, trees, plants, flowers, living things !

This seems to be a growing trend among landscape designers and architects as well. there just is not enough folks willing to pay them to draw, so they have to take on building things. and lighting is one of those things that gets snapped up.

and of course, all of the above folks do lighting poorly. My wife and I drove through a hgh end neighborhood this evening to touch up some aiming on a job i have been installing this week. not one house in the neighborhood had what I would even call decent lighting. pretty much all bad or none.

This is true in some cases, but in other cases it's alittle different. I work with a landscaper that owns a nursery and tree pruning outfit. Most all other trades they sub out; pavers, lighting, ponds..etc. I wonder if setting up some lighting at the nursery would get the client thinking about lighting while they are shopping.....?

worx
04-15-2010, 08:38 AM
Well, I can speak from experience on this one having been a landscape designer and installer in the past. Most times you are working with a limited budget and are trying to get all of your design objectives in within the budget numbers. Lighting often is just usually icing on the cake when what the homeowner really wants done is the cake. Often times the landscaper will have the opportunity and will know they are working with a client or budget that will permit lighting, but most of the time, they just want to get as much of their own work in as possible. If it is a matter of doing a 25k landscape remodel and really tricking it out so he can use all 25k on pavers, plants, fountains, etc.. he is going to do it as opposed to cutting his design back to 20k and giving up 5k to us. I feel it mainly just comes down to them having the right opportunities to share with us, when budget numbers are not as big of a concern as the final outcome and getting it done right.

Tim I think you have hit the nail on the head! Fortunately for me lighting requires a license in the state of Florida and not many landscapers have one. Now that doesn't mean they won't go ahead a do it anyway but it does help. So unless the customer is asking for lighting from the start they are attempting to all the available budget themselves......makes since. So again I guess I need to influence the customer while they are meeting with the landscaper by having something set up on-site at the various nurseries. This will sort of bottle neck approach would be more efficient than just fan casting marketing material abroad to the masses.......What do you think?

David Gretzmier
04-15-2010, 08:46 AM
I agree it may be a budget issue. my gripe is the landscape does still try to do it all within the budget, rather than doing fewer things properly. but it seems the lean is towards doing many things poorly to save costs to give the homeowner what they want.

Take stone pathways- how many properly done pathways have you seen? you know, where they actually level and set each stone, chisel and fit the stones together, use proper base and topping mix as mortar, and took the time to size the stones that look good tegether? I usually comment on it to the homeowner, because it is so rare. I would say most of them are just put in the dirt, maybe sand and then halfway fit, set and barely level. they move when you walk on them. they sink, and it shows it was done cheaply. In lighting, this actually works to our advantage, because it is so easy to run wires under ugly pathways- the rocks come up and you don't have to work that hard to make it look like you were not there.

I could go on and on about 2-3 year old retaining walls, irrigations systems, that are falling apart etc. while I can see how on 100k to 200k homes the budget may be tight on some projects, it amazes me that these newer 1.2 to 2 million dollar new homes have junk. and that includes lighting. In that same neighborhood there was several houses that had quality fixtures and trans, but yellow bulbs and weird ideas on where to put lights. budget is one thing, but spending money and time doing something and not knowing what you are doing is another.

Pro-Scapes
04-15-2010, 11:24 PM
This is true in some cases, but in other cases it's alittle different. I work with a landscaper that owns a nursery and tree pruning outfit. Most all other trades they sub out; pavers, lighting, ponds..etc. I wonder if setting up some lighting at the nursery would get the client thinking about lighting while they are shopping.....?

Do you think they are plant shopping at night ? I have brochures on the counter at the local nursery and it has brought me 1 job in 3 yrs

On another note. If lighting does not fit the budget now offer to prewire the mains and leave the wire sealed up in an irrigation box. I am doing one next week that I prewired nearly 2 years ago. At the very least offer to ensure all the conduits and power sources make it in so there is little to no disturbance to the landscape when lighting is done at a later date. Do not forget you should be of course charging a fee for this.

indylights
04-16-2010, 12:13 AM
I agree it may be a budget issue. my gripe is the landscape does still try to do it all within the budget, rather than doing fewer things properly. but it seems the lean is towards doing many things poorly to save costs to give the homeowner what they want.

Take stone pathways- how many properly done pathways have you seen? you know, where they actually level and set each stone, chisel and fit the stones together, use proper base and topping mix as mortar, and took the time to size the stones that look good tegether? I usually comment on it to the homeowner, because it is so rare. I would say most of them are just put in the dirt, maybe sand and then halfway fit, set and barely level. they move when you walk on them. they sink, and it shows it was done cheaply. In lighting, this actually works to our advantage, because it is so easy to run wires under ugly pathways- the rocks come up and you don't have to work that hard to make it look like you were not there.

I could go on and on about 2-3 year old retaining walls, irrigations systems, that are falling apart etc. while I can see how on 100k to 200k homes the budget may be tight on some projects, it amazes me that these newer 1.2 to 2 million dollar new homes have junk. and that includes lighting. In that same neighborhood there was several houses that had quality fixtures and trans, but yellow bulbs and weird ideas on where to put lights. budget is one thing, but spending money and time doing something and not knowing what you are doing is another.

David,

As someone who installs landscaping and lighting I can say the same thing you said above regarding landscape contractors about several lighting only contractors and franchises in my area. I have gotten numerous lighting jobs added on to my landscaping work because I have had to fix crap that supposed lighting experts had designed and installed. And trust me, just because my primary income is landscape installs, I know every bit if not more about lighting and how to properly design and install a quality system than the majority of the "lighting experts" in my area.

And regarding budget, I/the homeowner set the landscape budget, and then I upsell the lights at an additional expense. I never dumb down my landscape to accommodate a lighting system. I don't compromise my quality or artistry just to add a little icing. And on a personal rant, it never ceases to amaze me how lighting guys think no one else has the skill or ability to properly install a system but them. As I said earlier, I will stack up my lighting installs with any lighting only contractor in my area, and will have no doubt mine is every bit as good if not better than theirs.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes

irrig8r
04-16-2010, 01:58 AM
I'm with you Scott. Knowledge of plant materials and how they will mature or look at different times of year is important in planning lighting, and really gets missed by a few guys who are doing lighting only.

Tim R.
04-16-2010, 06:34 AM
David,

As someone who installs landscaping and lighting I can say the same thing you said above regarding landscape contractors about several lighting only contractors and franchises in my area. I have gotten numerous lighting jobs added on to my landscaping work because I have had to fix crap that supposed lighting experts had designed and installed. And trust me, just because my primary income is landscape installs, I know every bit if not more about lighting and how to properly design and install a quality system than the majority of the "lighting experts" in my area.

And regarding budget, I/the homeowner set the landscape budget, and then I upsell the lights at an additional expense. I never dumb down my landscape to accommodate a lighting system. I don't compromise my quality or artistry just to add a little icing. And on a personal rant, it never ceases to amaze me how lighting guys think no one else has the skill or ability to properly install a system but them. As I said earlier, I will stack up my lighting installs with any lighting only contractor in my area, and will have no doubt mine is every bit as good if not better than theirs.

Scott Maloney
Sunflower Landscapes



Very True Scott, I am sure you and I have pulled out similar systems from the same "professional" lighting contractor in the area. There are some bad ones to be sure.

David Gretzmier
04-16-2010, 10:07 AM
my experience is based on that, experience. I have alays maintained that there is one other good lighting guy in my area, he ia a landscape architect and does good work. I have never had to redo or fix any of his jobs. he cares. every irrigation, landscaper, even elctricians that I go behind has all the classics- poor connections and corroded wire, poor fixture location, very poor voltage management and nearly always overloaded wires and transformers. And none of the bad guys of course, comes back and does maintenance like lenses, foliage, aiming, greasing o-rings and sockets, bulb replacement. so even great quality fixtures fail.

hearing that "lighting experts" do the same is sad for one reason- they at least, should know better but choose not to do it.

steveparrott
04-16-2010, 02:54 PM
Whoever is face to face with the homeowner, that person needs to communicate his/her vision of what lighting can do for the homeowner. There should be a contageous passion and enthusiasm. Walking the property with the homeowner, followed by a presentation of the company's unique qualifications, then followed up with a kicking proposal - that's what gets jobs.

I highly recommend Dave Beausoleil's 45-min. on-demand webinar, 'Beat out your Competitors with Winning Presentations'. http://www.cast-lighting.com/flash/byc-6-09/byc-6-13.html.

sal rodriguez
04-17-2010, 08:41 AM
fantastic webinar. thanks

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-17-2010, 10:11 AM
That is a good link Steve. Kudos to you and to CAST Lighting for taking the time and spending the resources on developing programs that help lighting contractors do their jobs better.

The Lighting Geek
04-17-2010, 04:58 PM
nice job on the webinar.

David Gretzmier
04-17-2010, 07:00 PM
excellent webinar on selling. I have always thought of myself as a good salesman, but I learned more than a few tips on the 48 minutes or so. I will now be including a new photo idea and a copy of my insurance stuff in my sales folder presentation because of watching this. "bring a 50 caliber machine gun to gunfight !" thanks for the link !

TXNSLighting
04-17-2010, 07:07 PM
What a great Webinar! Learned some great stuff, and i will be trying some of it!

steveparrott
04-18-2010, 10:40 AM
Thanks for the comments about the webinar. Sometimes I forget that many of you have never met Dave Beausoleil, the founder and president of CAST, or heard him speak.

Dave founded CAST primarily as a service to contractors. The whole company is oriented towards giving contractors the knowledge, the skills, and the tools to make their businesses more successful. While CAST is a manufacturer, Dave often says that CAST is really a service business. This is probably the biggest difference beween CAST and other manufacturers.