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terrapro
11-07-2010, 08:16 PM
I have a storefront that wants lighting for Christmas. Normally we just pick up string lights from local stores and staple them in then do some holiday decor like snowmen and snowflakes for Christmas or hay bales, pumpkins, and mums for Fall decor but this one I want to do alittle more. I will be meeting some time this week to go over details such as color and design.

Any tips for approaching this as every new prospect can always snowball(pun intended) with the proper positive impression would be apprieciated greatly.

Thanks!

David Gretzmier
11-07-2010, 11:22 PM
I know you want pointers, but it is kinda tough to do what you are asking. Try to think about it as if you were competing with a christmas lighting or decorating pro. to take a client to the next level, you need to know about products at the next level. again, think about 2 meetings your client can have. many people I meet with would be happy to have thier lawn guy, window washer, or handyman do just as you mentioned. for around 30-50 bucks an hour; buy stuff locally and put it up with whatever is available in the christmas department at the store locally. and yes, do it well by putting it up straight, and come back and take it down, and store it in the supply room there marked "christmas lights" and your bid may be in the 200-400 dollar range with materials.

but another meeting your client can have is with someone like me. I bring a 9 foot section of garland with me that is 3 times as nice as any garland you can buy locally. also, I bring a 4 foot wreath that is of the same quality. I bring the HBL catalog, which is chock full of photo's of homes with beautiful product in it. I look at the area to be decorated with the client and ask what they DREAM of when they close thier eyes and think of the whole place that is decorated with christmas decorations. I don't just stop them at the window, I mention garland or wreaths for all the windows, around the door, with professional steel reinforced, UV coated red bows that again, you can't buy local. maybe take thier eyes upward to the top of the building. If I have time. I may even use the HBL software to show them what the entire storefront looks like with all the decorations digitally implanted onto a photo of thier business. I open thier mind to ideas based on training and experience. but my bid is between 1500-4000+ dollars for a very nice display on the whole building. we put it up, take it down, store it at our warehouse and guarantee all product sold and installed by us for 3 full seasons.

crazy? maybe. but I can usually take 1 out of 3 potential clients to the next level from where they thought they would be, to where thier employees and thier customers are blown away. for some businesses this is not just about decorating, this is a combination of empoyee benefits, advertising, and sometimes, owners pride in thier store or business, maybe a sense of giving something back to the community.

I know the tone of this sounds bad, but to take someone to the next level, you can try to sell them stuff, but it is almost a requirement that you be capable of taking them 2 steps above THAT level. to get folks to the 1200 level, you have to be comfortable with a 6000 job. to get the 6000 job, you need to be good at the 20,000 level.

David Gretzmier
11-07-2010, 11:23 PM
I know you want pointers, but it is kinda tough to do what you are asking. Try to think about it as if you were competing with a christmas lighting or decorating pro. to take a client to the next level, you need to know about products at the next level. again, think about 2 meetings your client can have. many people I meet with would be happy to have thier lawn guy, window washer, or handyman do just as you mentioned. for around 30-50 bucks an hour; buy stuff locally and put it up with whatever is available in the christmas department at the store locally. and yes, do it well by putting it up straight, and come back and take it down, and store it in the supply room there marked "christmas lights", your bid may be in the 200-400 dollar range with materials.

but another meeting your client can have is with someone like me. I bring a 9 foot section of garland with me that is 3 times as nice as any garland you can buy locally. also, I bring a 4 foot wreath that is of the same quality. I bring the HBL catalog, which is chock full of photo's of homes with beautiful product in it. I look at the area to be decorated with the client and ask what they DREAM of when they close thier eyes and think of the whole place that is decorated with christmas decorations. I don't just stop them at the window, I mention garland or wreaths for all the windows, around the door, with professional steel reinforced, UV coated red bows that again, you can't buy local. maybe take thier eyes upward to the top of the building. If I have time, I may even use the HBL software to show them what the entire storefront looks like with all the decorations digitally implanted onto a photo of thier business. I open thier mind to ideas based on training and experience. but my bid is between 1500-4000+ dollars for a very nice display on the whole building. we put it up, take it down, store it at our warehouse and guarantee all product sold and installed by us for 3 full seasons.

crazy? maybe. but I can usually take 1 out of 3 potential clients to the next level from where they thought they would be, to where thier employees and thier customers are blown away. for some businesses this is not just about decorating, this is a combination of empoyee benefits, advertising, and sometimes, owners pride in thier store or business, maybe a sense of giving something back to the community.

I know the tone of this sounds bad, but to take someone to the next level, you can try to sell them stuff, but it is almost a requirement that you be capable of taking them 2 steps above THAT level. to get folks to the 1200 level, you have to be comfortable with a 6000 job. to get the 6000 job, you need to be good at the 20,000 level.

addictedtolandscaping
11-08-2010, 06:11 AM
I agree wit h Dave completely. I pull up with a truck all lettered with the back half dedicated to holiday lighting and HBL's logo is plastered on the first 4 feet. I bring the catalog, inside is the updated products and new releases and of course business cards. I ask their dream, then back to the truck we go. I open the tonneau cover and right there sits a mixed noble 48" wreath which they fall in love with. Then I open the sales kit which is a 4' silver metal sided suitcase full of light links and of course in there as well is garland and a couple sets of mini's. When we go through the LL I point out the unique features of LL and of course drive home the warranty, we also do three years as Dave mentioned. From that point they are generally doing the impression of a child on Christmas morning. I tell them about the software, a huge selling adjunct for me. I tell them explicitly I can generate a photo and replicate what their home will look like, but that in reality it will be more beautiful. THen the camera comes out, I take half a dozen or so pics so I have a good choice to work with. Back in the office, I upload the pics, do the design, ship out the estimate and usually order the product in a day or two. That is another huge point, I tell them point blank, I order it today, I will be picking up your display in three days as it will arrive form the manufacturer. Than of course I answer their questions on service calls, we will arrive within 24 hours and repair or replace any warranted item free of charge, and the season I allow 24 hours is we can get some humdinger snow storms here.

Now after rambling on as Dave mentioned. You have got to be willing to take them way above where the next guy is going to. Get their imagination running, their eyes twinkling. Then above all else, deliver. You have got to be reliable, dedicated to doing a flawless display. Leave the job site cleaner than when you found it. We have Christmas music playing, and wreaths hanging on the trailer flashing (LED 32" Noel series). We set the mood, and deliver the dream.