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dschulte
10-28-2002, 10:17 PM
DMK395 - hey. Im a sales pest. My background is sales and Im relentless. I do a couple of things alittle different then some of the guys but it seems to work.
1). Every commercial customer I have I buy someting from. Whether its gas, donuts, mowers, etc.. I buy from them. This accomplishes a few things. You are constantly seeing the customer and developing a relationship. When he sees you its usaully when Im adding to his bottom line which makes them happy. While developing the relationship you hit them up for referrals and additional services. Its amazing how much money you can make on bush trimming, mulch and weed control. Really adds up.
2). Commercial customers like long term contracts with escape clauses. They are also used to signing contracts.No busy manager in his right mind (with the exception of Wal Mart managers) want to go through bidding processes every year. Its a huge time waster. Lets face it - contacts arent worth much. As long as a customer pays you for services rendered to date, no court in the world will hold them to a contract for services beyond 30 -45 days. Its all psychological (?). Keep them happy, do a good job, stay in their pocket and they will tell any bidding LCO that they are locked for the next 3 years.
3). Find the commercial customers that currently have crappy curb appeal. The only way to take an account from a competitor is if the rates are way out of line or they do a lousy job. Why waste time calling on an account that has great lawns? If they look good the only way you are going to get them is by low balling which we all know doesnt pan out.
4). Tailor every proposal to their needs and present it in person, typed and follow in up with a thank you letter reiterating his needs and how you will meet them. Doesnt matter how small his problem with the other company was, make it a sales point. Lots of small sales points add up to one big sale. I buy presentation folders at Office Max, use good bond paper and very colorful letterhead. Every correspondence has a business card in it. I dont care if I wrote the guy 10 times - every one has a card in it.
5). Follow through. You arent selling a $25 a cut house. You are selling a $500 or $1000 a cut business. Have an appointment, present it in person, ask for the closing or at least get an estimated closing date. Then follow through with a letter, then a phone call asking for another in person appointment to close.
6).Wear a suit at the appointment. Makes the jeans and T shirt guy look pathetic.
Once again long winded but I have attended dozens of sales seminars and hundreds of sales classes these past 13 years. This is a great lawn care site and I have learned a ton from other members. Having the right equipment and doing a professional job are what its about but if you dont sell it you dont cut it.

dmk395
10-28-2002, 10:26 PM
Good Insight...my problem though has been getting my foot in the door.