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Old 09-28-2007, 10:52 PM
capetan capetan is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: maryland
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Sales Tips

after reading numerous post on this site, it sounds like a lot of people ask questions pertaining to customers attitudes, bidding & estimates, costs of services, low balling, second guessing, and under charging customers ....... and a lot of landscapers will have these problems because your specialty is landscaping not interacting with customers and selling services and products ......... all these problems can be solved in a few simple questions
1. ask why ? why do you need landscaping and lawn care done ? obviously there are numerous customer responses, some responses are warning signs of a bad customer, examples any response that leads to a lack of urgency for your services ( customer: i havent had landscaping done in while, i am currently receiving estimates for this job, i have to check with my spouse and shes/he out of town, once i finish a few more house projects then i will get my landscpaing done) iam sure there are more which others can post.... good
customer responses that you want to hear, customer : a bad previous experience with a landscaper, bad job, not reliable, over priced.... any respone that has a sense of urgency, a medical condition , house needs to be painted and i need these trees and bushes cut back, i just received a citation from the county because my lawn is to deep... i know theres more and others can post ...

2. now you can ask the customer what services they need done and what are there expectations.......this is also a good time to build value in services and quality work, during this time i also set my expectations for the customer, i clearly explain to customers i have a professional landscaping business and have professional equipment i am not a neighborhood kid or a day laborer, if your looking to spend 10 to 20 dollars an hour for service you may want to consider a laborer or neighborhood kid, customers always ask how much do you charge an hour? my response is i dont charge by the hour i charge by the job, charging by the hour causes my employees to work slower and lengthens down time, in other words you pay for a lot of wasted time, plus i dont know how long the jobs going to take me, but i know what needs to be done, this way i can offer you the best price

THESE TWO QUESTIONS ASKED TO THE CUSTOMER WILL SAVE YOU VALUABLE TIME ....... AND WEED OUT ALL THE BS

3. next you drive to customers house to give estimate, i always like to talk to the customer, to build more value in my service, while giving the estimate i like to walk around the house with the customer and point out every detail this shows you are very particular and offer high quality work, iam always dressed clean and professionally pants and polo, i always make sure my truck is in excellent condition and very clean........this makes customers feel you have your act together ..... then i always tell the customer give me a few minutes and i will write up an estimate, i dont itemize my estimates but include everything need to complete the job, again this shows you are detail oriented and dont cut corners...... then you give a competitive price, you should book at least half of all physically given estimates... but make sure ask questions 1 and 2 ..........

this is a start
PLEASE POST YOUR EXPERIENCES AND TECHNIQUES THA YOU FIND USEFUL
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:17 PM
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MJS MJS is offline
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Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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Yep, your ideas seem to make a lot of sense. As far as talking to potential customers, I think that being upfront is usually the best policy, as long as you hold off talk on $$$ until it is neccessary. I have had trouble with saying "Sure I could probably do all of that work for $300" only to hear the phrase "Oh, and one other thing", as if they expect you to not add any more to the final bill.

I know that one technique that works for me is to talk to my customers. . . Small talk goes a long way in getting people to trust you, and a few seconds out of your day is not a big price to pay for customers who respect you, and are more than happy to refer you to others.

Even if you aren't the most outgoing person, people will still appreciate politeness, courtesy, &c. That's how you build up a business, anyways.
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