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Old 01-09-2013, 05:53 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,623
Successful Communicator = Successful Lawn & Landscape Business Owner

This is just one small example...

I am not being critical here, I am just relaying in this post what I have encountered over the last 14 years of working with lawn and landscape business owners, owning LawnSite.com and even owning my own business.

A lot of people in this industry do not like to communicate - they are not the life of the party and have no desire to do anything other than make sure they are making your lawn and landscape as beautiful as possible. While being good at your craft is always important, we are talking business here.

In this particular blog post I am referring to communicating with prospects and clients only. Communication with employees is a whole different topic.

So you get a phone call. Someone wants a complete overhaul on their landscape. They want everything torn out and they want to start fresh. They want you to design a new landscape and install it. Well, hopefully, they choose you.

When this happens, many lawn and landscape business owners will go to the property, take measurements, take pictures, create a design, submit it to the client, add in the prices and go on to the next one. It becomes a volume game for them. They hope that if they give enough estimates, enough people will say yes.

But what about the business owner who is a communicator? How does he handle this scenario differently?

1.) He asks to meet with the prospect to discuss their needs and wants and to actually walk the property together.

2.) He does his best to educate the prospect on why certain things work and others do not (plantings based on location, maturity, etc.).

3.) He keeps the line of communication open with the prospect while creating the design.

4.) He tactfully discusses budget with the prospect to make sure he does not waste anyone's time designing something that cannot be afforded.

5.) He meets in person to present the design and explain why he chose what he chose, and he is open to moving things around and making changes based on the prospect's wants and desires.

6.) He goes into detail about the installation process - how long it will take, when they can get started, etc...

7.) If the prospect is uncertain who they are going to hire, the business owner explains to the prospect how his company is different/better from the competition and why he and his staff will go out of their way to make sure this landscape turns out exactly the way the prospect envisioned.

8.) If this business owner ultimately does not get the bid, he is not finished communicating. He personally thanks the prospect for the opportunity. He asks the prospect why they chose a different company and he lets the prospect know that if things do not turn out the way they had hoped with the other contractor to give him a call.

In the end, who is more likely (even with a higher price) to get this bid?

To read this blog post and more like it go HERE
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2013, 08:16 PM
Will P.C. Will P.C. is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 939
These are all great points Sean especially the follow up after you have lost the bid to another company.

Losing a bid is not always a negative thing. Losing a bid on a project with curbside appeal can become a positive thing. Customer picks another company, company does a great job, but many problems arise between customer and client. Enough problems for client to completely write off the company and never use them again.

Neighbors, co workers, friends and family will all ask "who did your work, it looks great" Customer might say "ABC Landscape did it, but it was a giant stressful headache. If I had to do it over, Will P.C. Landscapes would be at the top of my list"
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2013, 10:45 AM
lawns by design lawns by design is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: cincinnati ohio
Posts: 47
I agree with both of you although sean me and you have talked a few times and I have expressed how hard it can be to run the company do the work and keep in touch with the customer ! But I have learned first hand that keeping the open communication is the most important because most people who are out bidding with you are good at doing landscape but how many people can sell ? How many people make the home owner believe there the right company ! Just last fall I thought for sure I lost a 6k bid I communicated I met with them twice before drawing and after and I called to follow up weekly and never heard back . And out of no where she calls and says your bid was higher but you made me believe you would do what ever it takes to get my yard up to high standards !! People don't be afraid to talk call your customers I even text a lot of my customers just to ask how is everything is there any way I can help you
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