Sales Strategies

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Ok guys. I've been thinking of some ways that I might be able to increase my close ratio. This is what I've come up with so far. Just want to see if anyone else has any sales secrets.

    1.) When a customer calls wanting a bid, I typically get over there as soon as I can. Problem is, often times, they say they are waiting for a few others to give them a bid too. They won't make a decision until they've seen everyone elses proposal. Should I just start saying "If you're getting multiple bids, that's fine. But I want to wait and be the last one to bid if that's the case." In my opinion, if a customer is getting multiple estimates, the last company to place their bid has the best chance of closing the deal. If you're the last bid and you know it, you can simply ask "What kind of pricing do I need to have in order to earn this business?" Then you can take it or leave it.

    2.) Ever hear phrases like "I need to think about it" or "I need to discus this with my spouse?" The I need to think about it objection is absolutely my number one close killer. What's really going on is they don't like you, your price, your T&C's, your image, or something else. Or they're just scared to make a decision. I'd say 98% of these people will never call you back. Ever. As soon as you leave the property, you might as well tell yourself you lost that one. So what can you do before you end the conversation with the customer when you hear one of these phrases? Remember, when you hear this phrase, it's not your friend telling you this. It's just some jack azz who has just wasted an hour of your time when you could have been at home watching the Rangers game. So now you have something to kind of throw in their face. When you hear this phrase, you should be doing a mental translation in your head that says "No. I don't want your service."

    So here's what I'm considering doing. Memorizing a canned sales speach that goes something like this:

    Customer: "I'll think about it and give you a call. Is your phone number on here?"

    Me: First and foremost, look them in the eye. "Listen, I'd really like to earn your business here. And I know your time is valuable, as is mine (emphasis added). I also know from experience that if I walk away from here without your signature, I may as well have stayed at home and watched the Rangers game tonight. Because you will not call me back later on to sign up. That just doesn't happen. You must not like something. What's stopping you from signing up for this right now?" Look them in the eye. If they don't say anything after a few seconds, say "Is it my prices, my terms and conditions, the written service agreement, the payment options? What can I do to earn your business right now? Today."

    3.) If you still have to leave the property without ink, how beneficial is it to call them back a few days later and show them how important their business is to you? Does that help? Anyone try this? I haven't been doing it so far, but I'm thinking about starting a follow up call as a routine matter.

    4.) I am absolutely 100% through with the ole leave a price on the door in they're not home. A total waste of time. Not worth the effort. If I don't talk to them face to face, I'm wasting my time. Period.

    Well, that's what I've been thinking as of right now. If anyone has any other good sales tactics, please speak up. I need the help. My close ratio is pathetic.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    I fully agree with you on the well I need to talk it over phrase. Heard it all to manh times this year. All I can say is oh well I could be sitting and working for someone else.
    As for number 3, call backs. It is my number one lander of those that had several bids where I was either first to bid or somewhere in the middle. Of the call backs I do I learn who these others are calling for bids. Was it a nickle add or yellow pages add, another door hanger? I also find out if it is what I call compitition, another reputable LCO. I dont care if they get someone out of the paper where their prices are 10-20 lower than mine per service. I will get them later from the sheet I make up. If I know they get a reputable Lco why did I loose the bid? Price, Profesionalism, sales speach, or what? THIS is where you have to make a change in how you close the sale by either lowering your prices, looking more proffesional, or getting a better sales pitch.
    In summary I find I pick up about 5% of those I thought I wouldn't get, find out what I am doing wrong, and Make a list of those that went with a significantly lower service to call back later If I need a few gaps filled.
    Good luck.
     
  3. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 997

    DWF --- when someone tells you they want to "think about it", you need to know exactly what they want to think about so you can rebut their concern.

    I like to simply ask, "What do you have to think about?"

    Then they will tell you, but don't stop there because most of the time people won't tell you the real reason they are hesitant. So after they tell you what they want to think about, just say, "In addition to that, is there anything else you want to think about?"

    ThatÂ’s when they come out with the real reason, and that's when you can address their concern.

    Here is another little tip. When someone tells you "the price is too high", just ask them "HOW MUCH TOO HIGH?" People use that line about the price being too high just to end a dialog.

    I've had people stop in their tracks after being asked "how much too high" because they really didn't know what to say! When the customer says the price is too high, they are really saying that they want your service if you would just lower the price a little. All you want to do is have them tell you HOW MUCH to lower it.

    That is when you begin to negotiate. So if you told them a price of $35 for mowing and they came back and said they would rather pay $30, here's what I would say:

    So __________, what you are saying is if I lowered my price to $30 a week, you would give me your business? That is your closing question, and if they say "YES" to it, then I would say:

    Well is $33 fair enough?

    Fair enough? Everyone wants to be FAIR! That is a real hard question to say no to.
     
  4. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

    Likestomow, excellent!
     
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Yes. I agree. I think the "I need to think about it" line is easier to deal with than the "I need to discus this with my wife" line.

    How do you deal with that one? I'm guessing you have to pretty much cover that objection up front. Maybe say this when they call for an estimate:

    "I'd be more than happy to get you an estimate on that. But first, let me say this. If you're getting multiple bids on this, and that's fine if you are, I'd really like to be the last one to place my bid."

    "Oh, ok. I see. Are you the decision maker on this, or is there a spouse involved too?"

    "I see. What's a good time that can I meet you both on the property?"

    Either way, when I start getting told "no" in one way or another, I'm going to start calling their bluff when they ask for my telephone number. I'm going to start forcing myself to tell them that they will never call me. Just a a tinge of of guilt to go along with that. May actually work sometimes. No one wants to feel like they've just wasted someone elses time.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  6. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,180

    Great post going. I havnt really had much of a problem with leaving a quote in the door.
     
  7. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,781

    I agree. They say to high or want to think or talk it over - ok. But I always ask them well what questions do you have regarding our service. I usually close the deal by negoitating a price inb/t, like $33 mowing example. I have also come in high on landscape installs only asked why I say were the best. I don't use an inch of sand to lay a paver walkway or block, go to the extremes - but within reason of course.

    My #1 downfall is our equipment, people, and effeciency of our work. Take mowing for example. We charge based upon acount or size. Lets use $35.00 / mow, my rate. Well I am told that I am high and I ask you else has bid and they usually say, if not I usually know (Know your competitors) Regions are different and I understand that fact. Anyhow - they tell me there charging per hour and they feel there getting a bang for there buck. So I tell them that hey - 1/2 hour we are in and out. Your yard, your time, and MY TIME!$ This other is spending 2 hours here dinken around and charging the same if not more in that 2 + hours he is aat your house. That is our problem in my area!

    Sorry so long - just gotta vent once in a while!
     
  8. two_planks

    two_planks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    "What can I do to earn your buissness" is a closing statement. After you make that statement don't wait a few seconds before you talk. Don't wait ten seconds before you talk. If you have to wiat ten minutes don't talk untill they answer you. After a salesman makes a close the first person to talk loses. Just nod your head (they will start nodding too, its very hard to say no when your nodding yes) and smile, stfu and wait for them to answer.
     
  9. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    DFW,

    I agree with that you want to avoid the I'll call you bit, but it is not always bad. Many quotes I give, I am the forst one to bid. They check other prices just to make sure I am in the ballpark. I tell people up front that they will get lower quotes than mine. I tell them that my service will let them come home to a nice property at night and not have to call the lawn guy to find out where he is, or how long ago the dog got let out of the yard.


    when I tell people that my rates are on the high end one of two things happens. I have either eliminated someone that wants mow and go, or the check aroung to make sure that they are paying a little extra to get extra. If you force them to close right away, they may later feel that the price is way too high and cancel or next season they are gone.

    I agree that you have to deal with all objections, but there are some advantages to letting them call back. Many of my competition either take several days to call back, and when they do come, they race in and out because they are late and need to get to the next estimate. I would say I get 4 out of 10 that say they will call back, and 1 in 10 that tell me no other LCO called back. Know your competitions habits. If they never call, you are no longer competeing against them for that work and the customer will tell thier friends, XYZ never even called back, ABC came the same or next day, well dressed on time, they are great. Right there your competion helped you justify uor high price.

    Sorry for the book,

    Adam
     
  10. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    First off we're (wife & I) are part time so we don't have to close every estimate. In my day job I have to deal with suppliers and salesmen every day. I can spend large amounts of my bosses money but I still treat it as if it's mine. If a salesman comes off as strong you can bet he won't be getting anything from me. I find that most salesmen are quick to push you to sign as if they don't want to waste my valuable time. Trust me if I am spending any time with you I already need the service or product you are supplying and I will end it when I want especially if I feel you aren't entirely truthful or knowledgable in your product or service. As for the "I need to think it over" this is extremely common in the business world and likely most of your lawn customers are used to doing business this way at their job. When they say they want to talk it over with their spouse they are really just talking it over in their own mind. Even with a product I am really impressed with I will never sign or give approvals on the spot, I always take the info and make a final decision in my own time. For our lawn business I do estimates as soon as possible usually that night and never rush the customer to seal the deal. Again though we are part time and don't need every deal. We find that if it's a job we really want we take the time to explain out process then we show them pictures of our work and give them phone numbers of customers so they can call. We also do a cemetary, baseball diamonds and some soccer fields so people can see our work very easily. We also find out exactly what type of service the customer wants, we prefer cut and go but also do full service if they want it$
     

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