Business Management Series - Your Selling Points

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    I have an old buddy whom we built a patio for. This buddy of mine also knows another guy that does patios in our area. My buddy used my company for a number of reasons, and his neighbor used the other contractor. (his neighbor never contacted us to give an estimate, they started the process before we were in the community)

    Well, my buddy was talking to his neighbor about their new patios after all was said and done, and my buddy had repeated what his neighbor said about the guy that did his patio. And it made me realize "wow, we really have him beat as far as customer service goes, I need to take this and use it for a sales advantage". So I been working on making this positive attribute of my company known to prosepctive clients.

    Ya know, if you need your carpet cleaned, you don't interview 3 or 4 carpet cleaning companies. You simply call a company and schedule a day and time for them to come to your home, and about the only question you ask is "how much".

    But for our industry, there is a process that most home owners go through when selecting a home improvement contractor. And the process usually involves meeting with 3 contractors.

    Your prospective clients work in professional fields, they don't know the first thing about hardscape construction. All they know is that they want a backyard paradise and they want it to look like what they see in catalogs and pictures. They're obtaining 3, maybe 4 estimates. They called you and want you to do the job.

    1) Other than your sexy smelling cologne, what is it that you do that stood out and made them like you? Is it one item or multiple items?

    Do you even know your company's positive attributes?

    And I don't wanna hear about your fricken ICPI certification. ICPI certification is like white work trucks - everyone has one.

    2) Ok, now say your established company is doing really well. You're not too concerned about what the other contractors do. You're in your comfort zone. Ok, great, but could there be some details you're overlooking that even though you're bursting at the seams - could be causing you to loose a handfull of sales each year?

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  2. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    I'll think about it later...


    And I don't wanna hear about your fricken ICPI certification. ICPI certification is like white work trucks - everyone has one.

    is too funny

    and eternity by Calvin Klein ...the ladies luv it.
  3. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    :I'm ICPI and NCMA certified....:laugh: Sorry couldn't resist.

    A) We truly are owner-operated. We ALWAYS have myself or my business partner on site performing the work. In my experience people like to hear this...I'm told this after a lot of jobs are completed.

    B) Excellent communication skills. Bottom line, we speak english. We are 100% american owned and illegal help & everyone is 100% fluent in the english language! You'd be surprised how this helps. I find (at least where we are at) over half the time we always get into a conversation that ends up the potential customer saying..."ya the last company just dropped off a bunch of mexicans and I tried talking to them but they don't understand what I was asking them to do."

    C) I know for a fact we are losing sales because we have a slow/long turnaround time. Because we are such a small company (and less experienced than some competitors) it takes us longer to complete jobs and, in turn, we usually cannot get the work done in time for what they had in mind for a completion date.

    D) Because we are owner operated it takes me longer to provide a quote wereas others can have, at least what seems, a day or two turnaround.

    E) Which brings up/leads into me not being very good at "closing" the deal. I'm not a salesmen nor a BS artist...but I'm pretty sure this hurts me. I think I should be closing more deals than I am.
  4. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I could write a book on this. I'd put my salesman skills up against anyone in the industry. Honestly, I don't think I have 'salesman skills', I just be me.
  5. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    Thats such a tease! LOL

    Seriously, I know you talk about 12 month turnaround times and 100% referal jobs, but starting out what did you use?
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    must be a north jersey thing!
  7. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    I'm not a natural born salesman either, but I believe there is an advantage in that. I tell people honestly what I will do for them, and they decide. The last thing I want to do is to talk somebody into something they don't really want, and will always think they paid too much for. Unhappy customers talk louder than the happy ones.
  8. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    Our reputation with previous clients is our best selling point. If I go on a sales call and they say you did some work for my friend, Mr Jones, we usually get the job because they know they will get a high quality job.

    Our 55 years in business is another plus.

    It seems to help if I tell them I have personally used a product or plant in my own yard with good results.
  9. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    Customers love to hear a number of things, and most customers have different tastes, but here are what I have found to be the similar throughout the majority.

    1. They want the person that prices the job to be there to install it.
    2. They want the person that prices the job to look like they are in good enough shape to install it. (No fat salesmen) Had a cougar hire us because she knew that I was a working owner, not just a salesman.
    3. English speaking workers that know what they are doing, not just the foreman, but everyone on the job. They don't want to see people standing around, b/c they feel they are paying for that time.
    4. We provide testimonials from previous customers, and you will be surprised how many people a prospective client knows from the testimonials. So even if it is not an actual "referral" it becomes one after they know that you have worked for so and so.
    5. ICPI and NCMA only work so far, everybody has one. However, company certifications like Belgard are catching their attention because you can offer lifetime warranty on materials.
    6. If nothing else just be honest. If it is going to take you 3 weeks to get them a simple bid, tell them that. But always keep your word.

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