Nine ways to beat the competition and win more sales

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by chevyman1, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Thought this would be helpful to everyone.

    1. What are the weaknesses of the local competition in the marketplace?
    2. Do your homework about the competition and local market potential
    3. Look for the gaps in the offerings of other LCO's
    4. Know what the competition is going to do and offer next
    5. Never underestimate your competition
    6. Never overestimate your competition
    7. Help customers understand why they will be better off with your service
    8. Be viewed as a consultant
    9. Get prospects to talk with open ended questions, leading them down a series of questions that lead them to see why you make sense to swith to
  2. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,282

    Good Stuff
  3. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    Good ones Chevyman.
    "Open-ended questions" are not yes or no direct questions, i understand.
    Open-ended questions are who, what, when, where, why, and how or would (that be of importance to you?)
    "So, how'd you hear about us?"

    "So,who is your current/previous supplier?"

    "What's the best thing you like about them?" ("Why's that important to you?"with a smile)

    "What do you feel was the one item that irked you the most, or that wasn't well-communicated to you by your current/previous supplier ?"
    (could sound nicer than 'whats the least thing you like about them?')
    (raise your eyebrows and sound like you are)

    "How did you feel you should have been served better in the ________ and ___________areas of this _________business by your current/previous supplier last year?"

    "You certainly have put a good degree of sound care into your propert(ie)y's value(s), if you we're to start saving money on pre-season service offerings such as ___________ and _________, what's the best time of year for your household/company to take advantage of these discounts?"

    "How would you feel on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being greatest interest) If i could show you/ offer ________ and ___________ for $_______________?"

    "How would you feel on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being greatest interest) if we could complete it for that price before March 20th the 1st day of Spring, or March 27th, Easter,(etc)?"

    "As i'm writing down this proposal for your team's review and approval, what's the spelling of your last name/ alternate# / fax#, etc." (doesn't obligate them and signifies their approval to your presentation)
    .... as you write up the order !

    A word of caution - never slam the competition or lead prospects into any negative lines of questioning, because subconsciously you're raising their defenses against what YOU are proposing, or stand for, also. You're only as big as you edify - so stay complimentary like they do to each others leadership in the Halls of Congress. After all, they had the good sense to consult with you, too, ok?.
    Like Chevyman says, keep the focus on THEM with your line of consultative questioning, and you'll keep control of the sales-pipeline. Keep a focused, empathetic "Doctor's bedside-manner" demeanor about you.

    For ANY showoff, vehement, or even valid objection out of context - empathetically say: "no problem, we've got a program in-place to solve that.", while you continue the consultation, or it could be used to your advantage by saying: "to what degree is that important to you?" or "Compared to saving money because you'll have less overall need for future lawn-renovations or callbacks with our superior cultural practices/ services, would a supplier with these merits and references be of greater importance to you?"
    You going off tangent and tooting your own horn - unless it specifically solved another clients problem just as important to the sales prospect on the phone or in front of you - can get the focus off them, onto you, and get you asked off tangent questions quick. Because you're qualifying them -pause for 5 seconds and with a smile looking directly into their eyes say: "that's a good question!!" (especially with regards to being asked PRICE out of context) "that's one of the best parts!! Let me get to that in just a second for you" with your smile continuing, allowing you to continue your interest-arousing, open-ended questions for you to make the proper evaluation based upon their responses.

    Judy Guido's "6 Steps to Marketing Success" (Landscape Design /Build, Dec. 2004,pp.6-7):
    1. Find the Under-served, or an under-served niche in your area.
    2.Become better than everyone else in that service /solution.
    3.Keep filling your pipeline with qualified customers.
    4.Motivate customers to buy from you with your superior exertise/ qualifications and warrantied products and services.
    5.Communicate - market research has proven that companies that survey or communicate on a regular basis with their customers have higher profits and greater employee satisfaction.
    6.(Ask for and ) Make the Sale - after you've earned the right to ask for it, by having already asked your prospects intelligent open-ended questions.

    Thanks Chevyman for pointing out the need for the open-ended questions in the sales consultation!
  4. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Thank you sir, very great additional information. And nice Dixie, that's what I run too!
  5. KL400S

    KL400S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I have been a lawn care provider for over 5 years. The following member chevyman1 sounds like a guy in my area (I am from the same location). I have read a lot of his post's and would like to let you know I think it is the same guy. In one post he says he does not lowball, well he does and real bad. I have had quite a few of my customers tell me. He does just what he says and knocks on doors then asks how much they pay. (The average industry standard in our area is $30-$35) He offers to do it for $25. I have a good standing with all my customers and they still pay my rate because of a number of reasons. I just want to let you know that if you all do this it will catch up with you. It won't take long for you to realize why the professionals have to charge a little more. (IF CHEVYMAN1 DRIVES A RED TRUCK THEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE SAME PERSON.)Funny that I don't know someone who knows the whole business in and out, I would have thought I would have run into him sometime. I do know just about every lawn care provider in Clifton Park.
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    You would make a great detective.
  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I had to raise my chep app prices on one client. Last year I told her that I would match Tru Green prices. That was a mistake. One reason was that I had to real pricing structure. Since then I have came up with a pricing structure. I had to raise her rates around $7 per app. I convinced her of the advantages of going with me even though she could get it for less. I used #7 on your list.

    I am planning on having my sister call some of the competition over to give her estimates on various services so I can get some idea of what others in the area are charging.
    Do any of you feel this is unethical or just part of doing business?

    BTW, one of the competition LCO's in the area that I talk to from time told me that he is certified to put down chem apps. Well, he has no numbers on his truck, so he is either not certified or has ignored this regulation. I asked a representive from the dept of agriculture if he would like to know who he is or is this just "squealling" on the competition. He said he definetely want to know if I see him putting down chemicals.

    Would you call him?

  8. KL400S

    KL400S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I will take that as a compliment. I would also like to say that there is no reason for you to do this. There is plenty of work around here for everyone. I end up having to turn away business. I noticed you like to give advice, just remember "THE EMPTY BARREL ALWAYS MAKES THE MOST NOISE!"

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