1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Pete waited to eat the marshmallow

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by pete scalia, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    In a groundbreaking study by famous psychologist Walter Mischel. In the study, a group of four year olds were presented with a marshmallow. They were told if they could wait 20 minutes before eating it, they would get a second marshmallow. But if they eat it now, it would be the only marshmallow they get.

    Some kids were able to wait, others couldn’t resist.

    Then, all the kids were followed up on many years thereafter. And here’s the startling finding…

    Those kids, like Pete Scalia, that were able to delay their gratification and wait 20 minutes to get a second marshmallow…

    Were Much More Successful… Overall…
    In All Areas Of Life!

    You’ll be startled by the drastic differences between these two groups of kids as they grew older. The ones who could delay their gratification had better social lives, were more intellectual, better off financially, and on and on.

    And this is important to you because… by delaying your gratification… you could be way more successful in business and elsewhere.

    Here’s what I mean: I constantly see business people jumping straight into making a monetary sale. On their first contact, they want to extract money from their prospects. And then on every other contact they have with their customer, all they want to do is extract more money and ask for more sales.

    Surely, this makes many people money. But there is often a far better way to make money... and more of it. And that is by first providing great value to your prospects absolutely free… without asking for money in exchange.

    An example: Do you know what is the biggest alternative health website on the entire internet? It’s Mercola.com. Last I checked, they had about 1.5 million subscribers.

    Want to know why? For the first three years, Dr. Mercola did not sell a darn thing on his website. Instead, all he did was produce a tremendous amount of wicked good content via an e-newsletter for free. This built him a huge subscriber base… and because his content is so good… this built him tremendous trust and credibility.

    Then, when he started offering products, people began ordering them in droves.

    Remember this: One of the main reasons people do not buy from you is they don’t trust or believe you. That’s why the first sale you should make is not selling your product, but rather, selling yourself, your trust, credibility, and expertise. I advise you to read this paragraph again because it’s that important.

    There is also an element of reciprocation with this strategy of value first, sell second. Because you are giving to people, they feel indebted to give something back to you. So when you finally do ask for a sale, they buy.

    Of course, you do not need to wait three years to make a sale like Dr. Mercola did. The point is, you should not just always be asking people for money. You should find ways to give your prospects and customers great value without asking for anything in exchange.

    Those that steal money for estimates are crooks!
  2. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    Excellent concept Pete. Thank you for the post.
  3. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Who cares about marshmallows... would you have waited 20 minutes for penne and salsice?
  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    Blah, Blah, Blah,....Whatever!
  5. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 849

    Since I dont like marshmallows I gave mine to you Pete. You ate it secretly and still had your original to earn you a second one. It is time to pay it forward. :)
    I think Pete is "mallowing" out!
    Some good things in there to ponder.
  6. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    Interesting post, Pete. Of course, we need to translate this into our business of landscape lighting. You can't install a whole job for free in the hope that the client will want to expand their lighting later. There are other ways to build trust in prospective clients.

    Primary among these is to build your reputation in the local community. This can be accomplished in several ways. Of course, doing great lighting work with great value around the community is a given. Other ways are through sponsorship of community events, becoming an active (and vocal) member in local orgaizations, sharing knowledge (talks) with local clubs and associations. It also doesn't hurt to join the groups/clubs that your wealthy prospective clients also belong; introduce yourself to everyone, etc.

    Here's an exercise we do at our marketing seminars.

    Select one house in your community that would be the absolute biggest and best lighting job of your career. I'm talking 300 fixtures, high visability, money no object. Every community has such properties and quite often the owners are unapproachable by the usual marketing campaigns. Let's say they don't look at ads in the paper, nor in magazines and they throw away anything that looks like junk mail.

    Here's the exercise: set yourself the goal of landing this dream job two years from today. From now till then you need to earn the trust and pique the interest of these homeowners, so in two years they sign on the dotted line. What steps will you take so that you are sure to succeed?
  7. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    So, the estimate is free. But the demo, an electric sales call which provides a catalyst for trust and confidence, we should charge a few hundred clams.
  8. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 849

    Steve, How has this exercise worked? Have any stories to share on any that worked?

  9. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    No real-world success stories, but the exercise was an eye-openner for many. It gets you to think long-term and focuses your sales strategy like a laser beam.

    Participants in the exercise shared the following ideas:

    Ask around the community and find out where the highest-end homeowners hang out - where they eat, where they shop, what clubs they belong to, what charities they support. Figure out how to insert yourself and your business into these venues.

    Approach the country clubs and restaurants with attractive low-cost lighting offers, in exchange for putting up yard signs.

    Offer high-end shopkeepers 10% of every sales lead they generate in exchange for letting you put business cards and brochures in their shops.

    Sponsor charitable events, then attend the events and rub elbows with prospects.

    Hook up with interior designers and offer them a piece of the action for leads they generate.

    Find out who does the landscaping for the target homeowners and meet with them, build their trust, offer your services.
  10. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    Steve, you've been eavesdropping on my marketing campaign again!! These things are all great for building a reputation in your area. I have served as vice president of my chamber. I am a season sponsor for our local community theater and I'm a member of my church's mens club just to name a few things that I am involved in. Let alone the AOLP involvement. All of these are listed on company letterhead, on fine parchment and inserted in my proposal folder that is handed to every client.

Share This Page