New client acquisition is expensive. Chances are, you’ve heard the stats. It’s been said that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. That’s why you do everything you can to treat your clients right and to keep them happy.
While it’s undoubtedly important to invest in your existing clients, if you aren’t doing anything to generate additional service opportunities from them, then you’re missing out. Your existing client base is likely ripe with possibilities for upselling your landscaping services and increasing your sales.
Of course, the last thing you want to do is be pushy and risk losing a client over selling too hard. The key is to implement creative approaches to upselling that will generate you more business while also impressing your clients on your commitment to serving them.
Here are six ways to make that happen.
1. Scheduling Property Inspections
One of the best methods for selling more landscaping services is to spend more time on the property. After all, if you’re not there, how can you know what additional services they may need? By scheduling walk-through inspections, you can keep close tabs on your properties while also scoping out potential upsell opportunities.
Of course, “schedule” is the key word here. It’s very easy to say that you need to get on-site more often but actually following through is a whole different story. It doesn’t take much to get busy and to let this task fall to the wayside. But if you decide you are going to visit an account twice a month, and you schedule it on your calendar in advance, you are committed to making it a priority. You just have to be sure that you block the time and follow through.
In terms of how often to perform property inspections, it’s a client-specific decision. You have to know your property and what’s appropriate. A high-value commercial client might warrant as much as a weekly visit. It all depends.
No matter what, you want to be sure that you’re building value into the account by building relationships. The client will see value by you taking time to be there. While your ulterior motive is obviously selling landscaping services, you want the client to see that face-time you’re putting in with them as commitment. You’re there to check on the site and make sure that everything you’ve promised in the contract is getting done. Of course, while you’re there, you might also point out additional services that could be done if you see a need. That’s where the opportunity for upsells comes into play.
2. Blogging and Creating Case Studies to Increase Landscaping Sales
Creating articles and case studies for your landscaping company’s blog are tasks you should already be doing to help boost your ranking for internet search. But that’s not the only benefit of generating regular content.
Blog articles and case studies also go a very long way in building authority and credibility for your company. That’s because instead of just talking to a client about a potential project, you can show them one you’ve already done.
Take, for instance, a hotel where you already maintain the grounds. Perhaps you’ve suggested they incorporate some seasonal color. It’s a lot more effective to be able to show them an example of a case where you’ve done just that.
It goes a lot further than just talking about it and adds more value to the sales process by positioning you as the expert. You can say, “look, we’ve written an article on this idea,” and show them something tangible to help facilitate their decision.
3. Technician Incentives
If you’re thinking about selling landscaping services through your salespeople alone, then you’re missing a valuable opportunity. That’s because you have your production team on-site more of the time. Why not incentivize them to generate leads for your sales team while they’re there?
While it’s true that selling is not something your production staff would regularly do and they may not even have confidence in the idea (just suggesting it might make them uncomfortable), the fact that they’re on the property and making observations about it is an opportunity that should not be overlooked.
Incentivize your crew members to find those leads for you. Maybe it’s just a matter of a production team member letting the office know that there is a tree that needs pruning. You can offer rewards simply for them taking the time to fill you in on those sales opportunities.
Then let your salespeople take the lead from there. This is a great way to generate more sales in between those property inspections previously discussed or on residential sites where you might not be doing regular walk-throughs.
4. Email Marketing to Grow a Landscaping Sales Pipeline
Email marketing is another great opportunity to connect with your clients and ultimately generate more sales. However, if you make your email content only about selling, you’re missing the mark. Although your ultimate goal is selling more landscaping, if the recipient feels like they’re constantly getting hit with advertising every time they open their email from you, they’re going to stop reading it and unsubscribe.
As a general rule of thumb, email marketing should be about 90 percent helpful content to 10 percent selling. Use your emailed content to provide really helpful and educational information to your customers and you will position yourself as an expert, which will eventually help you in terms of making sales. You just have to come to terms with the fact that your marketing efforts are a slow and steady race (not a sprint).
One of the best opportunities that email marketing presents, without being too overt about selling, is “awareness of service.” In other words, you’re educating your customer base about topic relating to a service you offer (that they might not have realized you do). This is an effort that might not pay off immediately but will help establish your company as the expert for the future. For instance, if you provide a lot of helpful content about tree pruning, your clients will remember that’s a service you offer when an opportunity eventually rolls around on their property.
You can also use email marketing as a way to engage with customers and make stronger connections by sharing content even when it doesn’t relate to services you offer (but is relative to your client).
For instance, if you have a large commercial client, say a hotel, and you see an interesting article about interior design that your client would appreciate, send it to them with a note that it made you think of them. An effort like this takes some time on your part but it’s a relationship-building step that could really pay off for you in the long run.
5. Resurrecting Old Opportunities
Do you ever take the time to follow up with old opportunities that didn’t pan out or are you constantly working on going after something new? The truth is, it’s a lot less effort to go back to existing leads, even the ones that didn’t go anywhere, then it is to generate something brand-new.
Go back and look at some of your old leads and take the time to follow up. You don’t have to be as bold as sending a proposal to them. It can just be as simple as rekindling a conversation. For instance, if it was a maintenance contract, check in with them and ask if they still have a need for help with that service. There’s always the chance that they hired someone and were unhappy, making your query very timely.
Of course, this isn’t necessarily easy to do if you aren’t keeping good track of your leads. This is an area where a tool like landscape business software would make following up easy to do.
You could set a reminder in the system to follow up with certain clients where there might be a future opportunity. With solid notes, you’ll also be able to remember specific details of the conversation that you can re-hash. It will impress the client to know that you remembered their exact concerns and just might be enough to land you the job the second time around.
6. Engaging in Future Improvements
Similar to following up with leads that didn’t pan out, are you following up with clients who expressed interest in having work done in the future? So often landscape business contractors give a potential client a proposal and they say “not no.” to some or all of the items. They didn’t say no, they just pushed it off. But if you don’t follow up on these future opportunities, you’re missing out on a sale.
It’s easy to see why salespeople fail to follow up. They get busy and they forget. Even the client might forget who they initially received quotes from. That’s why you can’t leave it to them to hope they’ll follow up with you down the road.
How Asset Helps with Selling More Landscaping Services
This is once again where landscape business software can have a tremendous impact. By using a program that has calendar reminder capabilities, you can schedule a future note to pop up and remind you to check back in with that client.
With Asset, you can not only schedule reminders, but you can actually do a search for clients that specifically turned down a certain service, and follow up with them.
For instance, if you currently have a sale on annual installations, you can do a search of any client that turned down that service in the past and send timely communication to them that although they previously said no, perhaps due to cost, you are currently running a special and thought they might be interested.
Even if no sale comes from that communication, it at least gives you a timely reason to reach out to the customer and be at the forefront of their mind. If nothing else, they will appreciate that you remembered a specific need they had and that you were thinking of how you could help them.
Start Selling More Landscaping Services Today
The best thing about all six of these ideas is that they are all relatively easy to implement. They all look at going after your existing client base rather than trying to generate brand-new leads and they can all be quite effective if put into practice. It will just take a little bit of commitment on your behalf.
At Include Software, we are always looking for ways that we can help our clients improve their businesses and we know that selling is a key to their success. We also know that landscape business software can play an important role in that effort by allowing you to impress your customers and do more than your competition can do. At the end of the day, that extra effort is what can set you apart from the crowd and helps you to sell more.
If you want to talk more about how Asset can help with selling more landscaping services, then give us a call at 800-475-0311 or contact us for a free demo.