Writing landscape business proposals may be one of your least favorite parts of the job. For one, it can be a rather menial task. Proposal writing can be a big time drain when what you’d rather be having face time with a prospect, closing a deal. It can be especially cumbersome if you don’t have a landscaping proposal template or standardized language as it will mean repetitive data entry each time you go to create one.
But what we often hear from landscape sales professionals is that they’re not exactly sure what to include in a landscape sales proposal in the first place. While you’re probably really great at beating the bushes and selling jobs, the proposal writing aspect may still feel like an enigma.
Chances are you’ve never taken a course in drafting landscape business proposals—and you probably feel a bit on your own in terms of the process. You want to write a great proposal but maybe you don’t even know where to start in order to do so.
In this article, we’ll talk not only about how to create a great proposal but also some of the critical items that you should be including on them which often go forgotten. Getting an improved proposal out the door will help make you more successful and more efficient.
What to Include on a Landscaping Proposal
A proposal is a tool of communication between the landscape company and the client. It clearly spells out what services will be performed but also provides some expectations on both sides of the work. In other words, it not only delineates what the client can expect from your company but also what you can expect from the client. The latter is often an area that landscape contractors tend to leave off but has a valuable purpose.
Let’s explore some of the factors that are commonly forgotten on proposals but that we believe are important to include.
- Warranty Information: Make sure to spell out your warranty requirements so that it is clear to the client what’s covered under it, and what’s not. This is one of those areas where standardized language that is consistent from one proposal to the next is invaluable.
- Client Expectations: As we mentioned, most landscaping companies use proposal to spell out exactly what services they’ll be performing and what the client can expect from them. However, you should also spell out what you expect of the client, particularly in regards to the warranty. For example, if your warranty covers replacing plant material, is that contingent upon the client regularly watering said plant material? If it is, then that should be communicated clearly in the proposal including a spot for the client to sign off on it, demonstrating their understanding.
- Quality Assurance Visits: In order to be certain that your clients are following through on their end of the agreement, let them know that you will be conducting quality assurance visits. This would mean that someone from the team will be stopping by to ensure that they are, in fact, watering. If you conduct quality assurance visits, you need to spell that out in the contract.
- Contact Information: Since we think of the proposal as a key communication tool, we also think it’s important that you include not one, but multiple ways that you can be reached on your proposal. Make sure that your client feels as though they can always get in touch with their account manager or someone else at the company should they require assistance. In addition, a proposal should also spell out the client’s preferred mode of communication. If they tell you they prefer that you call them, text them, or email them, include all of that in written form on the proposal.
All of these factors have something in common. They help create clear and concise information about the agreement between the landscape company and the client. We believe in keeping everything spelled out. There should never be any guessing on the client’s behalf. They simply have to take out their copy of the proposal and they’ll be able to see all specifications regarding the project.
As you construct the proposal, think about it in terms of what is important to convey to the client as well as what information you expect from them in return. That information should help give you a clear sense of what should be included.
Saving Time With Landscape Maintenance Proposal Software
Now that you have a better idea of what to actually include in the proposal, we should talk about how to go about constructing it in a more efficient way. All of the points we mentioned above constitute a lot of information to keep track of on the proposal. But with a landscaping proposal template, the process is simplified. You’ll be able to pull up that standardized language relating to agreements for each and every proposal. It helps streamline the process without any compromises.
In other words, you’ll be able to create a proposal quickly, but without sacrificing its quality or integrity in any way. It will still be highly professional and, of course, consistent, thanks to the assistance of using landscape business software to create it.
Having to enter information over and over as you generate different proposals is undoubtedly a frustration point. When we talk to landscape companies, one of the first things they tell us is that duplicate data entry is a big time waster for them in the office. That’s where building information into a landscaping proposal template can become so valuable.
With landscape maintenance proposal software, you can create a template that has all of the key information about your company and the types of projects you perform already built in. Of course, it also has the most accurate and up-to-date costs. Then it’s just a matter of customizing the proposal for the job specifics. The process is simplified since you already have data at your fingertips that just needs to be dropped into place. That speeds up the process tremendously and frees up your time to sell more jobs.
And not only will you be moving more quickly through the proposal generation process, but you’ll also be able to create more accurate proposals. That’s because you have accurate data at-hand. One of the common mistakes we’ve seen made during proposal generation without software is that Salesperson A creates something completely different from Salesperson B. That’s frustrating not only for sales but also for the client, should they discover their neighbor was charged a different price for the same work. Those types of inaccuracies in proposals can have a negative impact on business.
Building Your Brand With Landscaping Proposal Software
Consistent proposals also help you build your brand. With all of your proposals looking highly professional—and also consistent—you’re taking steps toward creating a highly professional image of your company. That’s a differentiator from the landscape company down the road that uses Microsoft Word to generate proposals in which every single one looks different from the next. There’s not much room for creative branding with that approach and certainly no consistency.
One of the biggest “wants” on the client’s behalf is knowing that you are going to consistently follow through on doing what you say you’re going to do. We believe that entire process starts with sales, but more specifically, with the proposal.
The proposal spells out exactly what it is that you are saying you will do. The client can see that you have set processes and procedures in place from the very start—and that puts them at ease. When the client feels confident with your proposal, they feel confident with you, and that’s a big deal when it comes to selling a job.
A landscaping proposal template takes the guesswork out of generating a proposal of this caliber. You’ve already built standardized language into the proposal that can be replicated again and again, no matter what the job. You ultimately wind up with a highly professional proposal with consistent language and pricing across the board. That can put you on a whole different level compared to your competition.
Landscaping Proposal Software for the Win
One important point that cannot be ignored when talking about proposals is the timeline involved in getting it to the client. Nothing is more frustrating for clients than not hearing back from you. If you tell them that you’ll have a proposal together for them by a certain date and that date comes and goes and you never send it, you’ve probably lost them.
Even the best, most professional proposal in the world cannot save you from poor communication. Stuff comes up and your clients understand that. If you’re going to be late getting them the proposal, just let them know. That can mean all the difference in the world between them giving up on you or waiting it out.
Of course, with landscaping proposal software available to assist you, you really can get your proposals out the door quickly so they’re a lot less likely to be late. Our clients tell us that they’re able to generate proposals faster than ever before. Yet, even though they’re coming together more quickly, they’re also more professional. It’s truly a win-win scenario. You’ll keep your clients happy by getting them information that is accurate and up-to-date and you’ll be able to put it together in a concise and efficient manner. At the end of the day, everyone is better off because of it.
If you’d like to find out more about how Asset can quickly generate great landscaping proposals and create company-wide efficiencies, contact us for a free demo or call us at 800-475-0311 so we can answer your questions.
Image Source: Level Green Landscaping