Last month, Landscape Management published Part 1 of this post (Check it out here.). Now, here is Part 2, a collection of more important ways you can stay on the right track this season.
1. Find out how they make decisions.
It is important to know that you are speaking to the decision maker. But it is not always polite to outright ask. In this case you can ask how they will be making their decision? Will other people be involved in the process? Opening up this line of questions also allows you to ask if they will be interviewing other service providers as part of the process. These kinds of questions are useful in sales: the more the prospect talks and you listen, the more targeted your proposal can be.
2. Use pain to create urgency.
Pain is the ultimate motivator for hiring a contractor, especially for switching from an existing contractor to a newer one. If you are not hearing and exploring your prospect’s pain, then you are not practicing the refined art of selling.
Your ability to create "urgency" is linked directly to the amount of pain a client is feeling. You cannot pressure ("push") a client into a sale, but you can create an environment where the client is "pulling" you towards them, urgently asking you for a solution to their problems. When you uncover a client's pain, dig into it and make sure you understand it, and let your client simmer in their own pain. This will move them urgently to action.
3. Identify their priority.
Everyone places a different value on different parts of his or her property. You might be surprised what they find important, and where they are willing to spend more money. You can't assume that what you think is important is the same as what they think is important. This is relevant on both extremes of the sales process. 1) When you are trying to submit a tight budget, and 2) When you are looking to expand the sale.
Knowing their priorities allows to you to propose higher margin add-on sales, higher margin materials, and higher margin solutions -- especially when it corresponds to services that you uniquely provide.
4. Set follow up dates.
In the busy spring it is paramount to leave each appointment and phone conversation with a follow-up date. You can raise your sales by up to 50% by doing so, and concurrently free up more of your valuable time. Some prospects will resist you when you try to do this, but don't let their lack of being time-focused impede your need for working in an orderly fashion. Most of the time you can ease a truly qualified prospect into agreeing to a follow up date. By taking control of the conversation, you will separate out the shoppers from the truly interested.
5. Make the 3rd sale first.
When making the first sale to a new client always think about the 3rd sale. Treat your qualified prospect as if they are already a client; give them great service and show them why you are the vendor of choice. Caveat, this should be done on qualified (Green Light) prospects. Be prepared to let them win on small points, and you focus on winning their trust and the sale.
As I always say, Treat prospects like clients and clients like prospects, and you can’t go wrong.
Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author and consultant, grew his landscape company into a successful $10 million enterprise, and he's devoted to helping others share the same success. He facilitates PEER GROUPS for landscape business owners who want to transform and profitably grow their business. For more information, go to www.JeffreyScott.biz, email Jeff@Jeffreyscott.biz, call (203)220-8931 or log onto www.GetTheLeadersEdge.com.