How to Sell More Landscape and Lawn Care Jobs
Whether you are just starting a lawn care business or planning to expand, selling your services and retaining customers is very important. As the owner of a landscaping business, you know it is essential to get more clients and acquire more projects to help you scale your operation. This article will take you through various ways to close more landscaping and lawn care deals and how you can retain the customers and increase the close ratio.
This is the ratio of the estimates accepted (how many jobs you’ve won) to the total number of estimates given. It is measured in percentage. Generally, a 50-70% close ratio should be enough for your business to grow at the pace you want. A close ratio of between 30-50% indicates a business owner trying to maximize profits with little interest in growing and scaling the business. Various ways in which the close-ratio percentage can be used are discussed below:
1. Better estimate verbiage
An estimate is a document in which the approximate costs for the landscape project are provided to a potential project. On the other hand, verbiage is the words and notes used to express an idea. Better estimate verbiage refers to the notes put on an estimate. The vocabulary in your estimate note needs to be very clear and concise. It would help if you were very specific when stating everything you will be working on, the order you will be working on them, the materials needed, and the time estimate for project completion. This way, the client does not have to call repeatedly to ask questions about the job you are doing for them. In addition to better verbiage, appearance also matters a lot in lawn care services and bids. This means you should send customers professional and formalized estimates. All these help you set high standards of professionalism and customer service.
This is divided into two sections; we have the appointment speed and delivery speed. The speed of appointment refers to the speed at which you set up the appointment with the potential client and get there. After the appointment, how fast do you deliver the estimate? Does it take a few minutes, 24 hours, a week, or two weeks? In the past, companies could make up for slow service with better quality; customers expect it all now. Often, clients choose the person who gets the estimate to them first to work on the project. Responsive customer service will raise your competitive advantage and help your business stand out in the landscape industry. Speed also enhances customer satisfaction and trust.
However, it should not compromise the quality of the service delivered to clients. You should not give your customers irrelevant or incomplete estimates just for the sake of responding quickly. Delivering a fast but poor-quality service defeats the purpose of fast service, and you might end up losing clients.
3. Follow up
After sending the estimates, as a lawn mowing business owner, you don’t just cross your fingers, hold your breath, and hope clients contact you. You should follow up on all potential clients. The follow-up process can be an automated message or a phone call. Automations are great when you have a ton of leads coming in, and sending estimates becomes overwhelming for you. However, if you have a few leads coming in, calling clients a day after sending out the estimates is an excellent way to make contact and follow up with them.
Also, you can ask if the client has any questions, any work change, or any part of the estimate that they need you to shed more light on. Doing this will increase your close ratio. Sending estimates without actually closing the job means wasting money, time and other resources. A landscape business cannot be profitable with a really low close ratio. This is because the costs incurred by doing estimates for jobs you don’t end up getting will eat up most of the profits gained from the jobs you complete.
This is the last method that should be considered for increasing the close-ratio percentage. Most people jump at the chance to lower the price first whenever they discover a very low close ratio. Most clients will not tell you that your estimate was not clear enough, that the delivery took too long, or that you never contacted them to ask if they had any questions. They usually just say your price was too high or that they had to go with someone else for the project. However, this does not rule out that lowering the price is also a way to increase your close ratio. Assuming other conditions remain constant (including your customer service and value), the close ratio will go up when the price goes down. Lowering your prices to get a higher close ratio usually works better when you are solo, and there aren’t a lot of variable costs. You can keep your prices low until you fill up your schedule and you can confidently charge higher prices. When you have a lot of employees that you pay hourly, lowering your prices constantly to increase your close ratio might not work out, and you have to focus more on the first three methods.
Tips to increase customer retention
Retaining customers is also important in growing a business. It is cheaper and easier to secure customers by retaining them than using other methods like customer acquisition and lead generation. Customer retention can also lead to more referrals, good reviews, and an improved customer service experience. Here are some tips and tactics to increase customer retention and satisfaction.
- Provision of high-quality customer service:
The quality of the service offered to customers in a lawn care business impacts customer retention directly. Better estimate verbiage, speed in delivery, and follow-up are examples of high-quality customer service. They ensure your customers get maximum value for their money, helping you retain patronage. Also, a presentation that includes clean uniforms, equipment, and professionalism plays a huge role in helping you retain your customers. Maintaining optimum levels of professionalism and consistency will leave few reasons for your client to even consider the competition.
- Surveys and questionnaires
Preparing a list of questions and sending them out to your customer is a great retention strategy. For greater impact, you can prepare specific questions for each customer. This represents a good upsell opportunity and will make each client feel special, and they will appreciate you taking the time to cater to their needs. Depending on what method the client prefers, you can send out these questions through email, regular mail, or printed questionnaires.
- Give out discounts for established customers
Some business owners make the mistake of offering discounts to new customers only, ignoring the regulars. Encouraging recurring customers with incentives like various deals and discounts will show how much you value their business. There are various discounts you can give established clients, some of which include: discounts for combining multiple services, percentage discounts off some services, discounts during specific periods, among others depending on which works for you and your customers.
- Effective communication
Communication is critical in letting customers know the value your landscape company is providing. It is essential to let your customers know about everything your company does and the new services you will be including. If they are not aware, you can lose your customers to the competition. This is because customers will tend to consider other lawn care services if they need a service that they think you do not offer. Build a strong connection with your customers and keep them abreast of the new services you offer as time goes by. Your customers need to know that your company is interested in meeting all their needs and you are always available. Constantly communicate about your clients’ problems, needs, desires, and opportunities that will enable you to take action and provide essential services.
- Auto-renew contracts and make payment easy
Auto-renewing contracts or subscriptions is one of the ways to reward loyal customers and support customer loyalty. Other services that make it convenient for customers to do business with the company include offering to pre-pay bills with discounts, service bundles, and easy access to information. However, you should let customers know from the start that the contract will be auto-renewed unless they cancel it. Send out emails or letters in the off-season to inform them that the season will begin soon, and they can cancel if they desire to.
Reasons why customers cancel lawn treatment services
After closing a lawn care job, the next thing you focus on is retaining the customer. However, some customers still make a change after the first few times because of dissatisfaction with some services. In this section, we will be looking at the top reasons why customers cancel their lawn care services that should be avoided.
Inconsistent results are a huge turn-off for customers. After closing the first sale using the tips given earlier, ensure you keep up with these and get the job done thoroughly. Avoid spotty services, which may be due to overworked or poorly trained employees. Treat your employees well and make sure they have enough time and equipment to get the job done thoroughly.
Another thing you should avoid is underdelivering, that is, delivering below the expectations and promises made to the client. Many landscapers make the mistake of promising a lot of services during the process of closing the sale and end up delivering services below expectations. Tell your clients you will only do the services you can do well at that point. Also, make sure you stay up to date with research and the latest options for lawn care so that you can get the best results possible and stay ahead of your competitors. You can also research by reviewing feedback and comments for other lawn care companies, apart from those you regularly get from your clients. You can stay up to date on new problems clients encounter and ways to solve them. Apart from underdelivering, don’t make the mistake of offering unauthorized services. Don’t ever assume the client would want a particular thing done, no matter how important it seems. Always discuss the additional treatments with your clients and know which ones they are okay with.
Finally, professionalism always wins. Pulling up in shabby attire or sending ambiguous invoices to customers is a quick way to lose clients. Always make sure all documents are clear, concise, and easy to digest. Professional uniforms and equipment also portray the value your company’s services offer them.
Running a lawn care business takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and it goes beyond just offering lawn mowing and treatment services. To maintain a high close ratio, landscapers have to pay attention to a couple of things, including customer service, professionalism, sending estimates and invoices, scheduling needs, tracking income and revenue, among others. Although lawn care is important to make a property look good, it is a non-essential service, and there are always competitors. Always ensure your clients get premium value and services to keep them happy and retain them in the business.