When you own a landscape company, you’re in the sales industry whether you see it that way or not. Because without customers, there is no business. As our friend and strategic partner Marty Grunder says, “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” We all know this is true, but there are still so many people who hate selling and avoid it at all costs.
What if we told you that selling your landscape services could leave your clients feeling like they just won the lottery? Well it’s true. Selling is an opportunity to create an extraordinary experience for your customers, not just a chance to rake in more cash. It doesn’t have to feel forceful or pushy. Here’s what the most successful salespeople in the Green Industry know about selling with integrity.
SUCCESSFUL SALESPEOPLE ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE
You can’t sell what you don’t know. It’s really as simple as that. This doesn’t mean you have to know all the answers, but you definitely want to know where to find them.
When's the last time you got out there with your crew and learned something new about the services you’re offering? There’s a lot they can teach you that will help you communicate better with your clients and prospects. We recommend spending an afternoon watching and asking questions to build your expertise about how things work. This will help you anticipate questions clients may have and stay one step ahead of the competition. Knowledge is power, and selling becomes easy when you feel prepared for any question someone might throw your way.
It takes competence to feel confident. Once you know the ins and outs of your lawn care services, try shadowing a successful salesperson in another industry. You’ll finish your day a little bit smarter; plus you may even leave with some new referrals.
SUCCESSFUL SALESPEOPLE ARE EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT
You can read every book about selling and fill your head with a ton of technical sales training, but if you don’t realize that the most powerful sales conversations aren’t about serving you, you’ll never be a successful salesperson. Your ability to succeed relies on you understanding that you’re in business to serve your customers.
It’s all about them. Your landscape services are solutions to make them look better, help them feel better, and free up their time. Did you know that only 13% of customers believe sales associates are able to truly care about and understand their needs? The first step to change that is simple. Listen more than you speak and teach your sales team to do the same.
You’re never going to lose by making a client or prospective client feel heard.There’s no fancy formula or set template of questions to ask. You just need a little empathy and a genuine interest in their perspective and concerns.
When you learn how to override your brain’s natural tendency to be self-focused and instead laser in on your client’s problem, you’ll effortlessly increase the demand for your services. You have to learn how to become this way. It doesn’t come naturally for most of us, but it’s a teachable skill. It all starts with wanting to get better.
The next time you meet with a potential customer, take notes. Ask a lot of questions to get clarification. Recap the conversation and ask if there’s anything you missed. Prioritize what’s most important to them first when you can to show you’re listening. And make suggestions for ways to solve their problems instead of dictating solutions.
SUCCESSFUL SALESPEOPLE ARE PASSIONATE (AND A LITTLE COMPETITIVE)
This may sound obvious, but Green Industry sales professionals who have sales goals produce better than those who don’t. While there are many different ways to create goals, we think the most important factor is that you actually believe they’re possible. If they’re not believable, they’re not achievable. And if you’re not passionate about the services you’re selling, it will be too easy to quit instead of following through.
Customers can sense if you’re truly walking your talk or simply going through the motions. How are you showing up to appointments? How do you look? How’s your body language? As simple as it seems, kicking off a sales call by showing up 2 minutes early can make all the difference in how the conversation goes. You’ll be present, fully engaged, and ready to serve.
If your passion has fizzled out over the years, it’s hurting your business. Now’s the time to remember what excites you about your work. When’s the last time you read a book on perennials? When did you last go check out a botanical garden just for fun? What if you really got serious about winning? It’s a lot more fun than staying the same.
The amount of money you make is a direct result of how much you’re serving other people.
Selling is simply making offers to solve your customers’ problems. Instead of looking at prospects as potential dollars in your bank account, what if you saw them as people you can support with landscape services that are useful to them? And instead of feeling like you’re bothering someone by talking about your landscape company, what if you viewed your conversation as helping them? Because that’s exactly what it is.
If you need any support (and really, who doesn’t), McFarlin Stanford can help you sell with integrity in a way that feels great for you and is of service to your clients. You’re invited to join us for our next ACE Discovery event to be coached as a part of our Peer Groups program. You can even contact us to recruit your newest sales team member.