So as not to lose prospects to your competitors, you need to understand the criteria they use to choose a landscape designer. Below we list the main decision factors and how to get new clients, make more sales and keep them loyal by adopting appropriate tactics!
1- Your landscaping company’s reputation
It is very unlikely that a customer knocks on your door purely by chance! Word-of-mouth recommendations are fundamental for getting new clients! Thus, building a reputation is a “must” for landscape contractors.
If satisfying your existing customers is a step in the right direction, it is not always enough. Never forget the other kinds of advertising and promotion like putting your name on company vehicles, leaflets and interviews in local newspapers. And why not take part in garden contests such as the Carré des Jardiniers to make the most of the media coverage focused on your know-how?
2 – Create the perfect portfolio
To get new clients, always present your preceding achievements in a pleasant, eye-catching document. And it is even better to provide references from satisfied customers! Don’t wait for prospects to ask you for them! It is more than probable that you are not the only landscape designer being consulted, and proactivity is your best ally in making you stand out in the crowd.
It is a good idea to open a showroom as well, not just to materialize your know-how, but also to demonstrate some choices necessary in landscaping, like the paving materials you are going to use.
3 - “Feeling” in customer relations
Making a good impression mostly depends on a mysterious alchemy. What you need to do to close sales is to reach out to prospects and react to their questions during the first contact. By trying to understand what they want, by returning calls quickly and by making them relax, you build a strong foundation of confidence beneficial to all throughout the project.
4 - Qualifications and contractual guarantees
Emphasize your diplomas and certificates – and even hang them on your showroom or shop walls! And always highlight some significant points spontaneously to show that you are in complete conformity with all the norms and standards in force, that you provide a ten-year guarantee and comprehensive insurance that covers not just you, but more especially your clients. Landscaping projects can be stressful, so get off on the right foot by eliminating these causes for concern from the outset.
5 - The force of proposal
Do not be afraid to suggest ideas you think are important, even if they seem contrary to what your customers say they want. Very often, they have difficulty in expressing their needs and have preconceived ideas for their projects. They expect you, as a landscaping contractor, to guide them and distinguish what they really want from the less important things on which they can make concessions.
6 - The price and the payment calendar
Lack of transparency is a frightening adversary when the time comes to settle accounts - and can lose you the business. To avoid this pitfall, your quote must detail the costs item by item. And for the start and completion of the works, say what you’ll do and do what you say. Your customers may have suffered from delays in the construction of their house and want a firm date for when the landscaping will be finished. Providing a site plan and schedule is even better!
7 - Membership of a professional organization
When prospecting for new customers, the last decision factor that instantly reassures them that your firm is serious is your membership of a professional organization. In France this would be Unep organization, or the Jardins d'Excellence label. Proving that your expertise is recognized and certified will help you win the fight against unfair competition and are the strongest sales arguments.
Do you think that your landscaping company does all this already? If this is the case, look out for our next article - the use of new technologies to reinforce these sales tools - to make prospects want to choose your landscaping services!
© Photo credit: Patrick Daxenbichler / stock.adobe.com