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SALES AND MARKETING: Getting The Green From Green

Business Management, Green Issue

The turf and landscape community needs to make sure we think green when we market our services.

Marty Grunder | September 10, 2008

You can’t drive very far, surf the Internet, shop or watch TV without seeing a “green” message. There are green cars. There are e-mails that end with a request to save paper by not printing the message. In the grocery there are all kinds of environmentally-conscious offers for earth-friendly soap, packaging and the like. And if you watch TV for an hour, I can guarantee you will see a mention of the “green initiative.”
Yes, green is everywhere and it’s here to stay, and the turf and landscape community needs to make sure we think green when we market our services. Here’s what I suggest you do.
First, we’ve been “green” when green wasn’t cool. Seriously, is there a more environmentally-friendly business than one that beautifies the environment with trees and plants that clean our air, cool the homes we live in and provide habitat to animals and wildlife? Our industry needs to develop an industry-wide slogan. Milk did wonders with “Got Milk?” Smart marketers capitalize on the facts, not rhetoric, and there is undeniable proof that we are environmentally friendly and do more for our environment’s well-being than any other industry.
So starting today, look for ways to tout your company’s naturally-green tendencies. It’s an under-used asset you need to exploit. By talking to your clients and prospects about the good you do, you compel them to buy and feel good doing it.
Secondly, consider all the options for goods and services that help the environment. Even in a tough economy there are things consumers will buy if they can prove the benefit will outweigh the cost.
Here are a few ideas to consider:

ROOF TOP GARDENS. Roof top gardens aren’t just being installed on top of huge, downtown buildings anymore. Homeowners are looking into them and there are companies all over the country looking to capitalize on the concept. Just Google “roof top gardens” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Smart companies try new things to grow their business.

PLANT A TREE. A simple flyer showing the benefits of planting a tree can jump start your sales efforts. The National Arborist Association has a wonderful Web site that provides all the ammo you’ll need. Visit them at

WATER-WISE SYSTEMS. There are many new products designed to help property owners save money and water. If you aren’t certified in this area, maybe it’s time you learned about it. Marty Thomas, president of Hydroscapes Irrigation in West Carrollton, Ohio says, “Water equals money to me and if we can design and install a sprinkler system that will maintain a lawn with the least amount of water used, I am saving the customers money in operating costs. I continue to educate my customers on the proper management of their irrigation systems and help them to become proactive on adjusting their systems for current weather.” Sounds like a win-win proposition to me.

LANDSCAPING. Landscaping is one of the only, if not the only, investments a property owner can make that will grow in both beauty and value. Have you ever told your prospects that? Are you marketing your landscape company to convey this message?
Despite what you read in the newspaper, find on the Internet or hear on TV, some businesses are doing well. In fact, many successful companies focus on improving the environment or saving energy.
Your “green” services do both for people and it’s time you started to make your prospects and clients aware of the benefits. LL

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