In my work with landscapers across the country, I have found most of my clients had a very good 2013. There is no reason to believe that 2014 won’t be even better.
Sure, there are a lot of things that concern us small business owners. Obamacare is at the top of the list and the economy in general is still a concern. However, what I have found works is to worry about what you can control and push on.
My experience, and the success of my clients I coach, points to the fact that if you watch your expenses and control your debt, do good work and take care of your team and your clients, you have a very good chance of being successful. Oh sure, there’s a lot more to a successful business than just that; however, the aforementioned works well.
My clients also know their costs. They know their numbers and they are empowered to make great decisions as a result. Since they know their numbers, they know what clients are good and which ones are not. And that leads me to the marketing tips I want to share with you in this month’s column. Here are my top 5:
1. Know who your ideal client is. Your ideal client is the one who helps you make money, the one you enjoy working with and the one that sends you more business. Too many green industry professionals never identify their ideal client and end up targeting all sorts of people who aren’t going to be long-term clients. Take the time to define your ideal client. For more help, visit my website and download my client experience funnel and the instructions associated with it.
2. Practice relationship marketing. Relationship marketing is the things you do to keep in touch with a client. It’s calling a client to see if they need anything. It’s visiting a client’s property to walk around. It’s sending them a birthday card. It’s simply keeping in touch with them, like you would a friend. Get out and keep in touch with your clients.
This is not easy and it takes time. People do business with people they know, like and trust. To achieve that, you have to spend time with your clients. So, spend twice as much time on that as you do on lead generation. My last three tips are all lead generation marketing functions.
3. Fully maximize your SEO. If I do an Internet search with the name of the town you service, your company’s name and the word “landscaping,” and you aren’t one of the top three that comes up, you have work to do.
Hire an expert to achieve that. Consumers don’t use phone books anymore. They go on the Internet. If they can’t find your company or aren’t impressed by your website, your phone won’t ring.
And, if you have your website set up correctly, it allows your clients and prospects to inquire about your services 24/7 by submitting an email from the site.
4. Mail postcards. Yep, those simple cards that have been around for years. They still work. The key is to mail them to homes and businesses where you already have a presence. Blanket mailing to neighborhoods where no one knows who you are normally does not work well. If you have trucks in a particular neighborhood or office park, your postcards will create more awareness and will help you get more leads. Before you try to branch out, get density in areas. This has worked for my company and for the countless ones I’ve implemented this idea for as well.
5. Company introductions. At Grunder Landscaping Co. we call our networking “company introductions.” We don’t call it cold calling or warm calling. I used to call it that and my team and my coach pointed out that’s not really what we do nor is it what we want to do. Our selling process involves selling to people the way they want to buy. No one wants to be accosted by someone with commission breath telling them to do business with them. What people appreciate is a soft, polite introduction that is quick and to the point.
We have a goal in 2014 of making 400 company introductions. I have four sales professionals, although everyone at Grunder Landscaping is a salesperson, and each of us is required to make 100 of these, or about two a week. So, we’re mailing notes, knocking on doors of neighbors of current clients, sending e-mails, and even making phone calls. Our message is simple, and it is the same whether we are writing, calling or emailing. We have all of these laid out on a one sheet for you that can be downloaded at www.martygrunder.com/vt.
Focus on what you can control, know who your ideal client is, develop relationships, make sure to maximized your SEO, mail postcards and work on introducing your company to as many people as you can. I know you will make more sales if you buy into what we shared.
Marty Grunder is a speaker, consultant and author; he owns Grunder Landscaping Co. See www.martygrunder.com; mail