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Selling upgrades

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Educating the client can close the deal when it comes to renovating irrigation systems.

Lindsey Getz | March 15, 2012

Renovations and upgrades are a key part to a thriving irrigation business, yet they’re not always the easiest sell – especially if a customer is satisfied with their system. Making successful upgrade sales relies on a few key factors, says Jeff Snyder, director of irrigation & water management, Mainscape. But in the end it all comes back to education. Mainscape performs a water audit.

Knowledge is power. Information really is critical in driving sales. “Mainscape’s owner, Dave Mazanowski, has a philosophy that knowledge is power,” Snyder says. “Our job as landscape maintenance partners with our clients is to give them information and educate them so that they can make the best decisions for their property. Once they understand, they often see the value behind an upgrade.”

Water savings. Obviously one of the key benefits – and reasons – for a renovation or upgrade is improved water management. “We take a science-based irrigation maintenance approach so we have a strong focus on local water management,” Snyder says. “That’s handled by central control. Uniform distribution is also important. So much water is wasted by a poorly maintained irrigation system. It comes back to educating the customer on why this is happening and how it can be modified.”

Take it by zone. Snyder says that doing a zone-by-zone process that breaks everything down – heads that are broken, too low, or just need to be straightened, for instance – has been a successful tactic in pitching a renovation or upgrade. All of that information is communicated to the customer with a huge spreadsheet. “That’s not a Mainscape principle, it’s one founded by the Irrigation Association that we’ve adopted,” Snyder says. “We use that spreadsheet, and in some cases the customer is delighted and buys the whole project because of the cost benefit analysis. It breaks down the payback. Others phase it out over a period of years. But in both cases, just communicating and educating the customer through the whole process helps bring them on board as to why these things are important and how it can save them money in the long run.”

This is one of three stories that appeared in Lawn & Landscape’s Water Works e-newsletter. To continue reading:

Rapid response: Mainscape monitors irrigation systems through a central control system, allowing it to immediately catch problems.

Close connection: Mainscape’s detail to communication allows the $40 million company to feel small to clients.

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