Hard sell, hard no

Brian Horn, editor,
Lawn & Landscape

My wife and I took our kids on their first plane ride to Florida for a quick Spring Break trip. Upon check in at the resort, we went through the normal process — keycards, Wi-Fi-password, etc. But instead of a “have a great stay” at the end, we were greeted with, “Do you think you’ll come back?”

What? We just got here, and you are asking if we are coming back. Then the sales pitch began about an exclusive opportunity that we couldn’t pass up. When we politely said no and turned toward the elevators, she hit us with a “I thought you’d say that, so how about this?” First off, why did you think we’d say no? Do we look cheap and like we don’t want to have fun? Maybe it was all the Cleveland gear we had on.

I understand that the approach is bred from opportunity. She knows that this is the last and best time she’ll have face time with us because we can check out via a mobile app.

I hear a lot of smart landscapers talk about how upselling services are the key to increasing profit. But I can’t imagine they or their employees would show up at a property, and before touching the lawn, ask a customer if they wanted a patio put in.

Plus, does the hard sell ever work? Aside from getting the sale just to get rid of the salesperson, I don’t know that it does. I’ve always been much more open to buying something if the service is performed well and they follow up with information on what else they offer or how they could fulfill a need I have.

As it turns out, we only had an OK time, and determined we aren’t a beach vacation family (mainly due to a slightly whiny pre-teen). So, she could have promised us the deal of a lifetime and it really wouldn’t have mattered.

So, remember to communicate to your employees there isn’t a one-size-fits-all sales method. Some families may want to know about future deals they have upon arriving. Some just want to get to their room with their whiny pre-teen. — Brian Horn

May 2023
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