Accepting every new client who comes your way might seem like a quick way to make more money, but in the long run, it often leads to stretching crews thin on time and resources.
That’s why Nick Cooper said he turns down roughly 95 percent of new business leads each day. The Greathouse Company business development manager told a LANDSCAPES 2018 audience that it’s essential for companies to find their ideal clients and stick with them, especially when new business keeps piling on.
“Focus your effort on that customer and don’t be afraid to say no,” Cooper said. “Being in sales, you really want to close, but what that really does is clog up the system.”
He and Alison Blobner, director for marketing and sales at LandOpt Network, said companies should be proactive in finding new business rather than reactive. First, companies must identify their ideal clients: Are they large-scale, lucrative commercial accounts, or a variety of small-scale residential clients?
Next, businesses should reach out to potential leads who fit the description for an ideal client. Blobner said companies that reach out directly to possible clients with a phone call usually secure more business – and for a longer period of time – than those who wait for customers to call and request information.
In other words, businesses should implement practices to ensure sales and marketing departments are collaborating to “recruit” new – and ideal – clients.
“In this industry right now, a majority of companies aren’t conducting business that way,” Blobner said.
Cooper said his company won’t help clients who don’t agree to a three-year contract. Though that’s just what his company does, Cooper said the lesson
“Not everyone is an ideal client for you,” Blobner said.
Cooper said companies can still provide quality customer service, even to those they decline to work with. He said responding to every new business request within a day and either offer more information on what your company does or recommend another landscaper’s service. Cooper said politely rejecting their business while offering an alternative doesn’t leave a bad taste in people’s mouths when they finish the conversation. People talk, Cooper said, and word on your customer service will spread like wildfire.
Blobner also said that companies should track performance metrics with how successful your sales pitches are to potential clients. She compared ignoring success rates to watching a football game without a scoreboard.
“How do you know who’s winning, who’s losing?” Blobner said.