The Top 3 Things That Help & Hurt Your Sales
By Jeremy Huffman
By Jeremy Huffman
Your business is going places. It’s never stagnant. Where it’s going is up to you. Put specific plans in place, and you can start closing a higher percentage of sales. Neglect them and you lower your chances of consistent sales.
The number one thing that can hurt your landscape business is neglecting the phone. If it’s business hours, no phone call should go untouched. Answering the phone opens the door to a business relationship or shuts it.
But you’re busy. You have a business to run and many people depend on you.
So don’t answer the phone.
Have someone else answer the phone for you.
The number one thing you can do to help your sales is having a dedicated person answering the phone. This person is pleasant and ready to direct any conversation. In design-build firms, this person is the filter for which leads go further into the sales funnel. They listen to the customer’s needs and determine if they’re a good fit for the company.
Sometimes landscaping businesses offer a phone tree to incoming calls. Although this does guarantee the phone is answered, it has a few key disadvantages. Phone trees have a poor reputation as impersonal and dysfunctional. Leads expect gold standard treatment. Customers want to know you will handle their project with diligence and sensitivity. Phone trees do not communicate this. If you can’t have a dedicated person for the phone, consider a live phone answering service.
The second thing that hurts your closing-sale rate is hijacking a customer conversation.
The customer should have the most talking time.
Resist giving your spiel about your company, its history, or even the clearance plants. Answer only the questions they’re asking.
Then stop. Stop talking after you’ve answered their question. Give them time to make a decision on how to move forward.
Each customer called you or walked in your business because they’re on a journey to fulfill their needs. Treat them like the hero of their journey. Position yourself as their guide. Be their Yoda. Let them be Luke.
Landscape Management defined this idea in a recent article: “People justify their buying decisions with stories. They want to live a bigger story — a better story — and you can help them with that.”1
The great thing about this style is that you don’t come across as a salesperson at all. You come across as a helpful person who happens to have what they need.
So leave space for them to talk. Then listen. This communicates you’re on their side instead of an obstacle.
When you do talk, use it to ask questions to help them clarify their needs. A design-build company asks questions to understand the scope of their project. Then they determine if they are a right fit for your company. For retail businesses, this means understanding their problem or vision for their property. View it as a problem you’re both solving together.
The final thing that can hurt your sales the most is giving up on leads. Busyness or indecisiveness might have overtaken a lead. That doesn’t mean their need has been met. If you don’t have a process for following up with leads, another company will help them meet their needs.
Instead, follow up until you get an answer. When a lead comes to you, walk alongside them until their need has been met. You don’t have to be pushy. You just have to tell them how you can help achieve their goals.
The answer to busy-itis is a program of follow up. After an initial call, call back three times within the week. Then once a week for four weeks, and then once a month for three months.
Consistency is key. Focus on making the calls instead of sales. Following a process is what will develop leads into customers.