By Jeffrey Scott
Boost your profits by taking a companywide, systematic approach to increasing upsells, cross-sells and enhancement work. Seven tactics that work are as follows:
1. Present your company more comprehensively
It is darn near impossible to change a client’s view of your company once their impression is set, so be careful how you present yourself during the first sale. If you give your new client a more comprehensive introduction, your chances of upselling them (throughout their lifetime as a customer) increase dramatically. Use role playing to get this right.
2. Involve your office staff
It takes seven impressions for a client to grasp (and consider buying) what you are selling. Your office can have a significant impact on making these seven impressions:
Drop “specials” into your statement and proposal envelopes. Try lime green flyers. Every envelope that goes out should have a small marketing flyer.
Arm your staff with specials and tips to discuss when clients call in. Educate your staff on the hot issues of the month, and give them lingo to use when speaking with clients.
Send out monthly e-mail alerts with timely tips and offers (not a newsletter, but a simple e-mail with a picture).
Update Facebook with these same tips and specials, and tweet them as well.
Give your office staff a cheat sheet: a list of clients, and what major products and services they are not getting from you (e.g. irrigation service, lawn maintenance, fire pits, barbeque set ups, etc.).
3. Be ready to share ideas
Clients are buying you for your hard work and dependable results, but also for your expertise and ideas. Be an “idea” company. Your field staff, salespeople, project managers and account execs can be constantly providing new ideas to your clients.
Keep in mind:
Wealthy clients want to do projects.
Property managers want to keep their stakeholders happy.
The average consumer wants to protect his/her investment.
If your field staff lacks ideas, do one or both of the following:
Give them formal training on the other services you offer.
Have someone with a bigger vision walk the property and come up with ideas that the field staff can offer.
4. Be proactive with proposals
Clients need to budget their expenses. Giving them actual proposals allows them to consider and start budgeting for your ideas. You can do this a couple different ways:
Offer proposals monthly, suggesting services you think the client and the property need. Don’t use a hard sell, make it “for their consideration.”
Offer up a schedule of proposed services with dates and pricing. Your organized clients — i.e. the “planners” — will appreciate this.
Role playing will help here as well.
5. Stop selling from your wallet
Ironically, many salespeople in the landscape business cannot afford to buy the same level of services they are selling — especially at the higher end. Their household spending habits may make it uncomfortable for them to sell at higher prices and higher volumes.
Not only that, but they may have been raised in a household where money was not easily talked about, and so they may be uncomfortable talking about money.
Therefore, your job is to get your staff feeling comfortable talking about money, and selling at price points higher than they are personally accustomed to.
A couple of ways to do that:
Take them window-shopping where your clients shop, so they can understand how your clients spend.
Educate them on how your budget is put together and your selling price is derived, so they can sell with confidence.
6. Use incentives
Make selling fun in your company. There are three levels of selling opportunities to reward:
Give incentives for identifying needs and bringing them back to your office for a salesperson to follow up on.
Give incentives for making a sale.
Give incentives for finding new clients — perhaps neighbors of your clients, or friends of your employees.
Selling is a sport that can involve everyone, so make it fun. Incentives don’t have to be large, just large enough to make it fun.
7. Don’t call it selling
Many people whose job is selling don’t actually like to think of themselves as salespeople. They would rather think of themselves as service providers, experts and problem solvers.
Moreover, many clients don’t like to be “sold” by overt salespeople.
So get your staff on the same page as your clients by coaching your staff to become customer-focused problem-solvers, property consultants and idea generators.
When selling is fun and it helps your customers, everyone wins.
Jeffrey Scott, MBA, is a business consultant and author of The Referral Advantage and The Leader’s Edge. At age 34, he took over and built his family’s landscape business into a $10 million enterprise. He now consults with more than 50 landscape organizations throughout the United States. He has created a process for running highly productive peer groups for landscape business owners who want to transform and profitably grow their business. To learn more, visit www.GetTheLeadersEdge.com