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Marty's Turf is a monthly column written by Industry Business Consultant and Owner of Grunder Landscaping, Marty Grunder. Each month, Marty provides a piece of business advice for Gravely landscapers to help grow their businesses. For more information about Marty and his services, please visit www.martygrunder.com
Have you ever been in a Lexus dealership? What about a Toyota dealership? Is there any difference in how they approach selling their automobiles? Sure there is. Expectations are higher at the Lexus dealership, given the price of the cars. There are basic expecations at a Chevy dealership, too, but all in all, you have to really be on your game to cater to the type of person that walks into a Lexus dealership. Selling high-end landscaping is no different.
Here are five things you must focus on to be successful selling to high-end clients:
1- Make it easy. High-end clients are normally willing to pay more, however, they expect more. They are normally very busy and, therefore, you need to be easy to do business with. Give them your personal cell phone number. Get back to them immediately with quotes, answers to questions, and most of all, fix any and all problems. Don't argue with them. Be easy. In the long run, you'll win if you're easy to do business with.
2- Take initiative. High-end clients want you to read their mind. Either get them to agree to give you some freedom to just fix any and all issues that are say less that $500, or continue to give them quotes for things you see that need done. They want a professional working on their landscape, and a professional recognizes issues before they become big problems, while constantly talking to them about 'what's next'. Don't be asleep. Be proactive. Take initiative.
3- Shower them with service. At Grunder Landscaping Company, our top 50 clients are known by my team and we give them special attention. If they call in, we try to call them back immediately. They get better pricing on service calls and, overall, we do everything we can to never give them a reason to even look anywhere else. Sure, we do a great job for all our clients, however our best clients get our best service and yours should, too!
4- Upgrade your team and your image. If you want to work for high-end clients, you have to look the part and play the part. This means uniforms, nice trucks, polite and attentive team members and everything else that comes with creating a high-end brand. When I started my business in 1984, I had a 10-year-old truck that didn't look that great, we didn't have uniforms, and we sure didn't train our team on the elements of great service. Today, we have uniforms, an awesome, clean fleet, and we spend thousands of dollars training our team. I realized what I needed to do to 'play with the big boys' and found that I had a better shot to stand out in a 'sea of sameness' in the high-end arena. If you want to cater to high-end clients, you have to look good and be good.
5- Say thank you. High-end clients like to know that you appreciate them. The best way to show them that is to respond to them immediately. Have a party for them. Write them thank you notes. Stop by often. You don't have to spend a lot of money saying thanks, but what you do have to spend is time. We've found that a sincere, hand written thank you note is the best way to show a client you appreciate them.
Running a business that is successful selling to high-end clients isn't easy. However, if you want to find an arena to stand out, this might be your best bet. Follow my 5 suggestions above and get your running shoes on. High-end clients are demanding and not everyone can please them; if you figure it out, your bank account will grow!
For more tips on running your business, and for products that can help make it easier and more successful, visit www.martygrunder.com.