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Implementing a Sales & Marketing Plan for Your Landscape Business: Part 1 of 3

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Business Advice

Part of a new series of blog posts from the Super Heroes on the LMN Support Team.

By: Catwoman

The success of a landscape business relies upon many factors, but the most crucial of these elements is the ability to attract and retain customers. Customers are the source of your company’s revenue and it’s this component that keeps your businesses wheels turning. Creating a strong marketing plan is the most effective way to address this critical need. Applying a step-by-step approach will simplify the implementation process for you.

Narrow your focus.

In the marketing and services industry, it is not feasible to accommodate the masses. You need to decide who your target market will be. This sounds like wise practice, but it is commonly disregarded when handling new leads. The issue is made worse by the fact that many entrepreneurs describe their target market as anyone that can pay them.

Take this situation, for example:

A lead calls asking if you handle a particular service. Although you may not take care of their request regularly, you say yes. The thought of turning work away does not appeal to you. By agreeing to take on this responsibility, you end up spreading yourself so thin that you lose sight of your business goals. You don’t want to be known as a jack of all trades, master of none. You’ll have a difficult time attracting good customers with this reputation. In this industry, landscape clients expect their expectations will be met and they will receive the best possible service a fair price. Steer clear of this situation by narrowing your focus. Your signage and lettering should really set your business apart from the competition by identifying your specialty. Try adding a tagline that will emphasize “We’ll design and build your dream garden!”.

Another essential component of narrowing your focus is to know the attributes of your optimal customer. To accomplish this, you have to investigate your best existing customers and determine their normal attributes. For instance, your best customers can be the individuals who truly trust what you do, who truly esteem what you do, and who truly look to your particular ability to create the outcomes they want. It’s best to manage all of your communications and findings into a CRM program. This way, any information you’re looking for in the future is readily available with the click of a button. You’ll be able to properly track leads and tag them so that you can produce mass marketing lists based on the tags. In LMN’s software, there are reports that can be pulled in LMN > CRM > Reports for sales and tags. This video will provide you a full scope of the LMN CRM tool.

Next, you have to convey these attributes to your valued employees; all of them! The most ideal approach is to write it down and communicate it regularly. You’d be surprised to learn that many employees are left in the dark about who their target customers truly are. Salespeople people wind up squandering and wasting time because they can’t determine right and wrong customers for the businesses overall objectives.

Last but not least, it is essential that you focus your marketing efforts in geographic areas that fit your ideal customer’s criteria. Ensure that you’re advertising specific areas of service that you offer. By doing so, it will be much easier to brand your business efficiently. If you spread your marketing over a larger area, you’ll struggle with visibility amongst a sea of many fish in the competitive landscape industry.

Determine your unique selling niche.

It’s crucial that you set yourself apart from the competition. It can be as straightforward as serving a specific market. It can be the way in which you bundle your services offered. It can be the value you offer on pricing. It can be an image that associates your business with your services offered. It could be through your amazing reputation in the industry. The greatest hindrance for most landscape contractors is that their prospective customers cannot recognize them amongst other landscape companies that were unable to meet their needs.

The greater part of customers base their ultimate decision on cost. The truth is that if you can find a way to truly differentiate your business from the rest, and communicate it effectively, you’ll soon see that cost will not be the make-or-break in the client’s decision making process.

Ask for feedback. It’s not uncommon for contractors to say they provide quality work at a fair price. Your prospects assume that if you’re in business, you should meet their needs – but this isn’t the case. Often, existing customers can actually be better at explaining why what you do that is different or unique. Determine precisely why your clients particularly purchase from you, how they discovered you, what makes them stay with you, and why they refer business to you. Those are the things you need to take advantage of to convey how your business is in fact unique. As an example, LMN customers have the ability to offer live tracking and reports to their customers through the use of Jobsite Watch™. This is a great marketing tool that you can take advantage of. If you’re advertising Jobsite Watch™ to your customers, especially property managers, it’s something unique you can offer that the competition may not. Click here for more information about Jobsite Watch™.

Do some research on the competition. How do they separate themselves in the industry? Are there areas in your specialty that aren’t being addressed? These are great places for your business to take hold of to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Communicate your findings to your prospects. To convey this information, you can make an effective short phrase or message. Your short phrase will help you set your business apart. Create an expression that truly gets to the heart of what your prospects and customers truly want. For your short phrase to be effective, clarify something you do that is remarkable in only eight or ten words. This powerful expression won’t just separate your business; it must turn into the seed of the greater part of your promoting messages. This will be the core message of your business. This phrase must be in alignment of what your target market needs and how you’re going to meet those needs.

Last, teach your staff how to appropriately describe what they do for a living. Ensure your team is familiarized with your marketing phrase and how it coincides with their efforts. Always strive to live up to your message as this is the core of your businesses marketing.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 of this 3 part series.

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