The lawn and landscape market has grown almost 4.7% year-over-year since 2013, and so has the competition. With more and more competitors starting lawn care businesses and flooding both the residential and commercial lawn and landscape market, many providers are finding it harder to attract new customers. And while landscape service providers have capitalized on high construction volumes, more disposable income among households, and cheaper fuel, these trends are expected to fade over the next five years. So how exactly can you grow your landscape business?
Upselling your lawn services is a strong place to start. Rather than exclusively focusing on getting new customers; deeper, more widespread penetration of your existing accounts is a great way to increase revenue for your landscaping business. It’s also cheaper… estimates show that it is roughly 68% more expensive to acquire $1 from a new customer than it is to upsell an existing customer. And while an effective upsell strategy can increase the revenue of each customer order, it can more value for the customer – ultimately delivering a better landscape service experience.
Here are a few tips to help you better upsell to your customers:
Knowing what your customer wants and needs is fundamental in making any sale. Train your crew to understand your buyers. What do they need? Why do they need it? What makes them unique? What services have similar customers benefited from? Be observant of what drives them and use timely questions to understand their real needs. Finding out what the customer really wants is a fundamental building block in positioning the correct upsell pitch, at exactly the right time. An upsell should be based on matching your service with a timely customer need.
- Build trust first. Although important, this principle is often overlooked. If the customer thinks you’re just trying to make a sale, this could do more damage than good.
- Listen to your customer. Customers only buy services that are relevant to them. Make sure your upsell offer stays relevant to what that specific customer needs.
- Integrate subscription or loyalty programs. Think lawn and landscape businesses don’t need a loyalty program? Think again. U.S. consumers hold 3.8 billion customer loyalty accounts, and they do work (Colloquy, 2017 Loyalty Consensus).
- Save the customer time. Offer additional needed lawn services directly when onsite with the customer. This gives customers a convenience factor and less time to shop for the competition. It also saves you the hassle of traveling back to the customer site.
- Offer specials. One-time services, deep discounts, or limited promotions on new/different services are a great way to get a customer through the door. Yes, the initial service may not be as profitable as you would hope – but it is more likely these customers will pay for new services in the future (after experiencing the quality and benefits first hard).
- Identify additional problems. While on-site, offer to fix issues to create added value for the customer. If your landscaping crew recognizes something else that needs to be done, they can very easily recommend that they do it now to save the customer time.
- Provide customers with options. Use a “good, better, best” model to make more sales and drive more customers to a higher-end service. By tiering certain offerings to include low-grade, mid-grade, and high-grade options, customers will have more choices, helping you convert more sales. Studies show that when presented with the option, most customers select the mid-grade tier. This then gives you a natural progression to upsell customers to a better offering.
- Unbundle landscaping services when needed. Some customers are only willing to pay for exactly what they need. When customers are resistant to purchasing a service bundle, try pitching standalone services, giving the customer exactly what they request (not more or less).