Is your snow and landscape company ready for Halloween? Are you ready for this episode? Because we're going to be creeping it real in honor of Halloween. So let's get this party startled. I'm just going to have to apologize in advance for the candy corny nature of today's episode. But in all seriousness, if you want to attract more hell yes customers to your snow and landscape company, make sure you're not doing these seven things that might be spooking your potential customers from working with you.
Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Landscaper's Guide Podcast where we share sales, marketing, and leadership ideas to help you grow your snow and landscape company. Now, it's Fall, October 2023. It's going to be Halloween in a few days, and we thought we'd have some fun today. But in all seriousness, before we get started, do you know why ghosts don't like to eat each other? Because they taste like sheet. Yeah, so the other week, I was meeting with my sales and marketing team. In honor of Halloween, we came up with seven things that we see when we're creating audits for our potential clients that we believe are truly, genuinely scaring potential customers away.
1:30: Don’t Let Your Website Photos Scare Away Potential Customers
The first thing that we're seeing is scary, terrible photos. What I mean by that is sometimes when we're doing our audits, we literally see dated photos, circa 1995. You got a disposable camera, took some photos, went to Walgreens, had them process the photos. They came back in a little paper envelope with dates on the photos, and then somehow you scanned those and put them on your website. Not exaggerating, that's how bad it can be sometimes. You've got to show people what you can do for them. So if you sell commercial snow removal, if you sell commercial landscape maintenance, you've got to show people those big properties that you're capable of managing.
If you want to sell more landscape maintenance, you want more recurring revenue, I hear this from a lot of people, show people what it's like to have your professional landscape company maintain their landscape, not just a photo of some guy mowing a lawn, but the result of a polished, pristine yard that's scaped, looking solid. So show people what they are buying from you, and it'll help them trust you more. I get the sentimental value of some of your first projects, having those photos. One thing my wife helped me do was some of those things, sentimental things, maybe they go in a box. Maybe they get framed, but they probably don't all belong on your website anymore. The second issue that might be spooking your clients is when they feel ghosted.
3:20: Why Ghosting Negative Google Reviews Kills Your Customer Experience
Having audited over 1,000 clients, I can tell you that I read the reviews and I read them very carefully and I enjoy reading them. But a theme that I see, I'd say about 65 to 70% of the businesses that come through, I see reviews from real customers saying, "I met with these people. They came to my house, and then weeks or longer went by, and I never got a proposal from them. I never heard from them." So sometimes people come to me and say, "Jack, can you remove that review for me?" And I say, "No, I can't. One, it's a real review, and you can't remove real reviews. And two, it's not a review problem. It's a sales process problem. It's a customer service issue. It's the experience of your company." What's worse is those people are probably telling people offline as well, so it becomes part of your reputation. So you can't be ghosting people and think that you have a review problem when you have a sales problem. Number three, speaking of reviews, do you have bad to the bone reviews?
4:30: How “Bad to the Bone” Reviews Slays Potential For New Customers
Yeah, do you have bad to the bone reviews? Do you have a negative review average? If you're under four stars, if you're a three and a half star average on Google, you are in trouble. Who wants to hire a three and a half star company, especially in today's economy, especially when inflation is as rampant as it is right now? People are more careful about how they spend their money and who they spend it with. My recommendation is to hustle to get to north of a four-star average and to be in the top 10% in your market. Start Googling your market.
If you have seven reviews in a market where your competitors have over 100 Google reviews, you've got a long way to go. The best way to do this is to personally ask customers as part of your process and then have a system in place to collect feedback. We use a program called Ramblin' Reviews for our clients. One of my clients, Kelly Slater, responded to a six out of 10. That's the net promoter score feedback she got, and it resulted in an enormous upsell. Here's Kelly talking about just how much money it made for her.
I'd reached out to them and started listening to their grievances on the phone. It seemed pretty valid why they were upset. Just through conversation, it wasn't the service that they were necessarily upset about. It was the way that they were able to use their backyard, which they weren't. It resulted in a $85,000 complete landscape renovation in their backyard.
I love hearing that story from Kelly because she's listening to her customers. She's picking up the damn phone and calling them. She's taking care of them, and because of that, they're like, "Hey, you took care of me. I'm going to not only edit my review, give you a positive review, but I'm giving you more business," and that's the way it goes.
6:20: Why Zombies Shouldn’t Run Amok in Your Facebook Comments
Now, the fourth thing that can spook your customers away is when you let zombies run amok on your Facebook reviews. Now, what I mean by that is when you get fake reviews on Facebook, this is a rampant issue right now. I just got one myself. When this happens, people can post fake reviews. They usually have some sort of skeezy email or WhatsApp account that they're trying to get your customers to send information to, or they're trying to get you to click on some sort of skeezy link.
But if you leave these unattended, it makes it look like you're not really paying attention. Some people actually fall for this stuff. So when you get a bogus review, what you want to do is reply to it in a way that essentially points out that it's bogus. Hey, thanks so much. We don't have any customers with your name and we have no experience with whatever scam. Just point out that it's a scam and then report it. Typically, Facebook will remove these, but sometimes they don't. So you want to block these people, report it, and then always be on the hunt for more new real reviews.
7:45: Why Your Social Media Content May Scare Away Customers
The fifth thing that might spook customers away from working with your snow and landscape company is weird stuff that you have on social media. Social media can be a top driver for new business, but often if your customers are in a Facebook group for their neighborhood, my town, it's very active. People are always asking for recommendations, and people with positive word of mouth and reputation are getting endorsed. And people who don't are not. So what people post about you, you can't control. But what you can control is what you post and your privacy settings from your personal Facebook, from your Instagram. If you use TikTok, keep it professional. Because in a service business like snow and landscaping, people are looking and they're researching you. You're getting tagged and mentioned. If people are seeing whatever wild stuff that people post on their Facebook, sometimes they don't realize that that might detract from a potential customer choosing them. So don't let people who are creeping on your Facebook find weird stuff. That's the point.
8:58: How SEO Keywords Make You the Top Pick for Prospective Customers
Now, the sixth thing is, are you the pick of the patch? Are you the pick of the pumpkin patch? If you're not even showing up on the first page of Google, there's no way that you can be the pick of the pumpkin patch. That's what local SEO is all about. There's a whole lot that goes into showing up on Google, but the key thing is picking the keywords that your customers actually search. Are they searching holiday lighting or Christmas lighting? Are they searching landscape maintenance or lawn care? Those words mean different things to me, but do they mean different things to your customer?
What about landscape design or outdoor living or snow removal or snow clearing or commercial landscaping or commercial landscape maintenance? You've got to know the words and use them in the right places on your website so that way you actually show up online. Now, SEO can feel really scary, but it doesn't have to be. I've written a book called The Tree of Good Fortune: The Landscaper's Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing. It has a two-part chapter on local SEO for snow and landscape businesses. So if you haven't read it, I'd love to send you a free copy. All I ask is that you help cover the cost of shipping, and I'll send it out to you. So grab yours at TreeofGoodFortune.com and see our show notes for a link, so that way you get found for the right keywords by your customers.
10:28: How Showing Off Your Business Success Sets You Apart from the Competition
Number seven is, if you've got it, haunt it or flaunt it. Really, we just wanted to say haunt it, but the point is a lot of businesses, a lot of snow and landscape companies, you're doing things really well. Some of you have callback promises. Some of you have a quality guarantee. Some of you have incredible warranties or a process or a way of serving your customers that's unique and it's different and it's special, but you're not communicating it online. When you don't communicate why you're different in a way that your customers actually care about, you're not going to stand out.
You're less likely to get the leads, and you're more likely to lose on price. When people don't understand why you're different and why they should pay more for what you do, they're going to be more likely to hire somebody who charges less. But it doesn't have to be that way. When you brand your business correctly and communicate three reasons to buy that are meaningful, instead of just saying that you're a family owned company that's been in business for 40 years, well, what does that mean for me? Get into what your customers want. My little test for this that we learned from a copywriting book by Jim Edwards is, which means that? When you're reading your content, ask the question, which means that? And it should answer the question, what's in it for me, the customer? Because if it doesn't, you might scare them away.
11:58: How Ramblin Jackson Can Help You Find More Hell Yes Customers
Now, those are just seven of many things that could be scaring your potential customers away from working with you. So if you really want to get your potential customers to spine on the dotted line and you want to squash your ghouls for next year, we should talk. It won't be anywhere near as bad as this podcast, I promise. Instead, we'll have a marketing brainstorm call with a friendly, helpful rambler from my team. We'll talk with you about your hell yes customer. We'll talk with you about what you're doing for marketing. What are your sales and marketing goals? What are you doing, and what maybe isn't working that you should stop? And what should you focus on to get a better result?
So you can book a call with us at LandscapersGuide.com/Brainstorm. We've got a link below in the show notes. It's fall. It's the time of year where many of our clients are working on their business and they're coming to us and saying, "Oh, we need all this stuff done before spring." Just like your customers come to you in the spring wanting stuff done in the spring, that happens with marketing too. So let's talk now. Let's get ahead of things, so that way you have a strategy that works for you that produces profitable results for your company this year and in 2024. So book your call at LandscapersGuide.com/Brainstorm. My name's Jack Jostes. Thanks for watching today's episode, and book your strategy call at LandscapersGuide.com/Brainstorm. And I hope you have a happy Halloween. By now, I bet you're dying for this podcast to be over. My sense of humor is as rotten as a leftover pumpkin in December. All right, I'm all done.
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