Tell your customers about timeline, delays, material shortages, and bad news sooner, rather than later.
The fact is, things come up in business, no matter how hard we try to prevent them. At this time, there's a shortage of plant material in construction. In general, the timeline for getting materials is longer than ever, and also more expensive than ever. In addition to shortages, there's record demand. Now this might seem obvious to you because you're working in the industry, but you'd be surprised how much of this your customers don't know about or understand at all. So if you don't talk about it with them sooner, they're going to get upset with you because they're expecting normal timelines and availability of things. For example, in Texas, in February, there was a gnarly frost. Not only did the plants in many homeowners yards die, but many nurseries and growers also suffered. And this has created even more demand. I have a handful of clients in Texas who are still dealing with the aftermath of this February freeze together.
So we came up with a plan to let not only their current customers, but also future customers know about this shortage and how this is impacting timelines, including using videos where we talk openly about these issues. You might be wondering why I'm making such a big deal out of this, but the fact is: bad news gets worse with age. Now you may be ahead of the game already telling people about these issues up front, but many people in business, including many landscapers I've talked with are afraid that telling their client that there's material shortages or personnel changes or something came up there, they're afraid that telling them is going to make their client angry. So they put it off and they put it off and they put it off. But what's happening is when you, when you put it off and you finally tell somebody they're going to be way more upset than if you just tell them at the beginning, they might assume that you've been keeping this for them or that you didn't know what's going on.
And we're clueless either way. It's not good. Instead, prepare your customers, let them know about these shortages on your contact page, or even in an outgoing voicemail while it might seem like you're going to lose business by telling people the bad news. What'll happen is they're going to contact other people who don't tell them this stuff up front. And they're going to come back to you because you helped them realize this first and in the end they'll end up trusting you more. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of The Landscaper's Guide To Modern Sales and Marketing Podcast. Check out landscapersguide.com/podcast, or see our show notes for links to helpful transcripts and other resources. I look forward to talking with you next week.