Are you too busy but not making a profit? Well, it's probably a result of two things: one, you're not charging enough, and two, you're taking on the wrong clients. You're probably just waiting for word-of-mouth or you're using one of those cheap, pay-per-lead websites.
That's going to leave you taking whatever you can get... But if you do what we're going to share in this video, you'll be able to dial in your marketing so you can start to pick and choose the clients that you take on. That's how you can really start to make more profit, even with the same amount of staff. If you get your staff working on the RIGHT projects, where you're making the margins you want and they enjoy the work and you enjoy it, you're going to make more money without having to hire more people.
Speaking of your people, they're probably stressed out and maybe even bored if you have them running around town doing all these small jobs. I'm not saying that you're not going to ever take on those smaller jobs. You just want to be in a position where you're getting enough of the leads coming in that you can pick the right ones and choose to focus on those. Are you seen as a commodity is a key question here.
People who find contractors on pay-per-lead websites are often looking for the cheapest contractor they can find. Price is a bigger consideration for them. Price is always important, but price is the number one consideration for only 20% of the population. We want to disqualify that 20% and focus on the 80% who are actually less likely to be focused only on price.
Of that 80%, some of them are willing to pay
way more for "the best."
This is all about standing out as the best in your market. It reminds me of one of my clients, Matt Preuss from The Cutting Edge Landscape Design in California. Matt is a General B License Contractor. He does incredible work. He does putting greens and outdoor living areas, even some remodeling work. He started out just doing lawn mowing, and then he learned landscaping and landscape design, and then he got into the construction side. But the problem was Matt's marketing didn't keep up with him as his company grew. He was running these old ads that had discounts in them for these smaller projects. This had him literally driving around all over town in California… And man, it's pretty busy in California. You can spend like a half a day driving around.
Worse, he was losing on price. People were seeing him as a commodity. Here's a review: somebody wrote that basically he went to their location and said, "I don't do jobs this small anymore." They showed a photo of his flyer, which had a discount on it. $500 off any landscape job, $100 off any landscape design. He was literally leading with a discount. That attracts people who are just wanting a discount.
Afterwards, after what I'm going to share with you today, Matt was able to increase his average project size from $15,000 to around $75,000 and add a whole million dollars of revenue in a year. You can see Matt saying this in an interview at landscapersguide.com/results.
What we did for him was we helped him with his branding. We took a new head shot of him. You notice it's a minor detail, but it matches the rest of his new website. We helped him with his SEO, helped him Get FOUND Online. Those are some of the tactical things that we did. But the first thing that we always do with clients, and what I'm going to show you today, is to get really clear on who do you actually want to attract from your marketing?
Matt didn't realize that his out of date marketing was attracting pain in the ass clients and scaring away the good ones. A lot of people come to me and they say, "Oh, the internet doesn't work. Referrals are the only way that we get clients." Is that because your online marketing isn't set up in a way that when those ideal clients get there, that they know that they're in the right place? More often than not, that's the case.
And so people come to me and they say, "Jack, I want more qualified leads. I don't want more leads... I don't want these bad internet leads. I want qualified leads." But so often only the business owner knows what a qualified lead is. And so what is it? What does a qualified lead even mean to you? Does the person answering your telephone know what a qualified lead is? Does the person making posts for your social media? Maybe you're outsourcing that. Do they know? Does the person who designed and wrote the text on your website have a really clear picture of who your ideal client is? What is a qualified lead?
So often this whole thing is just in the business owner's head. I'm going to help you define this, literally on paper, so that you can help get this out to the people working on your marketing. That way you're all on literally on the same page.
I call this the Hell Yes Customer. A Hell Yes Customer is when the phone rings and they say, "Hey, do you do outdoor living, fire pits, and patios?" And you're like, "Hell yes. Hell yes we do!" Right?
You've got to define what that is. I've created something for you. It's called the Hell Yes Customer Worksheet. And I want you to literally print it out. Download the Hell Yes Customer Worksheet!
Here's how it works: the first thing you need to do is get really clear on three key things:
1) Your services
2) Your service area
Okay, so the services. What do you actually want to do? What do you want to do more of? This is not, what can you do, it's the Hell Yes list of what do I really want to do? What is the one thing, if you could get more of, would change everything that your company does? What are the specific cities, neighborhoods, counties that you, that you want to work in?
When you write those down, you've got to have that in your website for the geographic component. People Google very specifically for the services you offer in their own neighborhood or county or city. So often people just have a quick bulleted list of "we do landscaping stuff" and they hardly mention the geography.
For budget, write down what kind of budget your Hell Yes Customer is going to have. What's the range for that? This is going to help you delegate this. When people call in, if you have somebody answering the phone, they can start to talk about budget sooner.
You also want to get clear on the lifetime value. If you offer a maintenance service, what is the lifetime value of that client? How much are they going to pay you per year on average and for how many years? That's going to help you figure out the lifetime value. Then you can start to think, how much would you pay in marketing to get that lifetime value from a customer?
It's also important to get clear on your Hell No Customer. These are people that you do not want to work with. You should have a clear written no list. What are the services you do not offer? What are the service areas where you do not go? What are the budgets that are too small? What if you put that on your website? What if you prepared the person who answers the phone at your company to say no? "Hey, thanks so much. We actually don't offer poison Ivy removal." Or, "Hey, thank you so much. Our patios start at $5,000." What if you trained them and coached them on how to overcome those objections? This is critical.
I hosted a Breakfast Of Champions Round Table at the NALP's Landscape Show at the GIE EXPO last year. The biggest problem people were having is the owner, or lead salesperson, or designer, or project manager, was driving around talking with every Tom, Dick and Harry with a pulse and a checkbook. They were in the wrong service areas. They wanted services the company didn't really want more leads for and they didn't have the budget because no one qualified them.
Everyone says they want more qualified leads, but there needs to be a process of qualifying and disqualifying them. We want to disqualify the 'No' list and maybe find somebody else in town that we can refer them to and maybe even get a commission from them. Chances are, your Hell Yes list and their Hell Yes list are different and you can refer and cross promote each other.
After you've done this, how do you get more of the Hell Yes Customers? Well, there's a lot more than I can share in just this short video, so I created a full training. It's actually my keynote presentation called The Landscaper's Guide To Modern Sales And Marketing and I'd love for you to to watch it or listen to it and you can grab that when you download your worksheet. I'm going to send you a podcast recording of it, a video recording, and my Hell Yes Customer Worksheet.
Now, digital marketing can be confusing. There's a million different things you could do. It's hard sometimes to understand where to even start. So this presentation breaks it down into three key parts. The first part is how to generate qualified leads through Local SEO. We're going to dig in in that presentation about how to use this Hell Yes Customer Worksheet and actually apply it on your website so you can grow what I call the Tree Of Good Fortune. The Tree Of Good Fortune is where you literally branch out your website, you have a page for each service, you have a limb for each city. Those are the service areas you wrote down earlier.
When you build out your website in this way, you literally will start getting leads for the right projects in those right places. The second part is how to disqualify the bad prospects before they even contact you. How to prevent those Hell No Customers before they even call you. Then, the third part is all about the sales process, how to create a sales process for selling to internet leads because they're different from word-of-mouth and whoever answers the phone better be prepared to convert that lead who just found you on the internet.
So I'm going to train you how to do that. I'll send you the Hell Yes Customer Worksheet and the recording of my keynote presentation that you can check out.
I hope that this episode was helpful for you. I really see the first step in doing sales and marketing is getting really clear on who is your Hell Yes Customer. Who do you actually want to be working with and then communicate this to your sales team, your operations team, your marketing team, and that's how you're really going to start to get more of the right customers so you can make the type of profit and lifestyle that you want.