What are three reasons that you're worth paying more than someone else? If you, the owner, don't know, what do you think the person answering your phone says? "Oh, we charge more. I'm not really sure."
Okay. So do you see? This is a key part of your brand, right?
If you're losing on price, it's your fault. It's not your customer's fault. And in today's episode, I'm going to share with you some footage from my recent talk at the Nursery Landscape Expo in Texas, where I share a copywriting formula to create three reasons to buy from your landscaping company. When you use this, you will finally stop losing on price, and start winning the customers that you actually want.
My name's Jack Jostes and welcome to the Landscapers Guide To Modern Sales And Marketing podcast. This show is all about helping you, the green industry, enjoy your business, get better clients and make more profit. Recently, I spoke at the TLNA's Nursery Landscape Expo. It's a huge green industry conference down in San Antonio, Texas. It was an absolute blast. We had a great audience. It was my first live talk in over a year, and that was so much fun. I got to meet a lot of our podcast listeners. And here is a clip from that talk about branding and differentiation.
I have a client who literally, you can book an appointment with them online. It syncs with their calendar, and they charge for it. And yes, it's in Texas. It's in Ennis, Texas. And the cool thing is it's not even the owner going and doing it. It's positioning his lead landscape designer as the expert, you're paying to meet with him. Because what used to happen is people would say, "Oh, I need to meet the owner. He's the expert." Oh no, you need to pay to meet our lead landscape designer. So before you get to that, we've got to focus on the foundational four, which is your branding and differentiation. Your website, local SEO, and then online reviews and net promoter score.
Branding And Differentiation Is Different From Just Your Logo
And, you've got an awesome logo and you're all wearing branded shirts. I love that. That's definitely part of your brand and in landscaping it's so important. You're out visiting customer properties, your vehicles and shirts, that should be branded. But that doesn't necessarily communicate why you're different. So that's really what branding is, is why are you different? And that's what your messaging, your unique selling proposition. So that sounds complicated, but it's simply the answer, why should I pay more money for you instead of another landscaper? What are you actually going to do differently that's of value to me?
Believe it or not only 20% of all customers is price the most important thing. That means 80% of people will pay more if they perceive that they're getting more value. Maybe you're easier to work with. Maybe you're more knowledgeable of the plants in their area. Maybe your process makes you faster. Most people will pay more.
But if they don't know why you're different then they will choose on price, and you should weed out the bottom 25%. And you know who they are, you'll talk to them on the phone. "Oh yeah. We're looking to get our 9th bid on our landscape."
"Oh, thank you. Thank you for calling. You know, there's this wonderful website, thumbtack.com. And we recommend that you go there, we're booked out through December for meetings." That's how you should handle that call, refer them to the gnome. Let them swirl in the gnome advisor pool of despair.
Who Is Your Hell Yes Customer?
A key part, and so I want you to, on the right side of the folder that we gave you, I have a worksheet and it's called the hell yes customer worksheet. So go ahead and take that out and look at this guy. He is stoked. He just landed a hell yes customer. So you probably have a sense of who this is. It's a project, it's in your target market. It's profitable. You enjoy doing it. You have fun doing it. Your crew is excited to go there. You probably get a five-star Google review from that customer. They refer you. Some of you, I have clients that get invited to Thanksgiving sometimes. I don't know, these are people that you have a real rapport with.
So you've got to get really clear on who that is. And in your worksheet on the left side, fill this out, let's all just do this now. I promise this worksheet might be worth tens of thousands of dollars if you actually implement it, I promise. So on the first thing, what is the number one service that you want to sell more of?
So Laurie earlier, I said, "Hey, do you do landscape design?" And she's like, "Yeah, but we really want landscape maintenance." Okay. So landscape maintenance for you would be number one. It's the number one thing above all the other services that you do best that you want more of. And then list number two, three, some of you might do landscape design build. You might do landscape maintenance. Does anyone here do snow removal? Is there any snow remove... I don't think so. But you get the idea. You make a list of whatever services you offer, and then what service areas and what area is the absolute best for you is a key question. This to me needs to be number one.
There's specific areas, but write them down. So like Lori rattled off, San Antonio, New Braunfels, Austin, there's probably a handful of others. So write this out. And then what is the budget? How much money do people in that area to get that number one service, how much do they need to spend? And then I want you to think about what is the lifetime value? So let's just pretend that your business does landscape maintenance, and just for the sake of the example, it's a really good account. You charge $10,000 a year, and you're going to retain that account for five years. That account is worth $120,000 a year, right? Or no, 10,000 a year, I was getting my months confused, right? So 10,000 a year, times five is 50,000. Now let's pretend that they also, on average over that time, spend $20,000 in enhancements, small projects. Now you have a $70,000 lifetime value customer. So this is a number that you should know. The person answering your phone should know. And your website person, your SEO person, any person working in your marketing needs to know these things. Who is your customer?
Can You Identify Your Hell No Customer?
Now on the other side, who is your hell no customer? So the hell no customer, this is when the phone rings and they're like, "I need poison Ivy removal. Does anybody here do poison ivy removal?" I'm not. Nope. If you do, cool. Last time I asked that question, I created a referral partnership because there was somebody there who's like, "Yeah, I like doing poison Ivy removal and I don't do landscape design." Great. Now the landscape designer refers to the poison ivy guy and the poison ivy guy refers to the landscape designer. So getting clear on what you don't do is really important. And then areas that you don't service.
I want to share a personal story. I live in Lyons, Colorado. It's a small town. It's north of Boulder. It's in Boulder county, but it is not Boulder. It's 14 miles, and it takes about 25 to 30 minutes, depending on who's driving. I needed a plumber. So we called and, "Hey, we're in Lyons, Colorado. Do you service Lyons, Colorado?" Because I've had this problem with contractors all the time. "Oh yeah. We service Lyons, we'll be there between 8:00 and 4:00." They gave me this enormous window. So I planned to be there. I'm there. And then an hour into the waiting time they called and said, "Hey, we don't service Lyons." And they left me a voicemail. And I called him back. I'm like, "Hey, what's up? I'm on your website. You have a page that says you do Boulder county, and you told me on the phone that you sell to Lyons." And they're like, "Oh yeah, we don't, it's too far." Come on, come on.
What Budgets Are Too Low For You?
So imagine if the person... And that's okay. I don't mind people telling me, "No, I can't help you." I love hearing no, I'd rather hear no than "Oh, sorry. I can't make it after I've already told you I'm going to be there." so this happens all the time though, with landscapers. Somebody answers the phone. Maybe they're new here. They don't know that you don't service whatever city. Because I don't know, you need some license there or whatever the deal is. And then here's a key thing. I want you to write this down before you leave. What is the budget that's too low? You need to get real comfortable with this number and tell it to people. It's just a fact. It's nothing personal. Our front yards start at $10,000.
Oh, okay. Great. Now you know what you do? You put that on your website. And you know what this does, is all the people who are expecting to get a $10,000 front yard for 1,000 will not call you. And you just saved yourself a phone call. How many phone calls have you had where you're literally that far off on budget? I'm guessing a lot, right? So this is how we use this. And now once you get really clear on who you're selling to, what are things that really bother them? I don't have all of this in here. I have other worksheets that we do at other events. But what are things that people hate about landscapers? One of them is meeting with you and then not hearing from you for like three weeks. We've all done that probably at some point, right?
Customers hate that. Why? They met with us, they said they were going to send us a proposal. And it's been like three weeks. What is going on? And if it takes three weeks, tell them it's going to be three weeks upfront. If it's not going to be three weeks... The other thing is getting crappy designs, like hand drawn designs are cool, but some of them are, if you're going to do a napkin sketch, tell them that, but don't call it a design. Tell them it's a napkin sketch. So here's a client I have, and what their unique selling position is, they guarantee 2D designs within four days or they will refund your money. So this is awesome because they guarantee it within four days. None of their competitors are delivering a 2D design in four days. And yes, they're legit designs or they'll pay you back.
So it's a risk reversal. And then on that page, they talk about how much does it cost? They start at $750, but guess what? Their customers eat it up. First, they come to like 750. I think I'm going to keep looking. And then they call landscaper B and C. They don't answer the phone. They show up late. And then they take three weeks. And then they're like, "You know what? I remember that guy who said he could guarantee this within four days." And then they win the customer. So that's how this works.
Three Reasons To Buy
You've got to create three reasons to buy. So this can be used in the phone. It can be used in your proposal. It can be used in training and in recruiting employees. You should have three reasons to work at your company that are really clear in that are true. For me, for my company, it's one, we know the green industry. We know the difference between lawn care and landscape design. Most website people don't, that's going to take a long time to get them up to speed. The next thing, we actually write the text for you. That's another pain. And then we offer an exclusive program where we only work with one Wild Frontier customer in a specific area. So those are for me. What are your reasons? What are three reasons that you're worth paying more than someone else? If you the owner doesn't know, what do you think the person answering your phone says? "Oh, we charge more. I'm not really sure." Do you see? This is a key part of your brand, right?
Hey, thanks so much for listening to today's episode of the Landscapers Guide To Modern Sales And Marketing podcast. I had so much fun down in Texas. I got to meet a bunch of you. I met some of our podcast listeners, people I hadn't met before. And if you weren't there, I invite you to check out the entire replay of that keynote and get the worksheet that I passed out at landscapersguide.com/texas. I also have several live and virtual events coming up. So visit landscapersguide.com/events for details. Both of those links are available in the show notes. So wherever you're listening to this, check out the show notes, get those links. And thanks again for listening to this episode of The Landscapers Guide To Modern Sales And Marketing podcast. My name is Jack Jostes, and I look forward to talking with you next week.