Do you ever think you've had a great sales conversation and that you have a deal in the bag, only to find out later, "Well, I talked to my spouse, and they really don't like this," or, "My HOA board chose another vendor. Sorry."
It could be that you're not selling to all of the decision-makers. And a lot of times it's really hard to do that. But in today's episode, I'm going to share with you a really powerful tool, which is how to send a personalized sales proposal video, so that way everyone involved in the decision-making process can hear directly from you.
I'm going to share with you what to say, and the technology that I use to make it really easy. I recommend watching this one if you're listening to our podcast, because I'm going to share a screen cast of how I actually make these videos myself.
My name's Jack Jostes, and welcome to the Landscaper's Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing podcast. This show is all about helping you increase your lifestyle and profitability by attracting the right leads and the right customers through sales and marketing. But attracting the right leads through marketing is only part of the deal. You've got to actually close deals more efficiently. And that's what today's episode is all about. So, if you want to increase your close rate and win those bigger, better clients, check out today's episode.
How To Sell To A Group Of Decision Makers
Whether you're selling to an HOA board, or a team of investors who owns a commercial parking lot or hospital, or even in residential sales where you might be selling to a married couple, or partners, or a house full of roommates, or in-laws, whoever's involved in the sale. While it's always best to meet directly with all of the people who are going to be involved in the sale, a lot of times it just isn't logistically possible for a number of reasons.
And so what happens is, you'll then sell to one of those people, and now it's their job to sell to everyone else. This can become a committee sale, where you now have a committee of people who are going to be making the decision to buy from you. And again, meeting with that whole committee is best. But when you can't, sending video will now help you get the same message to all of those people.
It'll allow all of those people to virtually meet you, see you, and hear directly from you. And their rapport that they'll have with you will be much greater than if they just got emailed a bid or whatever, and didn't see or hear from you. So that's why today's tip is to send personalized proposal videos to close group sales.
So, this would come when you're sending your proposal. And this doesn't make sense for every sale. Some sales are just going to be too small, and you're going to send them out via email or do them over the phone, and that's fine. There's going to be a certain dollar amount that, whatever it is for you, where it makes sense. Maybe it's $3,000, maybe it's $20,000 or 50,000. Or maybe it's for a maintenance contract that's North of $20,000 a year. Whatever it is, you've got to pick the number where it's worth the extra effort for you to create this video.
And I'm going to show you how to do it very quickly. I now am able to make mine in a matter of minutes now that I've done so many of them, and I'm going to show you some of the software that we use. So, sending video demonstrates good listening skills. This really helps your client feel like you listened to them. It shows proactive follow-up. And everyone, no matter what industry you're in, people want good follow-up from their vendors.
And it will differentiate you as a professional. I guarantee that you'll be one of the few people, if you're in a situation where multiple people are bidding on a project, you'll be one of few, if any, who send a video. Video, most importantly, helps people understand how to buy from you. If people don't understand how to buy from you, well, then they're going to be more inclined to pick the lowest bid.
But if you help them understand what you'll actually be doing, how it's going to help them, help them understand how you came up with your pricing, they'll be more likely to trust you and move forward with you, even if you charge more than somebody else. And recently on our podcast, we interviewed Scott Callenius who generates leads online and closes them with smartphone video. So, check out the link in the podcast notes and in the blog post to see an interview with him: What Commercial Landscape Clients Want To See On Your Website.
But what Scott is doing is, he's recording videos on his smartphone. He's using some gear that I sent to him at our landscaper summit last fall. And he's just making short videos, and he's doing a lot of account management this way. He does commercial landscape maintenance, and he'll go out and walk a property, and record a quick selfie video, and text it to his point of contact. They love getting these little videos. It allows them to see what he's seeing out on the job site. If there was hurricane damage and they need to plant something new, or whatever it is, video is just this amazing, powerful tool, and you can do a lot of it without expensive gear. You can use your smartphone.
Tools For Sending Personalized Sales Proposal Videos
What I'm going to show you next is some of the tools that we use on our computers to send these proposal videos. So, there are a lot of different tools out there. I happen to use Soapbox. Soapbox is a product by Wistia, and that's where we host all of our videos. In addition to YouTube, I use Wistia because I can organize them really well. We have advanced analytics there.
There's also a really great tool and company, Vidyard, is another one. And Loom is a great one, too. I have received videos from all these places, I have tried all of them. They're all pretty good, and it's a matter of just trying them out. A lot of them have free trials, and I'd recommend that you do that. So, I'm going to show you, really quickly, how to record one of these videos. And then after that, I'm going to give you some tips for what to include in yours.
Now, this is how we send proposal videos to our clients at Ramblin Jackson, and we also use it internally. The Ramblers here will record quick videos for each other, training videos where we're teaching each other things. And the cool thing about those internal videos is, once they're made, they can be used over and over and over again. So, this is a really valuable skill to develop. And you can do the same thing using Vidyard, Loom. All these tools are pretty much the same.
So, I have Soapbox installed on my browser. So if I click this little Soapbox icon, it pulls up. And I do have a webcam attached to my computer. You can use the built-in camera on your computer. If you don't have one, I recommend that you get a Logitech. That's the brand that I use. And you can keep your audio source simple, keep it whatever your built-in audio is. You could use headphones. I'd just use the built-in one. And make sure you're generally in the frame of the camera. And then we're going to go ahead and start recording.
So, in the other tab on my computer, you can use it to record your browser, or if you have a proposal open on a software on your computer. Make sure that you have a pretty cleaned-up desktop, don't have any weird stuff on there. I generally think that when your computer looks really disorganized, it doesn't bode confidence to a client. So, clean that up, and then you just start recording.
I'm going to share my screen here where, let's pretend that I have a proposal for a landscape client. "Hey, landscape client. Hey, Mr. And Mrs. Smith, great to meet you all. We're going to put a pool in your yard here. We're going to build a retaining wall there. We're going to be including a ice cream parlor. We're going to be renovating the shed into an ice cream parlor, because that's just what we do here at Jostes Landscapes For All. And I hope you enjoy this.
Click the link at the end of this video to see some of our Google reviews. And this project is only $100,000. So we will stage the payments for that project. We'll do a 5% deposit upon signing. We'll do 20% when we begin construction. We'll do 40% at milestone B, and the final payment after you approve the project. So, that's all spelled out in our plan. If this looks good, just go ahead and sign it. And I can't wait to help you build your backyard pool, ice cream parlor dream. It'll be amazing. And all the neighbors are going to be really jealous. Click the link at the end of this video to see some of my reviews."
Okay. So I've recorded the quick video. And one tip for you is to, if you Google your brand name. I'm going to Google mine, it's Ramblin Jackson. You should pull up your Google listing, and if you click on the number of reviews that you have, that'll give you this big, ugly, long URL. This is the link that you can send people to read your Google reviews, or if you have a reviews page on your website, that would be even better. So, I recorded the video. I can customize it. I'm going to wait just a second here for that to upload.
So, that's uploaded. And on Soapbox, I can customize the title. I'm sending this to the Smiths. I'm going to call it the Smith pool, backyard ice cream parlor. And for call to action, I'm going to link to my reviews, "Check out." Now when they get this video, they can click on the end of the link and they'll read reviews about me. Now I'm getting that word of mouth endorsement here. When I go to share, I can copy the URL and thumbnail image, go into my email, and paste it in there. And I'm going to give them a subject line, like, "Video, Smith pool, ice cream, from Jack." Now they're going to get a video, and it's going to say video in the subject line. I guarantee they're going to open that.
What Should You Say In Your Video?
So, let's go back and talk about some of the tips from making this kind of video. One of my tips about what to say in your video is to actually use their words, use your client's words. Take notes during the meeting with them about what's important to them. Ask them, "What's most important to you about who you decide to work with on your landscape project, and why is that important?"
Ask questions to really understand what they're looking for, or how they're going to make the decision, why it's important to them, and write those down. And I'll give you a tip. If they mention the same words more than once in a conversation with you, use those words in your video. They'll really be like, "Oh, this person really understands how I'm thinking." It's like, "Well, I wrote down what you said."
And so, that's one of the tips is to use their word, then think about it again from their perspective. You don't want to get super technical into the logistics of things. You want them to understand timelines and big picture, but you're really selling them on the result that they're going to be getting. And that's where their word choice, their dreams should come into your video.
The next thing to actually get people to watch the video is to include the word video in the subject line. I've been doing a video podcast for nearly 11 years now, and I send it out via email. And I can tell you that people know that they're going to get this video from me now. And including video in the subject line massively increases the open rates. People are like, "Oh, there's a video. I'm excited to watch that. It's not another boring email." So, you could use a subject line like, landscaping plan for whatever their address is, 123 Main Street, from your name, Chris, dot, dot, dot, video, exclamation point. "Wow, I got a video from Chris about my landscaping project. Very cool."
The next thing is to tell them that you're going to be sending this video and get an agreement from them. So let's pretend that you're in this group selling environment, where they're going to be taking it back to their board meeting. And you ask about how will they make their buying decision? And they say, "Well, we're going to have our board meeting on the 25th, and I'm going to send these out to the board members and we're going to talk about it."
"Great. Would you do me a favor?" First, I would ask to attend that board meeting. "Hey, it wouldn't make sense for me to conference in via Zoom and answer any questions you guys might have during that meeting?" Try and get into that meeting. And, even if you don't get into it, or if you do, say, "I'd like to send along a short video that helps everyone understand the plan, so that way they have a good understanding of what you and I talked about. Would you play that for them in the meeting?"
Now you've got an agreement from them to... Maybe best would be to send the video to everyone involved. You might not get all of their emails, but get an agreement for them to watch the video. Or if you're selling to a married couple, "Hey, would you watch this with your spouse before we talk next week? Great. Thank you. I'm going to send this video, and it'll help answer a lot of questions that people commonly have."
And my last tip is to just do it. I hear all the time, "Well, Jack, I'm not a video person. I don't like being on video, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." That's great. I also hear from you guys all the time about how you're working a hundred hours a week, and you're closing terrible leads, and not making the money you want. So you got to do something to change that. And I know that video, if you start adding this video into the process, you're going to close deals faster. And remember, you don't need to do this for every deal. But do this for the ones that you really want to close, and your close rate is going to go way up.
So Just Do It
Make a video, and I'd like to see it. I love sales. I love seeing you guys sell. Send me your video, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you make one of these videos and send it to me, I'll watch it and give you some feedback on it. So, just do it. Pick one of those tools, Loom, Vidyard, Soapbox. Check out the show notes for links to those, and just do it. It's really easy, I promise. And you'll send one out and you'll get an amazing response to this. So do it next week. Send me your video, email@example.com.
And, are you leveraging the power of video for generating qualified leads and closing deals? Are you really taking advantage of how remote selling is now part of the way people buy everything? Even in the future, as I expect things to continue to open up, and more and more in-person conversations are going to happen, you should send a video anyways, because it's so powerful. And I'm going to be sharing some more tips about what's working now to help you get ready for spring. On January 14th, I'm speaking at Kubota USA's Turf Talk with a couple other great speakers.
And I have a series of other events coming up this year, this spring, designed to help you get totally dialed in with your sales and marketing so you can really start enjoying your business more, and enjoying attracting quality leads where you actually make a profit. So, check out landscapersguide.com/events to sign up for the Turf Talk, and check out some of our other events.
And I hope you found this helpful. If you did, be sure to subscribe, like this video if you're on YouTube, and give us a positive rating. And I hope to see you at one of our events. So again, check that out, landscapersguide.com/events. I'm Jack Jostes, and thanks so much for tuning into the Landscaper's Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing podcast. I'll talk to you next week.