When you get a new lead at your landscaping company, do you guide them through the same sales process each and every time? Do you qualify and disqualify people at the front end of the process, so that way you're spending time nurturing, selling, and serving the right clients? If not, watch this video to learn the three key steps to creating a profitable landscaping sales process. A sales process will create freedom for you, the business owner, to let other people in your company guide people through the process, and the benefit to your customer is that they'll know what to expect because they're going to read about this process on your website. 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, increase your profit and lead a better team. Today, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite topics, which is sales process. So if you want to increase your close rate and meet with more of the right people, let's dig into today's episode.
Step 1: Clarify Your Hell Yes Customer
Right now I'm outside at the Grapevine Botanical Gardens in Grapevine, Texas. So you might hear some wind noise rustling through the trees. You might hear some birds chirping, and you'll probably hear this beautiful water feature right behind me. So bear with me on the noise. I came down here to speak at Kubota USA's Turf Talk, which was an event focused on commercial landscaping, and I got to speak with a guy named Dave Fairbairn, who I've interviewed on the show. Dave runs a $9 million commercial landscaping company, North Point Outdoors. One of the things that Dave shared with me that a key to his success was actually my first step here in creating your sales process, which is clarifying your hell yes customer. So your hell yes customer is a customer that needs your primary service. This is a service that you do well, you profit at it, you are staffed to deliver this, you enjoy it and the client enjoys it, right?
And it's in the budget. They have the budget for what you need to charge to do a good job and to create a profit. So often landscapers offer everything. They sell everything. I think in many ways you have to go through a phase of your business where you are doing everything to whittle it down to what your hell yes customer is. For Dave, he shared that he used to be the Cheesecake Factory of landscaping, meaning he had a huge menu, the most expansive menu of everything, and he realized that those things weren't profitable, some of them, and they weren't ideal for him and that in order to grow, he needed to become the Chris Ruth's Steakhouse and focus. For him, that focus was commercial landscaping. So check out the other interviews with Dave to learn more about how he did that. But that's the first step in creating your optimized sales process, is clarifying your hell yes customer and focusing then your marketing and energy on attracting more of that.
Step 2: Outline The Milestones Of Your Sales Process
The second key to creating an optimized sales process is having milestones of your process published on your website, listed in your proposals and manage your team to follow that process. If you want to know the secret to wicked profits and maximum referrals, it's doing what you said you were going to do, right? It sounds so simple, but here's the thing. Most landscaping customers, they probably haven't worked with the landscaping company as professional as yours. They've hired other people who didn't do a good job and now they're coming to you because they're willing to pay more for a professional experience, and having a process that you're guiding them through is going to benefit the customer. Let's focus on them first. They will understand what's going to happen. They might understand that you're going to charge for design if you charge for design. If you're going to charge 10%, when they sign the agreement, they'll understand that.
The more that they understand about how to buy from you, the more they're going to trust you and the better experience they're going to have, and they're going to be happier in the end because you're going to do what you told them they were going to do. Most landscaping customers have no idea how much time you spend on design or planning or sourcing the right materials or getting your crews ready or dealing with having employees getting COVID or layoffs or all the different things that go into making your life really hard. They have no idea, and you don't need to whine and complain to them, but you can help them understand that this is our process. Here's the timeline and things like weather and things can impact this. But giving them those milestones is going to help them understand where they're at in the process and what comes next.
But the real benefit to you as the business owner is this will create some freedom. This will create scalability because now other people in your team can manage various parts of the process, and eventually maybe your team can do all of it without you. So that's why creating and communicating your process is the second step in creating an optimized sales process.
Step 3: Give Them Something They Can Say YES To
The third key to creating your sales process is giving them something they can say yes to. One time I was working on a green industry conference. I was negotiating with this event trying to figure out commissions and referral fees and all these different little things, the handouts, all these different things, and I realized that I was way overthinking it. I worked with a marketing coach at the time, Drew Dinkalocker. He said, "Jack, give them something they can say yes to." And what I needed to do was simply package up something and give them an offer they could say yes to. So in landscaping sales, a lot of times when you have too many ranges and variables and things, it can make it confusing for your clients to understand how to buy from you. So if possible, if you're going to charge a flat rate for your design fee, great. Let people know what that fee is going to be earlier in the process.
So that way, when you get to the point where you say, "Great, the next step is to invest in our design phase and the investment is X," they'll say, "Great." Whereas if you tell them, "Hey, it might be this many hours at this rate and it can depend on this. The more, "Well, it depends and I can't really give you a straight answer," you tell your client, they're going to become uncomfortable with that because it's harder to say yes to something like that. So, especially earlier in the process, and I know that for many of you design build contractors, you're going to need to go from a big range and help them understand to get to the specific thing, but give them something that they can say yes to early in the process.
So Dan Kennedy, one of my favorite authors, has this saying that buyers are buyers are buyers. If you think about it like McDonald's, they don't make money on the hamburger. They make money on the fries and the Coke that they upsell you on. So the hamburger is easy for somebody to say yes to. Think about your sales process in the same way, because once you get people to buy something, they're likely to continue buying the rest of it if they have a good experience.
So whatever it is, give them something they can say yes to. Now, these are just three parts of creating your sales process, and there's a lot more that goes into it that can depend on what type of business you have, who your customers are, your price range, what services you sell. I'd like to invite you to work directly with me and my team at our upcoming landscapers guide to an optimized sales process virtual event. This is going to be a limited virtual event where you'll get to work with me. We're going to mail you our landscapers sales process workbook in the mail. It's based on over 11 years of experience, working with people on their sales process. We have fill in the blank questions that will guide you through the workshop. We're going to send you some videos ahead of time. We're going to mail you a copy of my book and beef jerky and other cool things. Anyways, it's going to be really great.
So check it out at landscapersales.com. That's landscapersales.com. My name's Jack Jostes and thanks so much for checking out this episode of The Landscaper's Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing Podcast. I hope that you have a profitable sales process that your whole team follows, and I look forward to learning more about what it is. So see you next week in the next episode.