If you just realized that it’s already October and you’re still a far way off from your financial targets, you’re not alone! Although the year has flown by, your landscaping company still has a good stretch of time left to make up for any missing sales in order to increase your profits. Here are some tips for landscaping companies looking to get creative with promotions and end the year on a high note:
1. Prioritize Your Landscaping Sales Pipeline
Never let the year end with promising leads stagnating in your sales pipeline. A big priority in the fourth quarter is to do what it takes to close the prospects that are primed and waiting for you.
Often the price point tends to hold most customers back. At this stage, are you able to offer these clients a discount? Striking a deal with your most trusted suppliers to help close a big customer could help you offer competitive pricing without compromising profits. Wholesale plant and tree sourcing services like GoMaterials may be the Hail Mary pass you’re looking for to cut costs and finalize sales.
As the year comes to an end, you might be tempted to take on more of the work yourself to make that final dollar sign attractive to customers, but the key is to optimize costs, and be selective with new jobs. The last thing you would want is to sign up for a draining last-minute job that can lead to quality issues, or returned materials. Trying to maximize your profit margins or getting more work from your regular customers can be a more strategic way to end the year well.
2. Ask Your Customers About Next Year’s Plans
Sometimes prospective clients just aren’t ready to pull the trigger, and it has nothing to do with the landscaping project’s cost. This is where you put the relationships your sales team builds to the test. What did they learn about these buyers as they ushered them through the pipeline?
Uncover the reason holding your client back from signing on the dotted line today. This tip is so straightforward, and so often overlooked: talk to your customers about how their year is going! A little bit of empathy goes a long way. At worst, you can’t offer a solution, but you’ve deepened your connection with them. At best, you know exactly why they’re waiting and you’ll push the timeline up for both your benefits.
3. Use the Landscaping Seasonality to Speed Up Sales
Consider the seasonality of certain landscaping projects and materials when you’re trying to finalize elusive contracts. This is for those prospective clients who aren’t swayed by a fourth quarter sales blitz. Their budget plans each quarter are firm… unless you know some information that’s worth their while.
Out in the field, it’s easy to catch the easy chatter about things to come. Which plant plugs aren’t doing well and will experience a shortage next season, which trees or sizes are on a supply chain back order and will surge in price next year, etc. Any information can be a sales tool with a little imagination.
For example, if you know your client is waiting to install a specific landscaping job next spring, but that job may cost their business almost double by waiting that long, you need to speak up. Your client will appreciate it, and it’s yet another contract signed, sealed and delivered before the year ends.
That being said, depending on your landscaping company’s storage space, a client can sign and pay for a job, but you can hold off on delivery and installation until the next year. Maybe you convinced them to buy an irrigation system in the off season, but they don’t want it installed until the spring thaw, or you’re holding pallets of pavers for them until after the winter. Your mileage may vary if you attempt this with plants, so it’s best to be mindful of that.
4. Team Up with Other Landscaping Companies for A Win
There are only 3 months in a quarter and you need to move quickly to close a deal. Now isn’t the time to forge new connections from scratch. At this point, partnerships and referral business are the fastest way to reduce your sales cycle. Consider these partnership opportunities at your disposal:
Share a promotion among your past customers: every contract you sign that’s the result of a referral gets a discount. Prepare a discounted maintenance bundle to offer the client giving the referral as well.
The previous client’s testimony is worth gold. It expedites the work you have to put in to convince the new client of your reputation so that you focus on quickly establishing a meaningful relationship and sealing the deal.
Let’s assume your landscaping business focuses on lawn maintenance, while your friend from the industry focuses more on design. You each might know of clients who will benefit from the other’s services.
Team up with someone in the industry whose niche complements yours! Make a promotion of it and offer a discount or other benefit to each other’s clients who sign up with you.
This approach is two-pronged. First, consider whether or not you have any unused materials or any crew members to spare for a day or two. Next, approach local businesses that thrive in the fall. We’re talking apple orchards, pumpkin farms, ice cream shops having end of the season events, community celebrations, etc.
Can you pretty up their space for a reduced rate and advertise a seasonal sale to clients at the same time? Get some crew mates on the ground chatting to people and advertising your deal of the month – don’t forget to get some nice pictures for your social media!
5. Motivate Your Sales Crew
If you have a large sales team, there’s nothing like some healthy competition to pad your numbers. Offer a prize to the salesperson who closes the most landscaping contracts in the fourth quarter. It might cost you a bit to incentivize your team, but the long-term impact is worth it if it means boosting your landscaping contracts.
Don’t hold back with the prize. Consider padding the expected bonus, giving your employee a couple of extra paid days off in between the holidays, something worthwhile after the sprint they’ll be doing to bring in last-minute business.
All this to say, the year’s end is rapidly approaching, but there’s still time to reach your financial targets. And if you don’t, that’s okay too. The ambition to achieve a certain number shouldn’t cost your landscaping team their sanity. After all, there’s always next year!
Need help fine-tuning end of year finances? Get some ideas from this landscaping profitability ebook!
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