In a regular mentoring session, one of my landscaping and lawn maintenance clients shared their frustration with me. They were consistently getting the objection from prospects that the price their company was charging was more than competitors’ bidding on the same projects. As a result, they were losing these jobs to the competition. My client runs a company that prides itself in doing the job right and not cutting corners. When the job is completed, it looks great. Their clients rave about the results to their friends and neighbors.
But when it comes to potential clients who are not familiar with the quality of the team’s work, they balk at his higher pricing.
Many green industry and landscape lighting businesses think that the lowest price approach is the only way to market their services and products. With the right mindset and strategy this approach is not true.
As every good sales trainer teaches, the best time to eliminate the “your price is too high objection” is before it comes up. There are several strategies you can use to position your company so that most of the time you will be the contractor of choice.
As the great sales trainer Tom Hopkins says, our customers are always judging us on three key factors: the best service, quality and price. When our customers and clients compare our company to our competitors, and everything appears to be the same, then they will always default to the lowest price.
However, you and I both know that there is no company in your industry that can provide the best service, the best quality and do it at the lowest price.
Think about major purchases you have made in your personal life or through your business. When you try to get the lowest price, the other key factors, service and quality, are subpar, and you usually end up regretting having made the purchase. Our customers are no different. The important thing to remember is you must build into your sales process the advantage of buying from your company because it provides the best service and the best quality and does it all at a fair price.
So how do you communicate to your prospective clients how your company can provide the best quality and the best service all at a fair price? It starts with making sure everybody in your company believes that motto.
To get your leadership team and employees on board so they can embrace this approach remember the maxim, “People don’t argue with their own data.” In other words, give your team members the opportunity to help build your strategy.
It is vital that you include your team in building a process of creating a culture that delivers the best quality and the best service, because without their support it will ultimately fail. Here is the recommended process that I use with all my green industry clients.
First, hold a meeting with your entire company. At the top of your whiteboard or flipchart page, brainstorm all the possible ways you now provide, or could provide, the best service to your clients and customers. On another whiteboard or flipchart page, brainstorm all the possible ways you now provide, or could provide, the best quality products or workmanship.
The next step is to prioritize the top service ideas that your company can provide to your clients. Discuss what your competitors are and are not doing and how your company does it or can begin to do it better. Put together a strategy with a timeline to implement these top service ideas. Decide who will be responsible for making the ideas come to fruition. Schedule follow-up meetings to monitor the progress of your best service strategies.
Third, prioritize the top-quality product and workmanship ideas that your company can provide to your clients. Discuss what your competitors are doing and how your company does it or can begin to do it better. Put together a strategy with a timeline to implement these top product and workmanship ideas. Decide who will be responsible for making the ideas come to fruition. Schedule follow-up meetings to monitor the progress of your best quality and workmanship strategies.
With that as a premise, put together a chart comparing your company to all of your competitors with service features your company offers, quality products your company offers and workmanship features.
In the left column list all the services, quality products and workmanship features you wish to draw a comparison between your company and your competitors.
Once you have your comparison chart built, make sure you and your sales team use it in all of your presentations with prospective clients, post it on your website and have brochures printed up that you can leave behind after a sales presentation.
Remember the value of printed materials is that they have shelf life. In other words, they are tangible physical evidence of what differentiates your company from your competitors. These are unlike a document that is emailed and can go to spam, or worse yet, never be opened.
Keep in mind that initially this may seem like a lot of work, but in the long run this is the kind of strategic thinking and action that will separate your company from the rest of your competitors. It will allow you to build a base of satisfied clients that will result in a more profitable and successful green industry or landscape lighting company.
Email me for an outline of how to implement this process and, as always, feel free to contact me with your questions.