I had the most amazing experience in Asheville, NC.
The landscape entrepreneur, John Phillips (President, Gardens for Living, NC) hosted our “high-achievers peer group” at his new facility in Asheville.
As part of that event, we had dinner at one of his client’s homes (See photos below.)
The Client (Mrs) is a chef; she and her team prepped all day and grilled for us. She served a multi-course meal (with a printed menu) in her outdoor kitchen built by Gardens For Living.
Her pergola, large smoker and grill were surrounded by a tiered kitchen garden full of herbs and vegetables. Very tasteful and practical!
Mr. Client showed us his collection of e-mountain bikes and shared the inspiring story of how he built his business over the past ten years. He went from working out of his small apartment to running a firm staffed with 4,000+ people. He admitted that he still pinches himself with gratitude.
They gave us a tour of their home, and we all hung out together. John’s clients were completely open with their lives and home.
My question for you is, “How would your clients treat you?”
Would Your Clients Open Up Their Home And Cook For You And Your Friends?
It was eye-opening for my peer group members, they saw the fruit of very strong client relations.
They all left this event thinking about how they could improve their client experience:
- “I need to stop my turn and burn process of selling, and take time personally to build and strengthen my relationships with my clients.”
- “It was clear to see why John never runs out of work; his name is gold with all the right clients and architects.”
- “My client experience needs a fresh look; we have gotten complacent.”
- “We need to match the details of our jobs with our marketing promise. I thought we were doing good until I saw what best-in-class looks like.”
Don’t Overlook Your Best Source Of New Work
Every business owner has the same opportunity as John, be they in residential or commercial: Grow your business by increasing your repeat and referral business.
You may be doing well now, but everyone is wondering about the economy.
Drost out of Petoskey, MI, showed us their secret sauce (during our Summer Growth Summit.) We saw the stats of how their repeat and referral business has been steadily climbing through their intentional outreach program.
The Best Defense Is A Good Offense
If you want to be prepared for whatever comes in the future, get closer to your clients now.
And get more intentional with your company’s outreach.
Your Challenge: Balance Your “Sales” Strategy With A “Relationship Building” Strategy
It’s not enough to send a thank you gift, because those get thrown away. You have to build bonds of trust and mutual respect.
- When making your first sale, think about your third sale to that same client.
- Make enhancement sales and warranty execution more important than selling a new client.
- Become known as the very best in your market, then personally share your value with your clients.
- Go the extra inch every time, and your clients will pay you back in miles of support.
This should go without saying, but I will say it anyways:
- Always be honest with your mistakes and own them.
- If there is mis-billing in your favor, let your client know even if they don’t catch it.
- Always do right by the little things, and your clients will tell others.
As the owner or main salesperson, don’t just go out and sell, sell, sell. Rather, delegate the details so you have time to strengthen relationships.
“Treat every qualified prospect like a client, and every client like a new prospect!”
P.S. If you would like to enjoy similar business and life changing experiences, join our high-impact Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners.
Fill in an application here.
The main message here is: “Treat every qualified prospect like a client, and every client like a new prospect!” Easy to say, hard to do. Good luck! — Jeffrey!