I spent a few hours in late August talking with contractors at an industry event focused on Snow and Ice Management. Frankly, even at that juncture it was likely too late to be starting to think about gearing up for the winter season, at least from a sales perspective. I am a firm believer in and have seen the success of staying focused on selling snow services on a year round basis. Whether you are a snow only contractor or one that simply provides snow as one of your many service offerings, initiating and closing the sales to deliver these services is always better before it snows.
In my world today (LandOpt Land), we keep our contractors focused on including snow in a year round maintenance services agreement that manages customer’s outdoor environment. We view snow as a maintenance service to be defined, executed and paid for on a repetitive, consistent basis. We view selling it in the same way, it should happen on a repetitive and CONSISTENT basis.
Focusing on key prospects immediately following the season when snow services were provided may create an opportunity for you to solve pain the prospect has just experienced. The time that passes over the summer brings new challenges and pains often times overshadowing the pains of winter.
Use being ahead of the curve and making the fact that you are addressing snow management needs well in advance of the season as that positive differentiator. That differentiation is easily understood and is truly different and good different. Compared to the attempt to create perceived difference on quality which is difficult/impossible to show because it likely isn’t true. “Our Quality is better” isn’t easily recognizable by the customer, after all wet blacktop is wet blacktop.
Need more ideas to differentiate yourself from the competition? Try these tactics:
• Focus your sales efforts on the outcomes or solutions you provide not the inputs or mechanical services like plowing the snow.
• Describe your “product” as piece of mind, an insurance policy, time back in the customer’s schedule.
• Establish yourself as the solution provider, always looking out for the best interest of and best outcome for the customer.
Don’t wait until the air chills and the leaves fall to start thinking about selling your snow services. Focus on it year round! You won’t regret the results!
Founded in 2004, LandOpt is a service organization that helps a select group of regionally based landscape contractors dramatically improve their business performance. When contractors are Powered by LandOpt, they not only grow, they become more profitable and productive. Our goal is to help landscape contractors create a client-focused culture that results in measurable, sustainable growth. To learn more, visit: www.landopt.com.