Do You Need to Rethink Your Approach to Sales?

Last weekend for Mother’s Day, I invited my extended family over for a cookout. Grilling is about the only culinary skill I’m good for, so when the warm weather hits, I try to take advantage of it.

We had a great time, filled with laughter. No matter how overwhelmed you may feel running a landscaping business this time of year, it’s important to take a break and celebrate the loved ones in your life.

But, full disclosure, the business person in me never really shuts off, so when my wife opened the gift I gave her—a couple outfits from a nice store—and all the women said, “Oh I love their clothes but I will never go in there!” I took note.

Why? I asked. Because, they said, the store’s salespeople hound them. They’re accosted the second they set foot in the door and are offered every item for sale, no matter what they’re looking for. It’s a full-on assault.

In other words, the business has a great product and a horrible sales strategy.

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Don’t make this same mistake, no matter how much you want or need a sale. Instead listen closely to what your prospects and clients say they want and make sure your proposals address their requirements. Find and present the best solution for them. Make a compelling case for the unique value you’ll deliver, and then shut up and let them think about it.

If you don’t hear back, call them, but don’t pressure them. Trying to force a sale will only lead to their avoiding you, or to signing a contract they weren’t ready to sign and then resenting you for it. And that’s no way to build a relationship or succeed at business longterm.

As Bob Grover, president of Portland’s Pacific Landscape Management, one of the most impressive companies in the industry, puts it, “We don’t sell to customers; we help them buy.”