Does Your Landscaping Company Have a Strong Pipeline in Its Future?

With June coming to a close and the Fourth of July holiday this Thursday, it’s a good time to take a step back and look at what jobs and prospects you have in your pipeline.

At Grunder Landscaping Co., we’ve been fortunate to have our crews fully staffed, enabling us to execute quickly, burn through work, and increase our revenue. The issue then becomes ensuring we continue to have enough projects lined up deep into summer and early fall, which can get tricky when prospects and clients are busy with vacations and family and then the start of a new school year.

So it’s especially important this time of year that we keep our eyes trained on the future. Our sales team continues to proactively seek new work, and I am doing everything I can to get in front of as many people as will let me. How do we do this?

We go back to clients for whom we bid multi-phased work. In the high-end residential work we do, it’s not uncommon for our clients to elect to do only the initial phase or phases of a job. Maybe we did their front yard last year; are they ready now to tackle the back? Don’t sit and wait for them to call you; conversely, don’t overwhelm them with commission breath. A simple phone call to check in and see how they’re doing can get you top of mind and open the door for more.

We’re walking job sites. Are there other ways we can enhance our clients’ properties? Are there small issues they should address now before they become large problems later? Is there a feature they’d enjoy but have maybe never thought about? You’ll never go wrong spending time with your clients; when they’re talking to you, they can’t be talking to the competition. When you walk and talk, you can show your clients issues and make suggestions firsthand. As the great Frank Mariani, my friend and mentor, says, “Every landscape in America needs a flat of pachysandra!”

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We’re focusing on drainage. It was a very wet spring in Ohio, as well as in much of the US, and August is a great time to work on drainage. Again, don’t wait for clients to contact you about this; take the first step and convey to them the value in addressing these issues now rather than waiting for the next rainy season.

We’re submitting unsolicited quotes. Through the years, we’ve sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of work this way. Our grass-cutting team might send our sales team a photo of a wet area, we do a sketch of what it would take to put some drainage in and what it would cost, and boom! it sells. Our LandKeeping™ crew spots a dead tree, we submit a bid to cut it down and replace it, and boom! that sells too. Hustle and take initiative—it works. Restaurants do it, car dealers do it, even your hairdresser makes suggestions. Now, to be clear, we don’t push, and we don’t call it upselling—we call it professional selling. Our clients chose to hire landscaping professionals; as such it’s our obligation to share with them our professional assessment of what’s wrong at their property and what can be made better. 

And, as the owner, I’m always, always using my lunch hour to meet new people and catch up with contacts, I’m speaking at events in my local community, I’m engaging on LinkedIn, I’m sending thank-you notes to clients and newspaper clippings spotlighting people I want to get to know. In 35 years of business, it’s never ceased to amaze me how much you can win if you just do a little more than the other guy or gal and keep at it.

Do you have work lined up for late summer and early fall? If not, take some time to map out a plan before enjoying the fireworks on Thursday.

Happy Fourth and I’ll see you next week.

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2019 NALP Field Trip: Frank & Marty’s Excellent Adventure

We’re heading to sunny San Diego August 6–7 for the fourth annual NALP Field Trip with Frank Mariani and Marty. Join us and go behind the scenes of the San Diego branch of LandCare, a national powerhouse with a local focus. This is a rare opportunity to see how a major company that’s figured out operations, training, and culture on a large scale applies that knowledge at a $6M branch and how you can too at your business.