How to Upsell Landscape Enhancements

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Heard about the phrase “icing on the cake”? This is exactly what landscape enhancements do to the properties you cater to. And of course, the resultant higher profit margins don’t hurt either. We want to make sure that you just don’t get the icing on the cake but you should get to decorate it with some fresh cherries too. We will share with you the best landscape enhancement services that you can offer to your customers and keep them happy. 

What are landscape enhancements?

These are services and additions sold to your existing landscaping maintenance clients outside the maintenance contract. 

Commercial landscaping enhancements serve many purposes. Here are a few of the most common ones:

Safety: Enhancement work to fix probable hazards caused due to overgrown trees and shrubs, trip risks or to ensure clear visibility for traffic and pedestrians, eliminating hiding places in HOAs for reduced crime, etc.

Functional: Services for functionality issues with drainage and irrigation, erosion controls, and shaded areas with no vegetation.

Aesthetics: Installing new hardscape elements, outdoor lighting, planting ornamental trees, seasonal flower beds, etc. Replacing worn-out materials and ornaments, tenant amenity areas, and updating signage.

Maintenance: Services that can be an extension to the existing maintenance contract, like core aeration, sod replacement, mowing, trimming, stump removals, fertilization, etc.

Sustainability: Enhancements that make the landscape more sustainable. Like mulching, which reduces water consumption, and installing solar lights for less power consumption. 

Let’s now have a look at the types of enhancements:

Hardscape enhancements: Hard, paved aspects of a landscape. They aid in making the area accessible and come under landscaping improvements. Bridges, pathways, sturdy retaining walls, adding stone slabs to sidewalks, etc. are some examples of hardscaping elements.

Water features: Structures such as ponds, fountains, or waterfalls that use a property’s slopes and difficult terrains and convert them into ambient focal points.

Plants and Flower bed installation: Living elements of a landscape. For best results, know your perennials and annuals here. Knowing what blooms at which time of the year and planting them with perennial plants and flowers makes for a year-round lush and colorful landscape.

Outdoor lighting: Done for better aesthetics and also security. LED and solar lights can be used for longevity and sustainability.

Mulching: A cost-effective enhancement. It tidies the appearance of the landscape, controls weeds, and reduces the need for water and pesticides, significantly reducing the irrigation expense.  

Why upsell landscape enhancements?

You need to tap your existing client base as it is ripe with extra revenue opportunities, which can be generated through upselling enhancements. You can represent yourself as a landscape enhancement company in addition to being known for what you already do best. More on ways to upsell later on in this article. 

The following reasons should convince you to upsell:

Economic reasons:

  • Increased sales: Upselling enhancements mean more sales, but make sure these sales generate more profit than the base contract. 
  • Cost-effective business growth: Upselling enhancements work well for retaining existing clients, which is relatively easier and cheaper than attracting new leads. Studies show that it is 5 to 25X more expensive to gain a lead compared to retaining an existing customer. Therefore, ‌do all that you can to keep your current customer happy.
    Having done enhancement work means a good-looking portfolio of all your previous work that can be used for future upselling as well.
  • Increased profits: You can increase your revenue by penetrating the existing accounts and offering these add-on services. These sales generate more profit per hour than the basic maintenance services. Since this work isn’t bid out, your profits will be higher.

 Value-adds for the customer:

There has been an increase in the demand for landscape enhancements in recent times. Property owners wish to invest in beautiful landscapes ‌to get a better property value. Office outdoor spaces attract employees, retailers want beautiful landscapes to attract tenants and lure customers. Offering enhancements help you deliver a satisfying experience for your clients, and gives you a chance to build your relationship with them.

Staying ahead of your competitors:

If you’re upselling enhancements, you’re already ahead of all those competitors who aren’t. Enhancement work is professional property management instead of just performing the basic maintenance job. You’re taking care of the customer and this will make them happier and more content. They won’t find the time or the need to consider or respond to your competitor’s pitch.

Additional read: Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid for a Better Win Rate

Hold onto your valuable crew: 

The landscaping industry is facing a labor shortage in many regions, which has been exacerbated by factors such as an aging workforce, a lack of interest among younger generations in manual labor jobs, and competition from other industries offering higher wages and better benefits.

To address this issue, you may need to take steps such as increasing wages and benefits, offering training and advancement opportunities, and implementing more efficient work processes to attract and retain workers. You could also consider partnering with local schools and vocational programs to promote the industry and develop a pipeline of future workers.

Getting landscaping enhancement deals will help you retain your crew and you can keep them engaged and employed. Your workers won’t look for other job opportunities or go to your competitors for work.

Ways to upsell landscape enhancements

For most landscaping companies, the Account Manager scopes out the services that can be upsold to the property owner by identifying them. They help property owners get the most out of their investment in the property. These enhancements can result from a client’s request or effective prospecting by an experienced AM. 

Before starting on the project:

It would be disappointing to learn of your customer hiring someone else for an enhancement job that your crew could’ve taken care of. Good marketing and/or publicity of all your services is something that could’ve prevented this from happening. Make your clients aware of the services you offer based on your assessment of the property. They should know you’re the one-stop shop for all things landscaping without having to look elsewhere. 

Knowing what your customer is exactly looking for is needed for positioning a good upsell pitch at the right time. 

Before the project, train your crew to always keep an eye out for enhancement opportunities while working on the property. Reward them for finding work. Make most of all the eyes you have on the property in question. 

While working on the project:

While scouting a property looking for upselling opportunities during an ongoing contract, keep these points in mind –

  • Things that need repair, upkeep, and maintenance
  • Services that can rectify them
  • Services you can offer to improve the maintenance of the landscape
  • Improvements needed by the property (removing/adding plants, adding hardscape, gardens, etc.)

How to convince your customer?

  • Present the findings to the property owner. If needed, take a horticulturist or a professional landscape designer on the property walks. Their input makes your suggestions to the client even more believable since they are made by an ‘expert’. 
  • Listening to your customer is key. Develop a strong relationship with the customer and try to find a common ground. Getting inside their head helps as these decisions are not necessarily rational, but emotional. 
  • Propose a list with all the critical and suggested repairs and enhancements with their prices. This can speed up the decision-making process. 
  • An excellent way to get the ball rolling on enhancement services is by offering one-time services, discounts, and limited promotions, which may not yield immediate profits but leave your customers wanting more in the future. 
  • Always have tangible examples of your previous enhancement work-ready with case studies and presentations. Show off your capability and position yourself as an expert, thus facilitating the decision-making process. 

Getting an instant yes for improvements to the property may take time. In the meantime, you can pitch maintenance services like re-edging, mulching, pruning, fertilization, and planting new bulbs. 

It is important to know your crew too

Make a note of your crew’s bandwidth, their knowledge, and your inventory. Do not bite off more than you can chew. It’s imperative to have a complete know-how of all the services you offer along with the apt equipment. Being well acquainted with the job will make you more confident during the upsell pitch. 

If new to this, it’s best to offer easy upsells like mowing, mulching, and fertilization that your existing crew can take off your hands. Some enhancements are seasonal and should not be offered all year round, like core aeration, and plant and flower bed installation. 

Additional read: How to Manage Your Landscaping Crew With Ease and Efficiency

Another way to make the decision-making process easy for the property owner is by including an easy on-the-eyes proposal with aerial images of the property that are clearly labeled with descriptions of your plan and the budget. 

How to implement these services?

Once agreed upon, your crew can offer these services in-house themselves. 

If not confident about the enhancement job, you can refer the job to an expert. The property owner pays this expert. You then get paid by this expert in the form of a commission or kind. 

Another way to go about this is by hiring subcontractors. Here you get paid in full. Your original bid includes the charges of the subcontractor, whom you shall pay later. 

Here you go. These ideas should help you generate more enhancement work, increase your sales and margins, and also aid in getting more referral leads. Let us know of some of your enhancement jobs in the comments section.

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