As a commercial landscaping business owner, you probably dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s but are still unsure why your winning rate is at a standstill? You are possibly making some mistakes that are causing your bid successes to stagnate. A good proposal resulting in a long-term contract with a client is the goal of our industry.
Here we’ve covered some landscaping mistakes and why you just can’t seem to reach that rocketing conversion rate.
Table of Contents
1. Is your presentation worth showing off?
Remember, you do not get a second shot at setting a first impression. A good first impression starts with a well laid out presentation. You should be able to articulate what you do, why you do it and how you do it. Clarity here will translate into a confident pitch, which will in turn help you win the project.
So, if you still depend on old-timey spreadsheets and documents with only figures to show, think about upgrading to sitemaps instead. What’s more promising – a plain document with numbers or a sitemap that actually showcases your plan with your prospect’s property?
Use automated property measurement software that minimizes your manual efforts and adds that extra jazz to your presentations. Your proposals will then have a color coded, labeled and high resolution visual depiction of your plan with the said property.
Side note: your sales pitch should not be about tooting your horn. It should be about the needs of your prospect, which helps you understand the project scope and an apt execution thereafter.
2. Still dependent on manual property measurement tools or just straight up guesstimating?
Let’s leave the old manual ways back in the stone age. In the era of AI, why would one still spend tedious hours and efforts in measuring properties? Manual takeoffs induce inaccuracies in the bids, leading to poor win rates. For larger properties, you risk over- or underbidding – both of which are harmful for your business. Not only is this inefficient but also costly. Fuel wasted in driving up to the sites and the valuable sales hours lost that would rather be spent on having a more intelligent conversation with the customer. What’s worse is a sales win after all this is still not a 100% likely.
You need accurate measurements to create accurate proposals, order the right amount of material and hire the best suited crew members for a job. Thus, accurate takeoffs not only lead to more wins but also have a cascading effect on processes across the entire organization.
Landscaping professionals are rapidly adopting AI based automated measurement tools. These tools produce precision takeoffs on high resolution aerial imagery, saving you over 90% of the time spent on manual takeoffs. It is up to you to use this free time and money to work on your customer relationships, better your marketing plans, focus on your crew, plan the execution of the project, or simply catch a movie break with your team.
Measure everything and make it accurate. Manual efforts, memory and approximation can only take you so far. Treat accuracy as your biggest asset and say goodbye to guesstimates.
3. Missing out on follow-ups
Good communication and follow-ups can decide the fate of your bids. It’s a busy world, and taking time out of one’s schedule will be rewarded.
If you do not hear from a lead after your first sales pitch, do you simply assume this was not a win? Do you strike them off? Don’t. Grab this missed opportunity by following up with this prospect.
It’s important to stay relevant and at the top of your prospect’s mind when he’s ready to decide. Asking for a comfortable time to follow-up over a call post the first interaction is a good start. See if paying a second visit after a week’s time speeds the process up.
On the off chance, if they say no, do not close the door on them. Send a thank you note and re-visit them next year, as property owners and managers are frequently switching plans up. There’s a high probability of your bid getting accepted next year as it might meet the needs of future landscaping projects and increase your win rate. All you have to do is call the property owner and ask whether the bid will be floated again for this year.
5. Not understanding the project’s scope
Project management 101: It is imperative to understand the scope of a landscaping project you’re bidding on. Not having 100% clarity on the details will leave you ill-prepared and with an unsatisfied client. Unplanned expenses can dent your margins significantly. Missing out on critical details of a project can lead to you losing the project altogether.
A few aspects to keep in mind while scoping out the project details can be:
- Setting tasks with start dates and deadlines with all your vendors and subcontractors.
- Having set terms and conditions for each project with fixed working hours for labor.
- Cleaning and debris removal post project completion.
- Replacement and repair of any damaged trees, turf or vegetation.
- Carefully calculate the minimum number of mowing or visits required.
These can help make your life as a landscaper smooth and create a proposal with no gaps that guarantees a yes from your prospect.
6. Not knowing what’s in your wheelhouse
Picking your niche is crucial before you start on-boarding multiple projects. If you’re new to this industry, no matter how tempting a big project seems, do not take it on before knowing what’s in your wheelhouse (simply put, your forte). Double down on what you are good at, then knock it out of the park.
Realizing you bit off more than you can chew after committing to a project is one of the landscaping mistakes you cannot easily recover from. Backing out is a no-no, but so is poor quality work only because you were not sure of what your forte is.
Also, remember you cannot win over every prospect. Let go of the greed. Like your wheelhouse, knowing your ideal client counts, too. Decide on an ideal client persona and work only on winning those who fit this profile.
Building expertise takes time and patience. Building a method for screening projects is the key. Your new employees can then be efficiently trained and confidently sell your services. Know the cycle: improved services, improved sales, improved client satisfaction.
To summarize, excellent communication and presentation skills, high quality in-your-wheelhouse services, especially built for your ideal client, will build a professional image that they will happily advertise for you. Try avoiding the aforementioned landscaping mistakes and switch your game up with our automated property measuring software. Here was our take on a path to landscaping success.