By Kaitlyn Ersek on Aug 7, 2020 8:50:00 AM
With COVID-19 interruptions and a national recession, the spring sales season in lawn care was cut short and for some in the industry, sales fell short of targets. With the economy and life beginning to normalize, lawn and landscape companies need to build strategic fall sales plans to catch up to 2020 goals.
Earlier this week, we interviewed Holganix National Sales Manager, Rob McCoy on how to increase lawn and landscape sales in the fall. We spoke extensively on building content calendars, prepay programs, handling canceled or unhappy customers, and specific metrics you should consider in your plans, such as your cost per customer and your cost per lead.
Over the past 20+ years, Rob has built and sold several lawn care companies, he also advises lawn and landscape companies on business operations, sales, and agronomics.
In this blog, we consolidate the top three campaigns Rob recommends lawn and landscape companies design to best take advantage of the fall opportunity.
For the full interview, watch the 40-minute recording below. If you are reading this blog via email, click here for the video.
Lawn Care Prepay Campaign
Typically, a prepay in the lawn and landscape industry is given to customers to entice them to pay in advance for services. Often, that means getting paid in full for a year of service. In return, customers usually receive a discount or free service. Lawn and landscape companies can then use their hard-earned prepay cash to invest in efforts to grow the business in the winter and early spring when cash is tight. Getting prepays can also be a defensive maneuver to lock current customers into their annual plan and ward off competitors.
According to Rob, “you want to have your prepay campaign starting before customers receive their last application.”
Consider the following as part of your prepay marketing and sales campaign:
- Identify your offer - How much are you willing to give in order to secure an early advance on cash and solidify your customer base before the 2021 season. Typically prepay discounts range from 10-15%. Instead of giving a cash discount, you could also consider giving a free application to a new service you are providing like a tree and shrub plant health care service.
- Communications - Consider sending out mailers, email blasts, and touting the benefits of the offer on social media. Follow up any mailer or email blast with a phone call to increase your close rate. Remember, it takes several touchpoints in a marketing and sales campaign to close a sale.
- When to start campaigning - Begin your campaign before the customer receives their last application. Often lawn care companies will continue the campaign through February 1.
- Measure Success - As with any campaign, make sure you are measuring your results. Ask customers how they heard about the program and make a note when a particular piece is doing well. If you aren’t seeing results, consider switching your offer.
“I would also encourage you to send prepays out with your aeration and overseeding campaign for those customers that haven’t prepaid yet for the year,” notes Rob. “Give them the opportunity to save a couple of bucks, and rope those customers in for the remainder of their 2020 applications.”
Canceled Customer Campaign
“I often see lawn and landscape companies afraid to call their cancel list,” explains Rob. “But your cancel list will often have a higher close rate than cold prospects. Consider it your low hanging fruit!”
Consider the following as part of your canceled customer marketing and sales campaign:
- Offer - Allow the sales and marketing team to provide a partial reimbursement to unhappy customers or a discount on future services.
- Listen - Listen to what your canceled customer has to say as to why they canceled in the first place. This can often be a goldmine of information when it comes to reselling the customer and fixing bugs in your production or customer service processes. Consider asking the customer the question, “How do I get you to be a happy customer and refer me to a friend?”
- Who - If possible, consider placing a single person in charge of cancel saves.
- Communications - Individual phone calls will always work best when dealing with a canceled customer. But, you can also rope in a letter or email for an additional communication touchpoint.
Aeration and Overseeding Campaign
When it comes to lawn care, aeration and overseed services can sometimes double the revenue you make per customer. Plus, aeration and overseeding can improve your customers’ agronomic results by improving soil conditions, thin or patchy grass conditions, and improving root growth.
Consider the following as part of your aeration and overseeding marketing and sales campaign:
- Target - There are four targets to consider
- Current customers - this will often be your highest return on marketing investment.
- Prospects that DIY their lawn but lack the equipment to properly conduct an aeration and overseeding application.
- Canceled customers - this list will often provide a better ROI than cold prospects
- Prospects - any prospect that said no to your service for any reason, or conducting a blanketed marketing and sales campaign in the region regardless of whether you’ve communicated with the prospect in the past.
- Communications - Consider sending out mailers, email blasts, and touting the benefits of aeration and overseeding on social media. Follow up any mailer or email blast with a phone call to increase your close rate. Remember, it takes several touchpoints in a marketing and sales campaign to close a sale.
- When to start - Ideally, you would market prior to aeration and overseeding services should start and continue to market throughout the season.
Download Free Marketing Tools To Help You Sell Aeration and Overseeding Services
We've designed numerous marketing tools for you to utilize during your aeration and overseeding marketing campaigns to help reel in customers. Download your Aeration Business In A Box to access your tools today.
Some of the tools you'll have access to include:
- Video Content
Your box contains video content that you can post on your website and share on social media. The video discusses the benefits of including aeration applications in your lawn care program and is a great telegraphic tool to educate customers on the benefits of aeration for the health of their lawn.
Your box contains mailers including: postcards, letter/prepay text. The post cards and letters are designed to target your current customers and sell them aeration. The prepay text can be added to any prepay invoice for an aeration program.
- Education and marketing strategy
Your box contains educational materials on the science behind Holganix and how it helps amp up the benefits of aeration. It also contains a recorded version of our webinar on Growing your business through aeration applications to help you market aeration services.