1. You will likely gather some hot new leads by asking for referrals ( one of the most cost effective way of increasing sales...IMHO)
2. If you have not already engaged them in 'closed season marketing', you will remind them that you are alive and kicking, despite the economic hardships. More importantly, you show you are stable and there for them.
3. You show that you care about them and value their business. This gives you a chance to deepen your relationship and strengthen client retention and referrals.
4. Lastly, it gives you chance to gather invaluable data to help sharpen your marketing message in what continues to be a tough selling environment.
These points come from Jeff Scott's books on maintaining a competitive edge in the landscape market ( the referral advantage & the leaders edge ).
If you are at all interested in your business and its development, I strongly recommend them.
Recently, it became clear to me how many people do not consider part of what they do as 'selling'.
My view is that without using that skill (which may not always be obvious.....) survival becomes a challenge and will depend more on luck than a clear sales pipeline and a profitable business strategy.
Though constant contact with our clients and putting ourselves 'out there', we manage to work 12 months a year, because in the busy times we are looking for work to push out into the quieter months. We help 'educate' our clients, what can be done, when is best....., have you considered this..... etc etc. All this becomes possible because we work at our client / contractor relationship.
I can remember many threads dismissing "marketing" in the 'closed' season. Well, if you've so much work you can afford to do that then that's fine. For those that struggle during the quieter months I can only see more reasons to consider the above points.
I totaly agree with your points! Ive been knocking on customers doors today to book them all in for this season.
Received 2 new referals form one customer and converted them straight away! all regular maintenance!
Also been promoting my new lawn treatment service with good success!
excellent post Gary as always
lets us prey the grass cutters understand it and do at least number 2 seeing as conversations in the last few weeks on chat are the complete opposite and they don't want any contact with the customer - just the money
Some of us are lucky enough to be able to work right through
the winter months and therefore see our customers on a regular
basis throughout these months, but it is important like you say,
to keep them informed of your situation. If you work hard for them
they can be sure you will do this for their friends.
Being purely a commercial "grass cutter" ( don't mind me borrowing your pun, do you Mick lol) Totally agree with everyone above. Im constantly in touch with my clients all through the year as there is always stuff needing done on commercial sites, especially housing estates, its a ongoing business need as Gary says and it's always good to talk to clients, I call all my clients at least once a month even if there is nothing work wise to report / discuss, just call them for a natter about nowt, but it shows you are still around and care about your / their business, keeps everything "all good". Proactive working is far far better than reactive working, its all about being professional in the complete service you provide, not just how well you can cut grass or lay a slab.
I dont know if this is off topic so bare with me!
I recently lost one of our smaller jobs due to the customer taking the maintenance in house. No matter how small a job is, i hate losing work, and more importantly hate losing turnover. So it made me think. Why i wait for contracts i quoted for to come in. How can i keep the turn over more or less the same in the mean time.
So i got in contact with alot of the sites and suggested extra works that could be done, and so far the turnover has been better than before we lost the contract site.
So for me that is a lesson learnt, not to sit on your arse and expect work to come to you, get out there and speak your mind. If you see extra works that needs doing, then speak up, and win the work.
Depends on your game. It pisses me off no end when suppliers call and "try" to sell some twaddle, wasting my time in the process, (I can just about take a quick email but that's it) if I want it I'll call them... That's the flip side...
If you are going to call, get the script spot on before doing so and remember the golden rule about selling 50% is listening - too many sales people do not get the listening bit, amateurs.