Landscape Business Development Ideas – Party!Outside Contributor
Landscape Business Development Ideas
You may not go to this level of detail in your original landscape business plans, but a great customer acquisition tactic you can use is to help host the old backyard BBQ for your satisfied customers.
Your customers are spending money on upgrading their outdoor living spaces because they want to enjoy the outdoor settings with friends and family. Now that you may have spent a fair amount of time at their residence renovating their outdoor landscape with outdoor lighting, a new hardscape patio and new grill, it’s time to party.
Landscape customer acquisition is driven by referrals, and you know that your client can’t wait to show off their new outdoor living space. Now, what you need to is get invited to that party, which is going to happen soon!
Now, we are going to sneak in here a little human nature tip for you from the book, Influence, by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. At the beginning of the second chapter, Cialdini lays out the rule for reciprocation – “the rules says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.”1 Consider that your customer has spent possibly tens of thousands of dollars with your company. Are you going to say that they would not want a lot little bit of repayment to themselves for what they have provided for you? You bet!
So, let’s brainstorm some ideas and put together a quick to do list to make this happen.
Plant the seed – As you get closer to the conclusion of the landscape installation, tell your customer you would like to donate some steaks or some other good food to their first party where they are going to invite their friends and neighbors. Heck, you might even throw in some potato salad and beverages!
You may be thinking that you don’t want to give back some of your profits in the form of steaks and potato salad, but consider the alternatives. Would it be more or less expensive for you to just buy some radio, tv and print advertising – or get yourself invited to that BBQ?
Help with the menu – As you get closer to the project completion date, nurture that seed you planted earlier and make some specific suggestions in regards to providing items for their inaugural landscape celebration party. Tell your client you would love to bring over the steaks the morning of the BBQ, and would they mind that night if you stopped by for a bit and met their friends, and possibly showed them your craftsmanship? Pause for a minute and think again about the rule for reciprocation? You have now provided them nice steaks and potato salad, how can they say no? Cialdini points out that “People we might ordinarily dislike…can greatly increase the chance that we will do what they wish merely by providing us with a small favor prior to their requests.”1 Or put another way, even if you don’t like your clients, those steaks and potato salad might get you invited to that BBQ!
Help me, help you – Now that you are at the party, it sure is a great time to not only meet their friends and family but take some pictures of them admiring the new landscape. These digital pictures are not for you or your website, they are for the customer to share them on their Facebook accounts with all of their other friends! You can see the Facebook post now, can’t you…”Great backyard party to break in the new grill…Landscapes Company even gave us steaks for the grill!” Don’t be shy about asking your customers to refer you on social media. By you providing them pictures of the installation you make it real easy for them to share your work. Now that is working a landscape contractor referral plan with finesse!
The rule of reciprocation is a powerful influence weapon. When you get two or three profitable referrals that turn into new sales from the steaks and potato salad, just keep in mind you are using the rule of reciprocation!
Use it wisely to grow your business!
1Influence, by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. First Collins Business Essentials edition 2009