For a landscaping company, commercial lawn care accounts can represent a large portion of the overall business. Every business needs to keep its property in pristine condition for image and safety reasons, and lawn care is a service most will work into their budgets to outsource.
Securing new commercial lawn care business accounts may seem daunting, but with some knowledge of the industry and some basic sales tactics at your disposal, you can be out there winning new accounts in no time. Here are some useful tips on how to get commercial lawn care business accounts that you can start using today.
Present Yourself as a Professional
Perception goes a long way when it comes to hiring professional services, and if you are perceived as being professional across the board, you’ll have a much better chance of winning contracts for quality commercial properties. You need to give the impression that you can handle big accounts, if you want to have big accounts. Here are some proven ways to boost your image:
- Have clean, professional-looking uniforms for employees
- Have company vehicles that are professionally wrapped or painted
- Have a proper business website
- Have the right equipment for the job
- Use professional lawn care software
- Create a professional proposal
- Have competitive pricing (not to low or it may change their perception of the quality)
Target Local Businesses
Dealing with middlemen can be incredibly frustrating when trying to secure commercial lawn care accounts. You never know if you’re getting the final answer or even the correct one, and they seem to brush you off more quickly than the owner would. When you focus on local businesses with local owners, you’ll be far more likely to speak with the owner and not be shuffled around in the same way.
Associations, Groups and Networking Events
Homeowner’s Associations and similar real estate groups, Building Owners and Managers Associations, Chamber of Commerce meetings and other networking-type events can get you in front of the right people. You might be able to make deals at the events themselves, or at the least will have a reference point when you follow up later on.
Getting to know government officials can give you a huge leg up when it comes to winning new accounts. Government officials know what big projects are coming up and also have a network of other corporations in the community that will have commercial landscaping needs. Especially if you live in an area with a high amount of commercial properties, you will want to have a network of people who can let you know when a big account might be looking for a new vendor or taking bids.
LinkedIn is a powerful network filled with professionals, companies, and other commercial contractors and businesses. It’s a huge opportunity to find the right people, connect with them, and start building your network. Having a professional personal and business profile is crucial to your success, as you want to ensure that your business looks professional and knowledgeable in the commercial lawn care space. You should be bale to make lots of connections you can make connections simply by researching, connecting, sending messages, and interacting with others online to start a conversation.
Go the Extra Mile When Placing Bids
Placing bids on commercial lawn care projects consists of much more than simply sliding a number across the desk on a piece of paper. This part of the process can make or break your plans for landing the account, so it’s wise to take it seriously. Make sure that you get your bid in professionally by following the basics: have a good website, good looking company optics (company vans, uniforms, etc.), and the proper proposal.
Do your homework, so you know exactly how low you can bid before you’re paying out of pocket and get information on the competition and how many others are bidding so you know how competitive you need to be in your pricing. Some good questions to ask yourself include:
- How many competitors are submitting proposals?
- Will you need to buy new equipment or hire more team members for this account?
- What are the upsell possibilities?
- How long has the prospect been in business?
- How often do they switch landscape contractors?
Develop Relationships with Existing Contractors
Being a subcontractor for other contractors can increase your chances of winning bigger accounts of your own down the road. Not only does it give you the experience and client roster, which is especially important if you’re just starting out, it also allows you to get your foot in the door and make new relationships.
You never know when a commercial account you’re subcontracting for might become unhappy with their provider and look to you, someone who has already worked on the account who they trust and know does good lawn care. Don’t pass up these low hanging fruit opportunities to build relationships and make money while you’re at it!
What Not to Do
Just as it is important to follow certain steps to get commercial lawn care accounts, what not to do may be equally as important. When trying to securing new commercial accounts:
- Don’t try to “buy” an account just to get in there; stick to the profit margins you set in the research phase
- Train your sales team appropriately if you’ve switched over from residential accounts
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and focus on one large account
- Don’t treat every commercial client exactly the same; learn what makes them unique and direct your focus to those areas
By being proactive and using the right approach, there’s no reason you won’t be able to secure new commercial lawn care accounts to fill your schedule. Our landscaping software Arborgold can help make the process a lot easier and help boost your sales to new levels. Take a tour today to see what we can do!