My 18 years in the green industry have taught me that there is a predictable seasonality to what we do. Demand for estimates and services are incredibly high from March until mid-summer, regardless of where we do business in the U.S. Typically by July Fourth our operations are running smoothly, but demand slows, making it the ideal time to shift into our sales gears again.
The period from late August to late October accounts for more than 35 percent of our annual revenue. This is the most profitable time of the year for us, as well. By the time fall comes around, we have paid for our materials, labor and capital investments. The more we sell and produce in the fall, the more profitable our company will be since our fixed costs remain the same. That’s why I have always put extra energy into fall sales.
Here are five strategies we use to boost our fall sales:
1. Energize your team! Clearly communicate to your employees the fall services your company can sell to hit annual sales goals. Motivate them by showing them where they are trending for the year in sales for each service you offer. Remind field technicians to fill in the gaps for services your customers don’t have scheduled. If a customer doesn’t have aeration and overseeding scheduled for the fall, instruct employees to leave a simple note for the client letting them know the benefits of these services and what they will cost.
2. Set up client property visits. Starting mid- to late-summer, set up property visits with your best clients. You don’t even need to have a sales agenda. Once you walk the property with a top-tiered customer, the discussion will eventually get around to a need the client forgot or overlooked. I have sold countless walkways, seeding jobs and tree work by doing this.
3. Market fall services. Send out postcards or design a fall services email blast to send to your clients and prospects to remind them of your full range of services. Create a marketing piece that shows the change of foliage and the bright colors of fall mums to get them in the autumn buying mood.
4. Pick up the phone. If you don’t have the time to do site visits with all of your customers, simply pick up the phone. I can’t even count how many sales I have closed by calling and checking in on our clients. You will end up selling something when you do this, and you will demonstrate that you truly care about your customers. Even if you don’t make a sale, the phone call will serve as a retention and customer satisfaction tool.
5. Post signs at your job sites. Job signs are a cost-effective way to attract attention and acquire new business in neighborhoods where your company is working. After your employees provide service for a customer, instruct them to install your job sign in a location that motorists and pedestrians can easily see. Go into any of our 45 company trucks you will see stacks of these signs stored behind the trucks’ seats.
Once you get some vacation time and rest from the stresses of the spring/early summer season, get back to work by being proactive with your sales efforts in order to finish off with a strong year.