At one time or another, we have all experienced annoyingly pushy salesmen. Whether it’s at the mall, a used car lot, on the telephone, or even at my own front door, annoyingly pushy salesmen turn me off and rarely gain me as a customer.
I was thinking about forceful selling tactics and how they relate to the lawn care business this morning during a business seminar. The presenter was talking about the art of getting your foot in the door. He told us that getting your foot in the door is the first step to acquiring a new customer account. “Since a prospective customer’s first inclination is to shut you out, aggressiveness is needed to surmount that first obstacle.”
Being in the lawn care industry for 17 years, I have to completely disagree with the “agressive foot in the door” principle. Instead of winning customers, this tactic drives customers away.
I like to be assertive instead of aggressive. Assertiveness is when you use intelligent pursuasion to show prospective customers how you can be of benefit to them.
I want to give an example of getting your foot in the door using an assertive sales technique. When I was in the early days of my lawn care business, I used to walk neighborhoods and knock on doors. Most people politely refused my offer for estimates. Some people gladly accepted. Still, others rudely shut their door in my face. I did not want to turn into an aggressive salesman so I developed a strategy of assertive behavior when met with a rude prospect. One day, a gentleman seemed very annoyed when he opened the door, I gave him my quick 30 Second Elevator Speech but by the time I was 10 seconds into the pitch he skreetched “NOT INTERESTED” and proceeded to slam the door. Before his door closed I yelled: “YOU’RE KILLING YOUR SHRUBS!”
The door slammed and I walked off the porch with my head hung low feeling dejected from yet another “No.” Before I reached the last step off the porch, this man opened his door and asked “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”
I told him he was killing his shrubs because his air conditioner’s condensation overflow was leaking into his shrub bed. Slight watering is okay but the last two shrubs in his bed were standing in water. He said “SHOW ME.”
Now, I was only new to the business and was intimidated by his attitude. Being a beginner landscaper, I showed him the problem and offered an easy solution of fastening a drip tube to water the entire bed evenly instead of only one section.
He appreciated my advice and asked me to bid on his grass cutting contract for the summer. I told him the price and got the job immediately.
Aggressive sales would have never worked with this customer. However, an intelligently assertive response as his door closed worked wonders and got me a long-term customer.
If you are interested in more sales techniques used to get customers for your lawn care business, check out our business guidebook package at our website: Start A Lawn Care Business
Even if your not in the lawn care business, this package will help teach you sales, estimating, and customer relations.
People who purchase our Lawn Care Business Package learn how to be assertive instead of aggressive.