Rapport is The Core: 3 Tips For Selling Lawn Care and Landscaping Services
Stanley “The Dirt Monkey” Genadek is a landscaping business owner and industry expert with a huge following on YouTube and Instagram. His Dirt Monkey University offers tips, online webinars, one-on-one coaching and a mastermind group.
Jobber asked Stanley for his best tips on how landscaping and lawn care business owners can close more deals. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Be more than an estimator or an order taker
Too often, landscapers treat their customers like a paycheck rather than a person—Thanks for the call, here’s the quote, let me know if you’re interested. That’s both a disrespectful way to go about things and guarantee of lost opportunity, according to Stanley.
“Don’t be an estimator or order taker,” he says. “Be an educator. Be a partner. Take the time to answer questions, explain what it all means, what needs to happen, and exactly what the outcomes are that can be expected.”
By doing so, you’ll build trust, Stanley says. And that’s the single greatest obstacle to overcome in winning business. “You have to move past just focusing on the fundamentals of the business – I quote, I show-up, I invoice,” he says. “Learn to speak less and listen more and you’ll bump your close ratios up.”
“Take the time to answer questions, explain what it all means, what needs to happen, and exactly what the outcomes are that can be expected”
2. Join Toastmaster or a similar group
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Odds are, there’s a group that meets regularly in your area.
“If you can, pick a big club that meets at least two or three times a week and get yourself there regularly. You’ll practice your own speaking and presentation skills but you’ll also learn from watching others practice theirs,” Stanley says. “You take technical training to upgrade your landscaping skills, why wouldn’t you do the same to improve your sales skills?”
Once you’ve sharpened your conversational game a bit, make a point of joining other groups where local businesses gather, such as a Chamber of Commerce, or Business Improvement Association. “You’ll meet people, practice your communication skills, and gain more business this way,” Stanley says, adding tradespeople shouldn’t be intimidated by the folks in suits. “You can be an average person, it doesn’t matter. If you can communicate, people will like you and you can be a part of any group.”
3. Build your conversational muscle daily
Stanley uses the analogy of a bodybuilder to make his point around the importance of working one’s communication muscle daily.
“A bodybuilder works out daily, continuously training themselves and adding muscle mass. If they take just a couple days off, they’ll start to lose some of what they’ve gained through hard work,” he says. “It’s the same way with good communication. You can’t just practice when you feel like it. To build the skill you have to start up random conversations every day.”
Stanley says he makes it a routine to strike up conversations with complete strangers in restaurants, the mall, on public transit, etc. “The idea is to see how far you can get. Not just to talk and listen, but to use charm, wit and your genuine interest in people to a practical purpose,” he says. “Sometimes it’s successful, sometimes it’s not, and that’s fine. Either way, use the feedback and learning you get to improve your communications when you’re face to face with customers and there’s money on the line.”
Master communications and the rest comes naturally
Communicating effectively with a prospect, or a customer, or a stranger on the bus, is a skill that can be learned. And if you want to be successful in business, you’d best learn to do it quickly.
“You don’t get a second chance at these things. The way you communicate can land or lose you a job in a hurry,” he says. “I learned by watching my father as a kid. He was a crop duster and I’d hang around with him and watch how he talked with people.
“I remember him telling me the way you to speak to people is more important than what you do when you’re actually working. It was a great lesson and I try to keep that at the center of everything I do.”
A big thanks to Stanley Genadek from Dirt Monkey University for his insight and expertise. Check out their videos, training, and mastermind group over at dirtmonkeyu.com