Want to know a “Green Industry” secret?
You can get into ANY lawn care market you want. The key is to look for the CRACKS in your market.
This post will give you the chisel and hammer you need to break into any lawn care market – without GOING BANKRUPT first.
Remember this: Every Market has Cracks (and they’re all the same)
The market you want to bust into is crowded. It’s insanely competitive. People are undercutting each other. New lawn care companies are cut down as soon as they pop up. Clients rely on the name-brand and established companies because they can’t trust a new guy to be around next week. This may be discouraging, but know this: a crowded market means there’s money to earn. If nobody wants into the market, it’s probably because there’s no money to be made there.
1. How to stand out so clients can easily see you:
Think about the last time you were meeting a buddy and there was a crowd at the bar. How did you find him? You looked for the things about him that stick out. His terrible handlebar mustache. His penchant for neon trucker hats. The stools because he’s not much for standing.
If you look like, talk like, act like every lawn care company in town, why would clients switch to your company?
Paint your truck. Change your uniform. But, above all else, be better. You have two options: blend into the crowd and be lost in it or stand out and get business.
Provide a quality service at a reasonable price. Make your clients feel valued and cared for. Send an occasional card thanking them for their patronage. Clean up random trash without being asked. Know their names. Whatever happened to the milkman and the paperboy? They were replaced by a random teenager at the supermarket and a guy who throws your paper out the window of his Grand Caravan. Don’t be like them. Create relationships with your clients through excellent service.
“But,” you say, “Cody, I can’t provide a great service to clients I don’t have.” Glad you brought that up. Your competitors have name recognition and consistency on their side. You need to disrupt that. A potential client has to overcome a certain amount of risk in hiring you. Give them a reason to trust you. You have to bridge that gap for the client. This is what fancy marketers call “risk reversal.”
2. Build Trust… Immediately:
- Make a Compelling Guarantee – Why would someone NOT hire you? Make a list – they don’t want to pay more, they’re afraid you won’t do a very good job, their last lawn care company always left the gate open, etc.If you find out the main thing that frightens people away from buying lawn care, make a guarantee that negates that fear. Make a guarantee that is so compelling, they have nothing to lose.Be simple and bold: “If you have a problem, we’ll come back and fix it for free. You’ll love your lawn, guaranteed.”
- Testimonials – Offer to put the client in touch with a client (if you don’t have a large client base yet, this can be your brother-in-law, aunt, whoever). Record a video of a client who thinks you do a great job.The easiest sell is to someone who knows a current client. The second easiest is someone who hears from someone they don’t know that you’re amazing.
- Buy Yourself Some Extra Rope – Always give 110% on your first service for a client. An amazing first impression will forgive any later slip-ups. If you only give 80% on your first-time clients will think you always make mistakes, especially when a future mistake comes up.
- Keep Your Commitments – Do what you say when you say you’ll do it. It’s simple and effective.
3. Your Goal: Own the Neighborhood.
Pick an area and own it. Spend all your marketing money getting more business there. Many companies become obsessed with getting ANY client, ANYWHERE. Don’t spread yourself thin. Go for density. This keeps your costs down because you’re not driving an hour to do a 30-minute job.
Other Reasons Route Density is Great:
- Increase likelihood people see you regularly. People can only buy things they’re aware of, make sure they’re aware of your business. This is how you become the name-brand that everyone trusts.
- Easy to sell to other neighbors. You mow a lawn, crisp lines, perfect edges. Walk over to the neighbor’s door and knock. When they answer, simply point at the lawn you JUST finished and say, “Wouldn’t you want your lawn to look as good as that? I can do that.”
The trick to breaking into any lawn care market is threefold: stand out, create trust, and own an area. If you use these techniques in your business, you can secure clients in any market. There’s no replacement for being different, being better, and being visible; in fact, they’re the only way to break into your market.
Cody is a copywriter with Service Autopilot. He was writing before he could read, dictating stories to his mom. Of late, he distills business principles and practices learned from his ever-increasing trove of books and his year with SA Support into digestible blog posts designed to provide maximum value to service industry business owners.