Episode 75 of Landscape Digital Show reveals how to build marketing resources that will save time and sell more services.
The dilemma for business owners that are also the primary rainmaker, and our survey indicates that is the majority of landscaping companies, is the ongoing fight for your time between marketing and production.
Production usually wins because that’s what generates profits. Then the cycle begins again as selling takes priority in order to make it rain. It doesn’t have to be this way because nowadays there are many marketing options for keeping the pipeline full.
As you know, having abundant options means you have to choose, and my experience in this industry is that most companies will choose whatever promises to get results quickly. That’s what keeps that stressful roller coaster going. To get off of it you have to commit to building time-saving marketing resources.
Plan and Grow Valuable Marketing Resources
The resources necessary for marketing and selling your landscaping services will be created over time, so don’t get overwhelmed if you currently fall short in one particular area. More important is to know what you’ll need so that you can be planning for creating it.
Photos are an excellent example. Most landscaping companies put off taking photos until they need them for upgrading marketing materials such as websites or social media profiles and pages. This is unfortunate because you only have one chance at getting before photos of a project, with numberless opportunities for capturing the best after image.
Think of your marketing resources as selling tools, because they are. Photos, videos, testimonials and more are invaluable tools for both marketing and selling, and not having them puts your business at a serious competitive disadvantage.
You may have the most talented salespeople in your community, but without these tools, they will have to invest more time than necessary to communicate with prospective customers. It’s up to you as the owner to plan for growing these assets.
That planning starts with creating a list of what’s necessary, including the following.
- Unique solutions
- Informative articles
- Budgeting scenarios
- Hidden costs
- Common shortcuts
- FAQ’s with answers
What would you add to that list??
Marketing Resources Are An Investment in Your Target Audience
There’s a reason why marketing resources were once commonly referred to as marketing collateral. You are using them to invest in relationships with customers.
Case studies are a perfect example. Everybody that has been in business has them, but only a few have taken the time to break them down into teaching moments for staff and prospective customers.
The longer you have been in business the more cases studies you should have for helping buyers better understand what’s possible, while also getting a glimpse into the personality of your company.
Let’s assume you have been in business for at least ten years. Can you produce at least 10 customer case studies, supported by data and visuals, that can be used to help people envision a relationship with your business?
If not, the same is probably true about other marketing resources that serve to educate and inspire your targeted audience and ultimately drive profitable outcomes.
In a nutshell, that’s the definition of what we now call content marketing. It’s using marketing resources to attract and retain customers. It requires an investment in the future of your business – your customers
Now decide who can get this work done?
Systems are Necessary for Creating Marketing Resources
Whether you do the work yourself or delegate it to a team member, you need to build a reliable system for getting the work completed. To quote legendary production efficiency expert, W. Edwards Deming, “ A bad system will beat a good person every time.”
A checklist is a system. Choose at least at least a couple of marketing resources to build, maybe case studies and unique solutions. Then list the steps involved and put them on the calendars of the people responsible for creating them.
Remember our 10-year example? Surely your aspirations are higher than that, but to be sure you have a win in a few categories, aim for just two pieces every year. That’s two case studies, testimonials, FAQ’s and so on.
Try this. Charge your teams with building the habit of asking customers to share their current challenges. It could go something like this. “Can I ask you a question? If there was one problem that I could solve for you, what would it be?”
For one thing, that customer will appreciate that you cared enough to ask and listen. And most likely they will be thinking about your business for much of the rest of their day. That is free marketing.
If every one of your front line people brought just one story like this to your weekly staff meetings and it was captured in a few sentences, you would soon have more valuable content than you could ever use to help your customers.
Those problems and their solutions are the seeds of a case study, testimonial, or informative article that can be shared with all of your prospects and customers, whether that is with a website, newsletter, social media, or in direct selling situations.
Selling suddenly got a lot easier, didn’t it?
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Call to Action
The call to action for this episode is to put this into action.
List the marketing resources your business needs.
Get them on the calendar.
And get them done.
Over time you will have marketing assets that will save time and sell more services.