Tools such as PowerPoint presentations can really add some sizzle to your steak in certain selling situations. Tablet computers such as the iPad present the latest opportunity for landscape contractors.
"Using technology in general is something the Green Industry is more and more interested in," says Jason Cupp, a business consultant and former landscape contractor. "This is especially true when you're talking about pushing the sales process forward in a new and unique way."
Bringing sales presentations to life
When selling landscaping services, particularly design-build, it's difficult to explain to the customer what they're going to get. "It's a challenge to get someone to pay for a Mercedes without first allowing them to test drive that Mercedes," Cupp relates. "You can stand in someone's backyard and say: 'Here's where a water fountain is going to be, here's an area of lush turf, here are some perennials,' and so on. But it's not always easy for the customer to visualize it."
Bringing the project right to the client is the biggest advantage of selling with a tablet computer. Sure, you can do the same type of thing with a laptop computer. But the enhanced mobility and touch-screen usability of a tablet, not to mention its trendiness, make it an effective tool when selling to Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers alike.
What to include
There are two ways you can go: 1) create a PowerPoint presentation and load it onto your tablet, or 2) simply load a variety of files onto your tablet and call them up one by one as you're speaking with the client.
What kind of files should you consider loading?
"Photos have and always will be a great way to tell a story," Cupp says. Photos of finished projects are a must, generally depicting the before-and-after. Photos of your facility, and key managers and foremen are also something to consider.
Video can be even more effective than photos. Consider videos of your crews working on projects. Consider videos of finished projects; there is more impact when a client can see and hear that waterfall running, for instance. Client testimonials are also very powerful.
Product information is another good one. "When I was in design/build, we had product PDFs of all of our hardscape material," Cupp recalls. Having that type of information on your tablet can prove to be helpful. You can quickly and easily reference it and/or share it with a client. You could also consider lighting products, plant material, irrigation hardware … and the list goes on.
In today's market, it's all about the "do differently." Using a tablet such as an iPad to help you sell is definitely something different. It's also efficient, effective, and capable of helping the consumer to view your services in a way that will make them more likely to buy from you.
Jason Cupp is a Kolbe Certified Growth Consultant, Team Building Expert and Motivational Speaker. As a former CEO and past president of PLANET, Jason's diverse knowledge and experience, combined with a relational and approachable style, have allowed him to intersect with countless individuals, businesses and organizations. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact him.