Stick to Your Plan - IF You Have One

The LandOpt Contractor Network ended 2011 with 17% growth in net new maintenance sales. At the same time, the Network continues to hit its target of 95% retention. Similar performance is expected this year. How is this possible in the hyper-competitive world of commercial maintenance? LandOpt contractors have a strategic plan—and they work it all year long.

"This steady performance is based on a culture of predictability and confidence, and has not involved changes to our contractors' service offering, business approach or pricing," says Steven Bach, a LandOpt success coach with an extensive background in sales and sales coaching.

Each November, LandOpt contractors develop a comprehensive strategic and financial plan for the coming year. Key factors of the plan include:

  • Establish a strong maintenance base through a proactive, formal selling approach.
  • Focus on profit, not price. Pricing is based on local market data. Then, pricing is formulated based on margin and desired profit. On average, LandOpt contractors have been reporting 8-14% profit over the past few years.
  • Focus on dollars, not number of customers. Contractors employ a systematic customer relationship program that allows for ongoing, quality interaction with customers. As already pointed out, LandOpt contractors track at 95% retention, but still allow for 8-10% attrition. Much of that attrition is self-induced; clients that are not profitable are often purged—freeing up a contractor's time to service and/or pursue more profitable business.

Well-defined sales process at the core. Each contractor has one or more dedicated maintenance sales professionals charged with fulfilling an annual sales plan. Built within each plan is an incentive program structured on providing greater financial reward once the minimum "sales quota" is hit. "Therefore, the earlier in the year the goal is achieved, the greater the reward for the sales professional," Bach points out.

On average, the typical long-term maintenance plan falls in the range of $300-$800,000. The Network's top performer in 2011 sold more than $900,000.

The LandOpt Contractor Network is comprised of independently owned landscape contractors who have entered a license agreement with LandOpt to utilize the tools, systems and processes designed to increase revenue, profitability and long-term growth. As of late February, 20 companies were in the Network.

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