5 Not-so-secret Secrets to Sales Growth in Tough Times

Contractor Jason Fawcett debuts his guest blog, talking about how his Virginia-based landscape company has managed to find extraordinary growth in tough times.

As each day passes I notice more and more landscapers across the country who continue to struggle to grow their businesses. I feel compelled as a fellow landscaper to share just how my company continues to grow at a very healthy rate each year.

1. First of all, there are no real secrets. Half the battle is following through on what you say. For example, if you tell someone you are going to be there at 8 a.m. to start work, have your crews there at 7:45 so they are ready to start at 8.

2. Once employees understand that they must be on time, the next tool we have used to manage growth is understanding the art of not overpromising to customers. If you tell someone that you're going to plant 50 annuals in their bed areas by Tuesday, but you only end up planting 25 by Friday, what have you done? You've overpromised but underdelivered.

3. Next, you have to understand that growth these days is only achievable by not sitting back and waiting for the work to just come to you. Sales are a must and it’s everyone’s job to be a salesman. Let’s face it, work just doesn't jump out of someone's property and land at your feet saying "I’m going to pay you exactly what you want and let’s get it done.” You have to get out and sell yourself, your work, your company and your staff. Never be afraid to ask for the sale or to attempt to recruit a new customer.

4. A lot of people ask how we have managed to build this into one of the top companies in our markets? How did we get the name recognition we currently enjoy? Well here it is: For the first 12 years of my company’s existence, I lived, breathed, slept, ate, dreamed and sacrificed everything under the sun. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Sometimes you feel that everyone is doing landscaping, but you just have to make sure you are doing something above and beyond to set yourself apart from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Being first often means making some mistakes, but all it takes is one great difference between you and the competition for you to shine.

5. Finally, take a genuine interest in your customers, your employees, and your community. I promise that this will pay dividends down the road. While customers understand you are doing this to make money, they will also appreciate that you have expressed an interest and that you genuinely care. It is much more difficult to fire a friend than it is a total stranger they simply send a check to. Remember what a very wise man once told me: “ You can skin a sheep once, or you can shear a sheep many times."

Learn more about Jason Fawcett by visiting his Green Industry Pros Profile.