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Grow with Grunder: Is your sales team ready to make sales?

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(Photo: Oselote / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)
(Photo: Oselote / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

Green industry salespeople, I’ve got news you probably already know but still don’t want to hear: the days of easy sales are over. Demand for projects has softened across the country, and salespeople find themselves having to go out and make sales instead of just waiting for the leads to come to them.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many landscaping companies and their salespeople can thrive in this environment, but it’s going to take more work in the early stages of a sale than many of us are used to. As we look ahead to 2024, one thing that is abundantly clear to me is that for salespeople to win in the current economy, they’re going to have to search for work.

I like to say that we do zero cold calling at Grunder Landscaping Co., but that doesn’t mean we aren’t out prospecting and generating more interest for our work. Instead of cold calling, I want my team to be warm calling. Let me tell you more about what this means and how to do it yourself.

Do your research

There is so much information available online about people these days that there’s no excuse to show up or call someone blindly. This is a simple step to be a warm caller instead of a cold caller. For new commercial leads, start on LinkedIn and find out:

  • What people do we both know?
  • Where has this person worked in the past? What’s their current role?
  • What school(s) did they go to?

We then can use this information to make a more genuine connection when we reach out, or we can ask any mutual connections to help us with an introduction. It helps us start out a step ahead and builds a good foundation for us to start a business relationship.

Pull up the property

Whether it’s residential or commercial, pulling up the property on Google Maps can give us an idea of what we’re working with. Depending on the work we’re trying to get, we may even be able to have an unsolicited quote ready to go on that first interaction. Gathering any information that will help us close a sale quickly is critical, especially when we get busy in the spring.

Have proof ready to go

Social proof is powerful, especially when we’re warm calling. While we may know who the prospect is, they may not know who we are yet. This has become especially true as we’ve grown our service area and expanded the services we offer in recent years. Have testimonials ready to go, give them names of current clients willing to share their experience, or have collateral ready to leave behind so they can research on their own once you leave.

Think about it. You’d be skeptical if someone just showed up at your home or business trying to sell you something. Be ready to overcome that skepticism with proof.

As you prepare for the busier months ahead, I encourage the salespeople reading this to have the mentality of “every day I prospect, every day I nurture, every day I close.” Create systems now that will allow you to do each of those steps efficiently to drive your to-do list, so you stay on track to hit sales goals.

If you want help creating and defining what that system should look like, join me and Chris Psencik, another accomplished green industry salesperson, for our Virtual Sales Bootcamp in March. Sign up here.

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