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Profit Power: 100 days to sell

March 19, 2021 -  By
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Photo: jonya/E+/Getty Images

Photo: jonya/E+/Getty Images

There is an expression in the landscape industry that refers to the season as “100 days of hell.” While it is humorous, it also sets the wrong tone. I like the following upbeat expression better: 100 days to sell. Spring is here, and it’s time to sell, sell, sell.

Last week, Paul Reder (who came up with this expression) and three other exceptional sales managers joined me for a full day Sales Management Master Class, where so many sales management knowledge bombs were dropped all day. 

In case you missed the master class, here are 13 sales/management knowledge bombs to help you sell and manage your salespeople better:

Managing

  • Consistent personal lives: The best salespeople have consistent and stable personal lives. Make sure your interview process uncovers their full personal picture.
  • Balanced sales commissions: Sales commissions based on gross profit margins can include the cost of estimated equipment (according to Paul Reder), especially if your jobs vary greatly, in order to give a balanced approach to the commission program. 
  • Competitive juices: Bring out the competitive spirit and desires of your sales team with weekly meetings (with three or more salespeople) reviewing key metrics,
  • Participate in buy-in: Sales meetings should be participatory, with everyone filling in and discussing the metrics. 
  • Never cap a salesperson’s upside potential: Let them remain delusionally optimistic about how much they can sell and earn.
  • Magic in the motivation: It’s not just money that motivates; it’s the competitive spirit and celebration of winning, the acknowledgment of a happy client and beautiful job and the sales awards you hand out. If you rely just on the money you will ultimately fail.
  • Great sales managers grease the skids: Develop technological solutions and remove the obstacles of distraction, so the sales team can stay focus on selling. Every salesperson needs different grease to remove different obstacles. “Grease, Grease, Grease”… is the sound coming from behind the door of a great sales manager.

Selling

  • Make promises, keep promises: Salespeople’s times should be scheduled tightly and efficiently, so they can make promises of quick response and keep those promises! This requires using modern technology, apps and defined selling and estimating processes
  • Selling happens in person: Don’t expect clients to buy higher-priced services by email, use an in-person follow-up to deal with price resistance. 
  • Secret weapon: In-person meetings at your facility can be a secret weapon for selling higher-priced projects and services and for adding up-sales to the mix.
  • Set the next step: Always leave a sales meeting with the next step scheduled and a client expectation clarified.
  • Always ask the difficult question: Always ask a client how much they want to spend but not until you have built a strong emotional rapport. If your prospect won’t answer that difficult question, then you have failed to build a strong rapport.
  • Be choosy: Qualify, qualify, qualify, and then sell, sell, sell.

Your challenge

In this busy spring, the challenge is to continue to make tough choices to upgrade the skills, processes and results of your sales team. Yes, the market is hot right now, so anyone who can “fog a mirror” can sell this spring, right? 

Don’t be fooled; building an elite sales force and long-term success takes an intentional approach. Take advantage of this strong market to upgrade your approach and build a winning team.

It’s time to sell!

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Jeffrey Scott

About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit www.GetTheLeadersEdge.com.

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