If you use LandscapeHub, you’re in the business of selling. . . something. But it might not be what you think, and thinking differently about what you sell will actually help you sell more.
Gut Check: Does the idea of marketing and selling make you happy or nervous?
Before delving into a discussion of reframing your thinking about marketing, take a minute to figure out what you think about marketing.
It’s our experience that suppliers are fairly comfortable with selling products because selling products is (they think) at the core of their business. But, suppliers might get nervous about marketing their products. Marketing makes a lot of people nervous. Or, suppliers might not think they even need to market their products.
Conversely, many buyers, especially smaller landscape design firms or sole proprietor designers, seem to be more reluctant to actively sell and to market. Maybe thinking about marketing feels like drinking vinegar. Maybe you feel too pushy when you market or put calls to action on your website like, “contact me.” That’s ok (for now). It’s good to know where you stand.
Selling features and benefits
Now that you know how you feel about marketing and selling, you can begin reframing your thinking, and varying your message will help you sell more without even trying.
Jot this down:
Facts tell. Benefits sell.
Benefits sell because the benefits of a product or service are what people really want.
Here are what facts look like in marketing:
“Now available: New Guinea Impatiens - 4 inch and gallons”
“Project management is billed at $125 per hour and may be purchased in blocks of $500”
“New Item: Mexican Rock 1⁄2” to 1” available by pallet.”
Ok, so where do benefits come in?
Jot this down: You don’t sell stuff. You sell solutions.
The benefits are the solutions.
A homeowner or their contractor buying gravel isn’t just buying gravel. They’re buying a new pathway to take them to their garden to enjoy their free time. They’re buying a buffer area around a low-cost fire pit for safety and peace of mind while enjoying their outdoor space to relax and unwind.
An architect buying arborvitae isn’t just buying trees. They’re filling a need for their clients’ project (and thus fulfilling their own need for work to live). They’re buying a living screen to separate the client’s backyard from the neighbors so the clients can enjoy their outdoor space in peace.
A couple buying design services isn’t buying a plan for their backyard. They’re buying a way to make the dream that they have of spending time with family instead of swatting bugs and stepping on sand spurs a reality.
A shopping center manager buying 400 pots of hot pink New Guinea Impatiens isn’t just buying plants. They’re buying the attention-grabbing color of the plants that will capture the interest of people driving by, hopefully encouraging them to stop and shop.
Feature benefits while marketing to adopt a “helping” mindset
Think about how much your clients or customers benefit from what you have to offer. You’re not just snatching their money. You’re helping them solve problems.
When you put it that way, it’s much easier to communicate about what you’re selling.
Communicate benefits when you’re marketing. Every sign doesn’t have to be a story. Every facebook post doesn’t have to be a brochure, but even saying something simple like:
“Stop traffic with instant curb appeal. Now available New Guinea Impatiens - 4 inch and gallons”
communicates the benefits they’ll get from buying the impatiens.
It also reframes your thinking from selling to helping.
Marketing makes it easy for customers
Time for the big finale! Why bother marketing at all?
You bother because marketing helps customers realize that you can help them.
You are all about helping, and how can you help someone if they don’t know about you?
Customers are looking for solutions, and marketing is how you tell them about the solutions you offer.
Why make people hunt for your availability if you can email it to them? (Here’s a LandscapeHub marketing plug: Why bother creating your own availability list when you can email your customers and point them to LandscapeHub? See what we did there?)
Why make people stop by for a visit to see what’s on your lot when you could put pictures on Facebook?
Why let a customer miss refreshing their annual plantings for the year when you could call them or send them a postcard to remind them?
Of course you have to think about the frequency of your messaging and the way you deliver marketing messages, but you can stop thinking of marketing being pushy and start thinking about it being helpful.
Isn’t it nice when you need to contact your insurance broker to be able to search through your email and find an email from them? Or to be able to click to call them from their website? Or when you see their “google my business” listing is up to date?
To sum it up:
You’re not selling products and services. You’re selling solutions that will help people. For people to know you can help them, you have to tell them. That’s marketing.
Now, go forth and help!