Author Ken Thomas, of Envisor Consulting is an NALP consultant member. Join Ken Thomas and Ben Gandy on October 18 for the Account Manager Training Workshop at LANDSCAPES 2017.
As the commercial landscape maintenance industry continues to get more and more competitive it is critical for companies to understand the importance of differentiation. How can we separate ourselves from the competition?
As much as we may believe, differentiation isn’t achieved through our product quality alone. Although healthy weed free turf and beautiful flowers are important, they are expected. In our opinion the true differentiator in our client satisfaction today is the Client Relationship Manager or Account Manager. Over the past 5 years Ben and I have spent a great deal of time working with Property Managers to understand what they value in a vendor or service provider relationship.
The top 4 things property managers value most when it comes to their account manager are:
- Expert Advice
- Effective Communication
Honesty- Our clients want to know that they can trust us to do the right thing, treat them fairly and shoot straight. Trust is one of the strongest motivators in creating loyalty. Property managers are much more likely to spend money and refer their peers to Account Managers with whom they are comfortable.
Expert Advice- It may seem obvious but landscaping is a business advantage to real estate professionals. When we help, our clients make smart landscape decisions that help them to attract and retain key tenants or guests, increase the value of their property or enhance the lives of their clients they win big. As a budget line item landscaping can rank among the largest. Effective Account Managers use their industry experience to help real estate professional spend their landscape dollars wisely in order to achieve the best return on their landscape investment
Proactiveness– Today’s property managers are very busy. They are doing so much more with less. They value relationships that make their lives easier. They need to know that their landscaper is out in front of them and bringing issues and opportunities to them before they become problems.
Effective Communication– Effective communication means easy, concise and clear. Let them know what you are going to do, tell them you did it, send the pictures and follow up. Respond to problems quickly and provide an informed response.
If you can master these 4 skills, as an Account Manager or Client Relationship Manager you will win the positioning game! Don’t leave your most important competitive advantage to chance.