3 Questions to Ask to Get the Right Customers - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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3 Questions to Ask to Get the Right Customers

Article Author Alison Blobner is the Director of Marketing & Sales for LandOpt, an NALP Consultant Member firm.

Even though some buying experiences are happening more and more on the web these days, that isn’t as true in our industry.  And the benefit is—we’re in the perfect position to pick and choose our buyers, the sorts of buyers that are worth our valuable time and resources.

So how do you find the perfect clients? Here are three questions to ask each time you work with a prospective customer – to take the pulse, so to speak – to determine if that prospect is the right customer.

What is Their True Motivation?

Have you heard of the why strategy? Dan Pink outlines it in his bestseller To Sell is Human. Essentially, when we employ this strategy, we ask the prospect a series of why questions. After five solid layers of whys, we will, ideally, get to the real answer. The right buyer will be the one emotionally invested, at least at some level, willing to fully collaborate and cooperate with your sales team, the one who truly and genuinely believes the quality and unique value of your solution is the best one. If price is the primary motivator, this should absolutely serve as a red flag. Price shoppers are rarely motivated by anything of substantial, deep-seated value.

What is the Opportunity Cost?

Your company and our customers need to feel comfortable with the decision to work with each other. You should work to proactively identify and mitigate any barrier related to opportunity cost that could result in a customer getting those dreaded cold feet. Barriers could be in the forms of finances, concerns, disputes, public perception, preconceived notions, and any number of expected and unexpected obstacles. The more we can enhance the value of the customized solutions our business offers and demonstrate how those offerings alleviate pain and address the customer’s specific needs, wants, desires, and goals, the more confident we can be that the opportunity cost will become a non-factor in the customer’s decision to work with our company.

What do They Really Expect?

Once we successfully unearth the customer’s true motivation for working with us, we need to identify – and, when necessary, reset – expectations. Buyers today want to feel confident they have invested their hard-earned dollars in the best solution for the value. We want to work with customers who push and challenge us, who serve as catalysts for continually setting the bar higher and higher. If we’re not feeling challenged by our customers, we owe it to ourselves and to our businesses to find out why. Simply put, we don’t want to cater to low expectations, or even middle-level ones. We want our ideal customer to set the bar high.

We are too skilled at our art to give it away to anyone who will take it. By asking the right questions, we can be sure we’re continually working with only those customers that share a healthy dose of that lifeblood with our businesses.