How to Influence Consumer Buying Decisions - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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How to Influence Consumer Buying Decisions

Because landscape and lawn care services are mostly discretional purchases and there is an abundance of choice when it comes to providers, it’s critical you can persuade your client base to select you over other options.

Your marketing efforts can be highly effective at influencing consumer behavior if you consider some of the main factors behind their actions. Consumer behavior is influenced by psychological, personal and social factors.  

Psychological Factors

While you’d like to think that people solely make decisions based on logical reasoning, it has been found that a consumer’s emotional response plays a major part in the brands they choose.

How someone responds to your direct mail campaign will vary based on their perceptions, attitudes and beliefs, and motivation. Advertisements, customer reviews, and social media coverage all influence a customer’s perception of your brand. If you aren’t monitoring and responding to your customer reviews, a Google rating could give them a poor perception of your business.

Meanwhile, their attitudes and beliefs are their preconceived notions and ideas about a service. For instance, they could think that if you come to service their lawn once, they should see instant results. Because they expect and want this outcome, they may be more likely to call your company than someone who believes lawn care is bad for the environment.

Lastly, motivation has to deal with that client’s various needs. If a customer takes pride in having the best lawn in the neighborhood, you could be able to meet that esteem need and motivate them to hire your business. Social media ads that allude to being the pride of the neighborhood can trigger the emotional response you want.

Personal Factors

Other factors that will vary from person to person include their age, income and lifestyle.

Obviously, an elderly client is more likely to seek out help with services they can no longer do themselves, or if they want to craft a landscape that their grandchildren can enjoy. A young homeowner may be less interested in landscaping services if they have the free time to handle their own maintenance. Thus, how you message your services should vary based on your target demographic’s age.

Income is a major influencer on a consumer’s choices as their personal budget will dictate whether they can afford a new outdoor living area. Customers with higher incomes are much more likely to buy luxurious items while those with a lower income will have a harder time justifying purchases beyond those that meet their basic needs.

Depending on who you’re marketing to, you could highlight just how extravagant their future landscape could be if money isn’t an object, while for those who have more restrictive budgets, you could emphasize the benefits and return on investment they’ll get by revamping their landscape. A client’s lifestyle also drives their decision-making process. Those who are environmentally conscious are more likely to seek out a landscape company that aligns with their values.

Social Factors

Socially, people want to imitate others and be accepted. A consumer’s reference group and family can both influence a person’s buying behavior in their attempts to fit in.

A reference group is who that person associates themselves with. They typically share the same behaviors and influence each other’s consumer habits. For instance, if everyone else on their street has well-cared-for lawns, the person who does not will feel some level of pressure and desire to achieve the same look on their property.

If you have salespeople going door-to-door, making note of their lawn’s current condition could trigger the emotional response of feeling left out. This should be addressed considerately, as it could cause defensiveness or anger if brought up the wrong way.

An individual’s family also models buying habits and helps establish a sense of trust with certain brands. The longer your landscape company is around, the more likely you can end up caring for multiple generations of a family’s homes as that level of confidence in your brand is established.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.