Selling to—and working with—high-end clients can feel intimidating. But there can be a lot of opportunity in the lawn and landscape market for those who go after it. Dana Davis, owner of Green Point Consulting, has 30 years of experience in the field that includes working with doctors, attorneys, business owners and even the governor. At LANDSCAPES, Davis will be presenting “How to Win Big Selling & Servicing ‘High-End’ Clients,” where attendees will learn helpful tips to start successfully targeting this segment right away.
We asked Davis to share a few of his best tips with us to provide a taste of what you can expect to learn.
How to Connect With High-End Clients Lesson #1: Know How to Communicate
First and foremost, it’s important that you know how to best communicate with the population you’re going after, says Davis. Knowing how to best connect means having some generational understanding of how potential clients prefer to be contacted.
“Different generations prefer to communicate in different ways—and you can’t assume the way you like to communicate will work for everyone,” he continues. “Whereas most baby boomers prefer phone calls, Gen-Xers tend to prefer texting or emails. Understand that one form of communication does not work for all and find out the preferences of your clients.”
How to Connect With High-End Clients Lesson #2: Build Personal Relationships
You probably already know that selling is more successful when you’re able to connect and build relationship with potential clients. However, it’s important to recognize that when selling to high-end clients, the decision makers are not necessarily whom you need to be building relationships with—you’ll likely be dealing with their employees.
“For instance, when we handled the governor’s home, we dealt with the house manager,” Davis explains. “When you’re working with a very high-end client, you might be dealing with their personal assistant, their security guard, or their house manager—not the decision maker directly.”
But Davis says you need to build a relationship with those people, like you would the decision maker.
“If there is something that drives them crazy—like weeds poking through a brick driveway—and you don’t take the time to learn about it and address it, you could be replaced,” Davis says. “Those employees are majorly influential in the day-to-day work taking place at the home.”
At the same time, Davis says, when you do a good job and you pay attention to those little details, high-end clients, and their direct employees, tend to be very loyal.
“When you’re in, you tend to be there for the long-haul,” Davis says. “High-end clients would prefer to continue working with someone that they know and trust.”
How to Connect With High-End Clients Lesson #3: Don’t be Intimidated
Though it can make the most seasoned landscape professionals nervous to work with high-end customers, Davis says that he learned a long time ago that they “put their pants on one leg at a time—just like everyone else.”
“Remember that you’re the pro at what you do,” Davis advises. “Don’t be afraid to tell them what their property needs. I’ve found that high-end customers prefer when people are direct with them. Set appropriate expectations and don’t be shy about mentioning all of the services that you might be able to offer that could benefit them. This group appreciates upfront talk.”
On that same token, don’t be surprised if they’re blunt with you, Davis says.
“This is an outspoken group. They’re busy people and they don’t have a lot of time. You can expect them to speak their mind—and they appreciate that same ‘directness’ from you.”
Want more? Attend LANDSCAPES!