Self-Reflection: Defining Your Ideal Client - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Self-Reflection: Defining Your Ideal Client

It’s 2024, and with the new year brings the opportunity for a fresh start. While there are a lot of unknowns for this year and elements out of your control, you can control who your landscape company is focused on.

Taking the time to define your ideal client is extremely beneficial as you are able to shed contracts with customers who were not as profitable and may have been more problematic for your team. It also enables you to fine-tune your marketing efforts.

Your ideal client could be anything from large HOAs to high-touch residential clients who want every detail handled outdoors. Basically, they are the person that, if you could copy them, they are the only type of customer you’d want to work with.

In a perfect world, this type of customer would have no flaws as well, but the term ‘ideal client’ refers to them being the best fit for your business, not that you’ll never have issues with them.

Review Your Existing Client Base

First, ask what you do as a lawn or landscape company. It can be hard sometimes to sum the breadth of your services into an elevator pitch, but you need to be clear on what it is you provide before you can define your ideal client.

You can also evaluate your current client base. What are most of them hiring you for? Is it because that’s your strongest offering or they simply aren’t aware of your other services? Is that service what you are passionate about or is it just what pays the bills?

Think about your past client interactions that didn’t go to plan and the reasons why. For those more difficult jobs or projects you lost money on, these might be clients not to pursue any more. Sit down and talk with your team about your red flags, deal-breakers and non-starters that are no longer acceptable in a client.

Ask Who You Like Working With

Once you created an outline of who you don’t want to work with, figure out which clients you like working with the most. Are there any common denominators between these customers?

There are a lot of factors that could determine who you like working with. Perhaps you prefer to partner with clients where they spare no expense when it comes to their budget. You might target your ideal client base by their occupation or region. If you do full-service maintenance and want a tighter route, clients who have busy work schedules and are close to your headquarters could be a better fit.

The demographics of your ideal client could also include psychographics like their personality, lifestyle and values. For instance, if you live in a resort area, you might like second-home owners who trust you to get the job done, instead of micromanaging every time your crews come out to their property.

Identify Their Wants and Needs

If you want to serve your ideal clients the best way possible, you need to put yourself in their shoes and understand their wants and needs. Not only will this help on the service side, but your marketing messaging will also resonate with the more.

Consider what their life looks like before they start looking for you. Perhaps they struggle with the embarrassment of an unkempt yard in a high-end neighborhood but they know they simply don’t have the time to handle it themselves.

When you have a better understanding of your client’s motivations, you can develop the connections as to why the client needs you and your services. Continue the thought exercise of what they would do with their struggle. What are they looking for when they find you?

If you were this high-end client looking for landscape maintenance services, what would matter the most to them? What content on your website would entice them to pick up the phone or fill out a contact form on your website?

Think through the type of experience you want your ideal client to have with your company from when they first reach out. Speak to their problems and how your company is the solution they are seeking.

One exercise you can do is fill in this sentence: “Because of this problem, my client is feeling ­­­_____. Once this problem is solved, my client will feel _____.”

If you’re tired of dealing with unprofitable, frustrating client interactions, it might be time to hone your focus on your ideal client base.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.