PLANET recently interviewed a few of our members on how they were surviving in these tough economic times. Here is another interview from Chris Senske of Senske Lawn & Tree Care in Kennwick, WA.
“Our lawn care and pest control business has been stable, but we’re down a bit in commercial maintenance, primarily because of increased competition. In some instances, competitors are underbidding us way below our costs, especially on a few multifamily and HOA properties.The first change, then, has been to focus our salespeople to sell at our price and target market, followed immediately by training them to be more effective with their sales approach. Our sales motto is, “We want to work with people who want a long-term relationship with us.” We’re selling more than a service. We’re selling value, communication, and relationships.
In addition to refocusing and retraining our salespeople, our next biggest change occurred over 18 months ago. It was during this time that we asked one of our managers to champion Jim Paluch’s “Working Smarter Training Challenge.” He was so successful that we took the program companywide. Since then, we’ve become more efficient, and now every employee gets touched by training at least once a week, either through the Training Challenge specifically or by attending other safety or technical training sessions.
The knowledge our employees receive through training is important, but equally important is the communication that occurs among employees during and after the sessions. The training has made a huge difference in the communication level around the company, and we are more profitable
because of it.
Like most companies, we’re not as busy as we normally would be this time of year. We’re trying to make use of this time by investing in our people and putting ourselves in the strong position to grow when the economy rebounds.”
Senske Lawn & Tree Care