How are your storytelling skills? It might be time to brush up on them when you're bidding on commercial landscaping jobs.
Yes, property managers and business owners are busy. But how many of the same sales talks have they heard from your competitors? You know how it goes—they eventually stop listening.
Instead of simply going through the lawn and landscaping services you offer, why not paint a picture of how these same services will welcome new customers and build the company manager's reputation?
Consider What Your Commercial Client Needs from Your Landscaping Company
Before sending out mowing contract bids, think about your typical commercial client's needs:
- Do they need you to mow at certain times of the day?
- Do they want a one-stop-shop for all of their lawn care, landscaping, and irrigation needs?
- How can you make business properties beautiful and help make their customers feel welcomed and delighted?
- How will you make the property manager's life easier?
Consider these soft skills before you talk with a store manager about the services you'll provide them.
Read more: Landscaping Equipment List for Commercial Landscapers
Don't be afraid to get visual. Store managers, grounds supervisors, property managers, and HOA boards are busy. So, it can't be this long, drawn-out story. However, the best stories are sometimes the shorter ones.
For example, say you're bidding on a stand-alone coffee shop owner. You can start by talking about a working mother who has a few minutes between leaving the office and grabbing her kids from school to shuffle them to their sporting events. She's tired, and she needs a pick-me-up. She decides to go through the drive-through, which usually is backed up by three to five cars at 4 p.m. when she arrives.
Now, imagine mulching, a green space, and a small flowerbed tucked in the back and side of the coffee shop. Instead of watching a worker take a vape break, her eyes drift toward a dwarf hydrangea, the annual flowers, and an ornamental Japanese maple.
She takes in the emerald green grass and the red-twig dogwoods in a straight line when she looks to her right.
After she gets her grande mocha latte, she drives around to the store's front to leave. The greenery, seasonal flowers, and well-maintained shrubs help her take a deep breath and relax.
That's how you sell your commercial lawn and landscaping services. You paint a picture of how the store manager's customers will feel during their time at that coffee shop.
Down to the Nitty-Gritty: How to Bid on Commercial Lawn Care
After you tell the story of the harried mom, you pull out a bid that you prepared to explain the services you're offering to the store manager.
Your bid includes all of your information, including a breakdown of the seasonal services you'll supply (if you provide snow services, put that down as part of a four-season contract).
If you want to know how to set up a proposal, GoILawn.com provides a lawn care bid example. There are other landscaping bid examples online for you to consider as well, including free bid templates to help you write your first proposal.
Timing is everything. For example, you don't want to start bidding for lawn mowing jobs in April because most companies have their commercial services lined up. However, if you by a business that looks like it needs some help, stop in and talk to the person in charge.
If you want to stay busy and build up your clientele, though, you want to stay a season ahead.
Here's what your bid should include
- Line-by-line of each service you'll be providing, such as the prices for labor, equipment, and turf products
- The final cost, including any discounts you'll be applying to the bid
- Samples of other business properties where you've provided lawn services (if you don't have any real-life samples, then use your property as an example or pick up some residential clients to add to your portfolio)
- If you're providing landscape design/build services, include a CAD drawing for the project or a sample CAD drawing
- Add testimonials from happy customers with your bid
- Company information, such as a brochure and business cards
- Insurance and license certificates
- A prepared contract for the customer to sign on the spot.
Read more: 12 Tips for Successfully Marketing Your Commercial Lawn Service
If you've had time to develop relationships with HOAs, store managers, and property owners, then you'll have an easier time selling your commercial lawn and landscape services to them.
If there's a convenience store or a restaurant you regularly visit, get to know the store manager. It'll be natural to ask them if they're happy with their current lawn service.
Suppose you haven't networked and built relationships with decision-makers. You, then, need to get involved with local networking groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, business meet-ups, and local chapters for property and apartment manager associations.
If you're just starting, you may need to go to some companies, like warehouses, restaurants, and retail spots, to sell your services. You want to speak to the business owner if it's a local business. If it's a franchise, then talk to the business manager.
Set up a time to talk with the point person and bring a completed bid with you for the standard lawn services you'll provide. You can always modify it per customer, but you want to get the ball rolling before your competition beats you to it.
The Secret to Bidding and Getting More Lawn and Landscaping Jobs: Build Relationships
If the idea of making cold calls or showing up at a business to talk to the manager sends chills down your spine, you're not alone. Cold leads are difficult when looking for paying customers. Instead, you want to cultivate warm leads by getting to know the decision-makers.
Again, you can go to networking events or brainstorm all of the companies you go to on a regular basis. For example, does your hair salon have a stand-alone building? What about your local grocery store?
Ask the people who're in charge of the business how they feel about their current commercial lawn service.
Conversely, you can focus on a niche and target one commercial client type—including warehouses or a shopping plaza.
You can also include pictures of the professional mowing equipment you use on commercial properties.
Speaking of commercial mowing equipment, do you need replacement tires, tubes, or parts to keep your mowers and other lawn equipment humming this spring?
Then, you need us at MowMore.com. We're your one-stop online shop for all of your commercial lawn care equipment needs. If you have any questions about your landscape equipment and replacement parts, call our customer service today at 1-800-866-9667 or fill out our contact form.
Arborgold.com, "What to Include in a Landscape Proposal."
ServiceAutopilot.com, "How to Bid Your Next Commercial Lawn Care Contract."
YellowstoneLandscape.com, "How Often Should I Bid Out HOA Landscaping Contracts?"