What It Really Takes to Crush It

What It Really Takes to Crush It

Successful landscape business leaders seem to have things come easy to them. That’s not anywhere near what’s true. They have sacrificed, they have put in the hard work, the blood, sweat, and tears.

I see tons of blog posts about the top 5 or 10 things that successful leaders do or the top things you have to do be successful and honestly a lot of them are fluff. So I started thinking about what the very successful landscape business owners that I know do on a regular basis to be able to perform the way they do for a sustained period of time. There’s lots of commonalities.

Here’s what the successful landscape business leaders we know do to crush it!

  1. Be relentless when it comes to sticking to your vision.
  2. Don’t ever compromise on the quality of your work.
  3. Be present with your family and friends.
  4. Make time for you to recharge your batteries.
  5. Pay attention to your numbers, know them and know what they mean.
  6. Be involved with your team, know their struggles and celebrate their wins.
  7. Adopt a community project and rally your team around making a significant contribution to the place where you live and work.
  8. Deal with the issues as they arise. Be swift and fair.
  9. Embrace the awkward or difficult conversations. Be great at them.
  10. Focus your business on your core strengths. Be the best at what you do.
  11. Leaders provide the scaffolding around their team. Let your team know that you’re there for them when times are tough.
  12. Have an unquenchable thirst for information. Consume podcasts and audiobooks. For a leader that’s always on the go the easiest way to stay on top of your learning goals is to listen while in your truck. Sync your podcasts and audiobooks to your phone and listen through your speakers as you go from one stop to the next.
  13. Be involved in your local and national trade associations. These associations represent your best interests and the only way they can know what you need is if you tell them. Plus their education and networking opportunities tend to be very good.
  14. Participate in an industry peer group. Many prominent landscape industry consultants run peer groups. They meet fairly regularly and hold you accountable for goals that you have indicated that you want to achieve. You can benchmark your company’s performance metrics to see how you’re doing in comparison.

There are lots of ways to improve what you do and how your landscape business operates and I could probably continue to list dozens more ways to stay at the top of your game, but really as long as you  remember who the most important person is at your company you’ll crush it.

The customer.

Huggers and why you need them!

Huggers and why you need them!

Huggers: why you need them!

Regardless of the size of your landscape company, there is someone responsible for making sure you get new business (hunter) but do you have someone (could be the same person) responsible for making sure your customers are being taken care of (hugger). Who does the hunting and hugging in your landscape business? It’s a no-brainer that you need to have a sales person or several of them. This is generally the owner in cases with smaller companies. In larger companies, dedicated sales people are critical to the future success of the business.

Do you have account managers (huggers)? The hugger works directly with your clients to ensure your standards are maintained and that each project receives the attention it deserves for each and every job. This role demands interaction with a wide range of people and has a broad skill set, which means it’s not the right role for everyone. If at any point in time clients have a question about a project, they will go through the account manager to find their answer. It’s important for every landscape company to place a high degree of importance on the creation and maintenance of professional client relationships.

 

Here are 5 ways that significantly contribute to a better overall customer experience:

  1. Listening to each client to gain understanding of their individual needs during and after their project build
  2. Managing customer expectations along each step of the way
  3. Communicating with the team and discussing the direction or their involvement as required
  4. Resolving disruptions quickly in order to win their repeat business – pretty much the person that is empowered to put out the fires
  5. Participate in generating new business – existing clients are an incredible source of business. Think maintenance after a new build or enhancement project, think spring and fall cleans, think snow (if you do that). This is the “would you like fries with that” approach!

 

Frustrated With Your Systems

Frustrated With Your Systems

Frustrated Landscape Contractor

May 2017 — The landscape season is in full boom mode all over North America. You’ve planned for this. You spent the latter part of last year and the early part of this year getting ready for it. What you have planned for is here upon you and your team, working the plan and striving to achieve the goals you put in place.

We’ve been fielding lots of phone calls and emails from landscape professionals like you that are in full operation of their season but have found quickly that there are some significant pain points with the design and business systems that they have in place. Some of the common pains we have heard about are:

  • Leads are falling through the cracks
  • It takes too long to do take offs from the design so the estimator can do their work
  • Working from a generic estimating system that their shoe-horning for landscape construction jobs and maintenance services
  • Estimating based on a gut feeling or experience
  • Not any real systems in place
  • Many software applications in place that don’t speak to each other contributing to disjointed operations
  • No mechanism in place to track actual costs of doing the job

This is really where DynaSCAPE comes in. We have been helping these landscape professionals by expediting the setup of their systems, getting them enrolled in our training sessions, and outfitting them the software solutions that are right for them. Alleviating frustrations in the way you manage your back office everyday is a core strength of our implementation and training specialists. It’s at the foundational level that our software solutions are based on.

Our team here at DynaSCAPE is ready to assist you in working through some of the most difficult time of the year to help you run a efficient, effective, and profitable operation.

If any of this sounds remotely familiar, let us know. The DynaSCAPE team is ready to help!

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Stick to your core values

Stick to your core values

dfm_corevalues

Sticking to your core values is what makes you great, regardless of what your competition is doing. Far too often we worry about what others are doing and it causes us to veer away from our original plan. Sure, we need to be keenly aware of our surroundings and what is happening around us but my point is don’t let it take you off your course.

DynaSCAPE is laser focused on our core values:

  • An unwavering attention to detail
  • An unrelenting demand for quality
  • Over the top delivery
  • And, superior customer service

In your landscape business, do you have someone that is responsible for quality? Sure, you’d expect everyone in the company to maintain a certain level of quality. But who is your quality driver? Someone that will stand on a table and throw a chair across the room because the expectation is not being met. Someone who so passionate about the highest level of quality that they will make everything else grind to a halt until every effort is made to achieve their quality expectation.

I agree, there’s a risk/reward discussion that must take place when implementing something like this, but if it becomes part of your culture then everyone becomes your driver for quality. They’ll call out other team members when they’ve cut a corner or got lazy for a moment. The result is a reputation in your community that is so admirable and respectable that you’ll be booking work a season or two ahead. The result is a culture within your company that is so attractive to those who don’t work for you that you’ll always have a pile of resumes to draw from. The result is a community who follows what you do and is proud of the work you do.

Be so focused on your core values that you won’t let anyone get in the way of them.

10 Traits of a Great Sales Person

10 Traits of a Great Sales Person

In Grant Cardone’s book, Sell or Be Sold he talks about 10 Traits of a Great Sales Person. 

1. Is willing to be told no. 

“Can’t make the shot you never take,” said Wayne Gretzky. To be a great salesperson you have to be willing to be told no and then allow people to tell you no more than once. Most salespeople never ask for the order repeatedly, failing to even ask for the no, trying to avoid the very thing they are certain to end up with. 

2. Asks for the order regardless. 

Believe it or not this is the number one reason salespeople fail is because they just never ask, “Can I get your signature here and here, please?” Most salespeople believe they ask for the order more than they do and in fact never even asked the first time much less enough times. They are probably trying to avoid rejection, getting a no, or failure or because the discipline of asking hasn’t been developed yet. Many people who are unable to ask are operating under the false belief that if they are just nice to people the people will buy from them. Only a very small percentage of the people will buy from you without you asking, and most will only buy after you have asked five times. If you are unwilling to ask for the order you will only get the leftovers of those who are professionally trained to ask for an order. 

3. Listens selectively. 

If you are one of those people who believes everything someone says to you is true and that what people say is what they will do, you will be a disaster at selling. People will say many things to you that are close to meaningless: “I can’t afford it, we are on a budget.” “We aren’t buying today, we are going to wait until . . .” “We never buy at the first place.” “I have to talk to my wife.” “I’ll see you later today.” The list goes on and on. If you are a gullible person and just believe everything your client tells you is “the gospel,” sorry you aren’t cut out for selling. 

4. Stays sold on their own story. 

If you happen to be one of those personality types that is easily sold on another’s story and unable to hold your conviction and belief about those things you are sold on, you will suck at selling your own products and be great at getting sold on others. You are stuck in some kind of reverse boomerang universe where you intend to sell your story, products, or services, and then end up buying everyone’s stories rather than selling your own.

5. Asks questions. 

If you hate asking questions and feel doing so is “too” personal or prying into someone’s business, you will not make it in the field of sales or as a negotiator. “What is your income?” “How long have you worked there?” “Who is the decision maker?” “Why can’t you do this?” These are questions you will have to learn to ask. If questions cause you discomfort that you are not willing to handle, this will determine your fate in sales or, for that matter, in all negotiations. 

6. Gets answers to questions. 

I know some salespeople who don’t mind asking questions, but they never take the time to actually get an answer. These people believe they are controlling the conversation by asking questions, but they fail as salespeople because they never insist on the answers. They ask a question and then ask another, sometimes answering questions themselves for the customer and never getting anywhere. The person who controls the sale is not the person simply asking questions, but the person who can get answers to questions. 

7. Knows that price is not the issue. 

If you believe the lowest price is the reason people buy things, then you should not consider sales. You should become a clerk at Wal-Mart or a waiter in a restaurant. Cheaper alternatives can replace 99.9 percent of all products on this planet. Whether it is a purse, phone, TV, automobile, insurance, mortgage, etc., someone, somewhere can and will sell it for less. Even more of a reality is that most of the things that are bought and sold are not necessary to have, so if a person wanted the lowest price, the thing to do would be to not buy it at all. Too high of a price is actually a myth and not the reason people buy anything, but if you believe the lowest price is the reason people buy things you should not be in sales. 

8. Is willing to pressure and persist. 

If you are one of those people who became convinced as a child by your parents, teacher, and environment that getting your way is a bad thing then you should avoid all sales jobs and any job involving negotiating, debating, or entrepreneurship. A diamond is only coal until the right amount of pressure is applied for the right amount of time. People will not separate from their money or make decisions without someone building value and then insisting on someone taking action. If you despise pressure or persistence don’t do sales and do not go into business for yourself. 

9. Believes in selling as a good thing. 

Most salespeople actually believe that what they are doing is wrong and unethical, and because they believe that what they are doing is a bad thing they will fail at it. Even one small dose of this type of thinking will kill your chances of ever making it in sales. Great salespeople are proud of their title and profession and know that nothing happens on this planet without salespeople. 

10. Trains and prepares constantly. 

If you are one of those people who thinks they are going to successfully sell just because of their natural abilities and who is unwilling to train and prepare, you will not make it as a salesperson. You can be an average salesperson, but you will probably die broke. Even great salespeople over the life of their careers will be plagued with competitive threats, industry changes, and challenging economies, and they will find themselves at risk. To be great at selling you will have to make a commitment to sales training, sales seminars and books, and staying connecting to sales tips and sales strategies.

About Grant Cardone

Grant Cardone is an international sales expert, New York Times best-selling author, and radio show host of The Cardone Zone. He has founded three companies: Cardone Enterprises, Cardone Real Estate Holdings, and the Cardone Group. He has shared his sales and business expertise as a motivational speaker and author of five books: Sell to Survive; The Closers Survival Guide; If You’re Not First, You’re Last; The 10X Rule; andSell or Be Sold.

Benefits of Landscape Design Software

Benefits of Landscape Design Software

Design software can save you time, give you more flexibility and increase your sales. So why aren’t you using it?

 

Drawing by DuChene Design Solutions using DynaSCAPE Design and Color

No one likes change, but, like death and taxes, it’s one thing you can count on in life. You can’t stop it, so why fight it, right? But fear of change is exactly why the use of design software is not as widespread in the design/build industry as perhaps it should be.

Patrick DuChene knows firsthand the benefits of design software. As the owner of DuChene Design Solutions, which provides design services to landscape design/build companies, he has been using it since 2006. At that time, he was running a large landscape design/build division and had multiple responsibilities. He felt that hand-rendered designs were starting to become a drain on his time.

Check out the full article in Turf Design Build magazine: http://www.turfdesignbuild.com/technology/landscape-design-software-benefits/