“Why won’t you take my money?”
That’s what I was saying to a landscaping company for 1 full week about a month ago.
I just wanted my backyard fixed.
Grass from one side to the other and no giant ivy patch with remnants of a hundred year old cedar mixed in.
But when we went to book the company – we wrote a check (don’t get me started on that) and they were supposed to come by… FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK. But they didn’t. It took a few days of begging to finally get them to give us an alternate way to pay.
It was like pulling teeth.
And the trouble actually started a month PRIOR TO THAT (if you believe it).
Why Are We Talking About Landscaping?
But hold up – let me tell you why I went down the rabbit hole of pulling this business’ practices apart.
Like I said before – I am ALWAYS on the lookout for businesses that are doing things I love and ones that are doing not so great – shady things … and in both cases I look for opportunities to learn.
You will be shocked how many amazing strategies I’ve learned outside the realm of online business or how many reminders of what it takes to build an honest business I get from real life interaction with offline businesses…
So … that’s why we’re talking about landscaping…let’s keep going…
The “Stop Making It So Hard” Case Study
We approached 1 company–we didn’t shop around. We are a little lazy like that.
The company we hired had this opportunity to show us how to fix our yard, give us ideas, and really paint a picture of what our yard could be like.
We had no clue what to do really. That’s not what we do.
They were missing the boat on so many pieces of the process, missing out on money from us, the chance to have repeat business, and perhaps have us refer them to others.
It stunned me that:
→ We had to create an image and give them measurements for each and every part of the yard…they could have done this and made suggestions…but they didn’t.
→ They never confirmed when the job would actually start – we sent the check and called every day until we got the final start dated (wondering if that was a real date…thankfully it was)
→ They took like a week of pulling teeth to hand them money in the form of a check. First of all – don’t get me started… we don’t even write checks often anymore.
Full Disclosure: they did do the job – and did a great job.
My Best Guess On Why We Stayed
I still think we should have gone elsewhere on principle alone.
We didn’t – because thank goodness they have lots of great recent reviews from past customers and we are lazy.
They got lucky.
But it started me wondering how many other landscapers and even more than that – how many other businesses operate this way?
Well – let me cut to the chase and tell you. A LOT.
And maybe all of us have little fixes and updates we need to make from time to time on our own websites and various marketing material.
But don’t leave your launch or sales or your business growth to luck.
The reason this is so important
Because it takes less than you think to convince someone NOT to work with you, to buy your product, to see you as available and IN business.
When the most basic, foundational pieces of your launch or sales process are broken or don’t make sense, how will people become your customers?
Remember that you have something people want to purchase.
Here’s the 5 minute fix for your lazy sales process
If you don’t fix these things – you will lose business…and probably already are losing business.
- Have a working, correct, proofed website – and someone to monitor so it remains working
- Provide some clear description and examples of your work (to show people what’s possible) – or have content that can
- Create a simple process for people to work with you – call, set initial appointment, estimate, book the job, payment, review after the job
- Set up a simple working payment process that allows for a few different ways you don’t have to “stop by and get a check”.
- Always tell me what you think I should do in your expert opinion… even if I know what I want, I like to hear the specials, what is possible…and who knows – I might even buy!
- Create a few automated ways to follow up with me – emails are easy and work.
You might be say, “no duh, Anne”.
And I don’t blame you.
But as soon as I noticed these things lacking from multiple landscaper sites, I RAN back to my own website and business to make a list of where I wasn’t making it easy and simple to become (and stay) my customer.
So the moral of this story: Make it easy to do business with you.
… to reach people, have a clear way for the people to respond, take money easily, and then assuming they do a good job – they’ll build up that social proof too.
And believe it or not – your business is the exact same – no matter what. you. do. or. sell.
Have you ever worked worked with a company or organization that either inspired you to clean up an area of your business…or reminded you of something you do really really well?
Share it in the comments below.
Ashley @ Greenlight Holistic Healing says
Yesss! I say that (in my head) all the time. Actually – I think my Mom said it first. DO NOT MAKE ME WORK TO GIVE YOU MONEY!
I will walk out of stores with bad customer service (ie an employee standing by the cash register but not bothering to hop on – even when there’s a massive line.) And with an online shopping experience..I’ve probably already spent a while checking you out. Visited your site a few times…when the moment comes that I’m ready to give you money or schedule an appointment – you need to make it seamless! gaaahhhh!
This is why I’m hiring a VA to help me get all my stuff set up next week. Just to make sure all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed! #endrant
Kiria Vandekamp says
Great tips, Anne, thank you. I´ll look through the sales process of my freshly launched website to see what I can do better!
It gave me an inspiration to give my clients a few details ahead of buying on how the whole thing is gonna work.
I love how you dissected the biz, Anne! I so needed to read this. I feel like I need to figure out so many systems in my business. This gives me a couple of concrete things to focus on and do. It’s totally inspiring me to be more clear on my website about what actually happens between me + my clients and what they can expect from me. Plus, I’m going to get down on paper, my sales process – start to finish. I know how this works in my mind, but putting it down is going to help me be super clear for myself + others. Yay! Thanks for the inspiration + the clear steps I can take to tweak my biz.
Sue Bates says
Ha! I loved this, I’m always looking at marketing and businesses with a critical eye now. I had to take the Greyhound bus a few weeks ago. First of all, DON’T, unless you have to… I want so much to rebrand and rebuild that company! With baby boomers getting older and maybe needing a way to get around without driving, this could be such a lucrative company. Our driver on each end was 15 min. late. the personnel couldn’t find the one in Seattle! Then they talked and moved like they we’re on something! Yikes! The terminal is dirty and dingy, they are moving soon, but I bet it will not be fun and inviting…Well, you got me started Anne:) Just my little rant. If anyone has some money and wan’t to invest it. go for it!
Collier Thompson says
Oh Anne…..Thank you for this post. I know I couldn’t be the only one who is frustrated when I can’t prices or contact information for a product or service. This has been one of my pet peeves for so long.
Recently I signed up for a course for Executive Recruiters to gain more tips and tricks for my target audience. I have not received a response to now 6 emails….not even login information. The site is using all the top tools we use for membership content delivery….yet the lack of communication, especially when we have the opportunity to acknowledge the need for communication through automated responders…to me is just inexcusable.
I know sites don’t publish prices in between launches, but I do think that pricing and a communication process would dramatically enhance the customer experience?!!!
(Anne offers superior communication and service).
“Make it easy to do business with you.” Simple and yet, so revolutionary. LOVE THIS POST!
For me, making it easier to do business with me was actually getting serious about contracts. This was major piece of mind for both of us! 🙂
Anne Samoilov says
So glad you liked it! I think I’ve known about this concept and yet never really had to deal with it… until recently!