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3-step client qualifier

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When I was at GROW! earlier this month, Marty shared his client grading system.

It’s a simple, three-step process that helps you vet any prospective customer (and anyone currently on your client rolls).

  1. Do we enjoy working with them? “I don’t want to make money off someone if they treat my team like dirt,” Grunder says. “At a certain point you have to show your team that it’s not just about the money.”
  2. Do we make money? “Figure it out. Either raise your prices or refer that client to another company,” he says.”
  3. Does it lead to more work?

These are If you don’t have a system in place to pre-qualify your potential customers, give this one a shot.



February 20th, 2013 at 7:37 pm

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Making a million

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Making a million is quite a achievement in the industry. We’ll feature a piece in our March issue about how exactly hit that goal. In the meantime, check out what Dave Fairburn, president, and Andrew Pelky vice president of NP Holdings, an outdoor property services company in New England, said about making the mark.

The achievement “gave us a point where we could breathe,” Fairburn said  However, “we simply reached a benchmark which will lead to others”   He said it’s not an end mark.  It simply gives the company a moment to pause, reorganize, and plan our next steps.

“I processed it, and I haven’t really thought about it again until your magazine has asked us this question,”Pelkey said.  “What this is really about, is that we are on this planet for only 80 or 90 years. It’s what we do to exercise our minds for that time to feel fulfilled. This is not to understate the value of a million dollars; it is just to value the million dollars in terms of life.”

Some good insight about reaching a goal, but not settling for it.

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February 15th, 2013 at 3:39 pm

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Marty’s looking pretty suave in this promo for his upcoming webinar series.

Ignore the tie, though, and check out what he’s got on offer. Any training you can get from him is money well spent.


October 10th, 2012 at 11:37 am

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Spend an hour, boost your sales

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We’re putting on a can’t-miss webinar tomorrow with our resident sales expert and columnist Marty Grunder.

It starts at 12:30 EDT tomorrow, and you can register here.

Yes, it costs $69.99. But you’ll get invaluable insight and proven sales strategies that you can implement in your business tomorrow, including:

  • How to screen each and every prospect to make sure you are meeting with prospect who will buy.
  • What you must do before each and every call to improve your chances for making a sale by 50%.
  • Why your price doesn’t matter if you do 3 simple things.

Plus, you’ll get a  sneak preview of the L&L State of the Industry research on revenue and profits from me.

If you can’t make it tomorrow afternoon, you can still register to get access the recorded version later on.

So, if you want to increase your sales this fall and in 2013, you owe it to yourself to spend an hour with us tomorrow. You’ll be glad you did.


September 6th, 2012 at 1:45 am

Contract language

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Frank Fistner, president at ArtisTree, has a good list of language you should never include in your contracts. It’s a good thing to pass this along to your sales team for distribution to property managers and HOA boards during bid time.

Fistner’s list includes these vague gems:

  • “Custom-blended” fertilizer (details, please?)
  • “If deemed necessary” (by whose definition?)
  • “occasionally inspected”

At L&L, we support any effort to eliminate fuzzy language. You can read the full list at the ArtisTree blog.

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May 15th, 2012 at 11:04 am

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6 quick thoughts on social media

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The best session at PLANET’s Green Industry Great Escape was the discussion on social media and how businesses operate online. Led by Roger, Phelps, Stihl, Bruce Robert, Red Letter Corp., and Pat Schunk, PowerCloud, the talk touched on how consumers find companies online, the impact of mobile devices and how social media can improve not only your firm’s visibility but its reputation as well.

Here’s a quick re-cap of the talk. Look for more in an upcoming issue of Lawn & Landscape.

  1. Allow negative comments live on your site, blog or Facebook page. It shows that you’re a real company. The key is that you respond to it, and diffuse any bad situations.
  2. Good content pushes out bad. The more you publish about your company, whether it’s blog posts, Facebook updates or other content, the more you show up in search results (not rogue negative commenters).
  3. Use online tools to monitor what people say about you and your industry. Roger uses Kurrently to keep tabs on Stihl.
  4. Think about how social media can be used to highlight your employees, and how that attention can improve morale.
  5. Consider how your employees use social networks on (and off) the clock. The same goes for your family members – whether they work in the business or not.
  6. Social media takes time. If you’ve already got a packed schedule, you honestly might not have enough attention left to focus on updating these platforms. If that’s the case, don’t do it.


March 19th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

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Menu choices

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Seth Godin on why your sales presentations should be tailored to the type of client you’re talking to:

When talking to an amateur, to a stranger, to a newbie, to someone who isn’t committed, the best path is clarity, which means simplicity. Few choices, no guessing, no hunting around.

When talking to a fellow professional, to a peer, to someone in the same groove as you, the goal is to maximize useful density of choice. Put as much power in the hands of the user as possible.


The texture of your sales pitch ought to be deeper and more sophisticated for a return customer than it should be when you’re selling door to door.

The menu at a fancy restaurant should probably have more choices and more detail than one at a fast food joint.

When dealing with any sales team or field crew, it’s easy and inviting to have one script or one presentation. But not all your clients are the same, nor do they all need the same information. HOAs have different goals than a single homeowner, and property managers want different things than a city council.

Maybe instead of a cookie-cutter approach, you have three or four or five different pitches or presentations that can be further tailored to a specific audiences. If you can accurately match your information to your prospect’s desires, you’ve made closing the deal that much easier.


March 13th, 2012 at 1:50 pm

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