23 Mar Why Gambino Landscape Lighting has Awesome Clients!
By Mike Gambino
It is late Winter and we are already booked for two months out which is not too unusual for our company even in what some would call the “off” season.
The phone rings, customers are booking online, emails seem to be non-stop filling up our inbox.
When I first ventured into the contracting field I was quite happy to hear I had 6 voice mails and 26 unread emails and that friendly voice that said “You’ve Got Mail”.
Today, not so much…
Why you may ask?
Years ago we took the Fishing Net approach to everything.
We would throw the biggest net over as many people we could and hope we could catch some clients.
We usually ended up with:
- Prospects who we were not a match for us and even some who would promise and swear they were going to hire us yet we’d never hear from them ever again.
- Price shoppers.
- People out to pick our brain for free ideas with no intention of hiring us.
- And the list went on and on and on.
- All resulting in wasted time, time that could have been better spent with our family or working on building our business.
- Drove all over the place.
- Worked crazy hours to provide quotes
- Negotiated our prices.
- Hoped they would pick us to do the work.
Times have now changed and I value my time much more as well as my company’s resources.
With modern technology and the World Wide Web, we can stay at our desks, and pre qualify the prospects and who might not fit our “Ideal” client?
This process results in clients we want to work with.
- Online information via our website and social media pages will answer tailored questions regarding their project. for some the process ends here as certain information has to be searched for and read through and some are not willing to invest any time on due diligence. Not a motivated client in our eyes.
- We have plenty of information out there as to our processes, how we build the finest system including installing cable inside of protective electrical rigid conduit. The high quality of our own proprietary custom branded products and what to expect during a site meeting. Including the fact that we charge a nominal fee to meet which is credited when they hire us. The consult fee also discourages some and it ends there which is fine with us as they would have most likely not become a client anyway.
- We follow up the day before to confirm the meeting time verifying all concerned parties are available and require a response or the booking is paused.
- We are never “fashionably late” and in fact always a couple minutes early as we respect that our clients time is important to them as ours is to us.
- We park our vehicle right in view of the front door whenever possible, always clean and presentable.
- Arrive neatly dressed with branded attire
- Start with a smile and when entering take off shoes to protect floors even if they say it is not necessary.
- Listen and do not talk. Utilize the 80/20 rule. Clients love to talk about their home, we let them.
- When looking around the property take notice of the quality of the finishes and how well everything is taken care of. Making mental notes on their level of “pride of ownership”, such as:
- Are things neat and orderly
- Does it appear they appreciate quality evident by the brands and level of finishes
- Discuss owners needs wants and requirements and the most important question of all why light?
- View our portfolio
- Walk the site
- Provide information about our business;
- Discuss Insurances
- past recent local customers
- Reviews or Testimonials
- Discuss maintenance
- Answer any questions or concerns
- Walk them through the design and Provide an accurate quotation on the spot, with most properties this could take 10-15 minutes to do.
- On rare occasion, If providing a quotation on the spot is not possible we let them know when they will receive it and over produce by sending/delivering it on time or early.
- We ask for the Business right there and then make them understand that we are busy and we will make our best offer right then and now and at no time in the future will the price be any lower. A deposit secures a place in our construction schedule with a usually accurate but tentative start date. We do this not to pressure anyone into making a quick decision that they are not comfortable with making. We do this because our experience tells us that at the end of most initial site meetings prospects either hire us that day or we never hear from them again. We don’t believe in “chasing” or following up relentlessly to close a project and in fact will only do this in only very rare occasions.
The follow up:
- Email or call a week or two before our project start date
- Production begins and we Layout the system hand placing every fixture at its optimum location, run cables on the surface of the ground make all connections, load balance daytime adjust and wait for client feedback
- Make any alterations or additions as required by client and complete installation
- After dark photos are taken after significant completion of the project and then published to social media and or our web page.
- After the project completion and request for a review posting and after the review is placed it is published on different forms of social media.
- Annual anniversary of the project maintenance service begins for those clients who opt in.
- A reward to the client for referring us to another client who successfully completes a project with us.
- Happy clients tell friends who then tell friends
We quite often refer to the processes over and over again. Working with these processes and providing a complete “over the top” experience to our clients results in our working for the clients we want to work with. We do no formal paid advertising and prefer to put that cost into the quality of the product and end result we provide our clients.
It was said that you are like the 5 closest people you hang around with. Great clients know other potential great clients.
Finding our great clients, and they will take care of us.
This landscape lighting blog is published by Mike Gambino of Gambino landscape lighting inc. all rights reserved. Mike is a professional landscape lighting system designer/ builder and has been designing, installing and maintaining landscape lighting systems for more than 28 years. Mike resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 2 sons. To visit his website go to www.Gambinolighting.com . To inquire about hiring Mike please click here .
Blog articles may be published with permission on other websites without editing or removing links.