The National Association of Landscape Professionals and Wilson-Oyler recently hosted a panel of commercial property and facility managers to learn what these managers really want from their landscape contractors. Not surprising to me. What they wanted emphasizes what I’ve been telling my clients all along. But, now we have it in one organized place for you and your team to review:
- A clean team—The appearance of your crews and equipment matters.
- Simplicity—Don’t make things too complex. They want doing business with you to be easy. Make your presentations shorter and minimize the jargon.
- Accessibility—They want you to be there for them 24/7.
- A consistent point of contact—They don’t like to be passed off to someone else. They want a regular problem-solver they can build a relationship with.
- Tokens of appreciation—Cupcakes dropped off for no reason or lunch brought in for lunch-and-learns.
- Authenticity—They want you to like them. If you don’t, they’ll know it no matter how hard you try to pretend.
- Assurance—They want to know that you know what you’re talking about.
- Integrity—They like to know they’re going to be treated fairly and are getting their money’s worth.
- Dependability—They want you to keep your promises and be reliable.
- Transparency—They want to be kept abreast of the issues and problems: no surprises.
- Quality—They expect quality and define it the same way you do.
- Full Disclosure—They want proposals that include ‘all in’ costs: include sales tax!
- Documentation—They like photos for diagnostic purposes and trouble-shooting.
- Uniqueness—They want to see the difference in the service you provide compared to the other guy.
- Compatibility—They want the personality of your organization to mesh with theirs.
- Visuals—They like visual context offered by designers as a value-add.
- To know you understand their business—They want you to understand their budget cycle and bid proactively, engage early, follow-up regularly, and stay on top of their process thresholds. They want you to make them look smarter to the people they report to.
- A proactive approach—They want you to help them think proactively and long-term so they can plan, with recommendations for repairs/upgrades and capital improvements identified so they can budget and anticipate cost requirements over time. They want your proposal to sync with their specs—prepare a parallel proposal with better suggestions and recommendations if their specs need a different perspective.
Doesn’t this all just make good sense? So what are you missing? What steps do you need to take to make this happen?
This blog post originally appeared on the National Association of Landscape Professionals blog.