How to Increase Interiorscape Sales by Not Selling
Sales. Perhaps the most stressful parts of any business is having to sell someone your product or service.
The pressure of convincing a stranger why they should invest in my services can be overwhelming. I myself dislike being pressured into buying something I’m not sure about. Take the car dealership for instance. I get turned off when I can’t even get to the door before three different salespeople approach, asking what I’m look for, my budget, and persistently following me around with question. I simply want to see what cars are on the lot!
Sales Tip #1: Stop Selling
Instead of going on a sales call with the attitude you must convince a complete stranger they need to buy your service, seek to inform and educate them about the interiorscape business. Take the pressure off yourself. When your goal is helping the other person, you don’t appear like a pushy salesperson. Hopefully, you also make the customer feel much more comfortable.
Turn selling into listening to their needs and ideas. With this knowledge, share how their ideas for adding living plants will improve more than the work environment. Bringing nature indoors increases employee productivity by 12%; decrease absenteeism by reducing the bad toxins from carpet, paint, and furniture; and creating an atmosphere of collaboration and creativity.
As interiorscapers, we may think the wonderful benefits of working around living plants is common knowledge, but so few business people have any idea of the studies by NASA or BMW. It’s a pleasant surprise to these decision-makers that our services offer more than pretty plants.
Sales Tip #2: Become the Expert
A majority of my new business comes from current clients, so I intentionally make myself a good resource for their horticulture questions. When I’m working at a location, at least one person will approach me for advice with their own personal plants or landscaping problems. Many times, I offer to develop landscape ideas for their home. Nine times out of ten, they end up hiring me to perform the work or ordering plants from me instead of the numerous garden centers nearby.
Another inexpensive way to be a horticulture expert for your clients and the public is to create newsletters and blogs. Online software, such as MailChimp or Moon Mail, has made it easy to send mass emails to customers with updates on the latest trends, new plant varieties, research studies, and more.
The hard part is finding time to write these newsletters or blogs. You might want to assign this project to one of your staff or consider reaching out to a local college or high school writing student, especially if your day is packed and you don’t enjoy creating content.
Sales Tip #3: Give Freebies
Another practice of mine is handing out cuttings to people at my accounts. Generally, I give hardy foliage like ZZ, snake plant, or pothos – plants that root easy enough for a novice to care for. In my mind, the more people who discover the joy of plants and learn about their amazing properties, the more future customers my company will have.