If you’re selling commercial landscaping, snow removal or pavement maintenance services, your point of contact is most likely a property manager. Property manager’s are busy people. They often manage dozens of properties, all with different needs and requirements, and they’re often reviewing multiple estimates for multiple properties simultaneously.
With that said, it’s a great idea to be as flexible as possible when you initiate contact with a property manager and when you’re awarded a sale- especially when you’re taking over services from another provider. You not only want to stand out from the crowd throughout the proposal process, but also after the sale. You want that manager to be confident and pleased they chose you to be their provider.
Sometimes this is easier said than done, but here are some things should consider doing to make it as easy as possible for a property manager to choose your service business over a competitors.
Tip #1: Carefully Review the Request for Proposal
A request for proposal is pretty standard when it comes to servicing a commercial property, specifically with landscaping and snow removal services. The RFP will outline everything the client is looking for, so it’s essentially a guide for what you should include in your estimate. If you think it’s missing something, be sure to ask the property manager about the areas in question. They’ll probably appreciate the detail and extent you went to when you reviewed the information and their property, and it’s just one more way to demonstrate your expertise.
Tip #2: Be Mindful of Timing
Timing is important. You need to know when the property manager wants to move forward so you can have all of your contracts, paperwork, insurance certificates etc. ready to go in a timely fashion. You don’t want to be the stopping block to winning the sale or beginning services at the property.
Tip #3: Initiate Introductions
After you win the sale, initiate introductions with your team and his/her team. Set a time where the property manager can meet the people at your company who will be in charge of the property and you can meet the property maintenance personnel if applicable. Make this as easy and convenient for your customer as possible. Meeting at the property is a good idea so you can go over any important information about the property and everyone is there to see and understand exactly what it is that is being discussed.
Tip #4: Discuss Property Details
While you’re meeting with the property manager and his/her team, try to go over any property details that would help you provide service without interruption. It’s important that your team knows where everything is and how they can access it without bothering the client every time they’re in need of unlocking a gate or entering the irrigation control room. Some important things to go over include:
- The snow and ice management plan if applicable
- Location of irrigation controls
- Location and how to access the pump room
- Property ‘hours’ or restrictions for servicing (do they have a gated entrance?)
- Special events you should be aware of for scheduling services around
Tip #5: Keep In Touch with Your Property Contacts
It’s always a great idea to keep in touch with your property contacts throughout the season, especially if you reassign a new account manager or crew to the property. Keep lines of communication open so you’re on top of any issues and you stay top of mind (in a positive way) with your client throughout the year. You don’t want to come around for renewal time and face an unhappy customer, or a complacent one that you haven’t taken the time to stay in touch with.
What are some things you do during the proposal process and after the sale to make yourself stand out from the competition?