Print & Digital Portfolios for Landscape Contractors
A branded portfolio can be really effective in closing the sale long after you leave the prospect’s home. It's a professional leave-behind.
The majority of landscape construction industry conducts their sales meetings in the homes of their prospects. And most know, with the extremely competitive state of landscape construction today, that the homeowner will be having just such meetings with at least 2 other companies in their area. In fact, if you have been in business for a few years or more, I’m sure you know exactly which one of your competitors will be sitting at the same table you are based simply on the location and scope of the potential project your bidding on. Am I right?
Every great salesperson knows that they must do everything they can to close the sale during that first in-person meeting with the homeowner. But often times in the landscape industry, that just doesn’t happen. Maybe the husband had to work late the evening of your appointment, so the wife will have to relay your sales pitch—yikes! Or maybe you’re the first of the three companies they are meeting with, so they just won’t be signing anything just yet. Most likely, however, it is simply because of the normal sales cycle for landscape contractors.
It usually goes something like this— the prospect contacts your company (they do this often because of your great inbound marketing found on the first impression on the website) you go out to the property to discuss what they are looking for and to measure the land for estimating purposes. Then you leave and go back to the office, fire up your landscape design software, and work up a preliminary design and cost proposal. It’s not until the second in-person meeting—if you’re fortunate enough to get one, of course—that you are actually able to work on closing the sale. (Read about having a better first meeting here) In between these two presentations—beginning as soon as you leave the first meeting—is the time when the prospect’s opinion of your company is formed and solidified. What do you leave behind for them to remember you by?
There are many options for branded leave-behinds. Presentation folders, flyers, brochures, printed PowerPoint slides, and even the ever-so-classy coffee mug—you name it and you can slap your logo on it. All of these options considered, I find the most common choice among small to mid-sized landscapers is a landscaping business card and, oddly enough, catalogs from manufacturers of products they commonly spec. Yes, that’s right…some other company’s marketing piece! Why in the world would you want to leave behind another company’s marketing material at the home of your prospect?!?! After all, it was your inbound marketing dollars and company reputation that got you that appointment in the first place. Don’t waste the opportunity to leave a lasting impression and communicate your brand’s message. Remember, what you leave behind is what keeps selling long after the meeting has finished.
Enter the branded portfolio.
Close your eyes and picture this. Mr. and Mrs. Jones retire to bed for the night as Mr. Jones turns on the TV to check the score of the game. Mrs. Jones usually reads for a few minutes until she drifts off to sleep to the sounds of SportsCenter. Tonight she’s thinking about of the new outdoor living room she’s been dreaming of and recaps the meetings she had with the landscapers in her head. She remembers that one salesman left behind a beautiful, glossy magazine.
Related Read: Are you photographing your completed projects?
Your company magazine is your portfolio—redesigned and reimagined to engage and inform your prospects. Filled with great custom content that will help Mrs. Jones decide on the details of her outdoor living project, this print and digital magazine showcases your company’s work through high-quality project photography and case studies with testimonials.
Can print marketing be Inbound in nature? We think so and these portfolios are the inbound marketing and content marketing way of doing it. Instead of leaving an entire manufacturer’s catalog filled mostly with products you’d rather not use, you can include only select material profiles in the magazine based on what your company likes to spec and install.