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Feel, Felt, Found: 3 F’s of Objection Handling

Feel, Felt, Found: The 3 F’s of Objections Handling

Written by Malcolm Jeffris, CTSP

Unfortunately, part of being in sales entails hearing objections from your prospective customers.  While many times the objection can be demoralizing to you, the sales person, it really is simply a statement by your prospect that they don’t yet see the value in what you have to offer. The key word is ‘yet.’ It is your job as the sales professional to find a way to overcome that objection and show the value to your prospect so they purchase from you. 

Think about the rejections you often encounter in the tree care industry – “Your price is too expensive,” “We just don’t need it right now,” or “I’ll just let the tree die and plant something else.” Each of those statements give you a glimpse into what matters to the prospect and where you missed in delivering that value to the prospect on the initial presentation.

After years of sales experience, participating in sales courses, and shadowing some very successful insurance agents, I want to share what I’ve seen as the best way of handling objections: the Feel, Felt, Found method.

1. Feel: “I understand how you feel.”

Letting people know you’re listening is one of the most important pieces of the sales process. The premise of “feel” is letting your prospect know that you understand how they feel about the product or service you’re trying to sell them. For example, if they tell you they feel your estimate is too expensive, let them know you understand they think your price is too high. Simply acknowledging their main concern is the first step in working towards a solution. 

 2. Felt: “I’ve felt that way before.”

Felt is your opportunity as a salesperson to let your prospect know that either you, or someone in the past, has been in the same position. With the price example, you simply state “others have felt that way before.” This puts your prospect on the same level as their peers. People crave a sense of belonging and informing them that they are not alone with their feelings brings a bit of humanity to the sale. 

 3. Found: “But what we’ve found is…”

Once you’ve set the foundation in letting your prospect know you understand them and informing them they are not alone, it is now your chance to explain why they should consider moving beyond their initial objection. This is your opportunity to explain to your prospect how you may not be the cheapest tree service in the area but the benefits of them choosing your company more than make up the difference in cost. Use real life examples such as, “we’ve found that companies without a Certified Arborist are two times more likely to damage your property” or “we’ve found our higher price to be worth it as our high end equipment ensures the job will be done on time and in a safe manner.”

 

The magic recipe is “I understand how you feel, others/I have felt the same way, but I’ve found that…” 

It is important for you and your team to recognize that the feel, felt, found method is not efficient unless you have a good understanding of why the prospect is objecting. If you don’t understand why they are objecting, it will be much more difficult to close the sale.

During your next sales meeting, I’d encourage you to brainstorm with your team about common pain points your prospective customers have. Then write down the ways your company can solve those issues and the common objections you hear for those solutions. Lastly, discuss previous customers who have given you similar objections and still purchased your product or service. This will give you and your team the building blocks you need to start feeling comfortable handling objections, and ultimately closing more sales.

For additional help with objection handling and one-on-one sales training, check out ArboRisk’s Thrive Sales & Marketing Package! Our team of industry experts has the skills and knowledge to help you take your tree care company to new heights. Click here to learn more!

Sales Sweet Spot

Sales Sweet Spot

Anyone that has ever played baseball with a wooden bat knows the difference when you hit the ball with the sweet spot of the bat versus off the end or handle. The sting from a mishit can bother you for innings afterwards. However, when you hit the ball with the sweet spot, it sounds different, you barely feel it in your hands and the ball travels much further and faster. It truly is a sweet feeling when you connect just right. 

The same is true for sales. When you propose the right service at the right time to the right customer, everything is easier and more fun. That simply is the Sales Sweet Spot. 

Selling in the sweet spot will dramatically increase your sales team’s close rate, production crew’s efficiency and overall profitability. So how do you determine what your sweet spot is? 

First you must look at what your company excels at. Every tree care company has a specialty service or unique advantage within the marketplace. Unfortunately, when it is not identified, a tree care company will perform all kinds of jobs that typically lead to longer work days and more frustrations all while incurring more risk to the company. 

To begin to identify your specialty service, you must look at each service individually and ask yourself, is this a strength of our company? If not, what do you need to do to make it a strength? Those answers will quickly tell you if this service is one that you should focus on as your specialty service.

The next step is to identify your ideal customer. This article will help you determine who your ideal customer is. Remember to connect your business’ culture and values to your ideal customer. People like to do business with people they like as well as your employees would rather work for people that fit the culture and values of your company than for someone who doesn’t. 

Finally, create a list of services that your ideal customer will prioritize. Clearly, where this list of services overlaps your specialty service is your sweet spot. 

To further explain the sweet spot, let’s look at ArboRisk. Our specialty service is to help great tree care companies become extraordinary tree care companies through proper risk management. We accomplish this by helping our clients do everything they can to prevent an incident from occurring and making sure they have the proper insurance coverage in case the unforeseen does happen. 

Our ideal customer is a professional tree care company who understands that they are in control of what happens to their business and is dedicated to getting every employee home safe each night. 

When we are working within our sweet spot, our clients are able to make substantial improvements to their already great business because of our industry expertise. We have seen tremendous growth and reduced incidents for our sweet spot clients.  

“Do what you love and love what you do” – Ray Bradbury

Working within the Sales Sweet Spot sets your company up for just that. Enjoying each day, by working on the jobs you love with the type of customers you love. 

To develop or strengthen your Sales Sweet Spot, enroll in ArboRisk’s Sales and Marketing Package to work one-on-one with our industry experts.

Written by: Eric Petersen

Identifying Your Ideal Customer

Identifying Your Ideal Customer

Do you know who your ideal customer is? What is their budget? What is their home type? Do you know the steps your business needs to take to attract that ideal customer? 

 If you struggled answering any of those questions, you are not alone! Every year, many businesses (not just tree services!) fail because they do not know who their ideal customer is – let alone how to attract them! Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take within your business to remedy this. 

 Create Company Values

It may seem obvious, but some companies first need to create their own values before looking at who they want as a customer. These values lay the foundation for who your company is and how the customer will view your business as you interact. What do you personally believe in? What do others in your company (family members, employees) believe in? How do these beliefs factor into your business? It is important to take the time to write these values down; they can factor into your mission statement and become the foundation for your tree care company.

 Identify Target Service

The next step is looking into what you want your target service to be. Let’s face it – you cannot be good at everything. Taking the time to figure out what you are good at and prioritizing that service can make all of the difference in the world for your business. First, perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis. This will help you categorize where you are and where you want to be. Next, look at the services you offer. Which services is your team best at? Worst at? Maybe your team is good at removals but you would like to grow the plant health care department. You may also want to look into what services your competitors offer. From this information, you can make an informed decision on what niche you would like your tree care company to focus on.

 Identify Ideal Customer

The final step is identifying who your ideal customer is. Based on your company values and your target service, you can now look at what customer you will need to focus on. What is their typical age? What is their living situation? Geographic location? Household income? Are they on social media? What are their social interests? Identifying the answers to these questions will help you figure out where your marketing and sales teams need to hit in order to reach this customer. 

 Taking the time to outline your company values and target service will help lead you to your ideal customer. The more time you put into this, the easier it will be for you to eventually reach your ideal customer!

 If you are struggling with identifying your ideal customer, ArboRisk can help! Check out our Thrive Sales and Marketing Package where we take a deep dive with you on the best way to identify and reach your ideal customer!

Written by: Katie Petersen

Overcoming the Fear of Social Media

Overcoming the Fear of Social Media

Did you know that 71% of Americans now get their news content via social platforms? According to Social Media Today, this data shows that the influence of social platforms on peoples’ lives cannot be denied. Many tree care companies across the country have indicated to me that they understand the importance of social media but either don’t have the time to dedicate to it or do not understand it enough to get involved on it.

 If you find yourself nodding in agreement to my above statement, your 2021 marketing goal should be to overcome your fear of social media. 

Social media can be intimidating and it can be difficult to know where to start. It is important to realize, however, that if 71% of Americans are now using social media platforms for news content, then you need to figure out how your tree care company can take advantage of that as well.

 Start small. Facebook continues to hold the top spot for social platforms. Begin by posting once or twice a week on Facebook only. Try creating a content calendar – this helps you plan out your weeks and eliminates the paralysis of “What am I going to talk about?” (And if you’re still having trouble, our Thrive membership includes access to a monthly content calendar of posts!)

 Try to be creative. Your followers don’t want to see a litany of what services you offer and how you are the best priced company – they want to see who you really are! Offer “behind the scenes” glimpses of your crew and company. While on the job site, ask one of your employees to take a :30 video of what they are doing (as long as they can do so safely!). 

 Insert your company’s values and personality into your posts. If you love celebrating birthdays, post about that! If you do a weekly “crew/employee breakfast,” post about that! Highlight your employees and any talents they may have that are unique or interesting. The more you can make that personal connection, the more your followers will feel like they really know you and, when it comes time to hire someone for their tree work, they’ll think of you first.

 It is also important to have a messaging strategy when it comes to social media. With COVID-19, many consumers want to know that your company has put safety measures in place. Make sure your messaging aligns with their concerns. Create short videos discussing how you will protect your client’s investment and keep their health and safety as a top priority. Social media is also a great way to hit clients with short training videos on how to keep trees healthy, video tutorials on how to care for a newly planted tree, or a way to present new products or services that you offer. If you need assistance outlining your brand and goals for the year, Twitter recently released a planning guide for 2021 that may also be useful.

 Social media is not going away; in fact, it is only becoming more prominent. Figuring out how your tree care company can take advantage of it will help your business in the long run. 

For more help with social media reach out to an ArboRisk team member and get started in the Thrive program.

 

Written by: Katie Petersen

E-Commerce for Tree Services

E-commerce for tree services

Raise your hand if you bought something online this year. Raise your hand if you have a love/hate relationship with how easy it is to make an online purchase. If I’m being honest, my hand was up for both – trust me, my husband tells me that he’s pretty sure I single handedly keep Amazon in business. 

 The e-commerce industry has been growing for years – and I think it’s safe to say we saw an exponential increase in the year 2020. With more people at home, it became the “new normal” for making purchases. How does this apply to a tree care company? Obviously not all tree care companies have tangible products to sell – but how could they effectively bridge that gap and jump into the world of e-commerce? 

To start, I recommend analyzing how you could effectively sell your services online. Without offering tangible products, you still can promote what you offer in other ways. Take before and after photos on a job site and post those to your social media channel. Create a blog post outlining the benefits of pruning certain trees at specific times of the year – and then promote your services within that. Request a testimonial from a satisfied client and ask them to talk specifically about what service you provided. 

 Another great way to alert clients to your services is to dedicate a post a week to a service you provide. Let followers know that each week on X day you will be posting about a service you offer. Be sure to tie this into how this will benefit them; ex. “Keep your trees healthy for longer,” “Don’t let X happen to your trees!” Creating weekly posts also gives followers an opportunity to see “behind the scenes” of your business – something that potential customers love to see!

 If you do happen to sell tangible products (think urban wood lumber, firewood, mulch), I recommend creating a “shop” on Facebook and Instagram. These shops are a great way to directly connect with potential customers and you can promote them through your social media posts quite easily. For more information on getting started setting up a shop, click here

You could also use an e-commerce platform to begin the customer journey by having them buy consulting time with one of your sales reps or to start the project estimating process. Being creative in this manner will definitely help you stand apart from other tree services in your area. 

 Social media e-commerce is here to stay. Figuring out how your tree care company can utilize e-commerce will put you ahead of your competition.

 Want help implementing an e-commerce strategy for your tree care company? Contact an ArboRisk team member to get enrolled into our Thrive program. 

Source: WebFX, Social Media 2Day

Written by: Katie Petersen

Social Media Ads and Posts: How to Maximize Your Lead Generation

Social Media Ads and Posts: How to Maximize Your Lead Generation

2020 was a weird year. People were home more than they ever had been, which allowed them to take time to actually look at their trees and think about what they wanted to do with them. Being home more also allotted people more time to spend on social media platforms and gave companies running ads more reach – especially on Facebook and Instagram. Did your tree service capitalize on this? If not, it’s not too late. Maximizing your lead generation on social media can increase your reach and boost your sales if you do it correctly. 

 

Lead Capture

When creating your ad or post, you have incredibly limited time to capture your audience’s attention. Be as blunt and outright as possible within your messaging. What makes your business unique? What makes your service worthy of their time and money? Why should they invest in your company over their competition? Clearly communicating your value proposition will help ensure that you are connecting with the right people.

 

Lead Magnet

What incentive are you giving your audience to share their information with you? It is important to adopt a “give and you shall receive” mentality with social media ads. By offering a one-pager with information on tree care, a discount code for a service, a free estimate, etc., you are providing a value that is already tangible to the consumer. This in turn helps to establish a connection and, eventually, trust with a potential future client. Individuals that can see value upfront are more likely to reciprocate with their information.

 

Landing Page

If you create an ad, it is incredibly important to maintain a specific landing page that potential clients can be redirected to for more information. You should not redirect them to the homepage of your website – there should be a page dedicated too and matching what you explained in your post. Ideally, companies should create and test out 2-3 different landing pages to see which ones have the highest click-through and conversion rates. These pages should also be designed to collect relevant details from a consumer (Name, Email Address, etc.). Landing pages can then be used to set up retargeting of ads for individuals that have clicked through to your website.

 

Lead Scoring

Does your company prioritize leads? If not, how do you know which leads are valuable and which will not lead to a conversion for you? If you are wasting time on leads that do not provide value, perhaps creating a lead scoring matrix would be beneficial. For example, assign a certain number of points to those that click on your ad, another number to those that fill out your lead form, another to those that download your lead magnet; obviously those with the highest points are the leads that should be prioritized. Establishing this matrix will depend on your goals and offers – so make sure that you consider this step strategically!

 

If you’d like help developing your social media advertisement strategy, reach out to an ArboRisk team member and get started in our Thrive Program. 

 

Source: Social Media 2Day

Written by: Katie Petersen