October 2019

Customers often have no clue what things cost. They have a long list of wants and needs, and don't often have a sense of how that adds up into a project cost.  

Good salespeople know how to guide customers through "sticker shock" and get them to make the investments they want to make in their landscape.
Here are some tips to increase your success of making the complete project sale:
Focus on Goals and Needs, Not a Budget Number.   Find out as much as you can about what their goals are. How will the project enhance their enjoyment of the landscape and their home? Customers always have a sense of what they want and how they want it to look. Let them talk.
Make the Vision Tangible.   The more that you can show samples, sketches, designs and other materials that bring the project to life, the more confidence you will build in the customers mind.
Be Up Front about the Investment. Great results come with a price.   But they deliver satisfaction for years and years to come. Don't be shy about charging what you need to charge.   Sell the results and the enjoyment they'll gain for years to come.
You Don't Need to Be the Low Price Guy. You never want to win the project purely by a low price. When the shock of needing to spend more than they expected comes (and many, many customers will spend more than they expected), they're more likely to turn to the contractor that they liked and trusted in the initial meetings.

The Team at North South Supply

Construction Pipeline Points to Strong 2020 for Contractors  
Download the free NIBCO contractor outlook report here
Residential, commercial and institutional construction activity remains strong based on many measures including starts, architectural billings and bid activity.  
For landscape and irrigation contractors, the current level of activity predicts a strong full-year 2020, since exterior improvements are typically installed near the end of a construction project.
Get a view to the indicators to watch in the months ahead and discover how to strengthen your bottom line this winter.
Take Advantage of Our Money-Saving Offers
Learn how to save $$ on your upcoming projects with our special offers.   Click here for details
Always Have What You Need - Automatically! 
Our Stockroom Program Handles Inventory for You 

Now there's an easier way to keep your warehouse stocked with the items you need -in just the right amounts.

Introducing North South Supply's managed stockroom program. We work with you to identify what items you use and the quantity that should be kept on hand.  Then we automatically restock these items in your warehouse to be sure you always access to what you need.

The benefits are powerful: 
Save time:  No wasted time driving to get parts.
Save labor:  No technician time spent waiting.
Be more efficient:  We label and organize your warehouse for convenient picking.  
Customized to your needs:  Program can be tailored to all items or your most popular.
Get started today by asking your North South store manager for a free evaluation. 
More Tariff-Based Price Increases - View Our List
After years of price stability, manufacturers have been raising prices aggressively.  These changes are impacting nearly every category of landscape and irrigation supplies.   
Collaborate with your North South representative to obtain updated quotes prior to bid. Include material cost increase clauses in your bid documents.
While material cost increases may seem to be bad, discover how they can help you.   They are an opportunity for you to raise your pricing to achieve a higher profit level. We hope you take advantage of this opportunity!
Show the results of your best work with photos.  Great photography of your projects helps clients understand what you do.  Having your own photos (instead of those from manufacturers) differentiates your company as a leader.
Irrigation photo tips 
  • Shoot early in the day with the camera pointed toward the sun so the water spray is backlit.
  • Hold the camera very steady to avoid blurry water drops.  Consider a tripod.
  • Shoot projects when the grass has healed  (not right after installation).  Mow the lawn and clear stray leaves to make your shots look perfect.
Lighting photo tips 
  • Shoot at dusk before it gets completely dark. Photographers call this the "golden hour". 
  • Activate the HDR setting to maximize the available light.
  • Use a tripod. This is critical at dusk. Without one, your photos may come out blurry. 
5 Reasons to Offer Rain Bird WiFi Controllers to Your Customers Now
Reason 1:  Rain Bird's LNK allows you and your customer to program their controller from anywhere, with the convenience of a mobole device.
Reason 2Rain Bird's LNK WiFi Module gives real-time alerts and advanced water management tools.  This gives you alerts that can lead to profitable service work.  Built-in mobile notifications provide troubleshooting access, simplify service calls, and warn of freezing conditions when expected.  
Reason 3:  When you're on-site, your phone acts like a wireless remote control for an irrigation system.  No separate hand-held remote required - and no distance issues either.
Reason 4:  Rain Bird offers a professional app that allows for simple multi-site management and as well as remote diagnostics.
Reason 5:  Help your clients enjoy the benefits of automatic water updates like a true smart controller.  Automatic weather adjustments provide daily run time changes, saving up to 50% in water.
How can you make your team members feel so valued that they don't want to leave, especially when you can't afford to lose them?    As a leader, you may need to change your thinking about how you engage and motivate employees.    
Here are some tips from a recent focus group of professionals:
1) Open door management:  the next generation of employees wants to feel comfortable talking directly to leadership.  If your company has distant leaders or those not open to conversation, it can create bad feelings.
2)  Avoid generational terminology.   Abandon over-used and stereotyped terms like "Millennial".  They don't respect differences between individuals and tend to focus on the negative.  Avoid assumptions like "all young people prefer technology", as these assumptions are too general.
3)  T he best ideas come from all levels, not just the top .   Avoid the constant "boss knows best" or the "that's just the way we've always done it" approaches. Be open to suggestions.  Consider rewarding employees for coming up with a new idea - even if the idea isn't always used.  
4)  State your reason for saying "no".   Be fact-based not just "gut based" or "emotion based".  It will help teach your team members to think and reason the way you do.
5)  Be in favor of feedback.   If team members feel like they are unable to offer feedback without repercussions, the odds of retaining them are low. Create a culture of both ownership and accountability.  

North South Supply, Inc.
7 Stores to Serve You  www.NorthSouth.net
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