I was chatting with the owner of a great little Sydney based tree business making waves in his service area.
I thought this was a MUST share strategy as I know you can all benefit.
Note: In the fairness of competition I will not be sharing this companies trading name, nor will I be sharing this with other Sydney companies as it might undermine his strategic advantage.
Well, you may have read an article published about 18 months ago called How to raise your prices and get MORE work.
In it, we discussed why some customers are happy to pay more than others, and how some companies still get plenty of work even though they charge like a wounded bull.
We even presented some ways to do it in your own business.
But the core reason these top tier companies can charge more is they have something that sets them apart from the rest.
Either massive added value to the service, or even just simple things such as the use of language for service provided.
But it’s Robert in Sydney who is really putting this into action and kicking goals.
He is setting himself apart, adding massive value, and creating a buzz about his business all at the same time.
This strategy costs him nothing and only takes about 10 to 20 minutes of extra work total.
By using it he is able to build trust, authority, and lands plenty of word of mount work because of it.
What he does is quite simple!
When he is quoting a tree for removal, he explains to the customer that the street still is losing a precious part of its critical canopy cover.
Even though this tree has reached the end of its SULE and amenity value for its particular urban location, the street is still losing a lot by removing this tree.
As almost all local councils have a tree-planting program for residents in which they give away Australian native plants free for anyone willing to plant them, he offers the customers a replacement tree of their choice (of any species offered by the council) and he will plant it free of charge to replace the removed tree.
About half of the time the customer does not want another tree… which is actually great news for Robbie!
He then places a flyer in the form of an announcement in everyone’s letterbox on the street informing them that the street will be losing a canopy tree.
He explains trees of this size are vital for keeping the soring temperatures at bay by recusing the city heat island effect, reducing evaporation, encouraging birdlife, and a whole host of other benefits.
“In conjunction with [local council name] city council, I would like to replace this tree that will be lost forever by planting a tree on your property free of charge.”
Did someone say free?
“You can choose a tree from the list on the back of this page and we will come out and plant it as a part of the council urban forest regeneration plan”
He always gets at least one taker, but sometimes 2 or 3.
This simple act of marketing genius gets the whole street talking about your business and how much you care about the environment.
It creates a story, really the “core story” of your business that people will love to talk about.
Tree removal or pruning is not an “impulse buy”, it’s generally something people talk about with their friends and family about weeks or month in advance leading up to getting quotes then having it done.
What you want is someone to say: “You should use the guy my neighbour used. He removes your tree and comes out and plants another one of your choice free of charge”!
“But, I don’t want another tree, I’m having enough problems with this one”… (meh meh)
“He actually offers the free tree planting to everyone on the street!”
Anyway, you get the picture. It’s a real taking point that will get told over and over.
The most important thing it does is set you apart from the rest.
Even if you just offered the free plant and didn’t offer it to the rest of the street, you are showing the customer you are service orientated and someone who can be trusted.
As previously discussed, the price really is not that important.
Yes, customers are not price-sensitive, but we always come up with an excuse as to why we should spend more money than we should for something.
Think about the last time you spent more money than you needed to on better quality meat from the butcher, an imported beer or better quality hotel, hire car, an upgraded package for whatever.
Have you even bought the cheapest bottle wine when ordering at a restaurant? 70% of people order the 2nd cheapest or better. Nobody buys the cheapest bottle! (As a side note restaurants actually know this and they price their cheapest bottle more expensive to make a larger profit)
The point is we rarely buy the cheapest thing that “will do the job” we constantly justify to ourselves as to why we are spending more.
If you choose not to use Roberts’s tactic, then come up with your own.
Once you fall in love with your business or service more than your customer you are finished. Constantly try to outdo yourself in adding value where possible and you will always have work.
I hope this helps guys.