The handoff between sales and production is often the sticking point for landscaping companies. It's frequently the spot in the process where miscommunications happen that can irritate clients or cause issues for team members, whether a team is handing over maintenance or installation work.
Both sides, production and sales, are part of the problem and also part of the solution. And we have a few ideas on how to improve this dynamic among your team:Don't play the blame game. It can be tempting when something goes wrong to put the blame onto someone else when you're smoothing things over with an upset client. Avoid the temptation; often, clients will react positively if you take ownership of a mistake. Lay out the steps the team will take to resolve the issue, and apologize without placing blame on someone else. This approach helps you get to a solution faster, keeps the relationship positive with the client, and maintains your team's credibility.
Work collaboratively. There are competing agendas between the sales and production teams: the sales team is worried about vision and design, while the production team is worried about practicality and logistics. Those agendas can get in the way of each other, but it helps if you start conversations early. Sales can go to production and ask for their input on how many hours it would take to install something before they quote it, or can ask for ideas that could make it simpler without sacrificing design. The practical knowledge of production teams can be an asset to sales teams.
Get good at telephone. Did you ever play games of telephone as a kid? You start out with a simple phrase, and by the time the phrase is repeated by the last person in line, it has entirely changed. That can happen within our companies easily. Both sales and production teams taking good, clear notes can help alleviate this. That helps the sales team clearly outline client expectations and allows the production team to be clear on any issues or changes they had to make onsite.
Later this week, I'll be hosting Virtual Sales Bootcamp 2.0 along with Chris Psencik and Emily Lindley from our Grow Group team. We'll cover strategies and tactics that teams can use to work better together and sell more work in 2023, including more ways to make the handoff between sales and production smooth.
I hope you'll join us!
President & CEO
The Grow Group & Grunder Landscaping Co.