We aren't breaking news: the costs of doing landscaping work are rising. Gas prices, the wages and benefits for our team, material costs, and so many other smaller costs. It's all going up, and while it's always smart to be cognizant of how we can control costs, at some point we have to raise prices to cover our expenses.
In our peer group meetings, we've been having this conversation a lot: what is the best way to have a conversation with our clients when we need to raise our prices? This week, I have three tips for you as you're tackling this problem back home:
Be transparent. When you have to raise your prices, be upfront and honest with your clients about what the increase will be and why it's happening. Try using language like this:
"Mrs. Jones, I did want to call your attention to the price increase for next year's maintenance. In order to have the best, most talented workers on your property, we have to pay them an above fair wage. We had to raise our prices this year to be able to do that."
"Mrs. Jones, I know the price may be a little higher than you were expecting. Since the last time we did a project for you, the cost of materials has increased. I'm sure you're seeing that in a lot of other things you're buying too. We always use the highest quality materials, and I know we can make a great impact on your property with this design."
Be confident. Don't apologize for the price increase, and deliver the news with confidence. You aren't the only contractor your clients are dealing with that has raised prices, and most of the people you have this conversation with will understand. Don't psych yourself out before you have the conversation.
Be aware of the drips. While our clients understand rising prices right now, don't let it be an excuse to let inefficiencies continue. We've talked about this before, but always be aware of the drips impacting your profitability, and do what you can to minimize them. Grunder Landscaping has gone 3 years without raising prices for our existing maintenance clients, even while raising wages and managing increasing costs, by improving our efficiency.
We hope these tips can help you as you prepare for maintenance renewals or have conversations with clients as you're bidding on new jobs. If your sales team needs additional help navigating this conversation, our Virtual Sales Bootcamp goes into more detail. The recordings for that event will be available until July 13 at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads reading this, and have a great week!
President & CEO
Grunder Landscaping & The Grow Group