The landscaping industry is a uniquely challenging industry to master. In most businesses, success can be defined by sales or purchases.
In landscaping, the success of your business depends on your ability to retain contracts.
This isn’t the same as simply acquiring customers, because the key to growth in landscaping is turning those customers into long-term clients through contracts.
Landscape maintenance contracts versus traditional sales
Acquiring contracts isn’t as straightforward as making a sale. Earning a contract is more like negotiating a major business deal.
Even though landscaping businesses work with customers, their business model is akin to a business-to-business style or B2B. To negotiate this kind of deal, you have to iron out more complex aspects of the work, such as:
- Special arrangements
→ The key to securing recurring contracts is to get ahead of the negotiations and focus on the customer relationship from the start. It’s not simple, but the right strategy can pave the way.
How To Get More Landscape Contract Renewals
- Start renewal negotiations early
- Pay attention to customer needs
- Sell the client a relationship, not a service
- Treat every client interaction as a contract opportunity
- Share the benefits of a contract
- Offer incentives for renewals
- Follow up after services are completed
- Automate the renewal process
Start negotiations early to renew your landscaping service contracts
The easiest way to set your business up for recurring contracts is to begin the renewal process early. Treat the first day of a job as a trial run—a demonstration for the future ahead. Set up your first contract for success so you can turn your new client into a long-term customer.
Pay attention to customer needs
What stands out about the property owner’s request? They don’t know the ins and outs of proper landscaping like you do. There may be an opportunity to sell them enhancements beyond their initial request or convince them why they need routine services from landscaping professionals.
Scout the location fully
Clients’ properties can tell you a lot about landscape management service opportunities to build return business. Give the site visit your full attention, ask the customer about areas they haven’t mentioned yet, and share any specialty services you provide, such as:
- Tree trimming and arboreal care
- Pest control
- Irrigation system maintenance, power washing, and gutter cleaning
- Fertilization and irrigation system maintenance
Remember, achieving long-term business is a negotiation, and just as with any major negotiation, you need to expect the other party to have done their research.
Your offer needs to be competitive and stack up to your customers’ long-term needs at a price that works for your bottom line.
Sell the client on the relationship
No one likes a pushy salesperson, but you don’t want to settle on just winning a customer for lawn mowing services. Go the extra step by:
- Showcasing your operations
- Connecting them with an account manager they can contact with issues or questions
- Promptly responding to communications
- Offering exclusive services to contracted clients
Landscape contractors should share this information not to upsell homeowners or commercial property owners but to build a lasting relationship by being responsive, dedicated, and adaptable.
Train your team to treat every client interaction as an opportunity to win a new contract
To do this effectively, you’ll need your crew, estimators, and even office workers to speak confidently about the quality of your organization's operations.
Standardized processes, company-wide visibility, and connecting your departments will help with this. You’ll also benefit from having mobile access to your system so your team can show clients how your operations function from the field.
Share the benefits of contract renewal with clients
It always helps to cover your bases. Even if a customer is set on a one-time deal, you should impress them with your work so they’ll want to repeat business with you.
There are many benefits to a renewal that customers may appreciate.
They can include:
- Routine work
- No need for continued communication
- Automated renewals
- Healthier lawns and landscapes
- Reduced pricing due to regular lawn care
There are plenty more benefits unique to your business as well. Routine services and automated renewals can be a gateway for numerous other benefits clients may be interested in.
Provide incentives for contracted properties
Long-term customers are better for your revenue pipeline than one-time customers. This is why you should offer discounts to customers who sign up for multiple jobs. Not to mention, routinely working on the same property becomes a smaller lift for labor costs.
Follow up after services are completed
You need to review customer satisfaction policies or discuss what steps are in place to continually meet customers’ needs.
Even if a customer is happy with your services, you build brand trust by providing opportunities for them to offer feedback. Clients know you want to address issues and are proactive about their satisfaction. Some of the best ways to monitor customer experience include:
- Asking: Empower your crew leads to ask customers if they’re happy, call in the days after their service, or send an email.
- Sending surveys: Email or text a survey for customers to complete after service.
- Submitting online reviews: Keep an eye on popular review sites, including Google, Yelp, and Angi, and promptly respond to any posting.
- Inquiring about additional work: Reach out a few weeks after the service to ask customers if they want to schedule some of the add-on work you noticed during your property audit.
There’s no hard rule about the time frame for following up with customers. You can reach out any time from the same day to a few weeks after their appointment.
Automate your renewal workflow
The best benefit of renewing a contract is that customers don’t have to worry about securing the details whenever they need work done.
If you have an online system with customer access, you can store their details and info to alert them to upcoming services, renewals, payments, and cancellations if necessary.
Aspire’s software allows business owners to set up their own customer portals if desired.
What you need to know about contract renewals
Gathering contract renewals requires many of the same skills it took to get your business’s name out there when you started:
- Good people skills
- A sound business
- Practicing your pitch
But there may still be a few lingering questions.
Frequently asked questions about landing renewals for landscape contracts
How should I ask a client to renew their landscape contract?
Make the first renewal offer at the end of an initial proposal. Use all the details you gathered during the consultation or walk-through to help them understand the benefits of routine work and even include it as an option in the proposal to give them ideas on pricing.
→ Even if they turn down the initial offer, never neglect a renewal opportunity again at the closing of a job–impressive work is always a strong selling point.
Aspire uses custom proposal templates to standardize this process in landscaping companies’ workflows. Aspire’s cloud-based, precision estimating feature also enables field teams to calculate return work costs and negotiate discounts for renewal sign-ups on the spot.
What happens if the landscape contract does not get renewed?
Securing renewals isn’t a one-time opportunity. If clients don’t renew the first time, keep their information handy. Just like an extensive negotiation, be prepared for the next opportunity.
Add their profile information to your prospect list for marketing materials to inform them about current deals and new services. When they reach out, impress them with the details you kept on hand to prove the reliability of your customer relations.
Aspire’s customer relationship platform stores your entire contract history and tracks them directly to both the property and the work ticket created for the job.
Users have a searchable, filterable, on-hand history about proposed and completed work for every property—even when you don’t officially move forward with a contract.
How should I adjust pricing due to inflation?
Put simply, you shouldn’t.
Your pricing should ensure you have a profitable year by including such risks as:
- Seasonal price hikes on materials
- Slow down in services
- Economic factors such as inflation
If you’re using proper management software to measure job performance and track data, it should be a breeze to evaluate your margins early and ensure your pricing can help you make it through difficult times.
Give your landscape and lawn care company the tools to win more landscape contract renewals today.
Winning repeat business is about being responsive to customer needs and performing phenomenal work from any level in your organization.
Today, that requires a modern investment to stand out in the competitive market. Aspire’s cloud-based landscape business software provides all the tools you need to prepare your entire company to be customer satisfaction experts:
- Real-time job costing
- Estimating templates and pricing kits
- Scheduling calendar
- Crew management
- Equipment management
- Accounting integrations
- Invoicing capabilities
Aspire provides operational transparency so users can deliver consistent, reliable customer service. It also prepares your entire team with the tools they need to win over customers on-site and in-office.
Aspire is a cloud-based platform that allows you to be responsive and adaptable to customer needs to take advantage of every opportunity to win a bid.
Want to experience software designed to help landscapers achieve growth at three times the industry rate? Schedule a landscaping business software demonstration with Aspire, and see how you can take your profitability to the next level.