Do Customers Need Lighting?
The questions and strategies outlined here can help green industry professionals overcome the most common client objections to landscape lighting.
SiteOne March 6, 2018
Have you ever wondered why you didn’t get the sale? Have you ever kept track of the reasons why?
The sales process theory indicates that you can usually reduce the reasons why you didn't get the sale, or why your prospects weren't interested, to six basic objections. By doing this, the theory says you can start to formulate good responses to overcoming those six basic objections.
Within our industry, the top objections are typically price and what we have labeled the “kit” objection, which is “I can get it at home centers for $49.95, so why should I pay $2,000 for a professional system?” Good objections aren't they? But one of the six basic objections that is the most telling in our industry is the perceived need. How often do you hear potential customers tell you that a landscape lighting system is a luxury, not a need?
Do you perceive a need? When was the last time you approached a job site, and informed your client that you could address these three basic concerns with landscape lighting? When is the last time you thought about why people need landscape lighting?
Let's discuss the first major need for landscape lighting—security concerns. If you don’t think people are willing to pay for a certain degree of security, start taking notice of the proliferation of companies that are servicing the home security market. Start noticing how many yard signs are in front of homes today warning possible intruders that the home is protected with a security system. If there are six homes on the street, and only one is completely lit with landscape lighting, which house is an intruder least likely to pursue? With landscape lighting, the prowler sees the security sign from the street. Effectively constructing and designing a landscape lighting system that takes into account each concern—beauty, safety, and security—will be very effective in providing ample protection and security to your customers.
If you still don't believe your customers don't have a need for the security lighting you can provide, ask yourself how many of your customers have porch lights? How many would leave that on at night?
With a landscape lighting system, your customers get not only security, but the safety elements are addressed. Changes in the elevation, low level shrubs or plant material that people may trip over, all are potential safety concerns that need to be addressed for the homeowner and his guests. Changes in the steps, the deck, the driveway, the entrance ways, all of these potential safety hazards and more can be addressed with landscape lighting. And by building in the proper controls for your customer with their landscape lighting system, safety concerns can be "turned on" with motion sensing devices, timers and more, to give your customer comfort knowing that his family and visitors are able to avoid accidents.
As you can see, landscape lighting systems may fulfill more actual client needs than many other offerings being made in our industry today. If you can effectively present to your clients how you can address some security and safety concerns with landscape lighting, you’re 90 percent on your way to a sale. That’s because the easy part, and by far the biggest added value of a landscape lighting system, is the beauty aspect. Most of us focus first on beauty in landscape lighting and dramatically diminish the safety and security issues so much, that we also begin to believe in the myth that landscape lighting is a luxury. You have to believe, and with good reason, that an effective landscape lighting system fulfills some basic overall needs that every client you have wants to be fulfilled.
Being able to effectively present this to your clients goes a long way toward overcoming the most often-stated objection to landscape lighting. Price. By showing your customer how your design and concepts will address safety and security concerns, plus add beauty, your customers will begin to see that you're not only installing a high-quality product, but you're providing them with an understanding and knowledge that a lighting system will add value to their home.
Now let's talk about the selfish side. Nothing can help your referrals more than an effective landscape lighting system. It will not only expand the “living space” for your clients, it will give them year-round access and enjoyment to their landscape investment. In Michigan, where you only have abundant daytime light from late April to late September, landscape lighting's role in keeping your customers satisfied is even more dramatic. Consider Joe Homeowner who just made a large investment in his landscape. When is he going to really get to enjoy it? A couple months out of the year at best if there isn't landscape lighting. For a fraction of the total cost of landscape installation, landscape lighting will allow your customers to benefit from the safety and security aspects of landscape lighting, and enjoy the beauty that you brought to them for an entire season.
To overcome each of the basic six objections that are in every sales presentation, first overcome your own misconceptions. There truly is a need for landscape lighting. It's not a luxury. It’s something that will bring year after year of benefits to your clients. And, it’ll do wonders for your referrals.