You don’t need to be a master electrician to install landscape lighting. With a little guidance and know-how, the process is relatively easy to add as a profitable service offering. Contractors report that the margins from outdoor lighting are better than almost all segments of existing services. SiteOne is illuminating the path with three steps: target customers, close the sale and feel confident in adding landscape lighting to your portfolio.
What is the ROI for You?
Landscape lighting is a bright idea for you and your customer, especially as more and more homeowners look to expand outdoor living areas. It’s an affordable way to beautify your client’s home and create additional living space without costly renovations. Installing deck lights, hanging lights or path lights can create a memorable ambiance around eating and grilling areas, patios, pools and spas. Special effects created with up lights or in-ground well lights can enhance curb appeal and highlight hardscapes, architectural details and/or the great landscaping work that your team tackles for the customer. And when strategically positioned, outdoor light fixtures can make your clients’ home safer by lighting walkways, steps and entryways.
When your business knows how to install lighting, it’s an added bonus for your customers. Since you are currently working for them, it means they don’t need to shop around for additional trusted professionals — you can service their lighting needs. Lighting can be sold as an additional component of new irrigation, maintenance or hardscape projects. It can be added as a profitable service to fill in the down months outside of the standard irrigation, maintenance or hardscape installation seasons and keep your crews busy. Finally, don’t limit “lighting” to the warm seasons. Every year, more homeowners are electing to hire a contractor to adorn their home in holiday lights. This is a growing segment that offers additional space to build profitably during the slower months.
Is Lighting Right for Your Customer?
Yes. However, getting customers to understand and know it’s right for them takes a bit of legwork. Apply these three steps to help grow your customer base:
1. Go back to the basics and find any opportunity to start; this could be your home or a friend or relative’s house. The key to successfully selling outdoor lighting — take lots of pictures. Before and after pictures of any project can spark the emotion while satisfying the reason in a customer’s brain. Consider giving early clients, even friends or family, a discount to allow the house to be used in your marketing efforts (Friendly reminder: don’t forget to ask for permission!).
2. Review previous accounts you have completed work for. A good customer from a past project will be willing to work with you on this new endeavor.
3. Once a target customer has been identified, ask lots of questions. What do they want to do with their lighting project? What is the budget? If no budget is available, put together two versions (simple and full coverage) of a proposal — it’s likely you will land somewhere in the middle. Other questions to ask include: Where is the power source? What is the function of the space you want to illuminate? Do you anticipate expanding the space or adding additional lighting in the next two to three years? Do you live in a community that has lighting restrictions such as dark sky or sea turtle protection?
Is There an Easy Way to Sell Lighting?
Most of the time when you buy a product, you know what you’re getting. But with outdoor lighting, homeowners often don’t fully understand the true value of a well-designed and properly installed outdoor lighting system. The solution is summed up in three words — Lighting Demo Kits (call your SiteOne branch to obtain a kit).
Contractors report that when demo kits were requested by the homeowner, they experienced a closing rate over 80 percent. And when the contractor presented the lighting kit (without the homeowner asking for it), they still realized a higher closing rate of more than 35 percent. Talk about a win-win! There are five tips that will aid in completing the sale of the job:
- Always schedule your installation during the day. Then, return in the evening to showcase the setup to your clients. With this approach, you can present the system after dark, when the lighting effects will be most dramatic.
- Choose a specific area to illuminate. You want to ensure that you’re highlighting a few focal points, instead of partially lighting a larger area. A great way to do this is by having a simple conversation with the homeowners.
- After dusk, give the lighting system a test run. Adjust the lights as needed before the big reveal. When everything is perfect, turn off the lights. Then, bring the homeowners outside. Finally, with everyone standing in the dark, turn on all the lights at once.
- If you’re using a demo kit with control capabilities, take time to engage the homeowners on the zoning, dimming and color capabilities of the system. Be sure to install the app on their phone(s) and pre-set any themes in advance. Put the control at their fingertips so they can freely toggle between themes and change lighting effects.
- Leave the lights up for several days or, ideally, over a weekend. You want the homeowners to enjoy the lighting and get used to having it. You also want to provide enough time for their neighbors to see it or, better yet, for the homeowners to invite their neighbors over.
Using lighting demo kits are the fastest and easiest way to show homeowners exactly what lighting will bring to their outdoor living spaces. And if you’re new to lighting, it’s the best way to practice lighting techniques.
You have the tools to get the job done, but you need the know-how. SiteOne has the resources and people on standby to navigate the process as a lighting contractor, including:
- Lighting courses through SiteOne University.
- Skilled lighting experts ready to answer any questions at your SiteOne Landscape Supply branch.
- Design support from manufacturers or a member of our team.
- Technical support from the manufacturer.
- Extensive product inventory and availability on SiteOne.com/lighting.
SiteOne has done the legwork so you can equip your team to conquer new challenges and drive your business to the next frontier of outdoor lighting.