If I gave you three guesses of what activity occupies the most time on my 13-year-old son’s smartphone, I’d be willing to bet that you wouldn’t be able to even nail it with three tries. It’s not games nor social media. It’s researching prices on Amazon, Craigslist, and Google.
Even if we drive to a physical store, my boy knows what the item costs elsewhere and where he could even get an upgraded version of it for a smarter purchase. In fact, it’s probable that we won’t even leave the store with the said item in-hand, and it will be ordered online before we even walk out the door. It happens all of the time.
He’s the personification of the modern, educated consumer. Guess what...he’s going to be your customer in the years to come.
Now while not all shoppers are quite as research-happy as my boy, you probably recognize that there has been a trend in the past 10 years that has caused a drastic shift in the buyer’s journey.
For billions of items, it doesn’t take more than a few seconds to research cost. And today’s buyer is willing to spend a decent amount of time researching a $50 item that may only get used for a few months. How much time do you think they’ll spend when considering an $800 lawn care program or a $50,000 landscape project?
(RELATED READING: The Positive Impact of Addressing Cost of Services on Your Website or Blog)
Why Addressing Cost Builds a Bridge to New Business
We’ve analyzed data from many landscaping companies over the recent years and do you want to know which website pages generate the most traffic and even result in the most leads? It’s the ones that directly address cost.
Your prospects want to understand what your services cost. Most of them do not want to waste their time talking to multiple companies. They want to narrow down their choices and only engage with the company that both meets their budget and can deliver great value. They’re trying desperately to accomplish that before they ever pick up the phone or fill out an online consultation request.
On the other hand, you hate wasting time on tire-kickers that have no clue what your services cost. You want pre-qualified prospects with realistic budgets that know the value in using your company, even in the cases where you’re priced higher than your competition.
You and your prospects want the same thing. Only there is a giant chasm between the cost-curious prospect and your company. Cost is a subject your website doesn’t tackle.
The only way your prospect can learn about your costs is to either:
- A) engage in the antiquated, frustrating sales processes of 20 years ago (which likely means their wasted time and yours), or
- B) keep searching for cost information elsewhere.
They’re reluctant to reach out to you and you’re wasting time talking to tire-kickers. But there’s a way to effectively bridge this gap, aligning pricing expectations all while generating qualified leads for your sales team.
(RELATED READING: They Ask, You Answer - 5 Keys to Content Marketing Success)
How to Address Costs on Your Website
At this point, you may have some objections rattling around in your brain such as:
- I can’t give exact costs because there are multiple factors that go into pricing.
- I don’t want my competitors to know what I charge.
- If I show costs, it doesn’t allow me to build value into that figure and prospects will shop based on price alone.
While those are legitimate concerns, they won’t outweigh the benefit of addressing cost on your website. You can alleviate these concerns and still bridge the gap between your company and the cost-curious prospect by using the following tools.
Cost-Focussed Blog Articles & Guides
As I previously stated, articles centered around cost and pricing are clearly one of the best ways to generate traffic to your website. This is because buyers go through three main stages of their journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
After a buyer starts their buyer’s journey researching Awareness Stage problems like their ugly lawn or an upgrade of their tiny patio, they then start to consider specific solutions to those problems.
Part of the Consideration Stage is not only evaluating possible solutions but also beginning to explore their costs. As the prospect’s pricing expectations align or are adjusted, then they start to move into the Decision Stage where they narrow down their choices for a lawn or landscape company.
Your company’s website affords a tremendous opportunity to not only talk about Awareness Stage topics but also answer the questions your prospects have centered around cost in the Consideration Stage. Blog articles and in-depth, downloadable guides can help buyers learn about factors that affect pricing, see examples with rough cost ranges, and help a buyer to move into the Decision Stage, where they use both price and value information to compare you against other options.
To effectively market your business, you should be helping, not selling. This type of cost-related content helps your prospect to get the information they’re seeking from you versus your competitor that is most likely being silent on the matter.
And, addressing cost in articles and in-depth guides also helps your company to filter out some of the worst tire-kickers. This will help your team to focus on the prospects that are primed and ready to buy from you.
Website Pricing Pages
Another way to clearly communicate the cost of your services is with pricing pages. While this is more easy for some services than others, much of a lawn care or landscaping company’s pricing can be given attention. Here are a few examples:
Lawn Care Programs
Have a page that lays out your various program options, along with what individual treatments/services are included. Use an example lawn size and show the price. Explain that you would be happy to give an exact quote based on their property after they fill out the form below.
Tree & Shrub Care Programs
In a similar manner, you could lay out detailed program options for typical properties in your area, or even just have it apply to a certain measurable amount of plant material. Again, an exact quote can be provided after they submit their request.
Landscape Maintenance & Misc. Services
This type of service has more variables, but you can put together various packages and give some average costs with monthly charges that will be more clearly defined after they fill out a form below and you visit their property.
Landscape Design & Installation
If your company charges design fees or has any clear positioning about what projects you will or won’t do, talk about these costs or ranges on pricing pages. Installation services will be the most difficult expectations to set, but the following tool can do a great job addressing this.
You can customize a pair of shoes, a vehicle, and millions of other items online and get an exact price. Now while many of your lawn or landscape company’s services require interaction on your part, there’s no reason you can’t help your prospects at least be in the same ballpark when it comes to cost.
Now I know what you’re probably thinking again. You don’t want your competitors to know how much you charge. Well, I’ve worked with enough lawn and landscape companies over the past 20 years to know that most companies actually have a good sense of what their competitors charge. In fact, in a lot of cases, I’ve even seen many of you doing your own “mystery shopping” to get a pulse on this.
I’d encourage you to stop being scared of your competitor getting a glimpse at your pricing. If they realize you’re higher, they’ll either position themselves as the “cheaper” company or they’ll raise their own prices to get closer to what you charge. Either case shouldn’t have a confident business owner worried.
With more simpler services such as lawn care, you could go a step beyond example pricing pages. If a prospect knew their lawn size, they could enter it and purchase a program online. Obviously, you’d want to make them aware it was subject to your verification, but this may be an option you may want to explore.
In the case of even the most complicated services like landscape construction, you could help your client put together items with a project calculator to get to a more probable range for their project.
Have several options for each project item available to choose from. Maybe they choose a medium-sized patio, a simple outdoor kitchen, and some basic plantings around the patio. If you’re somewhat vague in your descriptions and give a range, you could easily show the buyer they’d be looking at $37,000 - $63,000 for the project. That’s much better than wasted time with a prospect that assumed a project like this would cost $20,000.
Success Starts with Transparency
Imagine two paths for your prospect. One leads in the typical, frustrating experience of getting little or no information about cost.
The other results in a refreshing change. They see you as helpful and transparent.
They also realize that you’re confidently interested in doing business with people who align their assumptions with accurate expectations.
But that won’t happen unless you’re willing to do the hard work of educating your prospective customers in a meaningful way.
However, when you do, you’ll soon realize the top activity of your website visitors’ is just like my son’s, researching their options and making the best purchase possible.
If you liked these tips for your lawn care or landscaping business, join almost 4,000 professionals that subscribe to our blog for regular insights. And when you’re ready to learn more about how to attract qualified prospects right through your website, schedule a meeting with us to learn more.