Property Management Insider by Joanna Ellis; October 23, 2014
You contract with a fantastic commercial landscaping service. Congratulations! Your competition has one, or two. You have the latest, greatest, extraordinarily landscape curb appeal? So does your closest competitor. Well, your leasing office has beautiful flowers in designer pots at the main entrance, stylish, and the property is setup with the best commercial landscaping service. Have you visited your competitors property lately? They’re equally the same. OK, you have the greatest commercial landscape management service money can buy; your landscape contractor has won numerous awards and achievements and it goes on and on.
Having The Worlds Best Commercial Landscaping Service, must include The Worlds Best Account Manager!
Too often, we overestimate the impact of these things when it comes to a commercial lawn service and greatly underestimate the single most important factor – Having The Worlds Best Account Manager in the World. Certainly, all of this other stuff is helpful, but it is not a substitute for the value created by a highly qualified account manager that meets face-to-face with your property manager. An exceptional account manager is the greatest asset you will ever have in a commercial landscape maintenance service, producing exceptional results. But all account managers are not created equal.
The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World are different – they think differently and have a different behavior and mind set. While the list of differences runs long,
Here are the top 7 traits of the worlds best Commercial Landscaping Service:
1. They See Customers as Real People, Not as a Sales Target
Sadly, to some account managers, customers are no longer human beings. They are sales targets. They are a commodity and exist to do something for them—fill their bank account with sales commissions. Sadly, the opposite is that eventually the client becomes nothing more than a number to the account manager, and the entire property and team feels the negative impact and lack of detail on the property.
“I design for real people. I think of our customers all the time. There is no virtue whatsoever in creating clothing or accessories that are not practical.” Giorgio Armani
The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World are different because they seek to understand the customer’s wants, needs, and goals. They truly believe their Office Landscape Service will help the customer. Uncovering and solving the customer’s problem becomes their #1 focus. The entire property team feels the positive impact of their unselfish goals.
2. They Sell Value to Customers
It is not uncommon for an account manager to develop a short-term, transaction-oriented sales mentality. Customers are perceived as a means to an end, and no one wins. The greatest account manager in the world sells value to the customer. This entire process begins by developing a rapport with each potential client. This is the only way they can truly uncover customer needs and sell value. When the account manager asks the right questions, the customer will reveal what they value most. Knowing this gives the account manager the ability to demonstrate the HOA Landscape Service lines that offer a unique benefit to your property. Any desire to find the least expensive commercial landscape contractor services is swept to the side, and the customer begins to see the value in long term contracting.
“Customers hire for service and value, not the lowest price.” Gene Ebertowski, President at FloraTerra Landscape Management
Maintaining this rapport and communication builds even greater value throughout the the clients lifecycle. The account manager adapts to how their core values and evolves as the customer’s needs change. The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World understand that selling value generates customer retention, customer loyalty and even customer advocacy.
3. They are Persistent
Does this surprise you? The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World has a healthy level of persistence. This trait is critical in the account management world because of the frequency of rejection, dissatisfaction and complaints. When it comes to Commercial Landscape Management, managers tend to be emotional beings and some suffer from inconsistent performance – a book of business filled with high peaks and low valleys. In the face of failure, there are those who will throw their hands up in the air and resign themselves to the disappointment because they feel defeated and overwhelmed.
“Several years ago two friends of mine, Bernard Haygood and Jimmy Glenn, were driving in the South Alabama foothills on a hot August day. They were thirsty, so Bernard pulled behind an old abandoned farmhouse with a water pump in the yard. He hopped out of the car, ran over to the pump, grabbed the handle and started pumping. After a moment or two of pumping, Bernard pointed to an old bucket and suggested to Jimmy that he get the bucket and dip some water out of a nearby stream in order to “prime” the pump. As all pumpers know, you must put a little water in the top of the pump to ‘prime’ the pump and get the flow of water started.” Zig Ziglar
The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World understand the importance of “priming the pump”. They handle rejection differently. They understand that a customer’s refusal to purchase their service is not a rejection of them personally but of the opportunity or solving the clients problem. They always leave the door open and focus on what can be done to change matters. They are persistent.
4. They Know When to Remain Silent
The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World allow for measurable periods of silence when they have an unhappy situation with customers. They understand that this silence creates an opportunity for the customer to vent and explain their discontentment to what has been said rather than having to immediately rebut with excuses as to why this happened and how it will be resolved. Many account managers do not realize how powerful silence can be and how much it can help during the rebuilding phase; instead they believe they must do most of the talking.
5. They Learn What Is Important To The Customer
Because The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World want to learn what is important to the customer and actually hear what their customer has to say, they resist the temptation to talk immediately after they have spoken and pause for a moment or two. The best substitute for talking too much is asking open-ended, engaging questions and listens intently, “Why the account manager must remain silent and let the client vent” The Greatest account managers reinforces the concept of remaining “tight-lipped” and presents ways to embrace that awkward silence.
6. They Demonstrate Boundless Follow-Up Manners
This is so simple yet is often overlooked by account managers. “According to a professional consultant”, the biggest complaint that customers have when dealing with any business is a lack of following up. In general, account managers are usually great following up to get the landscape sale, but then they stop. They don’t contact the customer until they need to make the next sale (aka at renewal time). This behavior confirms that the account manager is interested in getting the next sale – not in a long-term relationship with their customer. Tip: Your general manager realizes this as well.
The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World contact their customer when there are no strings attached. They become more conversational with their customers and continue to build value and rapport during each visit. They write emails, they leave voicemail messages, and they send thank you notes. Yes, handwritten thank you notes. Many people forgo handwritten thank you notes because it is not the “in” thing to do anymore – but that’s all the more reason to do it! It sets the company apart and communicates how much your landscape company value the customer.
7. They Look Out For Your Best Interest
At the end of the day, The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World got that way by always looking out for the best interest of the company. There are many forms of advertising and marketing for landscape companies, but only the account manager can change how someone “feels” about their company. Only one account manager truly speaks to the customer. Do you employ The Worlds Best Account Managers in the World? 
Give FloraTerra a call at 408.275.1200 or use our simple contact form to set up a meeting with a world class account manager. In the meantime, for more landscape tips, be sure to subscribe to our blog.
FloraTerra provides commercial office landscaping , multi-residential landscape management services, retail landscaping in and around the south san francisco bay area. Our industrial landscape maintenance includes a complete range of services appropriate for sustainable landscape design, landscape water management , Retail Mall Landscape Management, R & D Landscape Development, Luxury Apartment and Condominium Landscaping, Residential Estate Landscaping, HOA Community Landscaping Services for Multi-Building Developments, Commercial Office Park Landscaping and Corporate Campus Landscaping. Our landscape service territory extends throughout the greater South San Francisco Bay Area.
FloraTerra of Silicon Valley and its affiliates, are based in San Jose, California. As a leading commercial landscape maintenance service for office and multi-residential properties.Since its origin the company and its affiliates have installed and maintain some of the most prestigious properties throughout the san jose and greater bay area. For more information about FloraTerra please visit us at: http://www.floraterra.com.