Recently I was the keynote speaker at the Nursery/Landscape EXPO - the largest green industry conference in the South, hosted by the TNLA, where I presented: Going Digital: A New Era in the Green Industry. The presentation shared research about the changes in the Texas economy, and trends for homeowners in their decision process for hiring landscapers and home service businesses.
Part of my presentation included excerpts from an interview with Brandon Serpette from 3 Bears Landscaping in Minneapolis, MN. Brandon is one of the highest rated landscapers in Minneapolis -- out of several dozen -- and here’s what he had to say about how it’s impacted his sales.
An interview with the highest rated landscaper in Minneapolis, MN
Jack Jostes: Hey guys, Jack Jostes here from Ramblin Jackson and today I'm here with Brandon from 3 Bears Landscaping in Minnesota. Brandon, tell us what is 3 Bears, where are you guys, and what do you do?
Brandon: We're a design build company here in South Minneapolis and we focus on small to mid-residential landscaping. No commercial for us. We do have a maintenance department, though. Everything from grounds maintenance to lawn maintenance.
Jack Jostes: Cool. What's that sweet Mini behind you. Tell us about that.
Brandon: Yeah, that's Ginger right there.
Jack Jostes: Nice.
Brandon: 10000 pound excavator. We're here on site right now trying to excavate. We're gonna build a big boulder wall to elevate their yard. You'll see behind me this lake. They face Lake Nokomis, it's a really pretty view. You can see the beach, everybody's having fun. It's about 95 degrees. Yeah, it's good.
Jack Jostes: Cool. Brandon, you guys have a really great online presence when it comes to your reviews. I wanted to see what you are doing to get reviews. How has that become part of your culture of your company. What's the impact been on your business? Do potential customers mention it? Is it worth the effort of getting reviews?
Brandon: Yeah. When I first started my business, a service called Broadly reached out to me and said, "Hey, do you want us to take care of all your reviews?" I said, "Sure." We entered them in and sure enough we were getting five stars left and right and we continue to do that. Basically, just do the job right and make the customer happy and that goes a long way. That's all we have been doing. We quickly had about 50 to 60 reviews online and then we became the #1 landscape provider based on online reviews here in Minneapolis in a three year mark. Have a good walkthrough, have a good email template that you send them. You can either do that in-house or out-of-house, meaning you can hire a service to get five star reviews. That's all we do but it's really about doing a good job and treating people right and that's our values. It's very simple like you would think but it's made us successful very fast.
Jack Jostes: Who actually owns reviews at your company? Is it you who's actually responsible for sending that email to the customer to ask for a review?
Brandon: It's relied on the sales which is me but we have sales and maintenance and they would do that as well. Thank you cards are important or a hand written letter before you were gonna send them that email.
Jack Jostes: Great.
Brandon: The sales people that are in charge of that process does that or the office manager helps us.
Jack Jostes: You guys are finishing a project, sending a handwritten letter, and then sending an email asking for a review.
Brandon: Exactly, after the walkthrough. Job looks great, there's nothing else I could think that I'd want done.
Jack Jostes: Good. Excellent.
Brandon: That kind of thing.
Jack Jostes: Do potential customers mention your online reviews when they are buying from you or when they call?
Brandon: Yeah, they will always say, "You're highly rated." If they don't, I ask them. They're like, "Yeah, we saw the reviews." Sometimes they don't even know about the reviews. Just because you pop up as #1 on the charts, they are like, "We figured you were good so we just selected you and we're here."
Jack Jostes: Right.
Brandon: You don't even really have to sell yourself anymore. Meaning, we have good rapport with people who think that we're really good and we spread it out too. Google, Facebook, Angie's List, Yelp, Houzz. Those are the big ones.
Jack Jostes: Yeah, you want to get strong reviews on all the review sites that matter that you just mentioned. That way, when you do get a bad review eventually, no worries, right. You've got good reviews to outweigh them.
Where does your business need to get reviews online? Email us and we’ll send you the list!
If you want to learn how to become the most-reviewed in your town AND get the list of your review sites, email me at email@example.com with “Review sites” in the subject line and I’ll send them to you, or message me on Instagram @jackjostes.