Kevin New of Putting Greens of Atlanta, in Buford, Georgia on marketing and selling quality turn-key installations

How did you get into putting green installations?
Researched all manufacturers for personal green at home and chose AllPro’s Product, because it is more natural and great customer support. Price was secondary after quality. After entertaining at home, friends started asking how they could get one and something clicked in my head to start a business after retiring from the corporate world.

How many installations have you done in the Atlanta area?
75 – 100 or more at this point both residential and commercial installs

What is your target customer?
80% high income home owners

What kind of advertising do you do to reach your target customers?
Advertise in Atlanta homes and lifestyles magazine, half page ad that circulates monthly to high end homeowners along with tradeshows and referrals from golf course architects and current customers.

What is the biggest selling factor that you offer your clients?
My own reputation as a great contractor in the area. You are only as good as your word, so you should always live up to your word. Your customers will appreciate you going the extra mile to make their experience great.

What are the average size, cost and profit margin you receive froma typical green installation?
16’x26’ green costing $6,000-$7,000 with an average margin of 63% -65%

Do you find it easy to up-sell otherlandscaping services such as hardscaping or water features?
Definitely, the people are buying my reputation and trust. They want additional landscaping around the green. Usually the first question a customer will ask me is what can you do as far as landscaping? That is a great lead in to a sure close on other services.

What is your process for selling the greens?
Initial phone conversation explaining installation, then a no obligation consultation and laying out the green with an extension cord in their yard, (they need a visual, it gets them excited!) take measurements, at that point they increase or decrease size, then we look at when to install.

What is your secret to successfully closing a sale?
Establishing a trusting relationship with the customers, asking for the order and explaining that we run a 3 week installation schedule and need to get them on the schedule to have the project done in a timely manner.

How has the referrals sent to you by All Pro helped your business?
Tremendously, I have closed 95% of the referrals All Pro has sent me.

How do you think tradeshows have impacted your sales?
Tremendously, allows face to face encounters with potential customers, I can explain the install process & warranty,they will usually fill out a contact sheet for a free consultation.

In your last tradeshow, how many solid sales would you say you walked away with?
12-15 solid sales, still closing sales from the Home and Garden show in Atlanta. That number is increasing everyday that I do a consultation.

How did the cost of the booth compare to the sales profits generated?
I spent $750.00 on the booth rental and the sales started at $38,000 for six greens along with an additional$5,000 in landscaping around them. One sale will pay for the cost of the booth and then some.

What advice would you give otherson how to be successful at tradeshows?
Be personable, be knowledgeable, and trade shows are not the time to go for the close. It is a time to provide knowledge and establish a relationship. You will beable to better close a sale one on one at their home during a consultation.

What other ways of marketing have been effective for you?
Providing a commission for any sales brought in by associates, friends or current customers and making sure they have brochures to pass on. Establishing relationships with golf course architectsin the area and working off their referrals.

What sets you apart from other installers in your area?
Reputation and living up to my word.Some contractors do not show up on time or finish on time and I always deliver to my customers what they want and expect.Projecting a professional image to my customers at all times makes them more comfortable with me.

Do you think customer referrals play a big role in your sales success?
Most definitely. If I keep my current customers happy they will refer me and keep me in mind for anyone that admires their green and wants one of their own.

How do you keep thosereferrals alive?
Offering incentives, commissions,paying attention to detail and not cutting corners on their installs. Always listening to my customers needs and concerns, so that I can do the best job possible and avoid any call backs.