Don’t hide the fact that you are making a profit at providing snow management services. While it may seem like everyone is plowing snow, the fact is you are in the minority. You provide a necessary service that requires specialized equipment, special talents and tremendous dedication to your customers. Customers should be glad you are there – ready and willing to provide services under terrible, and often unsafe, conditions. Sell these benefits of dealing with your company, no matter what size fleet you run.
Most importantly, keep in mind that you are in the snow and ice management business year round. While most of our customers only think of snow just before the season, we should be thinking about snow all year long. When you are asking about the landscape maintenance business or tree care business, or sweeping services, ask about the snow business too. When you do a landscape installation (or irrigation installation, paver installation, etc.) ask who does the snow removal. Are they happy with the service they are receiving? If they say yes – then that is good for your customer. Tell them that they are lucky to have a good contractor, but if they become unsatisfied, or if the incumbent stumbles, could you please have the opportunity to secure the business? Also, if they are happy with their current contractor, ask what they are being charged. If for no other reason than to see what the competition is charging, you should always ask. It’s no threat to the incumbent as you know that your customer is satisfied. Then write down this number somewhere where it will not get lost. In a couple years, if you get a call to quote the work, you will have some idea “where the numbers are at” for that particular customer.
For those contractors that are in the plowing business to make a profit, it is a high profit center that gets considerable attention throughout the year. You probably don’t have a problem quoting new landscape business in January. You shouldn’t have a problem quoting snow business in June and July either.