Your client’s first impression of you normally comes from your design presentation.
So you’ll want to wow them with your ideas, understanding of their visions and personalized approach. But it can be difficult to know how to present a landscape design this way, if you’re new to the presentation process.
To help you hone your skills, here are seven swimming pool and landscape sales presentation tips.
1. Be Prepared
Before you meet with the client, make sure you are ready to present.
You’ll need to prepare for the presentation at least one day before the meeting. That will help eliminate stress and give you the confidence you’ll need to discuss the project.
Try running through your landscape sales presentation with an employee, friend, family member or by yourself. This will make you more comfortable talking about the design and also help you brainstorm questions the customers might have. You want to make the most of your time with the prospect, so know what you want to say.
Plus, doing a test run of the landscape design presentation will help you remember all of the materials you need to bring with you. We get desperate calls every week from our designer clients saying they arrived at the presentation but forgot a file or didn’t register their landscape design software. Don’t let that happen to you.
You’ll want to confirm your presentation appointment with the client the day before. That way, you can make sure you don’t drive to their house for nothing.
Also, make sure all of the decision makers are present for the meeting. If they aren’t, one will be left trying to sell your services to the other, instead of hearing the information straight from you.
Another important component when considering how to present a landscape design is incorporating exactly what the potential clients have told you in initial conversations.
When they say they want things like a “cozy nook,” “relaxing area” or “fun place for entertaining guests,” write those words and phrases down exactly.
Then, use those words when you present your plans. They will resonate with your client and help them connect to the space on a subconscious level.
You’ll give them confidence that you really understand their vision — and also know how to turn it into reality.
2. Bring the Outdoors In
As for where to do your landscape design presentation, you have two basic choices: inside or out.
Starting the meeting inside will help you keep the client more focused on the landscape or swimming pool design, instead of jumping from one area to the next outside. Plus, they’ll spend more time inside looking at the yard, which will help them see the views they’ll have of their new space.
While inside, use our 3D landscape design software to show them the design. You can actually show clients views of the pool and landscape from inside their home with our software. Don’t miss the opportunity to sell your ideas from the most important vantage point.
Once you’ve painted a picture of what the space can become from within, take them outside to cover more of the specifics.
3. Take a Different Approach
Walking the client through what the outdoor space can become is difficult when you’re carrying around rolls of plans. So impress them with a different display when presenting a landscape design.
You can use a 24- by 36-inch foam board with binder clips, which will cost less than $10. That way, you can walk around the yard holding the display without continually asking them to hold one end of the plans while you point to features. Plus, it will be easier to look at inside on a flat surface.
Or you can bring a plan reduced to 8 ½ by 11 inches and then take notes or mark changes on it.
Another option that’s popular with our designers is to bring a tablet to show clients past project photos. You can flip through images as you walk around the property. Make sure the project photos you take with your smartphone and show to prospects will really wow them.
4. Bring Ideas — Not Things
While having the actual design plan is a must, materials like plant catalogs, hardscape samples and your portfolio might be a little overwhelming for the customer at your presentation.
The details are important, but first you need to focus on showing the client the bigger picture.
Start by selling them on how and why they’ll use the space, and explain the reason you designed it the way you did. You want to tell a story with the design, so take them through the different experiences they’ll have in the space.
Present a more conceptual plan at first, and get into the specifics later — such as tile colors and paving choices. You can do this back inside the house on the landscape design software or during a second appointment. Giving the homeowner the opportunity to pick materials, or something as simple as the color of the flowers under the kitchen window, builds a sense of ownership with the client.
5. Cover the Basics
When going through the different features and elements of the pool or landscape design, remember your client is probably not familiar with the process.
Looking at 2D plans from a bird’s eye view can be difficult for someone not familiar with reading these types of plans. Instead, turn your 2D plans into a 3D landscape sales presentation and interactively let them explore the future space. It will be easier for the client to understand and visualize the space — which will increase your chances of selling the design.
Encourage them to ask questions as you go through the landscape sales presentation, instead of waiting until you’re finished.
6. Make It Personal
With 3D landscape designs, you can also tailor the presentation to the customer to give them a better connection to the space.
Start by incorporating personal elements like pets, vehicles, furniture and even people in the design.
With our professional landscape design software, VizTerra and Pool Studio, you can include the family dog lounging near the pool, children playing under a waterfall or a group of people relaxing next to a fire feature. Not only will it help them connect with the space, but it also will show them how they can use their outdoor living space.
Up that wow factor and level of personalization by creating a video design for the customer using our pool and landscaping software. With videos, you can create designs with movement, sound and personal touches in a few minutes. Videos are also a great tool for presenting a landscape design to a remote client.
7. Create Impressive Designs
Even following the best landscape sales presentation can’t win you the project if your design and ideas don’t impress them.
That’s why it’s so important to go with the best landscape design software.
When you are determining how to present a landscape design, give our 3D landscape software a try, and let us know what you think. You can demo our outdoor living design software VizTerra and Pool Studio for free.