Time to Sell... Snow?


By Neal Glatt

More and more, snow contracts are being awarded in May and June rather than September and October.  While there are many contracts awarded in the Fall and even Winter, the very best ones have tended to get awarded in Spring.  Here’s how to win big early in the season and be set up for success this winter…

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The first step is to start selling now.  Supply chain issues, labor shortages, and the complicated nature of snow removal operations are all significant reasons to justify signing snow contracts in the Spring.  The more that decision-makers have heard these concerns from contractors, the more they have started their snow contract negotiations early.  

Contractors should enjoy the freedom and predictability given by early snow awards and proactively seek them out.  The more that is known about the obligations of a winter season earlier, the better companies can prepare their operations leveraging time to take advantage of early season discounts, advance recruiting, and structured training.

However, starting conversations about snow contracts isn’t enough - it’s critical to keep the proposed timeline for contract awards on pace.  Rather than a strong close, great salespeople know how to set expectations and hold decision makers accountable to commitments.

When reviewing expectations for the bid process timeline, salespeople should take the driver’s seat and lead decision makers through all the steps required.  I teach salespeople to start backwards with the contract award.  Then discuss the steps that will happen in reverse order - legal review, bid consideration and decision, proposal collection, Q&A sessions, site walkthroughs, and bid solicitation.  

Each step may take days or weeks to complete, but by discussing them in advance salespeople can create a sense of urgency and ultimately hold prospects accountable.  Unfortunately, most salespeople never even learn the importance of this conversation, let alone the scripts to deliver it tactically, and decision makers are free to stall in warm weather leading to a rushed decision with impending snowfalls.

Most importantly, salespeople should approach their early snow sales with a plan.  Knowing the ideal contract structures and balance of per occurrence versus guaranteed income, the desired service mix, and the perfect target market to maximize profitability are all critical steps that are far too often overlooked.  Yet the end-of-season review meetings that happen this month are the perfect opportunity to launch a sales effort and secure a better future for snow contracts this winter.

If you were disappointed with how late your snow contracts were awarded, frustrated that you didn’t hit revenue goals (regardless of your snowfall), or concerned that you should have made more profit this past winter, selling earlier with intentionality is the answer.

If you need help getting to the next level, you still have time to join me in Milwaukee, WI on May 10-11 for the Snowfighters Institute Forum for Sales where I’ve prepared two days of snow selling education based on my experience and success selling contracts and coaching others to scale their companies.  Previous attendees have dramatically surpassed their sales goals but time is running out to register so secure your spot today at this link.  It’s the perfect opportunity to kick off snow sales early and make 2023 your best sales year ever.

Tags: Selling , Contracts , Snow selling ,