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sheshovel
04-17-2005, 02:57 AM
I'm doing alot of new landscapes in a manufactured home park,The place is brand new and there are over 100 people in the new homes so far,still bringing in the homes.
Anyway when I am working on a front or side yard I am constantly bombarded with the homeowners asking me questions and wanting plans and estimates and bids,the ones I have done already stop to talk,complement me on my work or ask questions too.Then there are the ones living behind,next to or across the little street that all want to ask what I am doing how am I doing it or just want to shoot the breeze.I hate to be rude and not engage in conversation or answer questions..cuz that's my advertizement and how I get my work.
But this is really becoming a problem distracting me and making it difficult to get my work done as quickly as I would like.
Any suggestions on how to handle this problem?
How do I keep from alienating them and still get my work done in an orderly and schedualed fashion without loosing future work?/PLease
give me any ideas to work with here,I have 5 yards lined up and it's my busyest season..
It's almost like I am trapped in a cage for the people to look at and extract info from.Theres just no getting away from them!! :dizzy:

northmichigan
04-17-2005, 07:17 AM
thats a problem for me too. i work around lakes that have second home owners wandering around with nothing better to do than bother me.my advertizing like yours is largely word of mouth.i try to politely respond to everyone i meet but i have real work to do also. i keep my walkman on my head [with the power off as much as on] to make it seem more difficult for every idle person who walks by to comment on my work but if they do i can say 'excuse me what can i do for you'. sometimes i wish i had an employee whose job it would be to handle all the socializing and pass out biz cards!!!
mj

YardPro
04-17-2005, 07:17 AM
get a helper that can continue working while you are selling the next job

sheshovel
04-17-2005, 04:48 PM
Have yet to find one that can replace me and do what I do right without costing me $$.I have asked some homeowners to "head um off at the pass"and try to distract the others away,but they get tierd of it after the first 4 or 5 and retreat to the house.

sheshovel
04-17-2005, 04:50 PM
I guess trying the headphone thing might work.Anything to help.Any more thoughts or ideas or comments on this topic?

sheshovel
04-18-2005, 03:09 AM
Gee thank's alot for the input guys I do appreciate your caring about my pressing problem enough to come up with a few ideas,even if there bad ideas at least it would have shown you gave a crap .

YardPro
04-18-2005, 07:17 AM
Have yet to find one that can replace me and do what I do right without costing me $$.I have asked some homeowners to "head um off at the pass"and try to distract the others away,but they get tierd of it after the first 4 or 5 and retreat to the house.

you can hire an $8.00=$9.00/hr helper that you can insrtuct on the simple things. set this plant here, rake this out... etc. while you are talking to the people. you'll get more done per day AND make more money.

greenwithenvylandscape
04-18-2005, 07:23 AM
I get this all the time...talk a minute and then just tell them you only have 15 yrs till retirement and have to get back to work.

impactlandscaping
04-18-2005, 11:01 AM
If you don't use them already, get some 18 x 24" coroplast yard signs...we use 2 on each property we are working on, it seems to keep the passersby entertained long enough for us to keep working. Some people just like to ask for the boss or owner so they can feel special...lol..Peltors or mp3 players work well too.. :D ..well, lunch is over, time to get back at it.....

sheshovel
04-18-2005, 11:12 AM
What do the signs say,your biz name and #?

bicmudpuppy
04-18-2005, 12:49 PM
Gee thank's alot for the input guys I do appreciate your caring about my pressing problem enough to come up with a few ideas,even if there bad ideas at least it would have shown you gave a crap .

Ouch, that was harsh. I've been reading this thread, but honestly think we all deal with it. The more populated the area you are in (by that I mean people home when you are working) the worse it is. I have a love/hate relationship with working on Friday afternnons and Saturdays. Your just not going to be as productive unless it is a commercial site where everyone has already left, BUT I get some great referals and feedback too!

The signs are a great idea. And if you want a "cheap" option to try first, Avery just came out with a batch of do-it-yourself kits. I bought one a Office Depot, and the drawback is they aren't waterproof. the outdoor models have plastic sleeves, BUT the software that comes with them is very user friendly and will let you custom design what size you want if you don't want to use they're back drop. I bought a 4x8 piece of tile board (slick white finish) and the indoor poster kit. That gave me 10 sheets of their sticky back paper to use. I went 1x5 down two 18"x6' pieces of tile board and mounted them on my little ranger pickup. then I clear coated them. I've had some good feedback on them and they were very inexpensive. I don't have $50 in total materials, and I've got enough tile board left to make two yard signs. I need to go get another kit to make them 2x2 of avery sheets each. Also, put one of those realtor tubes on your sign with your pricing flyers in them. And a buisness card holder on the signs is also not a bad idea.

The flyers are going to help and hurt you, Some very interested and now somewhat more qualified customers are going to be even more persistent for your time. GOOD LUCK, no easy answer to this one.

pines
04-18-2005, 04:29 PM
On the next proposal/bid that you place, put in a fudge factor that will incorporate a "time away from job to sell". What I am saying is get paid for performing the job at hand, but also get paid for "distractions" as they relate to that particular environment. You could really take advantage of this because your "selling" will be showcasing your work and speaking with potential customers. If you have money in the job for this then go with it.....but if you don't, people will begin to sense your frustration and will not consider you for their job.

impactlandscaping
04-18-2005, 10:17 PM
On our signs, they have a large logo, number, three key services, and web address at the bottom. Ours are full color and run about $ 26.00 each for double sided signs. We also leave one on site(with permission) for around a week after an install, and that also gives me a reason to check up on our work and see the client again. As someone else said, that is the fudge factor...add an hour or two into your bid for the little extras such as a ten minute follow up ...it goes a long way with most people.. :D

sheshovel
04-19-2005, 01:17 AM
Yes I already add a few hours to my estimates in there to cover the time spent consulting with my customer and any delays.I am NOT having a problem getting work.I have jobs lined up right thru the summer there.They all know who I am,They have seen my work cuz it's all over the park so showcasedcontinually.
It's easy to tell the ones that I did they each are different and have their own style and look.(not ment as a brag)
THAT'S why the residents want to get me. everybody who has hired me for their projects recommend me and they all love me.
That's the problem.
I don't NEED advertizement,I don't need flyers I sure don't need to sell myself I have already been sold!
I got a close freind who knows how to plant ,to work for me today, I wore a little portable CD player with ear buds,I still got distracted by about 6 or 7 people but at least the material got planted and the job cleaned up, I was able to complete and install a trellis I was building, plant,tie up the climbing rose on it,helped plant one whole side of the hill and start on my stone wall.Also was able to do one whole side from the soil up on another job,Clean,rake, level out,and mulch it,and give two more estimates I had finished up last night. But will loose her 1st of May she goes back to her regular job and I'm in it again.
What do you think of the idea of having a few shirts made up with the words
If you need to talk to me/If you have a question for me/or if you just want to chat please call Please call (000)000-000 but please do not distract me NOW!! ? :blob3:

bicmudpuppy
04-19-2005, 09:57 PM
What do you think of the idea of having a few shirts made up with the words
If you need to talk to me/If you have a question for me/or if you just want to chat please call Please call (000)000-000 but please do not distract me NOW!! ? :blob3:

How 'bout....."Have a question? Need advice? Consulting for Cash! Have money in Hand BEFORE asking, Please!"

Maybe cuz I'm still in a major growth phase w/o enough work, I hate to send anyone packing, at least this way, you can charge for the time :)

sheshovel
04-20-2005, 03:34 AM
GOOD ONE!!Several shirts and signs!

kris
04-20-2005, 06:35 AM
Not that I don't care it's that I don't see it as a problem .... should be glad to take a few minutes to get work.

sheshovel
04-20-2005, 01:38 PM
Not that I don't care it's that I don't see it as a problem .... should be glad to take a few minutes to get work.
Kris,this is constant bombardment,constant interuptions,constant distractions from what I am thinking and doing on the job I am doing at the time.The people who hire me deserve my undevided attention to their landscapes without me loosing my train of thought and having all these inturuptions.It wasent and has never been a problem before,I am very glad to talk to potential clients BUT it has gotten way out of hand and I am not able to keep doing this and work too.After about 15 interuptions in the first 3 hours I have to stop and regather my thoughts and focus cuz I'm trying to organize all of the house#'s,names,work needed and schedualing in my head from all who have stopped to chat and I'm goin nuts.Even writing them down right away then refocus is not helping.I am the type that has almost total concintration on the job at hand,that's where I focus all my energy.
But I am getting it all spread around and can't refocus 50 times a day!!

Turftiger79
04-29-2005, 12:48 AM
I know exactly how you feel..theres constantly new homes/developments going up around here...unfortunately..(Im a country boy)...we have so many clients or past clients there that not a day goes by that someone doesnt stop to chit chat...what amazes me is how many people are home during the day...these are 350-425k homes...and there we are..working hard to get an honest days work in..does anyone really work nowadays but us in the green business?...oh well..they still seem to have the $$ to put in our pockets in the end.

greywynd
04-29-2005, 02:44 AM
Here's a possible idea that may help in some instances. For some of the bigger jobs, try putting up a temporary plastic safety fence around your work area. If anyone wonders why it's there, tell them it's an insurance issue. If you give yourself a buffer, maybe they won't bother you so much. I realize that it won't be something you can do at every work site, but, it's a different thought to try.

nocutting
04-29-2005, 03:40 AM
Hi Gang, how about bein alittle more direct?.........At the start of most jobs I'll spend 10-15 mins talking to my client, [ givein the low down of todays activeities]As the crew is setting up......I'll seek them out.........than tell them if they come up with any questions , I'll be glad to address them later on in the day as my superviory skills are needed on the job[ after 2-3 hrs]....And we we really get into it I always excuse myself to ck on the crew.........No one seems offended and everyone seems to understand....Works for me? :cool2:

sheshovel
04-29-2005, 01:39 PM
I kinda like the idea of a fence or barrier of some type,might give that and some other things suggested here a go too thanks everybody
nocutting..it's not the persons I am working for it's all the others cuz all retired manifactured home community.It's tight in there.

JTHutch
04-29-2005, 05:28 PM
I usually chat with them while I'm working. I may not get as much done but I'm still getting something done. Of course I can't use equipment But I can still dig holes etc... if they want an estimate I will then stop get there name number and address maybe set a time were I will stop by and talk to them about their yard. I will talk and carry on a conversation while planting plants or raking mulch. They will realize I'm busy and leave.

larz
05-02-2005, 02:07 PM
Definitely keep working if possible. Ask if you can come by later to chat with them. If its obvious money drop everything, but otherwise stay busy. Try to be discrete about any barriers, line all of your plant materials & mulch between you and the spectators. do the areas near the street early & get back away from the street during busy time. Wish I had these troubles.

betterlawn
05-02-2005, 02:42 PM
I like nocuttings idea. You've got to let them feel like they are in the loop since they are paying you (depending on who you are talking to). So get it out of the way first off and than if they bother you just explain that you've got to get back to work so that you'll be finished on time. No need to be rude, just be busy...

Its never easy to brush people off though.

Or, just carry a blower around and everytime they start talking start it up and blow some crap around... :p

dvmcmrhp52
05-02-2005, 06:05 PM
"well Sir, I don't mean to cut you off but I'm really backed up with work and need to get back to it..........."

" I'd be happy to get together with you if we can make an appointment to discuss it........."


That gets rid of the people looking for free info to do it themselves or the "price shoppers"..........the folks looking to actually get something done will understand and give you a call. If they don't understand that time is money then you don't want to bother with them anyway.............