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View Full Version : What are some of your methods for upselling fert to the unsellable?


Mower For Less
09-26-2005, 01:12 PM
When you get a aeration or overseeding customer (or even lawn customer) who obviously needs to be put on a fert program, what methods do you use to commonly persuade them to use your services?

Lets say you go to do a job, and you meet the customer, talk to them about their lawn, suggest yourself for fertilization services and give them your pitch on what you can do differently and how you can help their lawn. All the good stuff you would normally do to sell a new fert customer.

Now the customer responds with something along the lines of, I've had 5 differnt fert co's over the last 5 years, and none of them have done any good. I'm going to do it myself next year with good ole' Scotts, my lawn always looked good when I used to use Scott's in the past.

Is their a way to bring these people back from the darkside, or are they gone forever???

bobbygedd
09-26-2005, 01:36 PM
i usually get this from people who have used "chain" companies for ferts. i explain to them that these big chains carry 10,000 or more clients, and they can't posibly give individualized personalized service. i also have many written referels from my own clients, who state that they have tried many other companies, and were unsatisfied, then signed on with us, and are very happy as they are finally getting the results they want, how wonderful i am, how honest i am, etc, etc. works for me

lawnguyland
09-26-2005, 02:57 PM
i usually get this from people who have used "chain" companies for ferts. i explain to them that these big chains carry 10,000 or more clients, and they can't posibly give individualized personalized service. i also have many written referels from my own clients, who state that they have tried many other companies, and were unsatisfied, then signed on with us, and are very happy as they are finally getting the results they want, how wonderful i am, how honest i am, etc, etc. works for me
easy-no fert program, no service from me.

GreenUtah
09-26-2005, 03:27 PM
keep their address and hit them after a year of doing it on their own...the fond memories of how it looked when they did it before will have taken a big ole nasty drink of reality and they will be ready to listen once again.

Mower For Less
09-26-2005, 04:10 PM
easy-no fert program, no service from me.

Like I said, this could be overseeding or aeration customers as well. Your telling me you would turn down a profitable job just because they wont sign with you for fert? I can see the connection to lawn service, but I'm not going to turn down a 1 time job that will make me as much or more than a whole season of doing their fert.

Kevin

Mscotrid
09-26-2005, 04:47 PM
Explain to your customer or potential customer that the program will only work if their willing to follow your advice. Your on the lawn 5-6 times a year to fert & squirt, their on the lawn 24/7. Who do you think has a bigger impact on the lawn. Try not to set unobtainable expectations on the lawn.

We all hear people say they want "A golf course lawn". Lets look at most golf courses, they spend thousands on fungicides. They have a full time crew out there every day and still have problems. Sell yourself and your service. Stay within the limits of your expertize, utilize your vendors to help you sell your service.

EJK2352
09-26-2005, 10:44 PM
Explain to your customer or potential customer that the program will only work if their willing to follow your advice. Your on the lawn 5-6 times a year to fert & squirt, their on the lawn 24/7. Who do you think has a bigger impact on the lawn. Try not to set unobtainable expectations on the lawn.

We all hear people say they want "A golf course lawn". Lets look at most golf courses, they spend thousands on fungicides. They have a full time crew out there every day and still have problems. Sell yourself and your service. Stay within the limits of your expertize, utilize your vendors to help you sell your service.


Well said Mscotrid!!!

Mower For Less
09-26-2005, 11:37 PM
Well said Mscotrid!!!

??? It may be well said under a subject of "Why do my customers complain all the time?" or "How can I defend the other guys crappy fert job?" But really it is not on the same topic as I started this thread with, and that is how to sell to those that have been burnt, not how to keep my customers that arent happy.

Kevin

Mower For Less
09-26-2005, 11:38 PM
No offense, it is sound advice, just not what I was soliciting for.

Kevin

GrazerZ
09-27-2005, 06:55 AM
Bobby gave you some good suggestions. I would just add that you may want to go down to the local hardeware store and figure out for "sales purposes" what it would cost the average 10,000 k lawn to do the scotts program. They may be shocked.I find often when I remind them of the increase in fertilizer cost, they will have me do it.I noticed that this sring one store had round one with crab control in it for @$31.00 a bag. But again, if they are bent on doing it themselves, let them. Ofer to do the aeration and the like, do it, collect, move on.

J Hisch
09-27-2005, 09:44 AM
I use areation for getting new fertilizing accounts in the spring here is my simple method and works effectively.
(after you have done a one time job) measure their lawn when there.

1. IN December send them a pre-pay letter, outlining your service

2. January, send them a post card reminding them of your pre-payment discount, with picture of your lawns, and or reccommdations from other satisfied customers(include the customers name and address)

3. Feb- follow up with a polite phone call asking for there business, if denied continue with them as a aeration company, power seeding or what ever. Eventually they will see how you are not high pressure constantly ringing there phone.

The fact most company's fail to admit to is the fact that having a great lawn is like growing a great farm crop it takes time to establish and constant work. Nothing worth having comes quickly.

Mscotrid
09-27-2005, 11:23 AM
Mower,

I think if you combine all the info from these post you'll find the answer you were seeking. Bottom line is you have to sell yourself and why you are different from companies abc.

Talk about how you like to partnership up with your clients. You need to find their main concern about the turf. Why did the other companies not meet their expectations? Some customers are pissed if they have 1 weed in the lawn while others are ecstatic over the fact there lawn looks great if only one weed in the lawn.

There is no magic line or free rain gauge or calender that will make a customer happy. You need to find out what this particular customer is concerned about and address that issue to the best of your ability.

SELL YOURSELF AND YOUR SERVICE...AND WHY YOU ARE DIFFERENT...

Good Luck

lilmarvin4064
09-27-2005, 05:33 PM
Hisch, you might want to be very careful about giving out your other names and addresses. I used to work for a large "chain" company and we were'nt allowed to give out our other customers addresses for legal reasons. I would often get asked from new customers "do you service any other people around here" and I said "yes, some of them are actually just down the street, but I'm not allowed to tell you which ones," and those lawns actually looked really good. Check with your lawyer. OH, and don't "cold-call" anyone if they are on the national do not call registry.

J Hisch
09-27-2005, 08:37 PM
You are correct on one point, however when they write the recommendation, suchas "my wife and I highly reccommend so and so", then they are aware their information is on there, a simple rule of thumb is always ask for permission.

Evergreenpros
09-27-2005, 11:22 PM
easy-no fert program, no service from me.

I'm the same way.

Mower For Less
09-28-2005, 12:25 AM
I'll give you a little more detailed scenario. I was doing an aeration job for a guy, had my helper with me. Helper did the actual aeration, I talked to the customer the whole time about their lawn, overseeding recommendations (He planned on doing it himself, already bought some cheapo seed from hardware store...) He only had 12 pounds of seed for roughly 5k sq. ft of area. I warned him this would probably be too thin for the results he was anticipating. I explained to him how our overseeding worked, and how much seed we would use. Not to pressure him into buying it (although I did ask him if he was interested) but mainly to illustrate to him the big difference between doing it and doing it right. Conversation covered a wide array of topics, including his current fert companys not being able to get rid of his weeds, and his lawn slowly turning to crap over the couple years that they have been servicing his lawn (one guess at who that particular company is???). I offered him an explanation of fast release vs. slow release fertilizers, and the effects on the root system as a likely explanation for what he was currently seeing as a slow downward trend in his lawn. I offered to do his final application of the season for him this year, and I offered him something I have never offered another customer, just to see if it would work. I told him I understood the problems he was facing with his other company, and explained to him how we were different, how we would use better quality fertilizers, and I guaranteed him that I would eliminate 90% of his weeds in one application or I would not charge him for it. I am not sure how I could have made a more convincing arguement, and risk-free! And even after over 30 minutes of conversation, explanations, and some sales pitch (not high pressure, just mixed in with the conversation) and a guaranteed effective or free pledge, I still could not convince him to give my fertilization services a try.

Sorry so long, but this is the guy who prompted my initial post, I believe he has been burnt SO badly that even with the gurantee of "It will work or I wont charge you" he STILL would not try it (No comitment, no prepay, just try it, and if it works, then pay me). He was satisfied with the aeration, will probably call us back to do it again in the spring next year, but just will not bite on fert.

Kevin

Mscotrid
09-28-2005, 10:35 AM
Mower,

It's fall and all my hunting gear is ready. I've been scouting the fields and looking for the right place to hang my tree stand. I found a great shed earlier this summer in the spot where my tree stand will hang. I've been practicing all summer with my bow, recently re-stringed. Camo been kept in a scent lok bag. I'm ready for the 12 point :rolleyes:. Now only if he gets within 45 yards he's mine. Maybe.

Point is we can be ready and prepared but there is no sure guaranteed way I'll fill my tag or that will land every customer we pitch. Frustrating as it is some people you just can't close. Just keep him on a mailing list, drive by the property occasionally and you might get him in the future.