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addictedtolandscaping
11-25-2012, 08:12 PM
the second time this year, I found myslef realising whay I do this. Granted I make a decent living, but the joy and excitement we bring to people in general has to be it.

The frst time it happened this year was a couple weeks ago when I was installing a municipal project, I had 2 little girls, maybe 6 or 7 yelling "Merry Christmas to me" as I was installing the garland and bows on this project that goes through a good part of the City.

Today, not only did I have a man in his mid 20's stop me, but thanked me also for playing Christmas music why I was installing the lights on this project. Then three hours later, he brings me a hot chocolate and sandwich. This is after a couple more girls in their early teens spent a few minutes walking up and down the block I was working on saying "Merry Christmas" each and every time they went by.

Now, where can you go to work, make a decent living and bring that kind of joy and happiness to people?? Have you ever stopped for a minute and noticed how when people look at what you are doing, especially on a commercial or municipal project as it is easy to notice, they always walk away with a smile on their face. Just for a moment, in such times of duress and abundant despair, you made them forget their problems, even if just for a moment, that my friends is truly a gift, it is Divine, and the Lord himself gave us the ability to deliver such a gift.

David Gretzmier
11-26-2012, 07:30 AM
We do bring Christmas spirit to a lot of folks. In my sales presentation, I often talk about what makes folks feel good when they pull in the drive. I say that Christmas decorating creates an emotional response in everyone, and some things are just right for one person. maybe it is multi colored bulbs, or all red or all green, or even purple and gold. maybe it is a huge wreath on a barn, or just simple mini lights in a few bushes, and that is it.

A good interior decorator asks questions to determine what effects the person wants, and then uses his or her skill to create that vision in an orderly fashion using the right number of groupings and colors and sizes. The best interior decorators use every trick in the book to also create that look while staying in budget. And the best interior decorators always find or give a few surprises for free, to put the customer just over the top. extras they found that cost little and they knew would be perfect.

we should be doing the same things outside. I have always taken it as my personal responsibility to create a very positive emotional response when folks pull up in the drive way. yes, that almost always means minimal visable cords, fluffed wreaths and garland, perfectly spaced and no bulbs out and timers working, no visible hanging mini lights from bush to bush, etc. It also means we need to use every trick in the book to stay on budget. sometimes it means giving things away free, at least for the first year when you know a customer wants it but does not want to spend the money. In a 1000-2000 install, when you are already there, it costs us very little to add a few things here and there that really can make the home look so much better. The customer may fall in love with it and pay you for them next year, maybe not. sometimes I guess wrong. But giving the customer more has always served me well.

addictedtolandscaping
11-26-2012, 01:40 PM
Dave I agree completely. Since day one, you may recall, I said I wanted to do this right, now some guy hanging lights, but a professional lighting decorator. That has taken me to the point that for example, this project I will finish up today, I will add out of pocket whatever light strands necessay to complete the presentation, and just keep x,y,z on inventory as an in cas epops up. I have searched the market to eliminate the bulbs from bush to bush if I just can't get them all in one for presentation purposes, I use the necessary measures to eliminate the exposed cords, actually run a proactive service approach so if there is something wrong, I am aware of it prior to the client.

Without question, it makes the difference, it eliminates the "guy hanging lights" and adds to the "professional" that we all should be striving to be. Though I don;t service 100 clients, the ones I do pay me well. When my opportunities present, they are generally attached to high profile possibilities, and they are willing to pay for the "professional."

I just really have an appreciation that we are able to affect the general public in such a way as I have been allowed to experience.

GreenI.A.
11-29-2012, 03:20 AM
We just did one last week, a new client this year. When I met with them they stated that they only wanted white lights. This was a large $6.4m home and probably the cheapest in the neighborhood. One of those streets with the unwritten rule that everyone uses white and none would dare to add some color. When we were talking their 10yr old daughter and 7yr old son were flipping through my catalogs and kept pointing out all the multicolored lit houses and different lit santas, raindeer etc. But the parents were adamant they wanted only white.

So we did the install and as a surprise I decorated the kids playhouse in the back in multicolored, I had a santa and a couple raindeer that I brought in for a client last year and never used so I put them in the back as well. Of course I first checked to make sure they wouldn't be visible from the street or neighbors yards.

I had just stuck a note in the door for the client explaining the last minute additions in the back. I had said that if he did not approve we would remove it asap, but otherwise we would leave them for the season and he could purchase them next year for the kids at a discount. While we were strapping the ladders on the trucks the family came home. The look on the kids face's when they saw all the white lights was great. But the look when they saw the backyard in color was priceless.

rbljack
11-29-2012, 03:54 AM
We just did one last week, a new client this year. When I met with them they stated that they only wanted white lights. This was a large $6.4m home and probably the cheapest in the neighborhood. One of those streets with the unwritten rule that everyone uses white and none would dare to add some color. When we were talking their 10yr old daughter and 7yr old son were flipping through my catalogs and kept pointing out all the multicolored lit houses and different lit santas, raindeer etc. But the parents were adamant they wanted only white.

So we did the install and as a surprise I decorated the kids playhouse in the back in multicolored, I had a santa and a couple raindeer that I brought in for a client last year and never used so I put them in the back as well. Of course I first checked to make sure they wouldn't be visible from the street or neighbors yards.

I had just stuck a note in the door for the client explaining the last minute additions in the back. I had said that if he did not approve we would remove it asap, but otherwise we would leave them for the season and he could purchase them next year for the kids at a discount. While we were strapping the ladders on the trucks the family came home. The look on the kids face's when they saw all the white lights was great. But the look when they saw the backyard in color was priceless.

BRAVO! Very nice and done with style. :clapping: