I have to partially disagree with the post. At least from where I am sitting, I hardly ever get the feeling that customers don't respect me or my company. In fact, I usually get a lot of respect when I show up to a customer's house. Maybe because our company is well-known in the community. But I think there is a lot more that goes into it too. Typically, our customers have either heard from us from a friend who spoke really highly of us or found us on the internet. And by the time they've gone through our website and seen all the beautiful work we're capable of doing, I think they end up having a lot of respect for our company. I think a lot of that comes from the fact that mowing lawns is just PART of what we do. People see nice paver patios, impressive stone work, outdoor living areas, landscape design, carpentry, landscape installs, etc. and I think the level of skill that is needed to pull that stuff off shines through. Most people are impressed by that point and by the time we show up, they already have respect for me and our company.
I think it also helps to be looking professional too. From your business card to your uniforms to the estimate sheet you hand them. The more custom and non-generic that stuff is, the more people will think you have really invested in your company and take you as more professional.
It also helps to be able to converse with the clients on a level that they are familiar with as well. Most of my clients are middle aged and have kids - so do I. So I bring that up. Most of my clients are college educated, so am I. So if I see a OSU or UofO sticker in their car of flag in front of their house, I bring that up. If I notice a book on Shakespeare or The Bible on their table, I might discuss that a little. Often I'll ask what they do. I have friends in just about every profession out there. So if someone says they are an attorney or businessman or whatever, I know enough to talk a little shop with them. This all helps set the stage that I am someone who is a lot like them. It shows them that I am not just some dude that does this for beer money. All of this posturing, so to speak, is really important. People want to buy from other people who they feel are similar to them. It's an advantage I have, being the age that I am and having had the life experiences I have had. And we all have to use our different advantages to their best potential.
Anyway, that's my perspective, FWIW.