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Old 11-20-2014, 10:55 PM
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CrystalCreek CrystalCreek is online now
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Every encounter is an opputunity to gain customers

Ok. I am in the process of really trying to change up my business. I have been re-aiming my focus to high end work only. That being said, tonight I pulled into CVS pharmacy to get some stuff. I also received a text while parking. So I pulled to the spots at the rear of the lot like I always do and proceed to answer my text. Than I check my email. Than I listen to a few voicemails. All of a sudden, there is a knock on my door. I shut down the engine and open up the door and jump on down. This lady says to me, " did you know it's illegal to idle your diesel so long?" I reply, "yes I do, and I'm very sorry. I lost track of time with my phone. Again, I'm really sorry."

She said it was ok and started to turn away, I called her and told her if she ever needed any help to give me a call, as I reached out with a business card. She replyed that she already had a landscaper. I said that's no problem and wished her a good evening and happy thanksgiving. I proceeded to the store and now she is calling out to me. I turn around and she asks if she could have a few cards. I said of course and gave her a handful. When I asked what changed her mind, her answer left me very surprised.
She said that she fully expected to get an argument about the idling issue,and was really impressed with how sincere I was with quickly apologizing. She also said the clean shiny truck was refreshing to see as was my clean uniform. She said most landscapers are crude and act very unprofessional.

Like I say, I'm still pretty shocked. So here's my advise if your trying to grow. Know that every encounter is a potential new customer. You portray an image everywhere you go. Your actions do speak loudly. Act in a way to draw the customers you want. I am learning from a few of the greats here on lawnsite, that they all act in a way that really draws in the high end clients. Now I am learning why.
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Tentatively speaking, kinda... I think... And maybe, thou I sure hope so, sure would be nice.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:32 AM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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You handled it very professionally. Good for you. And that is a good example to be emulated.

That said, I would have told her to mind her own business and rolled up my window. I have plenty of customers. If I want a new one, I certainly don't want it to be some up-tight global warming extremist who's so overzealous about her cause that she'd rather start a beef with some guy she doesn't even know than just move on with her day. I see stuff that people do in society every day that ticks me off or that I don't agree with. But I don't go confront them about it or tell them how to live their lives. You gotta be kidding me. That would irritate the heck out of me. To the point where I would probably be unprofessional, which normally isn't like me.

The thing is, I run my engine all the time. Sometimes in front of a customer's house. Sometimes I just pull over in a neighborhood and have to make a call or send off a quick email. But if it's a sunny day and I turn the engine off, my cab starts going up about 1-2 degrees a minute. It starts to get pretty dang hot in there in no time. I don't need to show up to my next appt all sweaty because I was trying to please some person who was overly concerned with my exhaust fumes. My mowers put out more CO2 in one hour than my DEQ regulated pickup with a nice catalytic converter in it could in an entire day of idling. So give me a break with the "I'm killing the environment" speech. Conversely, in the winter I'm running the engine because it's freakin' COLD outside. I'm not going to sit there in my truck and shiver for 10-15 minutes while I do my business just to please someone who has misplaced anger about combustion engines.

'Course I don't own a Diesel. So I'm not sure what the laws are there. I guess if it was illegal, that's another thing. But I've had two confrontations with people like this - and I know for a fact it isn't illegal to run my gas truck like this if I want to - and the people were just so rude and condescending that it just irritates me to know end when I see or hear about people like this. In general, people who are so confrontational over something so stupid just drive me crazy. And I am not going to encourage them to keep doing stuff like that by caving to their ridiculous demands. People just need to mind their own business unless it's something really serious.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:00 AM
herler herler is online now
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http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/meddler
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busybody
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:18 AM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is offline
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Theres still a few things in life that my lips never touch, and poop exits are one of them.

Then give a stack of cards so she can pass them out to her friends, yikes! You might better move and change your phone #.

Im surprised the democrat didn't bash you about the white man taking the land of the indians when you wished her happy thanksgiving.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:33 AM
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CrystalCreek CrystalCreek is online now
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I too dont like the people who throw their two cents around, however, there was no tone in her voice. It almost seemed like she was concerned. Where I live, these type of people are everywhere. We have laws that prohibit any engine from idling any more that 3 minutes. This includes gas or diesel.

Yes, I do not like dealing with tree huggers and environmentals, but since most people in NJ fall into this, I may as well work with it. Actually some of these people are the biggest spenders when it comes to landscaping.

I am usually pretty good at reading people. I dont think this lady will ever be a problem Thats why I offered her the cards.

The much younger version of my self would have told here where to stick it. I guess I am growing up and getting older. Since I still want to build up my customer base, I will try to be nice to all the people who enter my life.

After I win the customer over, than Ill drive away like a bat out of hell with a giant cloud of smoke coming from my diesel.......Just kidding, too damn expensive
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topsites View Post
Tentatively speaking, kinda... I think... And maybe, thou I sure hope so, sure would be nice.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:48 AM
larryinalabama larryinalabama is offline
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I didn't think of it but mabey she wants your body, and that's all she coulld think of to talk too you, it worked she got your number.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:19 AM
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MOturkey MOturkey is online now
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I'm not sure how I would have reacted. It probably would have depended upon my mood at that particular time. I do believe, however, that many people like that are looking for a confrontation, as in, "I hope that guy smarts off to me, I'm calling the cops and turning in his license number!" When you come across as reasonable and apologetic, it throws them off their game.

To me, idling a vehicle is a common sense situation. If you are sitting in it in 100 degree heat, or when it is 15 degrees and snow on the ground, the truck needs to be running. That said, I've seen lots of guys who drive a diesel think just because it is a diesel, it is supposed to idle 24/7 and almost never shut them off, so I see both sides of the argument.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:30 AM
Caddyshack Lawn Care Caddyshack Lawn Care is offline
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Shoot, I'll go against the prevailing wind here and say that I like the way you handled it. Nicely done.
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2014, 01:38 PM
Armsden&Son Armsden&Son is online now
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Regardless of the reason that she approached you, this is still a great topic. Selling is one of my favorite topics to discuss.

I have nothing but utter respect for you Jim Lewis but come on man! Most of us here aren't pulling in the numbers that you are and most of us here would die for more clients! ( p.s I am a libertarian by the way so I am with you on that note)

Anyhow, you never know where the next big job or big opportunity is going to come from. I am a believer in the "Personality factor" in our line of work. Meaning that people hire the owners rather than the company. This might not work as well with higher end work because not everybody is doing it but for maintenance, there are so many companies out there that an owners attitude and how they come across can make the difference...
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Old 11-21-2014, 02:54 PM
StanWilhite StanWilhite is offline
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Location: Decatur AL
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Following the little episode, if you followed the woman without her knowing it, I'll bet you wouldn't have to go far before she did something that she could be scolded for. Funny how some people are so sensitive when it comes to certain topics, but blind as a bat when it comes to some of the "PI" things they do.

My (now deceased) Father-In-Law would drive down the road throwing trash out left and right without any sense of wrong doing at all, but (when finding trash someone had thrown out in his yard) would say, "I wish I could catch a SOB throwing that sh!t out in my GD yard".

I kid you not.

Unfortunately he was in a pretty good sized percentage of the population.
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