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  #11  
Old 02-01-2014, 09:03 PM
GreenscapesG's Avatar
GreenscapesG GreenscapesG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
Your tag line is making grass greener and gardens more colorful….

Greener than what? more colorful than whose work?

Those are competitive words, you are saying you can do better than the other guy.

But you look down at pointing out HOW and WHERE, with examples on how you can do better? Or did you suppose you might find some commercial sights that inexplicably have no current landscaper and are letting their place overgrow until you happen to find them?

How exactly DO you make the grass greener, please enlighten me.
Are you going into talk to one of my customers with the hopes of taking my work away from me, so you can have it… but it's unethical to take a picture of how may grass isn't green enough?

Aren;t you already stalking by going in and talking to my client, when you know full well their property is being serviced?

Or are you hoping to help them out in a mutually beneficial arrangement than doing better work than me, as your tag line suggests?

Is this false advertisement? Can I file suit against you under the unfair trade practices act?

I think not.

Your Tag line says it all.
You think you can do better than your competitor… so SHOW your prospects WHAT you will do better.

You are already 'unethically' stalking.

Hey TPendagast. Hehe, you can sue me if you want. Thanks for your insight, like I said, I agree with you in a lot of things. Yes, I go see properties and how they look, thats part of the job, right? And making grass greener is contingent on them buying a fertilization program
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2014, 09:20 AM
Bryan27 Bryan27 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
Your tag line is making grass greener and gardens more colorful….

Greener than what? more colorful than whose work?

Those are competitive words, you are saying you can do better than the other guy.

But you look down at pointing out HOW and WHERE, with examples on how you can do better? Or did you suppose you might find some commercial sights that inexplicably have no current landscaper and are letting their place overgrow until you happen to find them?

How exactly DO you make the grass greener, please enlighten me.
Are you going into talk to one of my customers with the hopes of taking my work away from me, so you can have it… but it's unethical to take a picture of how may grass isn't green enough?

Aren;t you already stalking by going in and talking to my client, when you know full well their property is being serviced?

Or are you hoping to help them out in a mutually beneficial arrangement than doing better work than me, as your tag line suggests?

Is this false advertisement? Can I file suit against you under the unfair trade practices act?

I think not.

Your Tag line says it all.
You think you can do better than your competitor… so SHOW your prospects WHAT you will do better.

You are already 'unethically' stalking.

A man who understands salesmanship!

In any business, it doesn't do you any good to trash and bash your competitors and certainly not to a prospective customer. It also doesn't make the prospective customer think fondly of you by pointing out how crappy some areas of their lawn look. They might agree with you, but saying it directly is in poor taste. Remember, at some point that person hired their current company to do the work that you are picking apart and you are essentially telling that person that they are a poor decision maker.

If their curbs are hacked to pieces from a string trimmer, you don't have to tell them that, point out that you use an edger that will make a perfect line along the curbs and sidewalks that defines the lawn. Create a 10 (or however many) point checklist that you will use in evaluating the completeness of work each time the property is serviced. As you walk the property with the owner/manager/president, stop in front of something that you see the current company missed and hand them a copy of the list and go over it with them and explain how you use the checklist to ensure your customers a level of service they will appreciate and benefit from. When you do this and they look down the list and see those two weeds in the bed, the one stray branch of new growth in their hedge, the clump of grass left on the curb...you wont have to "say" anything, they'll think it to themselves. They'll see the value in it without you telling them and coming to that conclusion on their own is much more powerful than if you tell them outright. A good salesman knows when to shut his trap and let the customer sell themselves.

You'll find it exceedingly difficult to sell your services to customers if you can't show them that how switching to you over their current service provider is going to benefit them. I think the term "vulture" is being used inappropriately in this conversation, the term competitor would be my choice of words.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2014, 01:51 PM
A. W. Landscapers, Inc.'s Avatar
A. W. Landscapers, Inc. A. W. Landscapers, Inc. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan27 View Post
A man who understands salesmanship!

In any business, it doesn't do you any good to trash and bash your competitors and certainly not to a prospective customer. It also doesn't make the prospective customer think fondly of you by pointing out how crappy some areas of their lawn look. They might agree with you, but saying it directly is in poor taste. Remember, at some point that person hired their current company to do the work that you are picking apart and you are essentially telling that person that they are a poor decision maker.

If their curbs are hacked to pieces from a string trimmer, you don't have to tell them that, point out that you use an edger that will make a perfect line along the curbs and sidewalks that defines the lawn. Create a 10 (or however many) point checklist that you will use in evaluating the completeness of work each time the property is serviced. As you walk the property with the owner/manager/president, stop in front of something that you see the current company missed and hand them a copy of the list and go over it with them and explain how you use the checklist to ensure your customers a level of service they will appreciate and benefit from. When you do this and they look down the list and see those two weeds in the bed, the one stray branch of new growth in their hedge, the clump of grass left on the curb...you wont have to "say" anything, they'll think it to themselves. They'll see the value in it without you telling them and coming to that conclusion on their own is much more powerful than if you tell them outright. A good salesman knows when to shut his trap and let the customer sell themselves.

You'll find it exceedingly difficult to sell your services to customers if you can't show them that how switching to you over their current service provider is going to benefit them. I think the term "vulture" is being used inappropriately in this conversation, the term competitor would be my choice of words.
If you use the phrase "your lawn", it personalizes it for your potential client. You are not pointing out damage to their lawn, you are speaking about processes that if used can cause damage to their lawn.

"When string trimmers are used on edges it damages your lawn. Here is a picture of a lawn (not their lawn) with damaged edges. This is one reason why we will only use edgers on your lawn. Here is a picture of one of our lawns with nice crisp clean healthy edges cut using our edger."

Using pictures, helps clients visualize what you are discussing and helps them make the connection between what you are educating them on is something that has been happening on their lawn. They then come to the realization that "hey, that's how the edges of my lawn look now. I need nicer looking edges."
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2014, 04:16 PM
205mx 205mx is online now
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Here comes a string trimmer vs edger debate
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2014, 02:41 PM
ronslawncare ronslawncare is offline
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2014, 03:00 PM
pdreibels pdreibels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. W. Landscapers, Inc. View Post
TPendagast is talking about identifying how your quality of service is better than the current company's quality and selling your improved quality.

"Here is a photo of the damage that is caused to your turf's edges when a weed whacker (string trimmer to those of us in the industry) is used to whack the edges of your turf. This is not healthy for your lawn and it doesn't look very nice. Do you want a healthy lawn that looks really nice? Now if you look at this photo of one of our properties that we maintain you will notice how healthy, crisp and clean the edges of the turf look because we always use edgers to maintain the edges. Doesn't this edge look better than the weed whacker edge? We believe in using the right tool for the right job. Sure it might be a little faster to whack the edges of the turf with a weed whacker, but we would rather keep your lawn healthy and looking it's best by caring for your turf's edges with an edger. We don't sacrifice quality for speed. Do you want the edges of your lawn to look like our edges?"
Hahahahahahahaha.....do people really take you seriously when you talk like this? "Do you want your edges to look like our edges?"hahaha
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2014, 02:20 AM
PLW PLW is online now
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Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
So…(let me get this straight)…you just wander about, aimlessly wandering in to businesses and hope to land a sale randomly?

No prior experience, no training, no clue?

What would you do if someone said yes, they would like a bid?

Would you roll a bucket full of yahtzee dice, add up the numbers add some zeros and hope that's a good price to do whatever services occur to you through out the year?

This honestly sounds like a lot of fun, but…once in the not too distant past… something like this occurred a lot.

But there is way too much competition these days, ESPECIALLY in florida, and when you wander in, not having a clue, these people already have highly trained professionals doing their work, and the ones that seem interested are probably just being polite to you.

In order to sway the decision maker, you have to give the decision maker something to think about.

What are you selling?
I want to do landscaping too?
Buy me?


This is what you do:

Become a vulture.
Stalk other companies.
Find where they are weakest.

There are two types of commercial routes, the ones that aren't full enough, and the ones that are too full but haven't quite broken out into another crew.

you will know the difference if you have experience, the too full route will have deficiencies, they can't keep up, they cut corners, they miss stuff.

After the crew leaves, wander about, take some pictures of what you notice.

Maybe the cut is gorgeous, but no one has taken care to do anything about the army worm or ring spot. because they are just too busy to upsell or tell anyone.

Once you have some pics, come up with what YOU would do about them…


Give your own maintenance proposal for the entire job, PLUS a high light n the things (including pictures) that you feel are lacking.

THEN SELL THAT.

(why the heck do I tell people these things for free again??)
Hey TPendagast,

What do you feel like the ratio of the conversion is on this method that you mentioned?

Also, how could one go about trying to execute this method without offending the property manager / decision makers?
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2014, 03:22 AM
HPSInc HPSInc is offline
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Originally Posted by 123hotdog View Post
My business is really diverse. I have a good mix of residential, office commercial, retail commercial, industrial commercial (factories), foreclosures, as well as HOAs. I was lacking in the HOA department and really wanted to grow that business. I am lucky that I have a real estate agent that is a close friend. If you don't, try this approach. Look on Real Estate websites to find HOA's that have units for sale. This will give you an address as well as a phone number. Go look at the property as a potential buyer, just look around, maybe someone will walk outside, just ask questions. I do. Usually someone will tell you who the President of the HOA is and how to get in touch with them. Allot of times on the Real Estate website you can find out what the HOA fees are and this will even give you an idea of what they can afford. I have used this method and added over $35,000 to my gross revenues in the past year alone. In my area the HOAs like for the company to be able to do it all. Once you get in front of the President, don't talk his or her ear off. They can't make the decision alone. Just peek their interest. Don't bad mouth the current company. They might be related or go to Church with board members. I did this with over 30 potential HOAs and ended up with three of them. One I didn't get but got a $5000 mulch job. Good luck. There are many ways to do this. This way just worked for me.
This thread is a good read, but I had to quote this specifically. I service 9 HOA's so this post was very informative to me personally. At some of my accounts they are still building and have a Model home, so you could easily walk right up during an open house and start the chit chatting with the realtor. They would even have a build plan on the wall, so you could see just how big the account could one day be. I really liked the idea of seeing what their fees are Then from being at the model home, you find the board pres as mentioned. Its an excellent idea and I never thought of it myself. I always went straight for property managers. But what I have noticed since ive been around this a bit more now is that board presidents DO try to find a company and bring it to the attention of the board & prop manager when bidding time comes around. Whether they know the person, just like the person...doesn't matter. But they do like to bring up that they have a company to replace so and so who they maybe are not be too happy with (or they just wana hook up someone they know instead). Ive seen this several times. Whether they work out or not, they still get their shot. It just goes to show you theres more than one way to skin a cat.

I lost a plow contact due to a pesky board member. Not even a board pres. Her banks plow guy, and he was more expensive on the initial bid, so they allowed him to match my price so he would get it. (this was a personal "attack" so to speak from this board member, since her and I got off on the wrong foot when I first started there) And yes i got the low down on what happened over there with the bidding. Sort of annoyed me, and still does but this stuff happens and now im glad I didn't get the contract especially after the winter we have had. I really only bid the snow because I have the landscape contract. The guy they went with has not worked out, board member looks bad. The rest of them wish they went with me and even asked if I would be willing to take over if they gave him his 30 days notice. I told them I was all booked up now. And truth be told since I only had a 1 year landscape contract I might just call it a day on that one. Ive already added 2 more for next year so no skin off my back. Back on topic tho, good post hotdog.
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2014, 07:58 PM
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TPendagast TPendagast is offline
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Originally Posted by PLW View Post
Hey TPendagast,

What do you feel like the ratio of the conversion is on this method that you mentioned?

Also, how could one go about trying to execute this method without offending the property manager / decision makers?
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Well that all depends.

What cycle is this property in?

are they in the honeymoon stage where they love their service provider and he can do no wrong?
are they in the "things are getting stale but there is no reason to make a change stage"
or are they in "something needs to be done but we don't know what or who" stage?
Or even possibly the change of management stage.

unless you have some kind of inside knowledge, you don't really have a clue, except for how the property looks, and it's ENTIRELY possible the property looks like doo doo because of the owner/managements refusal to pay for something reasonable to make it look better.

So it's a crap shoot.

Conversion success depends on the market and your ability as a salesman.
for the most part, I would say 80% of landscapers, especially owners of small companies and solos, are crappy salesman… they talk too much, they babble on about things that are truthfully only meaningful to themselves and talk them selves up so much they make themselves sounds like a stolen valor candidate.

The key is be respectful, not overbearing and just ask permission for a bit of their time, if they would allow you to show them how you can help them with their property and why it should be you doing it.
this might included a little insightful education on what the problem is and why it is commonly overlooked.
Be careful not to give out too much information lest they take it to their very best drinking buddy who is doing the lawn care and give him free trade secrets he wouldn't have otherwise known.
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2014, 09:22 PM
PLW PLW is online now
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Originally Posted by TPendagast View Post
Well that all depends.

What cycle is this property in?

are they in the honeymoon stage where they love their service provider and he can do no wrong?
are they in the "things are getting stale but there is no reason to make a change stage"
or are they in "something needs to be done but we don't know what or who" stage?
Or even possibly the change of management stage.

unless you have some kind of inside knowledge, you don't really have a clue, except for how the property looks, and it's ENTIRELY possible the property looks like doo doo because of the owner/managements refusal to pay for something reasonable to make it look better.

So it's a crap shoot.

Conversion success depends on the market and your ability as a salesman.
for the most part, I would say 80% of landscapers, especially owners of small companies and solos, are crappy salesman… they talk too much, they babble on about things that are truthfully only meaningful to themselves and talk them selves up so much they make themselves sounds like a stolen valor candidate.

The key is be respectful, not overbearing and just ask permission for a bit of their time, if they would allow you to show them how you can help them with their property and why it should be you doing it.
this might included a little insightful education on what the problem is and why it is commonly overlooked.
Be careful not to give out too much information lest they take it to their very best drinking buddy who is doing the lawn care and give him free trade secrets he wouldn't have otherwise known.
Hey TPendagast,

The stage that they are currently in is the proposal stage. As far as their current service provider, they just have been having different people providing service for them over the course of the years (not a lawn care company). With this being said, they are looking for a professional lawn care company to handle all of the property needs.

How would one know if they love thier current service provider like you mentioned?
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