How important is professionalism?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by APLUS LAWN CARE, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. APLUS LAWN CARE

    APLUS LAWN CARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from North Missouri
    Posts: 587

    I have been doing a lot of thinking about this and I would like to present two different scenarios to you and you can decide which person will gain and retain more clients.

    Scenario 1: Owner pulls up with a crew of 3 or 4 works to mow your yard with a 2013 truck, unloads 2 brand new commercial zero turns, and proceeds to mow your yard. Every piece of equipment is in immaculate condition and all the employees are dressed in work pants and tucked in polo shirts. All the employees are also friendly and clean cut. However, because they have to pay for their expensive equipment they have to be really effecient and they mow your yard in 15 minutes and are gone. They do a good job, but not a great job because they don't have the time to mess around with one yard.

    Scenario 2: Owner pulls up by himself or with a part-time helper driving an older model truck (still in good condition, but just a few years old), has a commercial zero turn that is in good clean condition but is a few years old. The owner and employee are dressed in company t-shirts and jeans. They also are friendly and clean cut. Now, these guys don't have a ton of stuff to pay for so they can spend a little extra time on your yard. The grass is tall so they double cut and leave your yard in immaculate condition. They also check before leaving to make sure you are satisifed with your yard.

    Now, just for comparison, lets say that both companies charge the exact same price. Which company do you think the customer (homeowner) is going to be most happy with?

    I personally fall into the second scenario category and I absolutely don't disdain the person in the first scenario. In some ways, I wish I could be like the company in the first scenario. However, overall I think the person in the second scenario will gain and retain the most customers because he pays attention to the individual needs of the customers.

    What are you thoughts and opinions?
     
  2. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,774

    They both are exhibiting professionalism. The poll is flawed.
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  3. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,021

    You miss the whole point of what professionalism actually is. Having a new truck or mower or a crew of 3 does not make anyone professional.
     
  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984


    Well what happens Co 1 is doing a good job. Customers getting good work are happy and do not look to replace their LCO. Co 1 does not lose their customers.

    Co 2 is a low baller. Co 2 sells the job based on price even though they do outstanding quality to get their customers. Co 2 can only get Co 1's customers by out low balling Co 1.

    Co 2 is confusing with having lower costs as to low ball and sell their work below market prices leaving money on the table. They should use their advantage of lower costs to maximize profit, not lower prices.

    Co 3 takes their time to do a great job at each stop. Co 3 gets the customer that pays them more then they were old LCO because they were not happy with their current LCO quality.

    Better to be Co 2 getting the same money for the same job as Co 1?

    Or better to be Co 3 that gets more money for the same job then did Co 1 or Co 2?
     
  5. Mayor of Mow Town

    Mayor of Mow Town LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    I don't think there's any one way or right way.

    Different businesses are going to appeal to different customers, and the things they value.
     
  6. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    Company 1 will GAIN more customers because they likely have a more aggressive marketing plan because they have a larger animal to feed. Company 2 may RETAIN more customers because they're limited by how many they can manage. Company 1 doesn't really exist in reality. Have you EVER seen a company with brand new truck, brand new mowers, and 3 or 4 guys jump out to do a residential? Usually your larger companies may have a newer truck (because they push snow with it too so it has to be dependable), they may show up with 3 guys but usually its 2. Generally they have uniforms. Most of the time they have equipment with high hours but well maintained. I don't see a lot of larger companies going out and buying all new mowers just to let the crack heads beat the snot out of it.
    At the end of the day company 1 would probably be broke if it was true to your example. If company 1 was more like most larger companies (meaning it was run efficiently and the owner is cost conscience) then chances are they're making more money because the owner is running the biz and not running a mower.
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  7. klogan011

    klogan011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 101

    Honestly I dont think most customes care what you drive or what type of mower you use. Most just care about rhe final product. Our guys do wear uniforms but we rarely wash our trucks. That is unbillable hours. To my knowledge we have never lost a customer because of it. Many times I think it might get us business bwcause people see that we do good work and ask us to price there yard. They may think in the back of there heads hey those guys are probably cheap. In axtuallity we are medium to high priced. Once get get face to face that soesnt matter. I drive a nice new 2010 f250 for salea calls. Howecer my crews go onsite in older 1997-2004 model vehicles. The clients dont care about your work equipment. Im not buying a 50000 vehicle for my guys to beat up. Just my 2 cents. Most of my clients are not even home.
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  8. APLUS LAWN CARE

    APLUS LAWN CARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from North Missouri
    Posts: 587

    Thanks for bringing this point up. I absolutely agree with you. There are different niches for lawn care companies. I would assume that high-end customers would prefer to hire company 1 because of the "image" they carry. I am assuming this because I live in a rural area and there isn't a lot of high end customers in my market.
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  9. APLUS LAWN CARE

    APLUS LAWN CARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from North Missouri
    Posts: 587

    Another question... Do customers care as much about the vehicles and equipment we use as much as we do?
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  10. seabee24

    seabee24 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 619

    Simple answer no they don't, provided the end result is a good job and the older equipment doesn't cause break downs and schedule issues.

    Do you car how or what they use to get your cable tv working? Nope


    I think you fail to consider, the cost difference between the two companies. Company 1 has more expense true, but not to the point where company 2 could spend double the time on the property and maintain the same profit margin. The cost savings of trucks and mowers divided over 2-3 seasons, divided up per day, is not the same as servicing half the properties.
     

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