How to Identify a Customer

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by TPendagast, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Kawizx62003

    Kawizx62003 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,411

    Then again maybe I am the Walmart of mowing haha. BUT we obviously have a very different IDEAL customer. Not knocking you by any means as I actually enjoy reading your posts. Just adding my opinion.
     
  2. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Posts: 851

    So you're on the phone with a lead and you don't think it's one you want to go out and meet. How do you let them down without coming off as rude? I'm thinking about mentioning 12 month service plans so the less desirable leads will disqualify themselves.
     
  3. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    No offense taken man! Seeing how everyone does things and hearing opinions is what makes this site so great. What works for me may not work for you and what works in your area may be suicide in mine.

    The criteria I cited are generally red flags. As always there are exceptions to just about every rule. One of my best customers is one I picked up from a Craigslist add when I first started. It's a cookie cutter house with no irrigation and mostly weeds and sand for a lot. They consistently give me more money than I bill them for and they pay early every month, often before I even send out invoices. They don't nag me and they don't talk my ear off when I mow, they also don't care when I mow. They're one example however. I can't count how many quotes I've showed up to that fit the criteria perfectly.

    In relation to what you said about the millionaire next door; my father is a commercial pilot. He used to fly for a client that had more money than God. The guy lived in a normal upper middle class house, drove cars a few years old (but in good shape) and wore faded wrangler jeans and t shirts. If you looked at him no one would ever have guessed that he had a 100' Hatteras and a Lear 35. He owned land and multiple homes but none of it was extravagant.

    I use Craigslist as well and have picked up some excellent customers from it. I figure why not use it, it's FREE advertising. However, if you search farm and garden services in the Hillsborough area, the results read mostly like "cheapest cut in town" etc. Not dogging anyone who uses Craigslist as I do too, and it sounds like a lot of potential clients turn to it, cheap and fair alike. The problem isn't that most of the people who use craigslist are cheap, it's that most Americans are cheap.

    The reason I generally avoid cookie cutter neighborhoods is down here they're typically low income neighborhoods dominated by fly by night lco's offering full service for $60-$80 a month. The people that own the homes can't typically afford a house to begin with, much less a lawn service, however, because the lawn care industry along with the home building industry in FL has whored it self to the bottom, they can now sort of afford both, albeit at a low quality.
     
  4. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    1) How much are you looking to spend on lawn service?

    2) Are you looking for weekly service?

    3) What type of service plan are you looking for? Full service? Basic mow, edge, trim and blow? Just mow?

    4) Do you have a gate?

    Typically the calls I receive that I don't want to take on are easy to let down, otherwise I would do them. If it's a sand lot I flat out tell them I won't service it because it's too hard on my equipment. Most of the calls I get for post stamp sized yards (which I don't want to do) sort them self out. I have a minimum $110/mo service charge and most of those people are expecting Andy the alcoholic to show up and bang it out for $75.
     
  5. Kawizx62003

    Kawizx62003 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,411


    OHHH, you're in Florida, nevermind! Hahaha. I wore wranglers back in the day, wish I secretly had a jet.
     

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