Picking up New Customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Pallas, Jun 9, 2001.

  1. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    Even after 20 years in the business, I've still been able to learn a lot from this website. So, hopefully this helpful hint will help some others and repay some of thanks for the tips/knowledge I've gained on Lawnsite over the past 7 months or so.

    This is the time that a lot of customers switch lawn services. For a variety of reasons people usually change about now. We tend to get a lot of requests for estimates right about now. HINT: Do yourself a big favor: During the estimate, ask the customer why they are leaving their last LCO. It'll not only help you better know any special requests/quirks that may help you better serve that customer BUT it will help you weed out the weirdos. I only say this because, after years of doing this, I've learned that a simple "so why are you changing companies?" ..... can provide you with a wealth of valuable info about that customer. If the customer response seems reasonable (my old company doesn't show up, they chopped down my flowers, scalped my lawn, etc....), you've probably got a good prospect. But, if the response is more like "the go too fast" or "the don't trim right" (when the lawn in fact looks fine), you may want to note that this customer may be a troublesome one in the future and may not be worth the spot on your schedule.

    Many of you may already do this - and this may be elementary but if it helps anyone, I'm glad to impart my experience here on lawnsite.
     
  2. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,472

    I do this somtimes. I think I'll start doing this everytime now. One time i did this the lady replied "they dont clean up good after themselves". She meant they didn't blow the grass off her bricks and playset in the backyard off. So I do that now. Is she nuts or is this normal.
     
  3. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    It's a really good way to feel the customer out in advance. Around here we get lots of people that will change companies every month or so - refusing to pay the bill - and essentially getting free lawn service for the season. It also weeds out the kooks. I can't count the number of times I've heard a complaint that wasn't reasonable and then ended up defending the old landscaping company. (ie: "they killed my lawn with those big mowers").
     
  4. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I asked a few customers over the years what their pet peeve was. Usually you'll find that overall everybody did a lot of things right. Everyone has a "pet peeve", something that overides anything else done right. If you tap into this information you could find yourself satisfying every customer you have. One lady told me that she hated to see grass growing in the cracks of her curbs...........I hit it with the trimmer everytime I was there and never had a complaint out of her. This is assuming that you do the standard things correctly......as we all should.

    Just adding to an already good topic posted by Jason.
     
  5. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Its very true that we should all listen to what the customers have to say. Some the info will be pertinent, and the rest bs.

    I took this statement to heart. Hired a foreman to take over my position on a second crew, bought a 36" belt drive for $1500 w/ bagger and now have a route of almost 60 customers in one month that spend a minimum of $35 a cut NOT to have the larger machines.

    On this same note we also have begun a crew that uses strictly 21" mowers for what we call an "Eliteist Clientele" that are willing to pay more not to have anything larger cut their grass.

    I just tell them we can accomodate your request, but we have to bill accordingly. So Far ... So Good!!

    Good Luck!
    Kris
     
  6. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    I thought about doing the same thing - 21" only crew. We get what we call the holy trinity of terror 1)cut with a 21" mower 2)bagged 3)cut at the end of the week. We tried to offer the service - at almost double the normal rate (based on the crew using 48" or 32" mowers) - problem was that here, they're too darn cheap. They want all that and they only want to pay $15! Glad to hear that it worked for you though. Meeting those needs - and making money , that's the name of the game
     

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