Public's attitude towards us

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brucec32, May 17, 2003.

  1. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Is it just me or do others notice how some people seem to think they can treat us in ways they would never treat their neighbors, or even just someone who wasn't in work clothes?
     
  2. Huften Lawn Care

    Huften Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 38

    Thats where image comes into play. When these people see every other pick-up truck on the road with a mower in the back they assume that anybody can cut grass! Even though half those guys wont be around next year, there is a waiting list for up and coming scrubs. Do your best to promote your professional image and ultimately you will gain the respect you deserve.
     
  3. Huften makes a good point. Additionally, respect is something you command. Ask for it, or do something to lose it, and you’ll never have it. I’d rather have someone totally dislike me, than to have their disrespect. If you lose their respect, it’s only a matter of time before they dislike you anyway.

    Letting the customer know they’re the boss, and still commanding respect is a fine balancing act. Aside from our performance, human nature and the character of the customer factor in. Face it, many people in this industry drop the ball when it comes to respect. Over time, customers start making generalizations. Then again, some people’s security is wrapped up in comparing themselves to others. That’s how they determine their worth. Like India’s “Cast” society.

    Being an independent businessmen, we get to choose how much nonsense we’re willing to put up with. At least once the business is established. First impressions (equipment, confidence, knowledge), performance, and a cordial businesslike attitude work hand-in-hand to command respect.

    Conversely, how many of us treat well-to-do customers better than the average Joe? Anyone guilty of doing that is setting themself up for a fall. A lawn is a lawn. Sure there are different pricing structures from section of town to the other. Some customers want you to mow to keep their yard from looking bad. Others obviously have cash and want you to mow to keep the yard looking good. Just don’t grovel.
     
  4. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    some of my most affluent customers treat me with much more courtesy and respect. Some of my less affluent customers treat me like their garden boy . . . as long as the check clears, I guess
     
  5. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I'm treated with respect and trust. It all comes down to what image are you projecting, and how you treat others. I treat my customers with the utmost respect no matter what they treat me like. Any way you look at it, the person writing the checks is the boss.

    People who don't give me any respect don't know me and therefore I just ignore them. As long as there are human beings on the planet we are going to have to deal with a certain level of stereotyping, it's human nature.

    Are you shady, not always telling your customers the truth?

    What do your clothes, trucks and equipment look like?

    Do you give respect?
     
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I don't see it that much toward me. I do see it toward others regularly. I get 99% of my work from referrals these days. Everyone has been told about me before I show up to look at anything. I hear all the time..."I hear you have a degree in accounting. That is so good you had the guts to do what you like and became good at it. Now I want my ???? to look awesome like Mr. XXX's lawn." Since I specialize in a couple of areas (not cutting only) I can talk to people on whatever level they want. Super educated...no problem, down to earth...no problem, good ole' boy...no problem. All my friends have always been the "average Joe's". All my life experiences have put me in contact with people from all walks of life. When I was a Trust Officer and 401(k) consultant I dealt with the Board of Directors and CEO's of some large companies. I say all this for this reason...

    Respect is something earned. You can earn it before you ever meet someone based on the respect you earned from the person referring you. You don't need the biggest truck and look like a prep when you meet them to get respect. Its how you carry yourself. How well you can relate to them. How well you listen to their needs. How well you can explain what you will do and why. Respect comes from performance. A know-it-all attitude will not get respect from a customer. True knowledge will show itself without the know-it-all attitudes that some LCO's give potential customers.

    As your driving down the road some people will automatically think they are better than you. Most have no clue. They hate their job, they hate the massive debt they have, they hate their husband, etc. They have no idea that most of us are happy. Tired but happy. They also have no idea that many of us, once established, make more money than them.
     
  7. slowleak

    slowleak LawnSite Member
    from 63055
    Posts: 96


    most "rich" people are also inclined to be educated,gentile.they also are sometimes inclined to float a check or two;)
     
  8. John from OH

    John from OH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 144

    "Respect is something earned. You can earn it before you ever meet someone based on the respect you earned from the person referring you. You don't need the biggest truck and look like a prep when you meet them to get respect. Its how you carry yourself. How well you can relate to them. How well you listen to their needs. How well you can explain what you will do and why. Respect comes from performance. A know-it-all attitude will not get respect from a customer. True knowledge will show itself without the know-it-all attitudes that some LCO's give potential customers."

    Thanks 65Hoss for a well thoughout response. This should be read and re-read until thoroughly understood by many of the newer contractors in this industry.

    I see so many post about problem clients on this board. Most of the problems are minor, yet most replies are to drop the customer. Dropping the customer is the last resort. Thoroughly learning the trade, learning to communicate with the customer, and earning the customer's trust and respect will make the problem customer disappear without a single change in your customer base. I'll bet 65 Hoss has very few problem clients. I've been in business 18 years and it gets easier and better every year.
     
  9. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 542

    Here is my opinion, this country as a general rule does not have a high regard for physical laborers. Plumbers, brick layers, you name it. The initial response is always less than professional courtesy.

    When I was selling corporate software to other corporation I got much more initial respect but later had to deal with customers that often were rude, callous and dismissive.

    When I have to deal face to face with people while I'm working I can always tell they'd rather not be seen talking with 'the lawn guy.'

    I started this business because I wanted to do it...not to get loads of proffessional strokes to my ego.

    Every now and then some middle aged slightly fat guy will talk to me and say something like "You know...I thought of doing this a few yaears back...how do you like it?"

    I smile big and say "Wish I had done it 17 years ago. Best move I ever made either financially or health wise.

    They typically get this 'Damn! I knew he'd say that' look on their face.

    That's all the respect I need.

    Cordially,
    Sheppard
     
  10. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    Get used to it,

    There isn't really anyone in the service industry that get respect.

    Police, Fire, EMS, they have there run ins.

    Public works, utlities, waste management, same game.

    Plumbers, electricians, masons, truck drives, landscapers. None of them get respect.

    Its just the way it is.

    Geoff
     

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