References?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DavidATL, Feb 23, 2000.

  1. DavidATL

    DavidATL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    As I continue to prepare for a Spring launch of a new lawn care company, one question in my mind causes me sleepless nights. My question is, How is the best way to answer the inevitable question as you are in the process of selling your services to a prospective customer when he asks...." Can you provide references for your work?" How do you convince your curious homeowner that you are worthy of them "taking a chance" on a newbie?? You guys that have been there and done that...Please help!
     
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Believe it or not, I've never been asked that! The best way to answer that though is answer it before it gets asked. You need to be up front and tell your &quot;new&quot; customers that your in this for the long haul and although you're just starting out you can and will provide them with a quality job. Also tell them to be up front with you and tell you if they dislike something so you can correct it on the next visit. Honesty is, and always will be the best policy. Everybody has to start somewhere. If you feel uneasy about a certain aspect of your operation now is the time to ask it! Just remember the motto, &quot;CUT IT HIGH AND LET IT LIE&quot; If you scalp their yard the first time it may be your last time!<p>Homer
     
  3. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    I have only been asked for references a couple of times. And both times I didn't even give bids. I don't have time to bother my customers and ask them if they mind some stranger calling them and then wanting to come over and look at my work. I don't think you will have any problems with this. Also I wouldn't tell anyone you are just starting. I wouldn't discuss anything with the customer except what they want done. Remember when you give an estimate to keep it simple. Don't overload the customer with information. Just give them a fairly high bid and then include everything (edging, pull some weeds, etc. everytime) This way they will recognize the great job you are doing and you will get referrals. Good Luck.
     
  4. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    Yea I agree, I wouldn't volunteer the fact that that you are new. But if it becomes an issue, I would tell them you will do it their yard for a month trial basis. To see if they like the job you do. And tell them if you will be evaluating their yard during that time too. But when I started I didn't have this problem come up much.
     
  5. cjcland

    cjcland LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 278

    i started my own lawn company 2 years ago but i have been doing lawn care for 12 years(at the time it was 10) so on all my flyers and my news paper add i just said &quot;10 years exp.&quot;, like the others said i was never asked and after the first couple of cuts they know if you know what you are doing, i also agree with honesty if they ask tell them the truth, if they dont ask dont volunteer info. just tell them that you will give them 100%, i also tell everyone that i love input from my customers because after all it is there yard the only way to know what your customer wants is to comunicate with them, what one person likes may not be what the next likes, when i see my customers i say the same thing everytime&quot;how are you today, and how does the yard look, that opens up the door.<p>----------<br>CJC Landscape Management<br>Winter Haven, Florida
     
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    I agree with most all of the above. In the last 5 years I've rarely been asked for references. Although since I do have a ton now I do VOLUNTEER them to customers. And typically I just refer them to our web site where they can read them all. But it's not a very common concern and I don't ever remember being asked for quite a while when I was new. <p>I also agree - I definitely would not volunteer that you are new. I never did that in the beginning. I just went out and tried to act like I new what I was doing. I'd try to use terms that made me sound more experienced (e.g. &quot;For a lot like this, we charge.....&quot;) If asked about my experience I'd always tell the truth (and stretch it a little too.) I'd say, &quot;Well, I just started doing this full time but I've been doing it for years on a part time basis and in the summers when I was still in college.&quot; <p>Another thing you could say is &quot;Well, I have never thought of asking for letters of recommendation, but now that you mention it, that's a good idea! I guess I could just give you the name and number of some of my current clients but I'd have to ask them first if it was alright.&quot; Most people would just tell you it's not that big of a deal. <p>All and all, it's really nothing to worry about. <p>Jim <p>----------<br>Jim Lewis - Lewis Landscape Services<br>http://www.lewislandscape.com
     
  7. ashlandscaping

    ashlandscaping Banned
    Posts: 113

    I agree with the above be said. Dont sweat the ref. that much I have only been asked 4 times and its was for pavers and install jobs not about grass cutting. Do you have any Experince doing this??? Worked for other company? If yes then if asked tell them that you worked for so and so and did it on the side but now your out 100% into your business to better serve your customers. First year I pushed it full time that what I did I had alot of customer from doing them on the side but I also had worked for one of the biggest companies in the area as a supervisor. When I was asked I told them and nost would say I have seen their trucks. Even got a couple big jobs because of that reason. They knew that companies work and knew they only did big muilti properties. So be upfront an hold your ground BUT dont sweat the refs. they are not that common. Hey good luck
     

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