What can we learn from the garage door man???

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by twins_lawn_care, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    I just wanted to post a small experience that happened over the weekend, and how I thought about it. I think it is worth the read...

    It was saturday morning, about 8 am, and we start hearing drilling, and pounding. Our kids are up at 6:30, so the noise doesn't bother us. They are looking out the window, amazed at the man from a small business fixing a garage door on our neighbor's place. Well, we go along eating breakfast and getting dressed as normal, and our kids keep watching out the window at the "garage man" so they said. Well, it's time to go to grandma and grandpa's house, so we head outside. We told the boys we'd walk over and show them the "garage man" so they could say hi. So we walked over, and said hi to him, and he was very polite. He obviously knew our boys were fascinated by all the tools he had out, and the work he was doing, and he took a couple minutes out to show them what he was fixing and talked to them. Seemed pointless to many people walking by, but he made our kids day, and for that, he made a great impression to me.

    The reason I say this, is to stess company image, no matter what you do, mow lawns, or fix garage doors. Because of what happened that morning, if I ever needed garage door work I couldn't do myself, I sure as heck will remember the "garage man" and the time he took out of his day, and would call him.

    I am sure this carries over in to how we treat our customers, and potential customers, and people in general. Sometimes we concentrate on all the heavy marketing ideas, and the best deals to get this printed here, and how many thousands of flyers we can get out, and forget about the simple things that make a huge difference.

    I for one will be trying to concentrate on the simple things this year, as well as other marketing and advertising, and thought I'd share some insight that I had this weekend. I truly believe it is something people will always remember when they see the TWINS Lawn Care logo, and that is our goal.
     
  2. Billpa

    Billpa LawnSite Member
    from pa
    Posts: 103

    Good post.

    here’s another long winded post on the subject.
    I also try to take the time to say hello to people while I’m out on the job. I know most of us are always trying to keep are time down at the properties but a little small talk or just a simple hello has paid off very well for me with my costumers, their guest, neighbors and passers by. The only disadvantage I can see to this is occasionally you may find it hard to get away from someone but that is rare for me, most people see you have a job to do and let you get back to work quickly.

    Like said in the post above we’re always worrying about our advertising but what could be better than a simple conversation to make a personal connection with someone, a little chit chat and hand them your business card and get back to work . How much do you spend on advertising to obtain each costumer? If your charging $60 per hour for your work and you spend two minutes talking to someone that’s only $2 if you turn them into a customer. I know two minutes here and there would ad up but you may only spend a few seconds saying hello or how about the weather and in most cases it eventually leads to them saying hey I’ve been thinking about doing this and that what would you charge, now I have then turned the neighbor or whoever into a costumer for next to nothing.

    I also have skills in other areas such as siding, windows, roofing and so on which I will do in the long winter months to keep money coming in and talking to people also allows me to pick up work in these fields. So you say you don’t offer any of these or other services, well do you know anyone that does that you would recommend? If so you could probably work out something with the other business for the referral, a small fee 100 or $200 or maybe a percentage which could be much more on a large job and as long as you know these people do a good job you’ve now created a better bond with the homeowner and now they always think of you first when they need landscaping .

    Simple but very effective payup
     
  3. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    twins, I'm just being a smart azz but was the guy being paid by the job or by the hour? We always try to keep up a good image too. Very seldom does a week go by that we don't let someone try out our Walker for a few feet. After proper instructions of course.
     
  4. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    NOT wanting to be the GARAGE DOOR MAN is exactly why I dont do more residential jobs than I have to. I hate to be held up by the owners or the neighbors wanting to chat or wanting extras for free. We are on schedule and time is money. :blob3:
     
  5. scraper69

    scraper69 LawnSite Senior Member
    from mi
    Posts: 477

    exactly. a quick hello, a buisness card and back to work. Seems all "seniors"especially, want to have a social hour. I though of being like a doctor of psychologist, and running a timer, and bill them per minute (like a chat fee) it sucks in residential - but i have to admit , sometimes it can lead to other work. YOu just have to know when to stop talking and get back to work. TIME = $$$$$$$
     
  6. Billpa

    Billpa LawnSite Member
    from pa
    Posts: 103

    usually the seniors that i'm working for are the toughest to get away from, maybe they think because they're paying you it's alright to take so much of your time :rolleyes: i really don't have much trouble getting away from the other seniors. i've gotten a considerable amount of work from this.
     
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi twins_lawn_care,

    This is why I think you are going to have a great year this year and many more in the future.
     
  8. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Word of mouth is absolutely the best.
    Your experience is one to strive for.
    Consider this, for the few minutes it took the "garage door man" to say a few words,he has grown his business.

    Simply by being human.
     
  9. jasonnau

    jasonnau LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454

    My company's slogan is "Serving your Lawn and Landscaping needs on a personal and professional level". This has been the first year of my company, and I know we all have a job to do, but, I am a talker, and love socializing with people. Granted, being my first season, I probably had a little more free time than most of you guys or girls, but, my customers love me for being sociable with them. Some of my customers are almost friends. I don't hang out with them, but I enjoy a quick conversation. Doing good work is one thing, but actually being liked by your customers seems to be my key to success. Probably 30% of my business last year came from referals. Almost everyone refered me to someone, and some of my customers refered me to 4 or more very good customers. We all want to get our job done quickly, but I'm a little happier at the end of the day knowing my customers appreciate me. I'd bet the garage door guy is very successful in his business.
     
  10. PR Fect

    PR Fect LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    Twins, we where asked to "spray" a set of condo's. One time application. As I was walking back to my truck after the application, I stopped to pick up some litter and a small tree branch that the wind had knocked down into the driveway. This is not our job, some other LCO takes care of the place. The manager of the association, seen me pick up the stuff and throw it in the back of my truck. Because of that, we now are the LCO who takes care of the place.
     

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