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What do you ask after you say hello?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by KindGardener, Sep 6, 2001.

  1. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    I am looking for some ideas here - what to talk about at the beginning of the initial conversation about a landscape project

    What are the "key questions" or first things you discuss with a prospect. I'm working on a questionnaire - mostly just as a tool so I don't forget what to ask. I don't want a canned presentation... but I DO need more structure to my initial presentation/conversation.

    I mean, what do you say/ask after you say hello?

    Came home this evening and was thinking that I spent WAY too long with a prospective client, asking about what she wanted....
    ( forgot to find out what her budget was until way later).

  2. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    I always ask them what their ideas are first. Usually, they have some idea as to what they would like to see. As they run through their ideas I take notes and ask questions. If they tell me that "In this area, I would like to put a flowerbed from here to here." , that is my cue. I run down all flowerbed options. What type of material they want; Poured concrete, mortared brick, wall blocks, or steel edging. I let them know the prices starting with the highest. When you come to one that they like and would like to see put in, they will tell you. then ask about any special preferences in the planting of the flowerbed. Do they have some plants they would like to see in there or do they want you to choose them all and arrange them? Give them an estimate per plant and find out how many they would like in there. Mulched, stoned, or none. Give examples of various mulches or types of landscape stones along with prices. Let them tell you which one. Once you have this information, guess what? There is the customers budget. People love giving their opinions about their projects and when you ask for it, they feel more involved and you know exactly what they are looking for right from the start.
    I do this on almost every job; installing a lawn, sprinkler systems, flowerbeds, trees, etc. I give them the options and the prices and they let me know based on their budget. One more thing... If you have some before and after pictures of other jobs, always take them with you and offer them up as an idea of the work you can and have performed and the outcomes. they like to see some good work that you have left behind. Hope this helps!!
  3. LiquidLand

    LiquidLand LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Try to envision a design for your client-give your plan a budget-
    before approaching about doing the work. If it's a spur of the moment thing(would you mind?), keep it brief by getting an idea on budget first-it's not rude to ask and generally you can get a good feel for where it's going to go and how much time you will spend. Good luck!:cool:
  4. KindGardener

    KindGardener LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Thanks for the input... any thoughts from anyone else?
  5. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    It helps to find out how the new client heard about you. Then you can sense how much you have to sell yourself and your company's abilities. Asking how long they intend to live at this property helps determine goals and budget. Odd-- how many people will live with a mess and then fix it up to sell. Also asking questions from the perspective of how they wish to live in and use their outdoor space often uncovers hidden wishes that the client hasn't expressed.

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