Choke factor

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Bunton Guy, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,909

    Recently within the last year I have found that more & more often I find myself at a loss of words or tongue tied at times. My prospective clients may not notice this but it makes me feel very unorganized.

    For instance while walking a property with a client going over some of their concerns and some things that they feel need either extra maintenance etc... they will point to a shrub that they like and as I go to agree and maybe start talking about that perticular shrub I draw a complete blank and can't for the life of me remember the name of that shrub. This will happen with more then just shrubs. Sometimes it is just words in casual conversation with a perspective client that I will stumble to find the correct word that is floating at the tip of my tongue but for the life of me I can't remember it. So on the fly I will say something basically ad-libbing and it will sound cobbled.:hammerhead:

    Anyone experience this?

    I know it has to be a mental block of some sort. I find that the more athority they have in our community the more it is an issue. Last week I was meeting with a current client who is a senior vice president of a large bank chain and I must have sounded like an idiot while talking with him.

    At this point im just trying to find a way to train my brain to beat the brain fart block! :weightlifter:
  2. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,082

    Walk the property prior to the meeting. Take notes on areas with problems. Jot down names of bushes and a little info for the meeting. Also, jot down some respones that you can use if you find yourself 'LIKE A DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS'....for example...let me document that with some photos and get an answer for you.
    Mostly, i make it my job to find the problems before someone points them out to me.
    If its a new property, walk it and be prepared for what they might ask or need to have done. Be the answer guy!
  3. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,082

    I used to get really nervous and had some of the same issues....i studied and went over possible questions...once you realize you are the authority and have the experience, it wont be an issue
  4. CircleC

    CircleC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW
    Messages: 309

    Maybe its more than not knowing your assuming you know what you are talking about and are somewhat trained beyond just "cutting grass".
    Could be dehydration....i find that during the summer months when i have been jamming all day and possibly didnt eat enough or hydrate enough at the end of the day i find myself lost for words or just cant think straight. Once i cool down and re-hydrate a bit i feel better and my brain function seems to be back in order.
    Possibly try to hydrate a bit more and keep the brain on high function.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. guitarman2420

    guitarman2420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Midlothian, VA
    Messages: 612

    I used to be one of those "vice-presidents" and then started our landscaping business as a second career. The person you are talking to is calling you because they are out of their element. They look at you as the expert and you have no reason to be fearful. They are looking at you probably the same way you are looking at them - they may be fearful you will make fun of them that they don't understand plants! Secondly, knowledge is power! You have been in business it looks like for a number of years. That customer recognizes your expertise and is willing to pay you to share it. As others have said, just rehearse what you want to say and that will give you confidence.

    As far as saying things backward or whatever, I'm the king of saying things backasswards!. My kids have developed a book of dad's backwards sayings. As long as you come across as honest and warm the customers will trust you and believe me, forgive any bumbles! Just my thoughts.
  6. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,909

    That is the truth and I often forget about this!
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,209

    Just a thought, but if possible, you might try setting appointments for the morning where you are meeting and discussing things with clients. That way you are more alert and not worn out from possibly working in the field. Of course, if it's while you are working on a job in mid-afternoon, that's not a possibility.
  8. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,909

    Good point DanaMac: I usually try to make appointments for around 4-4:30.

    I really should make them around 11am. That way like you said im more alert.

    90% of the time when meeting with new prospective clients they want to meet after they get off work or on the weekends. While im on the way to their house all I can think about is how I rather be home playing with my kids. I guess if you start off with the wrong frame of mind then your not in it to win it from the start.

    I do a really good job pre-qualifying my clients that way I don't make to many wasted trips with clients that don't meet our niche. BUT I am terrible at taking control of WHEN would be the best time for ME to meet. I need to work on this !

    I need to stop making appointments for whenever it's best for the client and start making the appointments for when it works best for me. After all if I show them that we are busy and don't have a million openings this week it does show that we are busy because we are good at what we do. Trying not to show any desperation to meet...
  9. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    Bunton, I always say let me look at my appt book when I set up appts, which I do. It lets the customer know you have a schedule and are organized. If you have trouble remembering names of plants and such, go to the nursery and study the plants, get a good relationship with those guys, they are invaluable, they know far more than I will ever know so plugem for info they really don't mind as long as your polite and don't be a pest about it. Get used to when you see a plant say it's name to yourself, I ask my guys all the time what's the name of that plant? I want them to be able to speak intellingtly(sp) to the customers. It comes pretty quick when your doing it everyday.
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    You need to quit smoking that stuff dude!!! ;)

    I sometimes have a similar problem if my blood sugar gets too low.

    Hypoglycemia causes symptoms such as
    •dizziness or light-headedness
    •difficulty speaking

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