homeowner feild trip to the nursery

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Doh!, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. Doh!

    Doh! LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    been trying to sell a customer landscaping for years, but she could never decide on what trees and shrubs she could live with. finally we went to the wholesale nursery to check out the stock in person.

    I was wondering if anyone makes this standard procedure for those homeowners that can't make up their mind?

    this trip was very successful for us, she picked out way more than we ever tried to sell her.
  2. Russo

    Russo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    I've done it. Can I ask if you charged for the time? I don't if they have signed on for mucho bucks, but do if we are in the "consulting" phase or just brainstorming.

    For me, it's only standard procedure for those who have absolutley no idea what they want and very little about plants. You see the look on their face and it's time to say, " I'd be happy to take you to the nursery and....."
  3. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    I always take the responsibility to TELL the customer what they want. That is what they are paying me for, right???? If they dont know what something looks like, I will either show them a pic. or tell them where one is planted.
  4. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 668

    I think it was Jimlewis that went to a local nusery and took pictures of common plants and shrubs and, not so common and, put them all in a photo album. So when the customer couldn't figure out what they wanted or what it might look like he always had the album to turn to. It's a great idea. Drop him a line to see how he did it.
  5. Doh!

    Doh! LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    didn't charge for the time because we knew that we were going to do something, and she lived five minutes away from the nursery.

    also, i do have photos of all the plants that i usually try to sell, but in this case they weren't doing the trick. I might try to take more customers, but only when they need to see the difference between quality plants and those available at walmart.

    i found that it was very helpful going to the wholesale nursery, because the prices are not listed, thus the client's decisions where based on what she really wanted and not on price alone.

    the client was also a long time mowing/mulch customer that i would go out of my way to make happy. don't know if i would bring any new customer to the nursery, thats why i wanted to know if anybody else did this on a regular basis.
  6. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I can't imagine having the time to do something like that, not to mention there not being any really solid wholesale nurseries around here I could do that with. I use a software package much like what Jim Lewis came up with, though honestly, he's got nicer plant pics than my software has.

    If they can't decide, I ask them what they want in plantings. Seasonal color? Specific colors? Specific moods (ala Feng Shui)? Sound screens? Sight screens? Then I take it from there.

    There is a competitor here that comes up with a very rough sketch, gives it to the customer and says "pick whatever plants you want to go in those spots. Any plant, same price." My guess is this is their way of covering for lack of expertise and transferring the burden of correct plant choice to the customer. I wouldn't recommend this method.
  7. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    "Any plant, same price" LOL They are gonna get burned when someone with some plant knowledge picks out dwarf conifers that will run 3X the price of common plants. I wonder how far they will travel? ;)
  8. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    This does not apply to every job because like Stonehenge said there would not be enough time.
    That said...we actually do prefer that customers ( 30-60k ) come out and tag their own caliper trees. This can save us some grief and money if we get to a site and they don't like a tree. It also gives us a chance to "get to know" them.

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