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I smile, I nod and I listen as I am trying to get the hell outta there

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brodo374, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. brodo374

    brodo374 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    Yea, I do things like leave the trimmer running while she is talking, I slowly begin walking away while she goes on about how we need some rain this year, or I even tell her I gotta get going to try to get home to see the kids but she still will not release me. So i smile and nod untill she finally takes a breath and then i book, I get the hell out of there. I've lost at least 6 minutes listening to the chit chat so that means I've lost at least 6 dollars ( and probably much more). And I wonder how many clients will be home for the remainder of the day. It is a Saturday so that means more contact with my good people. I am ok as long as I do not add up the dollars that I have lost at the end of the day. I am ok.
  2. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    In the business of serving customers, I don't understand why many of us (myself included at some points) really hate talking to customers.

    I never go out of my way to talk to customers, but I (usually) enjoy talking with them so I can judge how happy they are with my service, just by the way they talk, even if we don't talk about anything I've done on their lawn.

    Sometimes it's annoying, but I think it pays off.
  3. TimsLawnCareVA

    TimsLawnCareVA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    In order to be successful you need to take the time to talk to your customers. I have a very good relationship with all my customers and don't mind at all talking to them. Take that time to find out if there is anything else they need then upsell other services to them. If not, just be nice and listen to what they have to say.
  4. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,656

    Yea, good customer relations is very important. That may save you when another lawn care person tries to steal them away from you with lower prices. 6 to 15 minutes of chit chat is a good investment. Most customers are considerate of your time. So really it isn't that big of a problem. I know what you mean though because I dread the road block with the 15 minute ones. That is the maximum time I allow and then I say I have a lot of yards to do and have to go.
    Just part of the job when dealing with the public.
  5. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,463

    this is so very true........

    one of my goals in my business this season to be more customer friendly.....

    now i won't go out of my way to talk to them but if i see them on the property i wave and if they come my way i stop what i'm doing, sometimes shutting the equipment off to talk to them.

    like you said it gives you a chance to feel them out for how happy they are with your services. i know some might think if they were unhappy they'd tell you but with some people they will fire you never giving you the chance to fix or even know what you did wrong.
  6. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Just about every client I have (usually older folks) I allow 15 minutes to BS with them. I think it shows a more personal interest in them and its also polite. Do I want to spend that time talking, not always but I just accept it as the way it is. I have two really older clients I do last in the day where I will have time for it. One lady in particular you can figure half an hour, a big glass of tea and a sandwich,sitting on her patio talking with her. I think I am the only person she must ever see during the week. And since I have sooooo many clients I usually have time anyways:laugh:
  7. StoneFaced

    StoneFaced LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    I don't mow lawns, but I understand the need to time limit when you have other places to be. I would suggest that if you know you had to cut someone short, try to make it up the next time you see them, or even call later just to make sure you have addressed all their concerns. There is a balance and a way to finesse a conversation with them, that takes practice and knowing your client.

    It's important to remember, that people generally do business w/ people they like and are reluctant to do business w/ those they do not. They also like to talk about and refer those they like and respect. Think about that when you are going over your advertising budget. I started contracting myself in 1990, I haven't paid for an ad since 1994. My close ratio is high, because it's already half sold when I walk through their door.
  8. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    I talk a little with the same customers year after year.
  9. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    I try to remember the ones who talk my head off and either do them last for the day, or when they are at work or out.. I dont mind a little bit of customer relations, but when they want you to come on in and sit for a spell, you just know your not getting much done that day, however if you indulge them each week, it is likely they will stay loyal to you for life., plus the more you talk to them, the more loyal they get and you may even get more work as a result. I just wish this would happen with some young nice looking gals and not older folks all the time, but beggars cant be choosy!
  10. clean_cut

    clean_cut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,327

    Yeah, customer contact is almost always good, excessive talk time can be annoying though.

    If I were you, I would just look at talk time as marketing time.

    "Hey I noticed your bushes were getting a little long, do you want me to trim them up for $$$ next week"

    "Hey, I noticed your neighbors lawn was getting a little long, do you think he might be interested in having someone mow it?"

    You get the idea.

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