Lawn Coaching and proper irrigation education and calibration for your clients..?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Exact Rototilling, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Many residential clients I have just don't understand proper irrigation for cool season grass.

    Your thoughts on providing clients with complementary Rain gauges to tweak irrigation, zone coverage and elimination of the excuse, "I've got bad grass in that area".

    I want my accounts to look their best and I really don't want clients who insist on falling of the wagon because, "that's the way they've always done it" or what their miss informed Sprinkler Co. Says is best.
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  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,158

    I think it's a great idea. Even better if you have your logo imprinted on them.
  3. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I'm doing this and will be putting in an order shortly. has them but if there is another source I'd be interested in that as well.
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  4. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    I hate to be the negative one here but save your money and put together a "Nearly Free" fact sheet with your logo with watering information easy to understand.

    You can only do so much to change peoples habits, and spending five or ten dollars per client isn't going to help anyone but RNDsigns and the people that buy the rain gauges at garage sales down the road.

    If you were a large player I'd say go for it but you're small and this isn't something small operators do....for a reason.

    You should have fact sheets for a number of things like grub control, aeration, watering, mowing, etc and they are easy to create with Microsoft Word and have printed for .08 cents each. They make great additions to estimates as well.
    If you want to have a few for special clients or larger revenue clients or what have you fine but to pass out like candy?

    No way.
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378


    Totally agree but I am actually hoping on getting most of them back 60-80%...much like aeration flagsas an on loan type thing group of 10-15 of them and have the client do the homework and only offer them to trouble shoot iffy areas of the lawn when sprinklers systems are on and weather dries out. I actually had one client protest and refuse to put out tuna can in the lawn since he thought it would be trashy looking...then insisted on a $30 soil sample and had red thread and watered daily. :rolleyes:

    I have a custom modified step aerator I spot check lawns with and sure enough I will spot check iffy areas of the main and I will point blank say that area is noticeably drier then practically have a client argue and insist that area gets plenty of water...:hammerhead:

    The client education part of this business is a pet peeve of mine. What further complicates everything is the half truths and disinformation propagated by others in the business who should know better and some of them have degrees in Agronomy.

    The lawn info factoid sheets is what I'm also doing this year on my color laser duplex printer.
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  6. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Ahhh I see. Ok well I didn't see where you wanted them back and they were just loaners. :hammerhead:

    The fact sheets work good. They are professional and a time saver. People like leave behinds and being told whats going on....whether they listen and take recommendations or not they still dig it.

    I do. You do. We all do!!! It's Anarchy!!!!!

  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,793

    Our tr Green branch had a salesgirl come in one day. She convinced the boss to order 1000, rain gauges with our logo on them. Nice. We handed them out when salesmen quoted a new prospect. Cost about 50 cents each.

    Myself, I suggest you hand out coffee mugs with your name on them. They make nice rain gauges--and sometimes the customer keeps them around for a long time. Room to print a slogan--such a, "The best costs no more." or "Refer a new customer to get a free treatment".
  8. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,469

    I've made info sheets on microsoft word on what to look for and the how to actually adjust the controller printed on card stock paper and mounted them near the controller. BUT even if the customer tries most don't get it. They don't get out in the yard and can't "feel" if the ground is too wet or dry. Then disaster strikes when they actually do adjust the control, multiple run times & etc.

    I hate to keep beating a dead horse but the real & best solution is for you to perform this on yards you are consistently on (mow & treat). This is the last time I will mention this but trust me I've been down this road. Maybe your customers are smarter than mine, most of mine are upper class folks with college educations,BUT.

    On the customers who say "that's the way I've always done it" mention to them this quote " to repeat the same thing over & over and expect different results is _________". You fill in the blank.

    Good luck.
  9. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    I more or less agree with ArTurf but like that you are thinking outside the box Exact. Trouble is, most customers are stuck not just in the box but in one dark corner of the box. In our area I don't find most of the sprinkler companies to be misinformed.

    I wonder how far away we are from controllers that can be run remotely for customers via some app their LCO can operate. I know some golf course systems have a lot of bells and whistles enabling such a thing but I don't know about one company being able to operate 50 or more systems. The factor I see ignored most often on athletic fields is day-length, how it changes from early Spring to mid-Fall. Running a real close second is failing to shut systems down after it rains or, worse, while it is raining. Having more than one person operating or authorized to operate irrigation on athletic fields is a disaster too.

    Good luck refining your idea. Let us know how it works out either way please.
  10. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Then why do you continually try to change peoples bad habits with no results? Isn't that Insanity too?

    :laugh: :drinkup:

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