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question for the homeowners.......

head_start

LawnSite Member
Location
Illinois
what would all of you be looking for in a lawn care provider, that is if you weren't doing all of your lawn care on your own?
thank you have a nice day
 

jkearnan

LawnSite Member
Location
Visalia, CA
Trustworthy, dependable, professional. Someone who could manage my lawn/yard with minimal input from me. Do the things that need doing and suggest improvements as you see them, without insisting "this" or "that" gets done. Not all of us homeowners are rolling in cash, particularly given the current economy, etc... Referrals to folks who are already using your services could be good, as well as some pictures of how great their yards look.

One challenge as a homeowner who now has most of all my own equipment is.....how could I ever hire someone now to take care of my place when I have all this money invested? I have talked to some lawn care professionals in my area (in CA it seems like everyone gets their lawn done by someone) and most will say "we do a good job", etc.. but never really show me why I should switch. Maybe I am asking too much?

As a parent with 4 kids my time is very valuable and it's getting tougher to put a few hours aside to do lawn/yard care each week. As a promotional piece I am still waiting for a lawn care professional to list out the value of my time, wear on my equipment, cost of materials for upkeep, etc... and show me how the $500/mo or whatever they charge is worth it. Many of us forget that our time is valuable and worth something.

Sorry, long answer for a short question.
 

ksJoe

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Wichita Ks
I try very hard to only pay for value. But you'd be wrong to think I'm just cheap. If I'm paying extra for something, it is going to be better in some way.

Many of my purchases have no set budget. I look all the options, and decide the best bang for the buck. My previous car was a stripped Honda Civic that I bought totaled, fixed myself, and put an additional 200,000 miles one. I replaced it with a 2 year old Lexus IS350 (300 HP compact car).

If you look in our kitchen, you'll find a very wide mix of brands. There is a lot of "Great Value" (Walmart genereric), as well as name brand stuff. We pay extra for things that taste better, or are healthier (have ingredients that don't sound like a chemistry project).

If you want me to chose you over the next guy, tell me why. But there's a fine line between that and badmouthing your competitors. Its hard to explain where that line is, but you need to know where it is.

Closely related to that, is "upsells". If you're always looking for a way to add $10 to the ticket for the sake of your bottom line, I'll have a general dislike for you regardless of how good your results are. If I see an alternative, that can be enough of a motivation for me to try it. If something needs done, tell me why and let my make a decision like: "If you want to improve .... we could do..." If the customer is declining half the stuff you're offering, you're trying to sell too much. Scale back the suggestions to be more basic.

If I pay you what you ask for what I want to hire done, don't treat my like a cheapskate for for what I don't want to hire done.

For example, I had an irrigation well drilled last fall. As much as I like doing things myself, drilling an 80' hole through shale isn't realistic. It surprised me that I paid them $750 for a pump (installed). From the spec's they quoted, I had figured out the exact model, and knew I could buy it online for around $300. Throughout the entire sales process they had done a good job of explaining what is better about their service. A side affect of that is that I decided they don't cut a lot of corners so I went ahead and had them do the pump instead of trying to do that myself. While they were doing it, I was asking questions about maintenance and what could go wrong, how to pull the pump, etc. Not only did the guy answer them, he seemed to like the opportunity to explain his work to me. (my approach in situations like that is to get the expert to start talking, then I shut up) I really appreciated that.

So to summarize -
I'm picky and hard to please. But I'm content with that and have no intention to change.
I believe "you get what you pay for" is a generalization that must shown, not assumed.
I categorically dislike and try to avoid anyone who reminds me of a used car salesman.

But I'm also respectful of your time. I won't waste your time trying to get information from you if I have no intention of hiring you.
 
OP
H

head_start

LawnSite Member
Location
Illinois
This is all great to keep in mind, i appriciate all of your imput. This kind of information is as valueable to me as cash. I will keep it in mind, and i wish i could justify my services to everyone, but sometimes it is just a "it will save you time, and look better thing". Other times it is not, oh well can't win them all.

Thank you again.
 

a_mow_zing

LawnSite Member
I had some guy show up last summer looking to mow my yard, I asked him why I should let him mow the lawn...His response was "Cuz if I mow the yard, then you wont have to." Well thats when I shut the door and laughed my arse off. Really, I guess I didnt realize up to that point that if somebody else mowed by yard then I wouldnt have to. What a tool. This is just an example of what not to do.
 

MarkintheGarden

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
St. Louis, MO
I try very hard to only pay for value. But you'd be wrong to think I'm just cheap. If I'm paying extra for something, it is going to be better in some way.

Many of my purchases have no set budget. I look all the options, and decide the best bang for the buck. My previous car was a stripped Honda Civic that I bought totaled, fixed myself, and put an additional 200,000 miles one. I replaced it with a 2 year old Lexus IS350 (300 HP compact car).

If you look in our kitchen, you'll find a very wide mix of brands. There is a lot of "Great Value" (Walmart genereric), as well as name brand stuff. We pay extra for things that taste better, or are healthier (have ingredients that don't sound like a chemistry project).

If you want me to chose you over the next guy, tell me why. But there's a fine line between that and badmouthing your competitors. Its hard to explain where that line is, but you need to know where it is.

Closely related to that, is "upsells". If you're always looking for a way to add $10 to the ticket for the sake of your bottom line, I'll have a general dislike for you regardless of how good your results are. If I see an alternative, that can be enough of a motivation for me to try it. If something needs done, tell me why and let my make a decision like: "If you want to improve .... we could do..." If the customer is declining half the stuff you're offering, you're trying to sell too much. Scale back the suggestions to be more basic.

If I pay you what you ask for what I want to hire done, don't treat my like a cheapskate for for what I don't want to hire done.

For example, I had an irrigation well drilled last fall. As much as I like doing things myself, drilling an 80' hole through shale isn't realistic. It surprised me that I paid them $750 for a pump (installed). From the spec's they quoted, I had figured out the exact model, and knew I could buy it online for around $300. Throughout the entire sales process they had done a good job of explaining what is better about their service. A side affect of that is that I decided they don't cut a lot of corners so I went ahead and had them do the pump instead of trying to do that myself. While they were doing it, I was asking questions about maintenance and what could go wrong, how to pull the pump, etc. Not only did the guy answer them, he seemed to like the opportunity to explain his work to me. (my approach in situations like that is to get the expert to start talking, then I shut up) I really appreciated that.

So to summarize -
I'm picky and hard to please. But I'm content with that and have no intention to change.
I believe "you get what you pay for" is a generalization that must shown, not assumed.
I categorically dislike and try to avoid anyone who reminds me of a used car salesman.

But I'm also respectful of your time. I won't waste your time trying to get information from you if I have no intention of hiring you.
Great response, well thought out comments, I wish more of my customers put this much thought and logic into our interactions.
 

MarkintheGarden

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
St. Louis, MO
I had some guy show up last summer looking to mow my yard, I asked him why I should let him mow the lawn...His response was "Cuz if I mow the yard, then you wont have to." Well thats when I shut the door and laughed my arse off. Really, I guess I didnt realize up to that point that if somebody else mowed by yard then I wouldnt have to. What a tool. This is just an example of what not to do.
I guess you expected him to give you a presentation full of half truth and fluff!

So what happened next, did you hire someone else? Did someone else give you a better reason? If so, I would like to hear it.

Next time you meet a plain spoken service provider I suggest that you increase the number of questions you ask from one to at least three.

I think that either you do not want lawn mowing service, or if you do then you missed the chance to purchase services from one of the few honest people on earth.

It is ironic that we get so much song and dance without substance that when someone cuts right to the substance we think them a tool.
 

a_mow_zing

LawnSite Member
I guess you expected him to give you a presentation full of half truth and fluff!

So what happened next, did you hire someone else? Did someone else give you a better reason? If so, I would like to hear it.

Next time you meet a plain spoken service provider I suggest that you increase the number of questions you ask from one to at least three.

I think that either you do not want lawn mowing service, or if you do then you missed the chance to purchase services from one of the few honest people on earth.

It is ironic that we get so much song and dance without substance that when someone cuts right to the substance we think them a tool.
No, I never intended to have anyone else mow the lawn. There is a fine line from total BS to too blunt. I better response would have been, "well I know you are probably a busy person and have other things to worry about. If you allow be to mow your yard, you will have time to enjoy other things and yard is something you will never have worry about again." Same thing he basically said, just in a better way in my opinion.
 

gardiner

LawnSite Member
Location
MASSILLON OHIO
if i mowed you lawn you don't have to .
Dam he just shut the door on me what a __
now he don't know he don't have to.. purchase a mower, trimmer , blower .or run to get 2 cans of fuel one with 2cycle and one can straight gas. you don't have to store all the equipment freeing up space in the shed or garage . when the guys want to go to the course or the lake you have the free time . not to mention no sweat from the heat of the day .
question how could you pass up all that for 30$
 
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