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I don't know if you have any magic word, except be honest and stay away from statements like " to be honest with you" " I 'll tell you what I am gonna do"... I hear those words and I cringe LOL. Just tell them what you do and if they are intersted they will call. Answer all questions and be prepared for any curves(if you can). The best thing I have found is be a real person, listen to their needs and don't tell them what they need, enless asked. Listen listen listen, they will tell you what they need. After you get a repore with them, then you can suggest to them. I know one other thing, it can hurt sometimes, but I do and find it is great for your word of mouth biz, if the homeower comes out to while you are at the yard mowing, stop the mower and take the time to chat about what they want. KInd of like going to the doctor, if they come in and say high/bye here you go, we feel sort of like cattle, but if the dr comes in and asks you how's the family, you playing any golf, or just chats a minute we like that dr better. JMO. Good luck!
I couldn't agree with the previous post more regarding the "listen, listen, listen."
I always take time to stop what I'm doing and say hi to the customer. I will chit chat about other things besides the lawn as well. You'd be surprised how much extra work this can bring. I've picked up a few accounts by having the customer say "you were doing so and so's lawn and he/she said you are a really down to earth, nice guy I would like you to bid on this job. to me the five minutes every week is a lot cheaper than paying for advertising and works much, much better. Just have to be careful about going overboard and having someone try and take advantage of you.
I have gotten a few comments about how nice our business is b/c it's not a run in, get things done, and get the heck out of there. Granted, I don't have a lot of lawns so it is no big deal for me to sit and talk for a few minutes, I can understand that some have such a busy schedule that can't afford five minutes here and five minutes their.
Be polite be honest and be yourself. When price is questioned explain that you run a quality company and that they can expect results that are second to none however be careful not to run other companies down. Never look at some thing and point out how terrible some thing looks as they may have done it . Always be respectfull and listen to them. Mam and sir will take you a long way especially with older people.
Of course we need to listen to our customers, but on one end I tend to disagree with the statement they know what they need. As professional we need to let them know what will improve the beauty of their property. If we get ourselves into only providing on what the customers say they need then we miss many oprotunites to grow the business. The main point is provide the customers what they need and cross sell your services. For example how do they know what a turf disease looks like untill their whole lawn is gone.. Or when their lawn is going to be overun with crabgrass unless the apply pre-m. Or the fact they need to increase or decrease their watering. Or they want the grass cut so short and then they wonder why it always dies in the summer. again we need to listen but inform them of what we suggest or recommend. Do you tell a plumber what to do?
I agree that you need to listen.One of the most basic desires of all humans is to fit in and to be listened to. Almost all great leaders make the followers feel an important part of the operation. Honesty will get you a long way also I often tell my customers that i don't know but I will get in touch with a specialist and get back to them. It can also help if you can do something that the average lco in your area doesn't.good luck