Young buck needs some advice

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by LawnsharkMB, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 650

    Sent out a letter to all my fert program customers last week. One lady sends my letter back and wants to cancel the second split dimension application, the early summer insecticide+fertilizer she wants just insecticide because the Clemson extension says to only fertilize centipede in the spring and fall, and she wants to cancel the fall pre emergent.

    Should I call this lady and in a polite way and tell her she doesn't have a clue or just give her what she wants?
  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,125

    If this is not you only customer. RUN! People like this are trouble in one of two ways. Money. They want to cut back because their financial situation is not secure. Value. They do not value your expertise and professional experience. I often take recommendations people cite from universities with a grain of salt, if even that. Many of those recommendations are written to be politically correct, not to be effective. The person writing those recommendations has little to lose if they result in weedy or mediocre turf.
  3. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 650

    She's in a neighborhood where 90% of my customers are, so I don't want to lose her and have another company come in. It annoys me that instead of just saying hey, I want to cut back and save a little money, she sends my letter back and actually marks things out on the schedule. No phone call or email. If she would have done that I could have changed it up a little and gave her 4 apps instead of 6.
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  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,125

    That is something I do not worry about. If anything, should there be talk amongst neighbors, they will be told why she was fired. I actually do not mind. When people go on this track, I let them. If not staying on the program affects the lawn adversely, my name is no longer on that lawn. If my truck stops at a house, the lawn has to look good, if it does not, either I am doing something wrong or there are outside factors.
  5. Yup, not worried about neighbors talking and I have no problem letting them know what's up either. When budgets become lower on most properties, it's time to move on. For sub $300/mo accounts, there isn't much you can pull out of what you do that wont severely sacrifice the end result. At that point it's time to move on.
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  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,125

    Yes, talking goes both ways. People can talk about how expensive, etc, the service provider is. The service provider can talk about the client being cheap and non compliant with the program. A lawn I do not touch is no longer my problem. Following University provided recommendations for fertilizer has not given me professional quality results. BTW, centipede does not respond very well to urea, phosphorus or potassium chloride. Both components are normally found in regular lawn fertilizer. The blends sold for centipede are not much better. They just throw in more iron, skip the phosphorus and keep the urea and potassium chloride. I have not had problems feeding centipede every 30 days during the growing season with fertilizer mixes omitting those problem components.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Political correctness is ruining our country let alone our industry.

    I had a discussion with some members here about three years ago about how University Websites were going Politically Correct and taking chemical recommendations off their site. I was already a few year behind the times when I made those statements.

  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The people in my work area would be further ahead if they could reduce the applications in order that I might grow grass into a better lawn... over the years I got a number of them to quit and have been able to bring those lawns up to excellence...
    My point is if they could''ve cooperated with me and stop the pre-m they would still have a presence in that neighborhood...
    I did have one applicator acknowledge that, Unless there is a lot of plug aeration going on, Pre-m becomes redundant after a few seasons, because all of the seeds that would germinate have already germinated and been killed...
  9. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,257

    First of all, I would agree to fire her as Greendoctor said. I've fired client for resetting their water and refusing to let me put down sulfur to correct the high pH. I know that area too well.
    On the second hand, you could do as she requests and get it in writing that your recommendation is "What you prescribed" and make note the changes. So when her lawn looks like crap you can show your "New" or current clients what doing it "Wrong" does. Sorta a living green testament that you know what you're doing. The lawn shows: needing this, avoid that, recommending not to, or a whole host of stuff. You will give current clients and new ones the " being an authority" on the matter. Maybe next year she will see the error of her ways, take her back with a huge increase because you'll have to start over and correct HER choices.
    I know Clemson's recommendation and they are not worth the paper they are written on. Hell, they don't even have a good person down there in the Georgetown office.
    Anyway, do what you feel is right.
  10. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,057

    If you have most of your work there, let this one be a bit of a loss and do what needs to be done anyway and just bill her for what she wants.

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