PDA

View Full Version : We don't cut grass, we solve problems.


StartALawnCareBusiness
09-11-2007, 01:14 PM
I was reading about the early 19th century auto maker Henry Ford this morning.

He was such a pioneer and such an industrialist. I wondered what knowledge of his could be applied to the Lawn Care Industry.

One of his quotes stuck out in my mind:

"If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse."

That goes slightly against what I've thought about customer relations in lawn care. I've often said you should ask the customer what he wants and then give it to him at a fair price. Ford, though, said a business should not ask the customer what he wants. Instead, ask him what his problems are and then find a way to solve those problems.

Ford didn't think of himself as a car maker, he thought of himself as a problem solver.

There's a lesson to be learned there. Lawn care customers don't call you to cut their grass...they call you to make their lawns look good. They don't call you to trim their shrubs...they call you to beautify their beds.

They call for a general purpose. The specifics on how to solve the problem are up to you.

Next time you have interaction with a current customer, try this. Ask "What problems are you having with your yard?" or "What don't you like about your yard?" I bet you will hear something you never thought to ask. She will not like the way water pools around the air conditioning unit. He will wonder why there's a fairy ring (mushrooms) that come up in the late summer. Immediately, you have to two non-grass specific jobs before you. For her, you can add a drain tube on the air conditioner...a 5 minute job for which you can probably charge $25. For him, you can suggest that there is wooden building material buried in his lawn (mushroom fungus often feeds on wood burried in the lawn when the house was built) that you can dig up, remove, and reseed...hey, and since you're reseeding that area, might as well aerate and overseed the entire lawn and put a flower bed around the mailbox...that would really make his lawn look great. One simple question has just landed you a $1000 landscaping job.

If you had never asked the general questions, you would have never known there are other problems to solve than just mowing the lawn.

Don't think of yourself as a grass cutter. Instead, think of yourself as a problem solver.

Keith

Steve
09-11-2007, 03:09 PM
That is a very good point! I don't often hear of lcos asking what problems are you having with your lawn. It usually is more specific, 'do you want your lawn mowed.'

But asking questions like "What problems are you having with your yard?" really may open a floodgate of new work!

Clean Lawn
09-11-2007, 04:59 PM
That was awesome! You just gave me info on some annoying mushroom I kept thinking I got rid of in my lawn. Overall I agree that is a great question. I was considering creating a questionaire to send new and existing customers to get a better feel for services they might want or need but normally wouldn't ask for. I have considered this idea to gain new clients too in new neighborhoods.

Clean Lawn
09-11-2007, 05:01 PM
By the way I will post the questions I come up with but if anyone has done anything like this in the past please post regarding your experience with this and even some of your questions if you still have them. When its all here someone else might also be able to benefit from it also.

Steve
09-11-2007, 05:33 PM
Is this helpful?

Also please post what you come up with.

Quote[/b] ]By the way I will post the questions I come up with but if anyone has done anything like this in the past please post regarding your experience with this and even some of your questions if you still have them. When its all here someone else might also be able to benefit from it also.

Click here for link. (http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=1;t=3514)

http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/uploads/post-1-41811-customer_survey.jpg

S.P.Martin Lawn Care
09-15-2007, 10:56 AM
I've said this before, I'm always up front with customers by telling them from the get go, "Not my lawn, not my problem, I'm the solution".

Only a couple of customers asked what was meant by that. I told them I will not feel guilty about their problems, I will do my best to help them out, and I will never be dishonest.

This weeds out the complainers and opens the doors to offering solutions to problems with lawns, trees, maintenance issues with the houses, fence repairs, and more. It works very well.

As StartALawnCareBusiness has observed, the right mind set will get you far ahead of the competition.

Steve
09-15-2007, 06:38 PM
Quote[/b] ]This weeds out the complainers and opens the doors to offering solutions to problems with lawns, trees, maintenance issues with the houses, fence repairs, and more. It works very well.
Have you found certain people were turned off to that and if so, were they the ones that would be more of a drag on your business? Were they customers you just didn't want in the first place?

pmblair
10-05-2007, 11:35 PM
Quote[/b] ]Next time you have interaction with a current customer, try this. Ask "What problems are you having with your yard?" or "What don't you like about your yard?" I bet you will hear something you never thought to ask.

You know, this can be applied to those people who tell you "I do all my lawn mowing for myself." ..... just today I saw a neighbor mowing his lawn. I asked him if he enjoyed doing it (a lot of guys do). He told me that he did. I asked him what was the biggest problem he had with his lawn. He told me that he hated using a weed whacker. I told him that all he had to do was spray weed killer around his trees, shrubs and the edges of his house and lay pine straw. He said that it sounded like too much work for him. I told him that that is a service I provide. He asked for a quote. Now I have another job for Monday morning. http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Never hurts to ask.