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My Last Week!


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  #1  
Old 10-13-2009, 05:00 PM
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Default My Last Week!

This is my last week for lawn maintenance.

It's been an interesting year.

Met all sorts of interesting people, good & bad.

Gained & lost clients.

Made mistakes & corrected them.

For my last week, I have already gained 10+ new clients for next year.

Few of the lawns I have are side by side.

I have 6 in a row, 4 in a row, etc

2010 is going to be great!

All these new clients with no advertising done at all!

My phone is ringing constantly, and it's friggen October!


Now for fall cleanups... errr... Then the wonderful snow
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2009, 09:02 PM
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Scott, It has been a very quick summer. I have enjoyed hearing of your adventures and wish you a great new year a little early.

thanks much, Wolfy

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Old 10-13-2009, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
This is my last week for lawn maintenance.

It's been an interesting year.
Tell us some of your reflections on the past year. What stands out to you? I know a lot of people have been reading your stories on here and we'd all love to hear your end of the season thoughts.

Quote:
Made mistakes & corrected them.
Looking back what mistakes do you feel you made and how did you correct them?
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2009, 11:03 PM
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Well here is something I think you'll all enjoy reading.

Personally, I believe that nothing is ever done right & perfect unless you mess up on it at least once. Fearing to make the same mistake a second time will keep you in the best direction & on your toes. Keep your mind busy & always plan ahead.

I learned that being slightly honest with customers will keep you safe, don't go out saying you can do everything they request. Instead say that you will let them know later on, after you have thought about what they need.

If you advertise a service & can't give it more than 50%, STOP advertising it.

By saying that you do not offer a certain service, it prevents you from letting the customer down in a really negative way. Instead let him know you might be interested in starting a service on which he requests, though you recommend he find someone else for now, or you can point him to someone else.

Don't tell your customer that you will be able to do something when later on you'll be slapping yourself for getting too excited. Think first, ALWAYS!



I also learned that it's not wise to be anything other than neutral with your customers.

Being nice will get you killed, being straight forward and strict is probably better, but I really don't recommend it.

Never get into detailed conversations with your customers. The more friendly you are with your customer, the more of a friend they become than a customer at all. They will use you, ask for favours, pitty themselves & even sucker you into doing things for free. Instead of them being teachers pet, they believe they are your favorite customer, when in fact they are annoying as heck!

Spend only on essentials. Repairs on equipment might be rare, though when it happens you will be glad you didn't blow all your cash the previous weekend!

To repair your equipment, imagine how many lawns you have to basically "cut for free" in a sense, just to pay the repair bill. Your mowers damages can easily cost you hundreds of dollars to the point of buying a brand new machine. Extreme loss of profit.

It's quality & care over speed, always!

sometimes you might feel lazy & will want to avoid cutting "that patch on the side of the house" or avoid trimming the far side of the customers lawn.

Avoiding these things will haunt you, it'll be noticeable next week when you arrive to cut & I don't know about most of you, I just feel guilty when I do things like that.

Never have the attitude, "it's too short too cut, I'm gonna move on to the next"

Your customers notice when you cut their lawns, they are paying you to leave tire marks on the lawn if there is no grass, so just do it!

Sounds silly, but it's beneficial in many ways.

It's more time advertising yourself by mowing.

You can joke around & have your customers love you by saying, "I'm not like other companies, I make sure you always get your moneys worth, even if I'm just leaving tire marks!" and you wont be lying. They will think you are GOLD & a man of your word! It got me referrals!!!

Don't waste your time handing out flyers in mailboxes, or all that other marketing junk we've talked about.

I created a sheet that says, "NAME, NUMBER, ADDRESS" & I gave it to 3 friends to hold as they go door to door asking if the home owners were interested in a fall cleanup.

If they wanted an estimate, my friends would write down the contact information & I would go and deal with the customer later on. It works extremely well.

If you can do the extra little thing on your customers lawn, *while they are watching from a window* do it!

I emptied my customers bird bath, the water was contaminated. My customer came outside & said, "What a sweetie!" though she didn't try to push her pepsi's and cookies on me, haha!

Never take on more than one job at a time. If your customer asks for several jobs to have done, tell him to take a chill pill. The excitement of getting more work will give you less work if you act on the spot. Say you'll have to finish the current job you are doing & you will have to let him know later on. If you say, "yes I can do that, that, and that" you're f'ed!

Sometimes it's best to have your current customers call you & let your answer machine get their message. A few customers call me and pretend to be my best friend, just to bug me & waste my time. Though make sure you call them back later with an excuse to hang up within 5 mins, watch out for blocked numbers! I have a stalker customer!!!!

Laugh when you spill gas, do not kick the gas can because you've been spilling your gas all day... Doing so, you will rip your hair out. Gas cans are MADE to be a hassle, it's not your fault!!!!

When you hear a BANG while using your mower, shout "FRIDAY" instead of the swear word, even if it's Monday. Customers don't want to be frightened by you.

I can go on, though I really want to get some booze in me! BIG DAY TOMORROW!!!!

4 degrees, got snow today. Still got friggen lawns to do... Rained Monday+Tuesday, I'm behind.

Don't go to work hungover, bad bad mistake!!!! Especially if your behind!!!
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:35 PM
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What a great post!

Quote:
Don't waste your time handing out flyers in mailboxes, or all that other marketing junk we've talked about.

I created a sheet that says, "NAME, NUMBER, ADDRESS" & I gave it to 3 friends to hold as they go door to door asking if the home owners were interested in a fall cleanup.

If they wanted an estimate, my friends would write down the contact information & I would go and deal with the customer later on. It works extremely well.
What did you have your friends say when they went door to door? Did they wear any uniforms? Did they hand anything to the potential customer?

Why do you the results from this differed from handing out flyers in mailboxes?
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:54 PM
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I believe it is a very straightforward approach.

Instead of taking a silly chance by wasting time & money on flyers, this way keeps you more involved.

You go to the door, ring the bell. "Hi my name is Slacker#1, on behalf of Breeze Lawn Service we are wondering if you'd be interested in a fall cleanup?

Our prices range from $80.00 to $100.00, if you are interested in getting an exact estimate I will write your contact information down on my sheet & have my boss get back to you with all of the further details.

We begin fall cleanups November first, or when most to all of the leaves have fallen onto your property.

By hiring our leaf removal services, you will receive $10.00 off of our lawn maintenance service if you are to hire us for next year. "


The guys where their winter coats & a Breeze hat. They hold the sheet with a clipboard.

I limited on business cards, so I'm unable to have the guys hand them out, but I think overall this tactic is pretty nifty!

Each worker has 3 sheets, a total of 60 jobs they are able to get for the company.

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Old 10-15-2009, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Each worker has 3 sheets, a total of 60 jobs they are able to get for the company.
WOW! This sounds like it worked big time! Great job!

How many houses did they visit to land that many accounts?

Also how was it interacting with the home owner when you went to give them the bid? Did you tend to land a high % of those who put their name down?
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:48 PM
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Well today I had a worker go out, when she came back I gave her heck.

She failed miserably, but landed one client.

I asked what she said to the home owners, and she explained poorly.

So I said, "do I make you more nervous then the job I assigned you too?"

she said, "YES!!!"

So I had to teach her how to talk to customers, again & again. It's so simple, how can she mess up?!!

I told her if she can't get her stuff together, there is someone else waiting to replace her.

So today was bad lol.

Overall with the other guys, about 1/30 houses are interested.

Which isn't that bad, I have to check the lists tomorrow to see what we have. Though last time I checked we have somewhere around in the 20's.

I doubt I'll be able to even do that much before winter!!! I'm wondering if I should stop advertising, so I don't break any hearts and leave people hanging.

But I'm proud of myself, apparently my guys were asked about our lawn service, so maybe i'll get more clients out of this! WOO!!!

My brothers girlfriend spoke with me today & gave me a slap on the hand for being a mean boss lol.

I can't help it though, is it just me or is our work really that friggen difficult that people can't follow instructions?

Should I pay them minimum wage instead of being generous? Like geez, I pay some $10-$15/hr and they just SLACKKKK! There is no one out there that I can rely on, I need someone that doesn't need to hold my hand.

There is even an added bonus! $25.00 if they land 10 clients for fall cleanups. ONE SHEET.

Kids these days, they really aren't interested in earning anything, panzies.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:06 PM
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So I had to teach her how to talk to customers, again & again. It's so simple, how can she mess up?!!
What kind of pointers would you suggest for others that aren't too sure of how to talk to customers?
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:52 PM
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Well I think it's best for everyone to speak slow to customers. This helps you to not slur your words & confuse the customer.

Just like reading a speech, if you read your words slow, you wont miss the periods or exclamation marks, knowing when to stop or be enthusiastic is key.

It's best to just be yourself & realize that PERSONALLY you have nothing to lose, so don't be shy. Though there is a lot to lose sorta, it just shouldn't be an issue. It sounds complicated. lol

When customers ask me a question, I take the time to think of my answer before immediately saying something. Trying to look like you know what your talking about vs actually knowing what your talking about is a big difference.

Take the time you need to think over & give a good honest answer, no reason to be someone your not. And it's OK to not have all the answers. On the sheet I give the workers, it has all the information THEY NEED, though if a potential customer wants more information, he will have to give my workers his/her contact information & I will explain it to them step by step.

So is it difficult to tell a potential customer 4-5 things, take down his/her contact info? It's all written on the sheet. If "you" the worker can't answer bigger questions on which you have no information on, say, "I'm not exactly sure, that's why I have this sheet so that my boss can call you to explain every detail"

I tell them that it's alright to "blame the boss" like, "My boss didn't tell me anything more to say, I wish I had more answers"

If it keeps them from looking stupid in front of potential customers, so be it. That's what I believe my workers fear, is not having all the information & going to pick up customers. Though the only information I will be telling the customers that my workers wont be telling them isn't that big a deal, price, exact date, how the service works, etc. These things I must manage, & my workers are not expected to know this.

I just farted, like holy crow Batman! Must leave area, brb!
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