Being friendly to gain more lawn care customers.

This is one of those business lessons you might not pick up on without paying close attention to nuances. If you think running a successful lawn care business is just about mowing straight lines, you are a long way off. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we look into the importance of being friendly to customers, neighbors, and the community at large. Being friendly can lead to a lot of work. While being rude can lead to the destruction of your company.

One lawn care business owner wrote “how often do you find yourself waving at cars driving by or people walking by while you are on a job site? Maybe even when you are loading or unloading equipment? It’s amazing how a simple wave can really break the ice and make people more comfortable about approaching you. You never know when they may need your services.

This is something that should not only be done by you but also by your lawn care  employees as well. They too should get into the habit of waving at people and neighbors. I wave at everybody. I’ve always done it.

In one neighborhood there was a lady that no one talked to because she was a bit loony. I said hi to her every time I was there. The first few times I got no response. Then she warmed up to me and gave me a wave back. Now she’s a regular mowing customer.

Being friendly goes beyond waving and saying hello. What about driving safely and non-aggressively! How many times have you seen commercial vehicles on the road driven by madmen and you wanted to call the number on the side of the truck to let them have a piece of your mind!

Lastly think about how you perform your job. Have you ever seen other lawn care business employees race their zero turn riders around a property like they were driving in a go-cart race? Such behavior projects a reckless and careless behavior that you don’t want to project.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I have gotten a lot of customers by waving and being friendly. The actual work is only half of it. Being a people person without faking it is the other half.

When you talk with your employees about this, you have to stress to them that if they are not sincere in their waving, they might as well not bother doing it. People can tell the difference between a sincere hello and a forced one.

Speaking of having your employees wave to people, I had one client share a story with me about how their prior lawn company employees could often be overheard using foul language. That was the last straw for this customer.

Not only did these employees not generate any business with their poor attitudes, they lost business because of it. You really need to pay attention to what your staff is doing.

In this business as in every other, you have to open the doors - they don’t open up for you.

I greet everyone I see. You never know who you may run into or who they will tell about ‘that nice fellow who cuts the Smith’s lawn.’ If you have a regular route, it’s common to see the same people out for a walk each time, and it’s a great way for them to get to know you over time.

No matter how busy I am, when I leave a client’s home, I put my turn signals on and accelerate slowly away from the curb. I make sure to drive safely, and politely. Also, the only time I listen to loud music is when I’m on the highway.”

A third added “I left an industrial sales career that lasted 30+ years where I have closed million dollar deals by being friendly, knowing a customer’s name and showing a real interest in them and their project. It’s not always about the money, sometimes people like to be treated like friends and not just a number.

This is one of the many things I like about owning my own lawn care business. It is a friendlier slower paced lifestyle. I can really take my time (within reason) and get to know my customers and their neighbors. I say hello, wave, or suggest something to help them out with their lawns whenever I get a chance.

There is an old saying I like to practice. You get more bees with honey then you do with Vinegar. You get more lawn care customers too. Think about it.”

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