We’ve all heard the saying, don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. There is a reason such a saying exists. It’s because we all have a tendency to do it at times. Sometimes we make a big issue out of something that is not an issue at all. The downside to doing this too often is that it can hurt us financially, especially if you operate a lawn care business and are constantly looking for new lawn care customers. Let’s take a look at a great example of this from a discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Hopefully this story and learning lesson will stay in the back of your head as you meet with your new customers.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I took a mowing job today from someone that initially found me online. The caller was out of town but her mother lives in my city. So after the call, I went to check out and measure the lawn. While I was there, I was thinking that quite frankly I didn’t want the job. There was stuff all over the yard (non-working cars, barrels, dog houses, randomly planted and unmulched shrubs and flowers, etc) that I’d have to trim around if I took it on. I walked around the yard and figured out a price. To compensate myself for the extra time this job would need, I figured on adding an extra $10 for all the trimming time which would be required.
As I handed the customer my lawn care bid, I was sure they’d balk at the price, but to my surprise they didn’t, so I accepted the job.
As I was on the property the customer walked me through the entire yard telling me the names and importance of each and every flower and shrub. She didn’t want me to run anything over. So all I was thinking at the time was that she was extremely picky and wouldn’t be happy with anything I’d do. So after the ‘grand tour’ I got to work and felt I did a fine job. I mowed and trimmed the yard in under my estimated time and I was happy with the money I made from the job.
Unfortunately, I did nick one of her flowers with my mower! Yikes. I was sure she’d notice that and be upset about it the next time I was there, but she was all smiles and praised my work. She was really happy with the mowing job. After all that, I sat back and thought to myself, I made myself all nervous over nothing! I really learned a lesson on that job that I should wait for people to complain about something before I start worrying about it.”
A second lawn care business owner said “very good point! The expectations we put on ourselves are or can be far beyond the clients’. I can do a job where I see imperfections yet the client never sees it and raves over what we have done. I found personally in time, we get into the groove and build confidence in ourselves. Today for me I still see imperfections but if the client is happy then I am happy and they tell their friends about my work.
Having the ability to profile a person is quite an art. If you can do it, then you are a step ahead of the game. I have taken so many courses over the years, where we were taught to pre-qualify a new lawn care customer to see if they would be a good fit for us and us for them. The process is called many things, but the bottom line is we all tend to profile new customers whether it’s conscious or not. After two decades in this business, I still have people I can’t read or they put up one heck of a nice guy front then sometimes try to take advantage of you which I never read from the start.
I think a lot of this is worry is due to a lower confidence level. If you would simply go in, do the best job you can, then let the chips fall where they may and deal with any issues, you would live a stress freer life!
Just because a customer finds you on the internet, doesn’t mean they are going to be cheap or annoying or picky or anything. We sometimes go through a few negative experiences, feel like we got burned and then we project this negative attitude outwards to the new lawn care customers we meet. However, in the end, you just don’t know for sure how a customer is going to interact with you until you give them your best and go from there. So don’t forget this lesson even if you are having a bad day from time to time. Always put a smile on your face, your best foot forward, and set the stage to help your customers feel good about their interaction with you.”
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