How a new lawn care business landed commercial accounts.

A very popular question many new lawn care business owners ask is how can they land commercial accounts. A business owner on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum was kind enough to share some of his insights with us. He wrote “I start my lawn care business 2 months ago with 5 customers. As of today I have 18 residential and 3 commercial customers.”

That is fantastic work! Since many new business owners are looking to land commercial lawn mowing accounts and you have been able to do this, can you share with us a little on how you did it?

Commercial lawn care accounts

Commercial lawn care accounts

He responded “landing commercial accounts can be tough, however I have found that getting your information out there can be a big help. One of my secrets to getting one of my commercial accounts was just sitting back and letting the other lawn service guys do my work for me.

When I first started getting my lawn care business going this spring, I was becoming frustrated because every place I went to market my business already had one of the other lawn services and had had them for a few seasons. I was getting pretty discouraged. Until it dawned on me one day. Heck, these other lawn service guys are pretty much doing my work for me! I started noticing that their quality of work was really getting lax. They were mowing it when it was really wet, leaving tracks and huge unsightly clumps of grass all over. It was obvious they weren’t keeping their blades sharp on their mowers because they were missing spots all over. And the thing that shocked me the most was they weren’t even trimming! At all! It really looks like hell when you don’t trim around the electrical poles, service boxes, and even curbs near the highways and streets.

Now I admit, sometimes you can get away with skipping a trim job here and there, but only when it isn’t going to be obvious from a block away (literally!) These commercial businesses rely on a professional appearance (much like we do) and they want a nice neatly trimmed lawn, much like what was promised to them in their pricing when their lawn service bid it to them. The way I see it, these guys are just setting themselves up for someone like me to come along and say, “hey I can do the same service for the same price, but I’ll actually live up to my promises”. Now, yes, this is probably a good way to make some lawn services pretty upset, however my answer to that is if you are doing your job right, I should be no threat to you.

Now one of my commercial accounts was obtained because I went to all the local real estate offices and dropped off my door hanger with my business card stapled to it. It just so happened that one of the realtor’s clients had 6 buildings behind the real estate office in the same complex that had his previous lawn service go out of business. So he called the real estate business and asked if they knew of anybody who did lawn service. Most of the agents don’t have a particular business in mind when they recommend someone, so she just grabbed my information and passed it on. I was the only lawn care business that had cards there. Now that was just luck, not something you’d really learn in business school, but hey, it worked for me and I continue to stop by these offices frequently and ask if they need anymore business cards. It lets them know you are proactive with your business and if you make small talk with some of the agents every time, you make friends and next thing you know, they are recommending you over the other guys..great P.R.! It’s just human nature to hire someone you know a little about rather than just a name in a phone book.

Aside from the graphics on my truck, my best reason for new customers is by word of mouth. I offer a free mowing for every new referred customer that signs up for the entire season. Something else I learned from the templates on this website!

One last word of advice:
When you service someones lawn, or perform any service for that matter, don’t just try to do it as fast as you possibly can and then move on to the next job. Yes, speed and efficiency is a good thing. BUT, take some time to visit with your customer. Get to know them, their needs, and their concerns. Ask them how their vacation went or how the family is. You’d be suprised how fast you’ll get referrals when they realize your human and not just like the machine you operate all day. You also gain trust, which is HUGE in the referral process. Next thing you know, you’re not just servicing the old lady across from your other account, your servicing her family and her family’s neighbors, and their neighbors too. Word of mouth can be a wonderful thing. Let it work to your advantage!”

What great information and insight. This really should get you thinking about new lawn care business marketing strategies.

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