Phone or email?

It sure is a lot easier trying to run your mowing business through emails and not having to go talk with clients for every question or concern they might have. Is one method better though? Is it better to use more emails even though you might not get as many bids because it allows you to bid on more jobs? Or is it better to be meeting up with potential clients face to face? That is a question brought up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. Which method do you feel is better to use?

One lawn care business owner asked “I have noticed the 40+ yr old generation prefers phone calls when interacting with me, while the younger groups are all about emails! When I email a customer, I have to be very careful with what I say. Because they will study EVERYTHING I type!! One good thing I have had luck with, is in emails, type the service you are doing followed by the price. This way the price doesn’t stick in their mind as they read. I know its a debate to do a meet/greet with the customers, or talk over phone. But lately I’ve done more email quotes than phone quotes. Out of all my quotes, I only lost 1 this year- it was a highball bid because I didn’t want to mess with her. Is anyone else running into similar issues? How are you doing your quotes?”

A second lawn care business owner shared “I do agree that the times have changed but I certainly would not say it is for the better. The younger generation relies so heavily on social media that they have absolutely no social skills what so ever. They prefer to do business through emails because it takes the human element out of the equation so if you sent them a price they did not like, they don’t have to muster up the energy to tell you face to face or on the telephone.

I am from the older generation but not that old where I am out of touch. I do have conversations with customers through emails but any initial business deal I prefer a face to face meeting with. This because it is not only more professional, it shows you are willing to take the time for them. I believe you can get a better feel as to if they are serious and if they are a customer you even want to work for.

I know we all want every job that comes our way but it is very important to screen your customers just like they screen their prospective contractors.

We are landscapers and we need to work in concentrated areas so marketing to the masses is useless in this business unless you want to spend a half your day driving from job to job.

In this business, physical presence is what it is all about. Sure I have conversations with clients via email because once I established a working relationship with the people I work for, which is all corporate and commercial ,these clients are busy dealing with the day to day operations of running their own businesses. They don’t have the time to be talking about the daily happenings with their landscape while they have board meetings and a hundred employees and staff to deal with daily.

I can tell you that whenever I have a upsell to a existing client or I am selling a new contract to a new client, you need to be face to face with them for many reasons. Such as getting an answer right then and there and not risk it taking them 3 days or 3 weeks to check their email. From a contractual standpoint, you can easily put things in writing and be concise but unless you want to write a mini novel, your email can not justify the need for the service and answer every question they have.

For the most part you get one chance in business to make the sale and I have had experience in the past where a customer was waiting on a quote and expected me to get back to them and I emailed it and told them I would do so and they got busy and never checked it and thought I was blowing them off. Only to call them later and hear ‘I did not hear back from you so I called someone else.’

Face to face business dealings put finality to the situation and get the ball rolling faster.

I also found that when it comes to upsells, even your best customers will resist the added cost but when you are there to walk them through it and answer every question they have to justify the service, more often than not a face to face will lead to making the deal happen.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success