3 Lessons from 3 Recessions!

by Tony Bass


This is an incredible time to be in business! I want to tell you why!


The lessons I learned while operating a landscaping company during the recessions of 1987, 1991 and 2001 taught me some invaluable business skills.


My insights, refined and polished during two decades growing a multi-million dollar firm could be your friend this Spring season!


I thought you would like to know exactly what you should do to:

1) Keep your existing clients,

2) Sell more work, and

3) Lower your costs.


First, your existing clients are beating you up about price, delaying projects and getting quotes from the competition like never before.


Protect your most valuable asset, your existing client relationships, by communicating more frequently. The fact is simply this, everybody catches Spring Fever!


Spring Fever is the professional landscape contractor’s friend!


This annual infectious wave of optimism, renewed energy and passion for everything colorful outdoors is your chance to capitalize on your existing relationships. Your best chance to grow your company should include producing a monthly newsletter, e-newsletter, client satisfaction survey, courtesy call or personal site visit. Increasing the frequency of communication translates into higher levels of customer service, improved marketing results and a loyal client base!


Each communication should include:

  • Helpful insight to improve the landscape or property,
  • An exclusive offer for your existing clients, and
  • A genuine expression of appreciation for their business.


Your challenge during the busy season will be to find the time to increase the frequency of communication. I want to give you one specific, low cost strategy to grow your business within the next 60 days.


Your Most Powerful Tool On A Rainy Day!


Rather than send your entire team home the next day you are rained out, use the ones who have a good phone voice to call your clients. Yes……call your clients on the telephone! I call this the TELEQUALITY CALL. The fact is that by reaching out to your clients with a personal, scripted phone call, you can dig up all kinds of opportunities within your existing clients.


The fact is this. During the Spring, your clients are being bombarded with offers from the competition. In the last week, I have had six offers for landscape services dropped off at my home! Guess what? Your client’s are getting some of those same offers! Your client’s will catch Spring Fever! They want to improve their property every Spring! If you fail to increase the frequency of communication during the Spring, they may begin to think you don’t love them anymore!


Show Your Love & Appreciation!


A short, well written, phone script will transform your fieldworkers into customer service and marketing machines! I suggest using your field workers for this exercise for several reasons.


Your field workers may appreciate doing something a little different. They may appreciate working a few hours on a rainy day. They may enjoy getting to speak with clients without feeling they must be in a hurry to get on to the next job. They will always appreciate the chance to hear positive feedback from satisfied clients. They may learn that all the talking on the phone you do is not so easy! And……They want to help you grow your business! Really!


Here is a phone script specifically designed for a company providing lawn maintenance services. The words in italics are read by the caller. The words in bold type are notes to help train you and your team. Using a script will keep you on track. Using a script will keep consistency in your client communication efforts regardless of who is making the call. This script is designed to be used with your existing clients.


The Telequality Script!


Hello Mr./Mrs. _____________ (client name), this is ____________ (your name) from ______________ (company). This is a courtesy call.


We wanted to get your opinion of the work our team is doing in your yard. Are there any parts of your landscape that you are incredibly happy with right now? (opportunity to get positive feedback for team – take notes!)


Are there any parts of your landscape that you are a little disappointed in right now? (opportunity to get constructive feedback for team, find opportunities for enhancement projects, correct problems in a proactive way – take notes!)


Remember Mr./Mrs. ______________, this is the very best time of the year to install seasonal flowers (or inspect irrigation, or fertilize turf, or mulch or seed turf, or install sod, design a garden – whatever you are good at and they don’t buy from you).


We have reserved a place for you on our busy Spring schedule and would like to confirm the date with you. (We care about you. We are busy with work but we really care about you! We assume they will buy what we are selling.)


One last thing, we will always provide special visits when you ask for FREE.   So if you have a special event planned, call us and we will make sure your place is always looking the best! (Special scheduling don’t cost you lot, but has high perception of value from a customer service standpoint.)


Once again Mr./Mrs. ___________________ (client’s name), this is ______________ (your name). My number is ___________________ , once again that’s ______________________(repeat it two times).


On behalf of our entire Team, Thank You for Your Business! Let us know if we can help you with anything outdoors.


3 Lessons from 3 Recessions!


Increase your frequency of communication with those who already know you, trust you and spend money with you and they are likely to spend even more money with you! In my multi-million dollar firm, we began using this TELEQULITY SCRIPT to retain clients during the busy Spring season. We later evolved the script to include an offer for specialty add-on services. After a few seasons, we were selling 2000-3000 flats of flowers per season to our best clients over the phone. This generated $40,000 to $80,000 per year of very profitable add-on work! Amazing!


Here is the best part. When you work from a script, you or your team mates can simply leave the message on the voice mail and still accomplish your goal of increasing client retention, getting valuable feedback and selling more services at a very low cost.


Remember, this is only one strategy to keep your existing clients, sell them more services and do it at a very low cost with existing resources. If you would like to gain access to 36 additional strategies for growing your business with little or no money, check out “Growing Your Landscape Irrigation, Tree Service or Snow Removal Company“, my latest book written specifically for the professional landscape contractor.


You get the 152 page book, 7 audio CDs digitally recorded during a recent Michigan Green Industry Association training workshop. This is your complete instruction manual of how to market your company with little or no money and build a multi-million dollar landscaping firm.  Check out what top landscapers say about Tony’s material.


Learn how to grow your business from the comfort of your truck, home or computer equipped with a CD-ROM or DVD drive. Now is the perfect time to double your efforts to improve your sales! To order online, click here.




This article was written by Tony Bass, Founder and Inventor of the Super Lawn Truck system. You can learn more about Tony’s products by visiting www.superlawntrucks.com or http://www.tonybassconsulting.com/. You can contact Tony at 866-923-0027.



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