Editorial: Learn About and Understand Your Customers
By Daniel Pepper
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."
Bill Gates (1955- )
founder of Microsoft
Contrary to popular belief, your customers are not hard to figure out
and impossible to understand. This is a flat out lie.
Customers are something you can learn about and understand.
You should research your customers and find out all that you can
about them. Knowledge is power and it is also profits to you.
If you take enough time to sit down and think about your customer's
buying behaviors, you'll come up with creative ways to fill your
lawn care business with good, quality customers.
Noticed I said "good" customers. Those people who pay on time and
refer others to you.
IT'S UP TO YOU
It's up to you to get stirred up enough to step out and begin to study
your customers. From the moment they contact your business!
If it's their first time contacting you, find out where they saw your ad and
why they called. Go from there.
If it's not their first time contacting you, thank them for returning and find
out what compelled them to return.
THE MORE YOU KNOW -- THE BETTER
The more you know about your customers, the better it will be for your
business. The more prosperous and rich you will become.
Prepare to win. Knowing and understanding your customers is
preparing to win.
Start from when they first contact you and never stop learning.
If you've already been in business for awhile, start today. Don't
skip a beat. Start on your journey to understand your customers.
The more you know, the richer you will be because you will focus
on the areas that have been bringing in your customers. You will
leave the unprofitable avenues alone.
AN EXTRA PIECE OF MARKETING ADVICE...
Most lawn care business advertising is for the purpose of lead generation - having qualified prospects call or respond to your ad in the hopes of delivering a quote/estimate.
Well to do this effectively you need a good means of attraction. I really powerful reason to call you. Yes a FREE estimate works but here's what one savvy Florida lawn business owner does.
She offers a FREE ESTIMATE plus a free DVD that teaches home owners "Three secrets to having the greenest lawn on the block...your neighbors will be green with envy."
Cheesy you think?
Well not when you realize she does over 1000 (yes 1-0-0-0-) quotes each season and her lawn business makes her $250,000 a year!
Just some food for thought.
Ending The Excuses
By Daniel Pepper
Personal discipline is about as important to personal achievement as rocket fuel is to a rocket. Of course there will be moments when you will feel like someone poured molasses all over your life, but you'll always get out of that mess with some consistent and persistent disipline. Without it, you're destined to stay stuck in a rut.
The opposite of self discipline is procrastination. Discipline means you never throw in your towel. Procrastination usually means you never get started, although on the other side of the spectrum, the inability to finish something is also a form of procrastination.
Ask people why they make excuses and you'll often hear something like this, "I have to get this "just right". Everything has to be perfect before I can get down to business. Let me just shuffle and straighten out my business cards first, have to make sure there are no distractions, not too much noise, tidy up my desk, no telephone calls interrupting me, and of course I have to be feeling like working, too. I can't work when I don't feel like working." On the other end of making excuses you'll hear things like, "That's just not good enough just yet. It has to be perfect. I'm really not satisfied."
Do you see where I am going with this?
The root of making excuses could be (more likely than not) fear of failure. That's what perfectionism is all about really.
You're essentially paralyzed by fear. Afraid to make a mistake. You're stuck. You're still going nowhere. You're still overwhelmed by the responsibilities that are before you. It's an endless cycle of having your thougts dominated by a negative view of the road ahead. So in the end you convince yourself not to do anything.
Here's my recipe to end making excuses and procrastinating. I'll show you how to turn procrocrastination into self discipline. If you're brave enough to do what I suggest you consider, the process will be easier than you think. It involves two steps.
The first step comes from Henry Ford. He said no task is too big if you break it down into smaller jobs.
No matter what you're trying to do the simple key to achievement is your ability to break down the job into smaller more manageable tasks and then carry them out one by one. Concentrate on accomplishing what's sitting before you right now. Forget about what's off in the future.
Suppose I were to ask you if you could lose 52 pounds. If you're like the majority of folks, that would sound like an improbable job.
But what if I changed up my question. What if I asked you to lose 1 pound a week for one year? Do you find this smaller task more plausible? All I did was break down the 52 pounds into a weekly goal.
Trust me. If you keep this up for one year, you'll lose the weight. Discipline yourself to stay focused on the day at hand and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
The second step is to put thought to paper.
Writing is to goal setting as carbon is to steel. The writing you'll do in order to end making excuses is very similar. Instead of focusing down the road, you're now going to be writing about the present just as you experience it every day. Instead of describing the things you want to do or the places you want to go, you're going to describe what you actually do with your time, and you're going to keep a written record of the places you actually go in your life.
In other words, you're going to keep a journal. Write about your activities. If you're like me, you're going to be surprised by the wastes of times and distractions you encounter each and every day. All of these "things" get in the way of achieving your goals. The brilliant thing about keeping a journal is that it brings all this out in the open and lays it on the table for you to see. It forces you to face what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong.
Your journal doesn't have to be anything overboard. Just a little book you carry on your person at all times, making quick notes as you go through your day. A note every thirty minutes is best, and you drive yourself to create this daily habit for at least 7 days. 21 days is ideal.
Break it down. Write it down. These were the instructions from my mentor and I pass them onto you. These two steps are simple. Don't wait. Make the changes you need to make now. Put an end to making excuses and keep moving on the road to achieving your goals.
Until next time...