Consumer Lessons Learned from a Lawn Care Salesman

March 14, 2008

Do you hang up on telemarketers? Why waste your time, right?  I feel the same way but last night was different.

The phone interrupted our evening, “don’t answer it”, my wife said. “It’s that lawn care salesman calling back”.  Thirty minutes later, the phone rings again and I pick it up, thinking it might be important but quietly hoping its the salesman.

“What’s this guy going to offer”, I wondered.  Whatever it is, I’m not buying but I just want to hear his spiel.  Sure enough, he was calling to sell me lawn service and he launched right into his sales pitch. I didn’t ask questions or show interest, I simply said yes at the appropriate moments and took notes as talked.  Here’s the selling tactics I observed:

We’re Professionals, We’re Special

“You know the EPA won’t let consumer apply the same stuff as the pros, what you put down from Home Depot will only green it up but it won’t build up your lawn”.

My yard needs something I can’t give it. I need him to give my yard special treatment.

The Industry Sucks, But We’re Different

“The whole lawn care industry will sell you stuff to green up your grass and make it grow faster. You can do it yourself if you’d like but you’ll just green it up and grow more weeds.”

It’s a conspiracy, everyone’s in on it, EXCEPT him : )

The Special Sauce

“Anyone can make your yard green but we build up your root system for a healthier lawn.”

Perfect, he’s better than everyone else but I can’t see the root results, I’ll just have to take his word for it.

Here’s the point where I give my first thanks but no thanks.  I say he definitely knows a lot about grass but I’m not in the market for a lawn service.  I don’t tell him this but come on buddy, it’s just fescue.  There’s a lot more important things going on in my life right now than blades of grass.

The Fear Tactic

“Do you know how much a good lawn will raise the resale value of your house? It’ll bring it up 3-5%, bare minimum.”

If I don’t hire him tonight, I’ll get thousands of dollars less for our home when we sell it someday.

Tell a Story Tactic

I didn’t capture the whole story but his grandfather told his day 40 years there are two things that sell a house, the front yard and the front door.  His dad is a “dingbat”, he didn’t listen to his grandfather and couldn’t sell the house. 

So he makes the product more personal, it really does work, his dad didn’t listen and paid the price.

Experience Tactic

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years.”

I politely say no again and he turns up the sales pitch.

  • You don’t have to start out with the full 7 steps
  • What I want for your lawn is to put you on 5 step program
  • Save money on grub control, weed & feed, and grass seed
  • We’ll get rid of your grubs, guaranteed!

He’s pressing the right buttons, I can save money and don’t have to commit to a whole year. I’m not interested but he makes it seem like a good deal, if I was remotely interested he might have swayed me there. I thank him for his time, say I’ve learned something but I’m not interested.  Somehow I knew that wouldn’t be the end of it.

Free Trial Tactic

“Let me work with you, I’ll show you results.  What you’re spending your money on right now won’t work.  I’ll give you the first treatment free if you just try it.”

I’m starting to feel a little squirming from him.  He senses my disinterest and wants to close a sale so he starts throwing in free trials.  I probably could have talked him into an additional deal but I was starting to get irritated.  Again I come back with “no thanks” and he decides to give it one last try.

Guilt Tactic

“So you’re not looking to improve your lawn huh?  What you just don’t care about it?”

Now he’s really getting under my skin. Like a good sales person he won’t take no for an answer. Of course I have no intention of buying and don’t want to waste anymore time.  I brush off his next appeal of “just let Let me do the first two applications and you can see how it goes”.  He finally gets the picture. Now that he sees I’m a dead lead he’s off the phone in seconds, surely off dialing someone else who hopefully cares a little more about their blades of grass.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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3 Responses to Consumer Lessons Learned from a Lawn Care Salesman

  • Joel Brown

    I am starting a new job as a lawn care salesman at the beginning of the new year. I can’t say what company for but I would just like some feedback on how to sell this type of product…


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