The question is what is the best way to keep a customer that seems to want to let you go for price or because they’re wanting to do it themselves? Is there a certain thing that I could say to keep my clients as I do a fantastic job?
I’m 20 years old and I live in Australia, I own my business and it seems to be … and there seemed to be a lot of clients that do not like a young guy maintaining their properties.
I wouldn’t … my first impression would be that there are a lot of people that would be bothered by having a younger person maintain their property. I supposed I could be wrong on that. I think there could be a perception that if you’re younger, you may not be unprofessional. I mean clearly, you have advantages as you build a bigger business because there’s a perception of … well, because you have a lot of trucks, you do … people see you … I wouldn’t call it building a brand, but you’re sort of in a way building a little bit of a brand, there’s at least maybe a little bit of brand recognition.
There’s probably a perception that you’re more professional and therefore you’ll show up and that you have insurance and things of that sort. You do probably battler a few challenges there.
At 20 years old though, you can start to put in place the elements within the business that make you look like a bigger business and make you look like a professional business. I totally think that can be overcome. I don’t see that one to be such a problem, just make … so if that’s a concern to you, make sure you’re looking at this from your client’s perspective and what are they seeing. Are they seeing a very professional … a very professional website? Are they seeing professional trucks? Do you handle yourself very professionally? Do you dress in clean clothes when you’re dealing with the clients? Are your invoices professional? Is everything that you’re doing look like a more professional established business? You don’t have to fake it and go over the top but does everything you’re doing in communicating and the way you speak look professional? I don’t think 20 years old is problem for you if you’re doing those thing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 40 or 60. If you’re not doing those things, you’re going to have all the same problems and I’m not insinuating that you’re making mistake any of those areas, but it’s definitely something to think about.
Generally, when you’re 20 years old and you’re learning business and you’re kind of bootstrapping your business, you probably are doing something a little different than you will be doing in 5 years when the business matures a bit more. Just think about it from the client’s perspective and think about the other companies that they hire, what are they doing that the client might appreciate? Make sure you’re mimicking those things.
If a client wants to cancel and do it themselves, if there’s a money issue, it’s very difficult to overcome that. If they simply do not have the money, you’re going to have a very hard time overcoming that. If they want to maintain it themselves because something in their life has changed, they have a kid at home, that they want to teach now how to be responsible or they have a kid that wants to do the lawn to earn some extra money or maybe it’s something that they enjoy and there was a period in time when they traveled a lot for work and now they’re not traveling as much and they can take the mowing or mean it’s over, well that’s very hard to overcome.
More often than not, what you’ll see with a lot of individuals like that is that they might let you go because something has changed in their life or they think they would like to mow or they think they’d like to maintain the property or trim the shrubs and then when it starts to get hot, that motivation slips or the kid, the child and their … the kid and their family that was going to mow the lawn, he starts to fizzle out, it’s not happening. Of course you can try and should try to keep the work and you should try to get to the root cause of exactly why they’re cancelling, because a lot of home owners do not give the real reason why they’re canceling.
The other side of that is that once you get to the root cause, if it makes sense and they are cancelling for good reason, as I eluded to a lot, will eventually no longer want to mow the lawn. The child, the kid, the teenager and the family mowing the lawn will as I said fizzle out and so you, once you lose the client need to stay on top of the client, somehow stay in front of them. If that’s e-mail marketing or every week or every 2 weeks or once a month, I’d probably say at least every 2 weeks minimum, you’re somehow in front of that client and I won’t go into details on what you can do, but just you’re staying in front of them, you’re … maybe you’re mailing to them periodically.
If you’re in front of them, when something in their life changes again and they’re ready to hire a service again, you want to be the first one that they thing of and they come back to you.
In some cases you can’t keep them but you can put yourself in the position to get them back later.