I love interacting with clients. In an average year we will meet with over 200 potential clients, many of which turn into actual clients and join the ITM family.
I have seen just about every personality type, every property type and listened to requests for projects ranging from super simple to very complex.
Since this blog post could be 50 pages if I talked about every client type I have ever met, I've decided to stay out of the weeds and keep it to the top 10 I encounter most frequently.
You meet the landscape management crew in the driveway before they can even get out of the truck with a list of special requests, in addition to walking them around your yard for 30 minutes!
This client is generally very nice and respectful...but can cost a landscape company a lot of money! If the crew only has 30 minutes allocated to perform your landscape management visit (because that's literally only how long it should take when they are left alone) but you just tied them up for 30 minutes before they even began...then abracadabra...WE just paid YOU to make your landscape pretty.
DO NOT be this client or you will see your rates rise to compensate for the extra time. Taking 3-5 minutes to show the crew leader something is a different story and is to be expected sometimes.
If you have special requests, tasks or questions, follow the process and call the office where your request can be handled in an efficient manner. Otherwise, you may be better off to hire a one man show with a truck and a trailer who has no overhead, no employees and no insurance.
You have an idea of what you want. You have researched ITM and know we will be the best fit for you or you have been referred by another ITM client.
Your project falls into our scope of work and you are frank with us about your investment range and timeframe for the project to be completed. We provide you with a detailed proposal and project specifications. You sign off on the project, reserve your spot in the schedule.
Work is completed, everyone is happy and you call us year after year for more projects.
You have waited until the l.a.s.t. minute to get your project done and now you want it done...like yesterday.
We tell you how far booked out we are and you get mad as if it's our fault. We never hear from you again.
You are the Perfect Client on your second project. You know what to expect. You know the quality and service you will receive. We love you Repeat Client!
You think landscaping is like buying a car! You want everything you want...but expect me to cut my prices.
The cost of your project is not artificially inflated so we can then cut our prices to make you feel good. This may be the case with some other companies and industries but not here at ITM.
It costs a set amount of money to operate our business and we know it down to the minute. We can pretty much work with any budget, but changes to your scope of work must be made to reduce costs.
Click HERE for another great posts about budgets.
You are worried about basically everything! You have 3-5 questions every week about your landscape that we have no problem answering. Following the channels of communication in this situation is key to getting your concerns addressed as fast as possible. Random texts or voicemails directly to the owner or foreman are likely to get lost. Always start by calling the office.
You are the Concerned Client that has forgotten the channels of communication. Remember, I get hundreds of texts and phone calls a day from employees, vendors, etc..all while trying to work on proposals, draw plans, lay out job sites, coordinate delivers, schedule and plan jobs, the list goes on and on and on.....
Chances are that your text will get lost or fogotten in the day to day operations. HOWEVER, if you follow the channels and call the office or go to the website and fill out a client inquiry form, we will get back to you faster.
You want your landscape to be nice. You pretty much leave it all up to us to decide what to do. You give us a budget and we use our two decades of experience and knowledge to create you a beautiful landscape or patio that maximized the value of your hard earned money.
You are free flowing and do not worry or hover over us. You, the Perfect Client and the Repeat Client are cousins!
You are a hands on type of person. It pains you to pay for landscape or hardscape services because you think you already know how to do it.
You say things like "I would do it but I don't have time" and you frequently give us pointers. You also have a tendency to question every line of your detailed, written proposal and tell us how we should it. When the project begins...you take time off work so you can "oversee" the project the e.n.t.i.r.e. time.
This client doesn't remain part of the ITM family for very long.
They are nice to me at the consultation but when one of our crews arrives they merge with "you really need a yard boy" client. They meet the guys at the truck or call them to their porch. Have a list a mile long of things for them to do and speak to them as if they are second class citizens. If something isn't they way they think it should be they curse at them and call them names.
Our guys extremely dislike going to these properties and beg us to fire you. Generally, we do.
TRUE STORY: One time a client told one of our employees "this project probably costs more than your entire salary!"
I DO NOT tolerate this type of disrespect to our employees. Our guys work very hard in extreme conditions and never, ever deserve to be disrespected.
In the end we LOVE all of our clients, their different personalities and ways of approaching how they hire a landscape and hardscape contractor. So if you are thinking about hiring a contractor, read this and determine which type of client you are! More than likely you are a combination of 2 or 3 from this list and we will have a blast working with you.
Until next time, get outside and create a plan of action for your landscape.