Maybe this has happened to you: You're out on your client's property, getting ready to do some work on her yard. Your client comes out to talk to you.
She points at her neighbor's bushes, "You know, I've always liked those. I think I want some right in front of my windows. Do you know what kind of bushes those are?"
You've seen those bushes all over town, and you've worked with them before. You know you should know what they're called, but you don't.
What do you do in this situation?
The way I see it, there are two easy ways out of this problem:
- Pretend you forgot the name. Tell her, "Oh, you know, I just worked on some yesterday, but I can't seem to remember their name."
- LEARN THE NAMES.
Mind Your Weeds and Yews
So you want to look good, right? You really want to impress your customers, correct?
Then you've got to do a little bit of learning. But with this technique, it shouldn't take you more than a day or two to familiarize yourself with the plants in your area.
If you've never heard of Pareto's Principle, you should get cozy with it; it could really change the way you think about your business. According to Pareto's Principle, there are a small number of elements that dominate your results.
What does this have to do with bushes and trees? It means that all you have to do is learn the top 5-10 plants in your area, and you'll be 80% more effective. That's it!
The next time you find yourself with some downtime, print out some pictures with the most common trees, weeds, bushes, and flowers in your area. If you think it will help, also check out the 10 most common plant diseases in your area.
Make a game out of flash cards. I know, it sounds like fifth grade, but flash cards are one of the best ways to learn visually. Give the cards to your teams, and grill them on it. Your whole company will be experts on local plant life before the end of the month.