This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The GIE EXPO 2013 PLANET Green Industry Conference Wrap Up

Lawn Care Marketing Expert and the CEO of Service Autopilot, Lawn Care Millionaire recap their educational talks and highlights from GIE+EXPO 2013 & PLANET Green Industry Conference. Included are some key takeaways from their talks How to Build a Marketing Plan that Grows with Your Lawn Care Business & Ten Ways Significant Money Is Slipping Out Your Back Door and You Don’t Even Realize It!


Andrew:           Hi everybody. Andrew here with Lawn Care Marketing Expert and I am here with, you guessed it, Lawn Care Millionaire AKA the CEO of Service Autopilot and we are here in Louisville, Kentucky and is that right?

Jonathan:         Yeah.

Andrew:           Is that where we’re at?

Jonathan:         Yeah. We had to reshoot the whole video because he can’t get Louisville right. Its always Louisville.

Andrew:           So we we’re here in Louisville, Kentucky and-

Jonathan:         You just freaking did it. Louisville.

Andrew:           We’re here in Louisville … Louisville, Kentucky.

Jonathan:         God.

Andrew:           We’re here in Louisville, Kentucky at GIE EXPO 2013 in the Planet Green Industry conference. Two events happening at the same time.

Jonathan:         Yup.

Andrew:           It’s the biggest trade show in the US. Probably the world for the Green Industry.

Jonathan:         Sure.

Andrew:           Sure.

Jonathan:         In the US, yeah.

Andrew:           In the US, okay. It’s 1 of the best events to go to, hands down. I love coming every year and why don’t we … we’ve been super busy. It ended today so it’s what, 1:00 in the morning the bar behind us is about to close so this is of our first chance to catch up. Why don’t we talk about highlights?

Jonathan:         Yeah.

Andrew:           What were your highlights for this week?

Jonathan:         It’s been pretty awesome. We flew in Tuesday.  Several people from our team flew in with me and Andrew flew in from Miami but like he said, we haven’t really seen much of each other because it’s been crazy busy for us. We’ve been-

Andrew:           Is your first year with us here in Service Autopilot booth?

Jonathan:         Yeah. The exhibit. First year in exhibit so it just pack with leads and clients. It’s been ridiculous that have come to the booth but the highlight would be getting together with clients and prospective clients about it’s coming … again, during the day, it’s awesome. I met a ton of people after I spoke on Thursday but beginning to gather like last time, we took 15 guys out to dinner. Every night was that kind of thing and hearing about the guys are doing really good. The guys are making things happen, the successes they’re having in getting to connect and them face to face.

Here what they’re doing is smart being able to talk about maybe I’m doing that’s smart and the interaction I mean just really … that’s the highlight. That’s the stuff I love. This is all worth but at the end of the day, it’s all fun too.

Andrew:           For me, actually the highlights is definitely for me was meeting clients face to face for the first time. I mean I met clients either we’ve had for almost 2 years and it’s the first time that I’ve seen them face to face even though that we talk in the phone every month. I mean that’s powerful.

For me, I take that seriously especially when you see your client face to face and they tell you what an impact that the work that you and your team have done in their business. That means a lot to me. I take that very seriously and I love sharing. I love talking about marketing. You love talking about marketing. I love talking [shop 00:03:09]. I love getting together with a group of other entrepreneurs who are really ambitious and invigorated and they’re determined to grow their businesses and make them as successful as possible and they’re not going to stop until they reach it.

I really enjoy that but beyond just meeting clients-

Jonathan:         I can say 1 of the funny things that keeps happening to me here and it happened last year as well is there’s a ton of people that have seen me on video whether it’s through Service Autopilot or Lawn Care Millionaire so I’ll be standing somewhere, somebody will walk up and go like, “Hey, Jonathan.” They’ll start talking to me and I’m trying to acquaint myself with like, “Dude, have we met? Do I know you?”

They see me but I’ve never been seen them and I don’t … anyway, it’s a weird thing. I’m like looking for name tags trying to figure out, “Okay, who is this?” Then, of course, when I see the name I know but I’ve never seen them but they feel like they that we know each other because they’ve seen me on video or they’ve listened to me talk to Service Autopilot so many times. That’s cool.

Andrew:           Yeah. That happened to me a number of times which is weird. In fact, I was also talking about my highlights and 1 of the things that were my highlights were an event [inaudible 00:04:20] does call Breakfast of Champions.  It’s where we … they do a breakfast with hundreds of people. The room is huge. Basically, there’s 10 industry vets at your table. Everybody has lawn care business or worked in the industry and you’re all having breakfast together and talking about people coming up to you and saying, “Hey, how are you doing?”

One of the guys at my table was a guy that’s been following me on Lawn Care Millionaire for 2 years.

Jonathan:         He’s been following you on my stuff?

Andrew:           No. I’m sorry. Lawn Care Marketing [inaudible 00:04:53]-

Jonathan:         You’re always creeping into my stuff.

Andrew:           I’ve been so … things have been so hectic this week that I don’t even know where I am in any more. Where are we in, Louisville?

Jonathan:         Sure.

Andrew:           Or Louisville?

Jonathan:         Whatever.

Andrew:           Whatever. Anyway, 1 of the gentlemen at my table this morning was Rob from OHS Turf. He’s been following Lawn Care Marketing Expert for ages and we’ve been exchanging emails back and forth. We’ve been talking on the phone and I have never seen his face. He sat down on my table, “How are you doing Andrew?” And I’ve never seen the guy so I’m standing there I feel like, “Hi, how are you doing?” Fortunately, he stands up to shake my hands and I see his name tag and, “Oh Rob. I remember your company and I’m remember talking to you 2 times.”

I mean that’s …

Jonathan:         That’s awesome.

Andrew:           … it’s weird for me that people come up and say … they know me by name and I feel like I’m going crazy because-

Jonathan:         I always feel bad because like … yeah.

Andrew:           I’m not the best with faces. I don’t know if I’m losing my mind and I’ve met this person before and I just can’t remember. Rob, hi. Thank you for joining the table, fantastic to meet you face to face and continue on with breakfast of champions. This is the event that I love every year and it starts around 7:00 in the morning and it’s literally you’re having breakfast with all of the industry vet and you’re at tables with about 10 people and every year that I’ve done it including this year, I always host the table.

This year, I hosted table about word of mouth marketing this morning and then yesterday morning, I hosted a table about how to stop competing on price and I got to tell you man, every day, I had just the table full of great people and my role there is to be the host, to keep everybody talking, make sure everybody is having the change to get input because everybody has good ideas. Everybody has a different perspective and that was the case.

Everybody at my table was fantastic. Today, we talked about word of mouth marketing. Not everybody had a referral program or word of mouth marketing program so some people where there to learn and get new ideas. Actually, we were all there to learn and get new ideas and even I did as the host. I had some new ideas, some stuff that I forgot about that needs to happen during the word of mouth marketing and 1 of the gentlemen, the gentlemen sitting to the left of me, he mentioned that’s what he was doing.

A great event and if you ever come to GIE Expo, pay the 75 bucks or whatever it is to do the breakfast. Get up early. Go do the breakfast. Go to a table with some of the industry vets.  You will learn something.

Jonathan:         I would highly encourage you and maybe we’ll talk about this just a little bit but I would highly encourage you to get involved in this stuff and a couple of points around this are the life of an entrepreneur is an up and down. It’s a roller coaster. One day you sell a bunch of work, things go good, you’re on top of the world, you’re going to be a $10 million company because we’re kicking ass. We’re doing good and then the next day, 1 of your guys does something. Something bad happens, something falls apart and you’re at the bottom of … you feel terrible and you’re beat down. Any other business would be a better business and you’re done.

It’s a roller coaster and it gets better the bigger … to some degree, it might get better the bigger you get. I think it does if you’ve got your ducks in a row but at the same time, it continues to be a rollercoaster some days when you’re pushing hard pushing through. This kind of stuff coming here and meet other guys that are going through the same stuff you’re going through, coming here and meeting guys that have broken through the level you’re hoping to breakthrough. Beaten guys that are behind you that you can give some advice to and help them. All these other things, these are the things that get you excited and get you pumping, gets you to go back home and say, “You know what, I’ve got these problems in my business. I’m going to fight through these things because I know on the other side we’re [inaudible 00:08:53].”

Andrew:           I’ll have another Glenlivet, please.

Jonathan:         [77 00:08:59]. Thank you. Anyway. It’s a big deal. I mean I really would encourage you to invest the money, come out here and do this because it’s 1 of those things that-

Andrew:           It’s completely worth it.

Jonathan:         I think I got to make another point is 1 of those things where you’ll go away with great stuff and you’ll see all kinds of cool equipment, you’ll meet all kinds of cool people, lots of great things what happened and you may go away with all these ideas but also some stuff is going to back to a year or 2 further than the road. You’re going to reach some new point in your business and some of the things that you saw or witnessed or- [crosstalk 00:09:34] Yeah. Years in the back.

Andrew:           Suddenly, it get to resonate.

Jonathan:         Now it suddenly mean something to you because now you’re a new point of business. Get involved in stuff like this if you’re serious about your career. The money you spent here, it’s nothing. I mean you’re going to spend a little money to travel here, a little money [inaudible 00:09:48] but it’s nothing in the broad scheme of things. I think so. I just really encourage you for you to do it. Get involved.

Andrew:           I absolutely agree. Everybody should be a plan member. I’m a big fan. I’m a consultant to the organization and to add to what you’re saying about the entrepreneurial life and the struggle of an entrepreneur is I described being and entrepreneur as working in a cave alone and-

Jonathan:         No go.

Andrew:           I describe being an entrepreneur working-

Jonathan:         It is, yeah.

Andrew:           Because most entrepreneurs don’t have friends or support group.

Jonathan:         You don’t really have any friends, do you?

Andrew:           That’s a different topic. That have friends that can relate to being an entrepreneur, to having employees, to feeding their employee’s families. That’s a big responsibility.

Jonathan:         There’s a tremendous amount of pressure.

Andrew:           That’s something that most people don’t have friends that are also entrepreneurs. One of the things that is great about coming into Planet and this is something that I talked about in my talk today, everybody who comes here, you’re goal should be a network, meet people, make friends, make friends of people who are in your service area that are in different states, different markets, become friends. Network with them, talk to them on a regular basis and exchange ideas. Have a mastermind. Have a peer group. You can talk to them on a regular basis. I do that in my own market, for marketing.

I meet with the group of marketers of every single week. There are some of the best guys in the world. We talk and exchange ideas every single week and it’s 1 of the reasons that my business has been successful and it will change yours as well. I really, really encourage you to do that.

Jonathan:         Yeah and I love the saying I learned a long time ago. It’s like you will become the 5 people you hang around …

Andrew:           Very true. Jim Roone.

Jonathan:         Jim Roone, okay.  Jim Roone’s. For those who don’t know anybody that likes Tony Robins like Tony Robins was made because of Jim Roone for whatever Jim Roone was kind of 1 of the original guys-

Andrew:           Motivational speakers.

Jonathan:         I really do like Jim and so anyway, he’s passed away at this point but he had … I forgot that was his saying but this is true in business, in getting to a certain level. This is true in the money that you will eventually have. This is true in terms of the good or bad decisions that you make in your life like just outside of businesses. This is true in terms of if you’re in shape or not, if your friends aren’t in shape, then you’re probably not in shape. It’s just you think about that application of that concept throughout your entire life, coming to this stuff lets you meet guys that maybe at the level you want to go to and you surround yourself within them, that’s critical is you want to get there.

Andrew:           Yeah and it’s the biggest shortcut that you can possibly have.

Jonathan:         Spending the money to get an education, spending the money to network, spending the money to come, be surrounded by the guys that are doing it, it’s the fastest shortcut out there.

Andrew:           Having a mentor who’s already done what you’re trying to do.

Jonathan:         Yeah. Absolutely. No doubt about it.

Andrew:           Also, 1 of my highlights was you gave a talk to a room literally pack out the doors. Every seat was full. People standing in the back of the room, people standing outside the doors with the doors is open, the room was packed.

Jonathan:         Yeah.

Andrew:           Jonathan spoke about … if you would give us a highlight, Jonathan spoke about something that I really like to talk about in marketing and that’s patching leaks, capturing the money that you’re losing that you might not know about. Why don’t … you share with them a little bit about what you spoke about and maybe something that they could take away.

Jonathan:         It was an hour and 15 minute talk so there’s no way I can do a justice here but the concept is 1 that I don’t hear actually a lot of people talk about it. Do you hear a lot of people talk about what I talked about? I mean there’s-

Andrew:           I mean-

Jonathan:         There are some but it’s … I mean people talk about it but I just don’t hear … I don’t hear a lot of talk about it and I think it’s very important.

Andrew:           I’ve never heard anybody talk about this for the 4 key components in Lawn Care landscaping business-

Jonathan:         Thank you very much.

Andrew:           They usually focus on 1 topic.

Jonathan:         Yeah. The premise of it is I’m going to give you … well boy, there were so many layers to the discussion but the-

Andrew:           Could you hand me my drink?

Jonathan:         Yes. The basic idea was that the talk was about how to make a lot more money than you’re making today and exactly how to do it. There’s a lot of layers to that and 1 layer is when you talk about making a lot more money than you make today, that’s your take home payroll check but if you’re the owner of the company then that’s also for in every amount, for every dollar of profit that you add to your bottom line someday, when you sell this company, there’s a multiple, a number that would be multiplied against your profits that will determine what you sell your company for.

The talk was about how to make a lot more money and it’s 2-fold. Making a bigger paycheck. Number 2, creating wealth inside your business of a company of a greater value that can be sold down the road and I talked about the components of how you do that. If you want to make a lot more money, you got to solve the holes in your business, the leaks in your business and I gave you analogy to open the talk of a boat. You’re sitting out in the middle of a pond. It’s got 7 inches of water in it and the water is not bubbling. Nothing is happening but you can see it’s filling, gee, and you don’t know where all the leaks are but you know they’re there.

As a business owner, you’ll be [inaudible 00:15:26] by all the stuff you got to do for marketing, an employee problems and we need to grow in this area. We need to buy a new truck over here and you’ve got all this little invisible leaks. It’s like going to great detail about that. I talk about the 4 main things you’re responsible for that as an owner when you chose to be in business, you were charged with 4 main responsibilities and in order of importance, marketing, your people, the technology implement and cash flowing.

They’re also interconnected. If you break apart 1 of them or breakdown 1 or completely fail in 1, it can make the whole company be a mess or something that you don’t enjoy that you don’t want to remain within. That was the topic but I think if I could make 1 point out of the whole topic and it’s a bigger concept, it’s this concept of invisible money and I think this is ridiculously important and this is the 1 I don’t hear a lot of people talk about so I’ve had this thought in my mind for a long time and the best way I know to describe it is there is this invisible money floating all around you like everywhere.

In the talk I gave, the analogy of the guy back his truck up to your office, gets out, pulls down the tailgate and there’s just bags of cash in the bed of his truck and he’s knocking on your backdoor, you don’t answer that. He’s pounding on your backdoor, you don’t answer. He pulls out the [inaudible 00:16:45], he calls you, you guys don’t even answer the phone of the company, puts the phone back in his pocket, closes the tailgate, drives away and he drove away all the money that was yours. It should have been yours and it was opportunity. It was a new prospect that wanted to do business with you but you didn’t answer the phone. It was an employee that lost you a customer today that was worth 10,000 over the next 3 years because you didn’t train them to do something.

It was the 4 jobs that customers asked their crews to do today out in the field that they never bother to communicate back to the office and you never got that money and you’re not mad. You’re not happy. You’re not disappointed. You don’t feel upset when you go home. You don’t feel flustered because you didn’t know that you lost all that money. Just because you don’t know you lost it, it doesn’t mean you didn’t lose it.

When you’re cheap on your technology, when you’re cheap on your marketing, when you’re mismanage your cash flow, all these bad stuffs happening to you, you’re dissatisfied with the business, you’re frustrated but you don’t blame it on the out … you don’t blame it on all these things that are going on because you don’t know. You don’t know they’re happening because you’re not paying attention to them because you’re consumed during this boat that’s sinking and it’s just invisible money that is worth hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars to us and our job as owners and we owe it to the people that we hire so we can build great companies. We’re just letting this money float right on by us to our competitors that are on top of their game.

If I could maybe give 1 more analogy and I think if I live in the world of technology and I think about, you know, the guy that goes out he says, you know what, he looks at software and there’s a $300 solution, there’s a $1000 solution, there’s a $10,000 solution. He’s like, “Oh my gosh, 10,000. You guys are insane. I’m not buying your stuff. There’s a $1000 solutions but there’s a $300 solution.”

You think about just the dollars and sense of the expenditure but you don’t do all the … and say don’t do, you, as you as but all of us are guilty of this. I’m talking to me. I’m talking to Andrew. We’re all guilty of this stuff and we may not be guilty of it in marketing but the guy that is not guilty in marketing is probably guilty of it with how he treats his people or trains his people. The guy that’s on top of that, he’s probably guilty of marketing. We’ve all got our thing that we’re dropping the ball on.

Back to the software analogy that you look and say, “300 bucks.” It looks pretty good compared to the other solutions but you don’t do the deep analysis and say, “Wait a second, this solution can do the little things that when I save” and like I gave the analogy for a larger company that if you save 10 minutes a day per man in your company, it equates to 40 or $60,000 in saved payroll.

A piece of software than can save you 10 minutes a day will save you 40 to $60,000 a year. Now, you take that exact same 10 minutes and I’m now in my role here, preaching but you save the 10 minutes and you just saved and you make it billable like you performed work like 40 of man hour, that generates a $120,000 a man a year. You take the 120,000 plus the 40 or 60. Let’s go with 40, that’s a $160,000, saving 10 minutes a day per man and that’s for a bigger company. If you’re a smaller company, cut that in half. Cut in a quarter. It’s still real money.

Andrew:           It’s still real, yeah.

Jonathan:         If the $300 package can’t do it and the $1000 package can’t do it but the $10,000 solution could, would you pay $10,000 to make a 160,000 a year but how few of us think about the 160,000 but nobody does. They think about the 10,000. They’re like, “10,000 that’s insane.” They missed all the invisible money that’s floating around. Then, they buy the $300 package and they’re not pissed because they don’t know they are losing $160,000 a year and they don’t understand why. This awesome guy the down the streets running a $3 million company and why the guy – the other guys where in the $20 million company, he just cashed out and they’re like it’s so like there’s low ballers in my market.

“It’s unfair and it doesn’t really work that way in the industry. This is a bad industry. Some of the industry is better,” but no. Those dudes are doing everything different and they’re thinking different. They’re acting different. They’re living different and they get different results.

Then those that chose to think about the way life and business works in different way that happened to be wrong, they get crappy results and that’s why and anyway I got on a [inaudible 00:21:07] there but and that was just the tiny piece of my talk but man, I think when you get that, it’s life changing. You change your business … I have this saying you change your business, you change life. When you get this stuff, man, it changes everything.

Andrew:           The ironic thing here is that we both came to this event not knowing what the other person was talking about-

Jonathan:         That’s true.

Andrew:           One of the core concepts in the middle of my talk which is all about marketing was also highlighting the money that you’re losing-

Jonathan:         I thought that you were just copying me after hearing my talk.

Andrew:           Is the money that you’re losing because you make the wrong marketing decisions that you chose a free or cheap solution versus actually investing in something that will generate revenue and the example that I used is a website. Everybody needs a website but this example of wise to pay per click to SEO to anything that you think you should do yourself or your buddy or your brother-in-law can do. The example I gave is somebody having their brother-in-law do their website for free versus investing in a professional website. The difference that it can make in revenue having somebody a professional do it that knows how to design a website that converts visitors to customers. That generates revenue and how important that is.

Has it direct impact on how much revenue that you can generate from your website but all that you can see oftentimes as a business owner is how much it costs at the beginning, you know, a professional website. What is it? A $3000, $4000, $5000? That’s all that most business owners can see is that barrier to entry.

Jonathan:         That’s the invisible dollars where you got to look at the return of investment and if you don’t think about the return on investment, those dollars are just as real as it when a customer hires you and says I’m going to pay you 10,000 bucks to do something. When you implement something like a website or SCO, whatever money you’re going to get, that is exactly as real as all the other money they’re going to pay you and you got to value it. Think about exactly the same way.

Andrew:           Yeah. That’s exactly right. The other thing that I’m saying in my talk is that you need to realize as a business owner, you don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t pull out my quote that I love but I’m going to tell you now. One of my favorite quotes is from Donald Rumsfeld and I’ve told you this before.

Jonathan:         Your hero.

Andrew:           Yeah my hero Donald Rumsfeld. One of his quotes is “There are no knowns-“

Jonathan:         You are always quoting.

Andrew:           Because it’s such a great hilarious quote but it’s true. His quote is “There are no knowns.” I’m going to be able to get through this [crosstalk 00:23:51]. Donald Rumsfeld, my friend, my buddy, Donald Rumsfeld says, “There are no knowns and there are known unknowns and there are also unknown unknowns.” That is to say that there are things that we know that we know and there are also things that we don’t know that we know. I totally messed it. I’ve never misquoted this quote. I’ve had it memorized for years. This is the first time I misquoted.

Donald Rumsfeld says, “There are no knowns and there are known unknowns and there are also unknown unknowns.” That is to say that there are things that we know that we know and there are things that we know that we don’t know but there are also things that we don’t know that we don’t know. It sounds funny and he’s funny but it’s true. As a business owner, you need to recognize that if you’re making decisions about your marketing, you need to realize that you probably don’t know everything about marketing.

Certainly, if you’re hiring somebody to do a website for 500 bucks or having your brother-in-law do it because he has a computer, he doesn’t know everything that he needs to know to build a website that converts visitors to customers. Take it. If you don’t believe me, take it from Donald Rumsfeld. He is a great marketer.

Jonathan:         I’m not going to put that quote on the back of our [inaudible 00:25:22]. We’ve been looking for some good quotes.

Andrew:           I love that quote. I heard it. He said it 10 years ago.

Jonathan:         It’s still true.

Andrew:           I memorized it. When I first [inaudible 00:25:35], “Oh that’s brilliant and hilarious but true.” That’s my bit of advice. I also gave a talk. I gave a talk. His talk was an hour and 15 minutes. My mine was an hour and 30 minutes. That should tell you a little bit about the quality.

Jonathan:         No. Not really. You really need another hour.

Andrew:           That’s true. It was so good and people were so engrossed that they asked for an encore but my throat got irritated and I had to cut it short unfortunately. I spoke about … that’s 1 of the topics I spoke about. Make a-

Jonathan:         Hey, gave your … 1 of the very best parts of your talk tell the story of Thailand. That’s 1 of the really, really great parts.

Andrew:           If you’ve been watching my vides for any length of time, you know that I try and shoot a video whenever I travel somewhere. I’m always working no matter where I’m at. I love to travel. It’s my favorite thing to do. One of the things I notice on my last trip to Thailand which is 1 of my favorite places to go.

Jonathan:         Do we have Bangkok?

Andrew:           In Bangkok, outside of the Grand Palace in Bangkok which is this huge complex surrounded by the palace wall. Every morning around dawn, the Thai street vendors will come out. They’ll lay out their carpets and they’ll put on their carpets all the wares that they’re selling to the tourists. Oftentimes, it’s called [inaudible 00:27:12]. Other carpets have everything from pocket knives to weird things like nail clippers and it will be a carpet full of 1 thing that they’re selling.

That wasn’t the interesting thing. The interesting thing is that the Thai street vendors would line up selling the same merchandise right next to each other.

Jonathan:         Yeah. On your slide, it look like 8 or 10 of these guys that look identical. I mean you couldn’t tell any difference between them just lined up down the street.

Andrew:           Exactly right. So you’d have 8 vendors all selling the same thing. What happen is I watch the tourists come up. They would start with 1 street vendor, pick up a gold Buddha, asking how much it is. He would type it into his calculator. It’s this much Thai baht and the tourist would shake their head, “No. That’s too expensive.” He’d walk to the next guy 2 feet over, pick up the same Thai Buddha, asked how much it is. The vendor would type in the cheaper price in Thai baht. The tourist would shake his head, “No. That’s still too expensive.”

Go to the third vendor, same scenario, picks up the same gold Buddha, asks the vendor how much it is and this time, the vendor types in the lowest price of all. The tourist shakes his head, “Okay. I’ll buy it.” That Thai street vendor eats out the tiniest of profit margins.” I say this story because that’s how most consumers see lawn care landscaping companies. They don’t see any difference between what you’re offering and the next guy. That is a big problem. That’s why everybody thinks that they’re competing on price and that price is the number 1 factor.

The fact is that when the only thing when you look the same, when you sound the same, when your actions are the same as everybody else in your market, the only differentiating factor left is your price. That’s what most lawn care and landscaping companies are stock with. The point that I come across in my talk is you’ve got to get really good at answering the question why should somebody buy from you versus anybody else in your market. The thing that you need to understand is that answer to the question comes in the form of everything you say, how you look and what you do, your actions leading up to a sale. That’s how you answer the question. It’s not just putting on your fire we’re the best. It’s demonstrating that.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about proving your value, providing evidence to your prospective customers and that they’re going to get exactly what they want for their money and they’re also going to get more than anybody else in the market is providing. I gave a number of examples on how you can do that.

Jonathan:         I might give one of your examples really quick it’s something you talked and I thought it was another powerful example. One thing I would add to and you maybe even mentioned it but 1 thing is you need to get outside of your company and try to see how your clients might see you and then how they see you as compared to your competition. You gave this nice example of postcards, I was going that direction, that one. If you were, for example, get door hangers on, you receive door hangers on your door, you get postcards in the mail, you find marketing pieces wherever, you take websites, whatever the case may be and you gave the example of covering up the logo, covering up the phone number, covering up any identifying information.

Just imagine getting 3 postcards putting tape over all the identifying information and then just looking at the inventory, looking at the message, looking at what you say about the services you offer, how different is it really? If you were to just flip logos around, would anyone of those suddenly have … would any of those [inaudible 00:31:12] pieces now suddenly have an impact on that company because they all look the same? They’re all interchangeable. It’s like we’ve probably both said if you’re guaranteeing service, if you say, we guarantee your satisfaction, so does everybody else and that’s pretty much what they say. It is completely [inaudible 00:31:30] to the point a complete waste of space to even put it on your marketing piece, has 0 impact on decision making.

How using that example and you gave.

Andrew:           You have to attribute it but you have to give it value. You have to give it value. You have to back up the things you say rather than saying we’re the best rather than saying that we have the greatest attention to detail that we’re going to provide you 1 of the best service, we’re the expert. We demonstrate that in other ways.

In 1 of the examples I gave is we have a 23-point check list that we go through every time we come to your property. We’re going to do these 23 things to make sure your property is looking fantastic, everything from [inaudible 00:32:14] off your sidewalks to edging your lawn properly to closing your back gate and making sure it’s locked and that your dog will never get out. There’s other ways to say we’re the best and you can say that by demonstrating what you do and backing it up with proof, customer testimonials. I mean you guys know I’m huge of reviews, Google reviews, all that stuff, proof, case studies, before and after photos, all the stuff that’s just too much trouble for you to do. This is what you have to do if you don’t want to compete on price.

Jonathan:         For everybody that says everyone makes their decision on price, you’re exactly correct. All consumers make their decision on price when given no other option because we all have to make our decision on something so if I have no other options and you all look the same or my competition looks the same, then I’ll make going to make up it on price. I’ve given this example too and I love this one. I do this all the time.

I don’t know if you do but go to the grocery store. Actually, I’ve never been to grocery store.

Andrew:           That’s why you’re married.

Jonathan:         That’s exactly why I got married. That was a joke. Anyway, well, there’s a little bit of a joke.

Andrew:           It’s not like your wife watches any of your videos to care [crosstalk 00:33:31].

Jonathan:         Let me give you an example. Let’s just go back to the grocery store example. Actually, you know what, because I am married, I have been sent to the grocery store. Tiffany sent me to the grocery store a while back-

Andrew:           You mean when you were grounded.

Jonathan:         No. That’s recently.

Andrew:           When you were grounded.

Jonathan:         Anyway, I went to the grocery store and I had to get something. It was something she was mixing it. It was an herb or something.

Andrew:           Vodka?

Jonathan:         No. It was an herb or something and I know nothing about all these different. I know what the herb was but I don’t know what a good 1 is.

Andrew:           Nutmeg?

Jonathan:         No. I don’t know what she would have bought. There was something that she had me picking out so I’m looking at the shelf of all these options and I don’t know what the right option is but I know that she’s got an opinion on what the right option is. There’s probably a $1.50, $3, $5. Which things should I buy? So how do I make our price because I don’t know anything about any of these things other than some company brand that I don’t recognize. I’d buy the $5 thing because I want to make sure that I get the taste right, the flavor’s good. I’m not going to bring it home and have to go back to the grocery store and get the right brand.

Andrew:           Get grounded again.

Jonathan:         Get in trouble again, sure. How did I make my decision? On price. We do this all the time in so many things in life. If I go buy that’s an artist or he’s an artist. How do people make decisions? No, better than that. Wine, I love the example of wine. I don’t even like wine and I’ve been on a couple of wine trips and what is it, $90 bottle wine and $5, nobody has a $5 bottle wine on a wine trip but let’s say a $30 bottle wine. That $90 bottle wine always tastes better but I don’t even like wine. I don’t even know how to make a decision but the guys say this is-

Andrew:           You’re more of a Malibu man.

Jonathan:         The guy says no.

Andrew:           Real man drinks scotch.

Jonathan:         If the guy says this is 90 bucks and this is $30, of course, for whatever reason, that’s going to taste better to me. It’s kind of silly examples maybe a little bit [crosstalk 00:35:34] if you think about it. Just observe how you make decisions. When I have no other information, I make a decision on price. You probably do. I think most people do.

Andrew:           I bought these socks because they are the most expensive ones available. I think that’s exactly right. The point that I really want the people to take away is that this is the stuff that matters and it comes down from the top. If you’re the owner of the business, you have to take control of your marketing. You have to get involved. In all of our clients, that are the most successful ones that we work with, they’re involved in the marketing because I can’t write your marketing message for you. I can’t write what’s important about your company. That needs to come from you, the business owner. Only you can define what your company is all about.

Jonathan:         One of my 4 points that I mentioned earlier, what are your responsible for? In order, marketing, people, technology, cash flow. It doesn’t mean you have to do every element of marketing. You have to have oversight, final say. You have to be involved and to your point. That’s your charge as the business owner. We communicating the right message as a company. Our sales people, if you’re a bigger operation, communicating the right message as a company. If not, you’ve got to correct it. You go to straighten ships so we’re all singing the same song, telling the same story. That’s marketing and it comes from you. You have to set it.

Andrew:           That’s exactly right. The thing that I was always seeing and the guys that called me and are having problems in their business and they always tell me they’re getting undercut by the guy with a truck working for bare money on the weekend. They’re getting undercut by the guy who’s charging 10 bucks or less because he really doesn’t care. He’s not going to be in the business for a long time.

Every single time I hear this story, you can look at the marketing that they’re doing and they’re tell me that it’s because somebody’s charging a cheaper price, it’s not always the cheaper price if you can demonstrate your value, if you can demonstrate your worth more, then going that direction, if you can demonstrate all the problems, 1 of your potential customers is going to have by making that wrong choice.

Jonathan:         Then, giving maybe even a testimonial and then that testimonial, a happy client speaks to how horrible or how something bad happened and how, how it’s also different because they work with you. It’s very, very powerful.

Andrew:           The things that matter in your business is doing the things that your competitors are too lazy to do. When it comes to marketing, there’s so many things that your competitors are too lazy to do and if you do them, even a fraction of them, it will have drastic impact on your business. It will change your business. Your speech was great because you talked about some of the technical things, the business sides of things and it was the same exact thing.

If you tweak the small things that you forget about or you overlook, it results in big impacts in your profits. The same is true with your marketing. The same is true with your marketing. I thought it was a great convention and every time I went by the Service Autopilot booth, you guys were swamped. It was like going to a club and there’s a queue. The only thing missing is you have a bodyguard keeping people out. There was 10 people outside of the booth every time. So congratulations. This is a pretty awesome first year for you guys at the [crosstalk 00:39:14].

Jonathan:         No doubt it. Nobody ever ate lunch or it was great. We’re very thankful. I think you should wrap but I want to make 1 point. A couple of Service Autopilot clients and I think 1 of the clients is 1 of your clients as well.

Andrew:           I met with [crosstalk 00:39:32].

Jonathan:         Thinking of a couple of guys that we’ve invited to dinner, Jeff and …

Andrew:           Jordan.

Jonathan:         … Jordan …

Andrew:           Jeff, yeah.

Jonathan:         … and a bunch of guys came to dinner but I want to just specifically mention 2 guys because this is something I thought about last night when we were having dinner and I thought about it again today. These guys are younger than us.

Andrew:           That was a great dinner. I really enjoyed having a dinner with them.

Jonathan:         The point I want to make though is and you may not be younger, we may be older but 1 thing that was really interesting to me is I remember when I was around 18, I was a saver, I like saving my money, all my lawn mowing money from mowing yards and I remember …

Andrew:           You could drop your truck and paint it fluorescent pink.

Jonathan:         Nobody will understand. My truck wasn’t pink, just the interior.

Andrew:           The interior. That’s right. Your interior was hot pink.

Jonathan:         Back when low riders were the coolest thing, I had 1. It’s hard to explain [crosstalk 00:40:26]. That was white.

Andrew:           Aston was white. The interior was spray painted hot pink.

Jonathan:         Yeah but it look good.

Andrew:           He had 18 inch [crosstalk 00:40:38].

Jonathan:         It look good for 1991. It’s impossible to explain but it was cool at the time for like a 3-year window.

Andrew:           You listen to your base CDs.

Jonathan:         Yeah but 1 rap though.

Andrew:           No. It wasn’t music. It was actually just base tone.

Jonathan:         We’ve come so far.

Andrew:           You should put hydraulics in your new car.

Jonathan:         Whatever. The point I was really trying to make was that I remember back at that time, you buy Inca magazine and I buy entrepreneur and I was really starting to learn about business, I was having success in my lawn mowing business. I was getting really interested in business and this is so dumb in hindsight but I remember being cheap. I was like, “This $20 subscription, I don’t need this third or fourth magazine. I’m not going to spend that money.” In hindsight, you think about the fact that like what’s 20 bucks, you get 1 idea. You could subscribed that magazine for 9 years and if you get 1 idea that has any impact on your business, what’s the value of that?

A couple of guys, they came out that we invited to dinner, just great guys that are young and they’re working. They, like me, have a lot of stuff to learn but they’re working through it and they’re just getting started in their businesses and they are at an event like this. One of the guys was introducing himself and making contacts and trading business cards and these guys will be successful. They’re going to have a hard time. They’re going to struggle. They’re going to have problems. Everybody does.

They’re doing what nobody else does. At a young age, they’re here and I pick them to be successful. I bet on them that they will be successful that they will work it out and figure it out because they’re reading the books. They’re studying the stuff, their networking. They’re spending money they may not even have to be here. It’s awesome. Even for us that are getting older, this is the exact same stuff we have to be doing. These are your competitors coming up and these guys are … there’s some smart guys up there coming up with a lot of energy and you got to be on your game.

Andrew:           I love working with the younger guys. They get internet marketing. They have the gate. They grew up with Facebook. They grew up online. I mean we remember the days when we were on CompuServe and didn’t have Google. We were on like hotbuy. I can’t even remember the other search engines back then.

Jonathan:         I thought that was a valid important thing that I thought about a number of times.

Andrew:           The point you bring up both of those guys, it was awesome meeting Jeff and Jordan and they’re doing it right. They’re doing it right and they’re young. They are hungry and they’re doing what their competitors won’t which means educating yourself further, going above and beyond. Doing what your competitors won’t and that’s going to make the biggest difference in your business. It’s made the biggest difference in yours. It’s made the biggest difference in mine. You have to have the drive and the ambition to do that what your competitors won’t. That will change your business.

Jonathan:         I think we should call it.

Andrew:           I think I … I always end the videos the best. I always say something so meaningful at the end that it really gets the troops motivated and pumped up.

Jonathan:         Whatever. Good night.

Andrew:           Cheers.

Jonathan:         Cheers.


Andrew Pototschnik is the founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert, the largest online marketing agency in North America specializing in marketing strategies for the lawn care and landscaping industries.

Google Partner
Facebook Marketing Partner
Service Autopilot
Official Consultant of PLANET Conference