Vendor or Advisor? The Green Lawn Gets It.

November 29, 2010 — 2 Comments

When the guy comes by to cut my lawn, he’s a vendor.  If he suddenly becomes an expert on soil conditions, timing of treatments, pros and cons of various products (including organic options that build the soil over time), he’s on his way to a bigger payday; he’s becoming an advisor.  A few years ago I contracted with a national lawn care company.  My lawn was a disaster.  Full of weeds, large patches of dirt, erosion on the hill beside my driveway, and generally out of control.  Now, I don’t mind telling you, I am not big on outdoor landscaping projects.  There are other things I’d rather spend my time on, and between homeschooling seven children alongside my wife and running a business, I don’t have much free time.  But for some reason, the lawn care company wasn’t making the kinds of improvements I would expect.  When I had questions, they were short on answers.

Then one day I received a call from a guy who used to work for a lawn care company, but now runs his own.  He was familiar with my lawn and recommended I take a different course.  He claimed the company I was using only uses chemicals and by continuing with my current program I would never actually improve my yard, I would just keep pouring in chemicals to make up for the bad soil conditions.   Instead, he recommended a series of treatments that would over  time, create looser soil, build nutrients back into the soil, and hold water so that the grass would have a chance to get established before the hot summer weather roles in.  Lawn care companies that act like vendors are selling seed, fertilizer, weed killer, and other soil products.  The advisor is selling me a green lawn.  Which do you sell?

© 2010, David Stelzl

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2 responses to Vendor or Advisor? The Green Lawn Gets It.

  1. 

    Another great analogy Dave. However I see influencers that use the proverbial head in the soil to buy from Market leaders as if one size fits all works…they really want to try to keep us VAR’s in a bidding war because time are tough and they think they get job security from finding lowest price. It is just another reason to lessen my time with IT and work harder on educating Business decision makers. Thanks Dave & keep ‘em coming!

    • 

      I’m convinced IT does not understand the business needs of their companies…that said, they can’t possibly understand how the sales process should be run. Just keep them happy while covering all aspects of the discovery process.

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