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