If you own a lawn care company, you know it’s about much more than yard work. In “The Business of Lawn Care” series, we discuss topics related to managing and growing a company in the lawn care industry. 

In our previous entry, we discussed identifying customer needs as an important part of the selling process. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how identifying customer behavior styles can improve your sales and retention efforts. We’ll use a framework from Integrity Solutions to segment the different styles of customers you’ll encounter.

Integrity Solutions categorizes people into one of four behavior styles: doer, controller, supporter, or talker. None of these styles is better or worse than another. They simply distinguish values and preferences, providing a helpful tool for understanding people. In addition to identifying customer behavior styles, we can determine our own behavior styles to understand how we interact with others. 

The behavior styles framework ultimately helps us adapt our communication to other people. Let’s dig into each style in terms of selling lawn care services.

  • Doers are people who value efficiency and results. You may be able to acquire doers as customers by producing excellent results in their neighbor’s lawn. Another tactic for selling to doers is offering trial periods so they can see the results for themselves before committing to long-term service.
  • Controllers value information and details. They may want to see a service schedule before committing to a lawn care company. Details, such as the products and active ingredients you’ll use, could be the information that helps move a controller to a purchasing decision.
  • Supporters value trust and stability. They’re typically slow decision-makers, meaning you may have to be patient as you build a relationship before selling your services. Supporters are another good group to acquire through referrals because they appreciate recommendations from people they trust.
  • Talkers value relationships and recognition. They’re likely to seek social acceptance through having a nice lawn, so explain how your services will provide that. Selling to a talker may also require patience because, as the name suggests, they enjoy a good conversation.

Behavior styles apply to the initial prospecting, selling, and onboarding processes, but also to the entirety of a customer relationship. Keep in mind that you’re always selling your services—even if a customer is already “sold” because they signed a contract. It’s your job to continually delight your customers so they’ll be eager to renew their contract and maybe even tell a friend about you.

Based on the four styles described above, you can adapt your customer service to connect with different people throughout their relationship with your company.

  • Since doers value results, they’ll be the most likely to call back if they see an issue after treatment. Be sure to communicate expectations for weed and disease control to calm a doer’s concerns before they escalate.
  • Because controllers value information, any details you can share will enhance their customer experience. Give them a heads-up about what time of day to expect your crew for a service, and share the contact information for the crew leader if possible.
  • Supporters are typically loyal customers, so they’ll want to tell their friends if they have a good experience. You can encourage their loyalty by implementing a referral program that rewards them for telling others about your services.
  • With talkers being quick decision-makers, you should be on the lookout for opportunities to tell them about new services you’re offering. As you build a relationship with a talker, they may be eager to try an add-on service you present.

Customer service begins with the selling process, and adapting to behavior styles is an effective way to provide a positive experience for prospects and customers alike. Use this tool to identify what others value and how to communicate with them accordingly.