Couldn’t make it to GIE+EXPO this year? We’ve got you covered. The editors of Turf are on the ground, covering everything you need to know at the show. At the end of the day, our editors come together and curate the top five moments from the busy day’s events— from announcements at press conferences to inspiring advice from educational sessions. Here are some of the top moments from the beginning of the week, October 18-19.

1. Take 2 Days and Plan Your Entire Year

Many landscapers feel they need to be reactive versus proactive every day to get things done, but planning is crucial and can make business run much more smoothly. “You only need to spend 1 percent of your time planning the other 99 percent,” Ed Laflamme says. “It really doesn’t take that much time to plan, but we don’t do that. Think about it. On average, if you work roughly 2,300 to 3,000 hours a year, 1 percent is only two to three days.”

– From NALP’s LANDSCAPES session “How to Build a Strategic Plan … and Stick to It!” with Bill Arman and Ed Laflamme

2. Elevate the Experience with Your Customers

During NALP’s CEO Forum, Mark Sanborn of Sanborn & Associates, Inc. said the biggest way your customers know they have a great service provider is when the professional they hire is more concerned about their lawn than they are as the homeowner or property manager.

“This creates that ultimate loyalty for your business where the customer doesn’t even consider hiring a different company because they know you have the job done and it’s done well,” he says.

You must elevate the experience with your customers, Sanborn says. “When the customer receives value, they are pleasantly surprised, they are happier and they tell others,” he says.

– From NALP’s CEO Forum “Success with Marty Grunder, Marty Grunder! and Mark Sanborn, Sanborn & Associates, Inc.” 

3. Trust is the Foundation

Phil Harwood of Pro-Motion Consulting spoke about “Mastering the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.” He explained the five elements needed — trust being the foundation because “if we don’t have trust, we can’t build on anything.” He said even the mistrust of one team member can derail progress. “Just one member of the team can spread the disease to the rest of the team. If everyone is committed to getting there, then you’ll see progress,” Harwood said. 

– From NALP’s LANDSCAPES session “Mastering the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team” with Phil Harwood, Pro-Motion Consulting, Inc.

4. Sell Feelings and Emotion

Delivering over the top customer service was the subject of Jason Cupp’s workshop. The Kolbe Certified growth consultant drove home the message that your business must be client-centric. “If we truly have this focus in our heart every day, if the leader focuses on it, your people should be just as focused and delivered on that, too,” he says. Using the Ritz-Carlton’s “gold standard” as an example of how a company anticipates a client’s needs and responds, Cupp says employees from the top down must feel empowered to deliver a high quality of customer service. “We sell feeling and emotion. We don’t sell pools and lawns that are cut perfectly. We sell feelings and emotion,” he says, telling a story about a customer who thanked him for the joy he feels when spending time with his family in his newly designed backyard.

– From NALP’s LANDSCAPES session “Delivering Over the Top Service Excellence” with Jason Cupp, Kincaide, Ltd.

5. Extend Oil Changes to 500 Hours? 

What if you could extend recommended oil changes on your gasoline-fuel commercial mowers from 100 hours to 500 hours? Not only that, but you wouldn’t need any tools to change the oil and the process would take you 10 minutes max?

Briggs and Stratton’s new Vanguard Oil Guard System promises to deliver on those promises when used with the new fully synthetic 15W-50 Vanguard Oil.

The Oil Guard System is not an aftermarket add-on but is a factory-integrated technology. The oil is stored externally in a 5-quart welded aluminium tank that cools the engine oil.

The system is available for the 2017 cutting season on Ferris brand mowers powered by Vanguard 810cc and Big Block commercial engines.