To most landscape professionals, the benefits of aeration are clear. It’s a great way to enhance your bottom line with your existing customer base. But it’s not always easy to show the value of aerating to customers who may not understand how the service fits into regular lawn care for the turf around their home or workplace. Scott Kinkead, executive vice president of Turfco, a manufacturer of aeration equipment, has three suggestions to help contractors sell customers on aeration.
How can I sell my customers on fall aeration?
There are three key steps to successful aeration sales.
1. Explain the process
The average person isn’t likely to be well versed on lawn care. A simple explanation of why and how aerating is beneficial can be a big step in moving forward with a new service. For a home or business owner, it’s an important part of getting the lawn they want and to get the most out of other services, such as watering and chemical applications.
Starting with something the customer knows can help ease them into the conversation. If they like watching golf or other sports, or see well-maintained turf in their city or on a home improvement show, they’re seeing the benefits of aeration.
Landscapers typically use rolling-style aerators, which remove cores from lawns.
Along with opening up the turf to “breathe,” removing cores helps break down the thatch, which constricts grass root access to nutrients and water. Removing cores also relieves compaction, which customers might recognize as spots in their yards that are hard and don’t have grass growing from them or water draining from them. Tell customers if they want the best turf possible, aeration needs to be a part of their program.
2. Show customers the value of professional service
You’ve probably run into a customer who won’t aerate because it’s something they think they can do themselves. Perhaps they can. But let them know it will likely cost them as much as if you did it professionally.
Customers don’t realize that while the initial cost of a rental is lower, they’re paying for it with a day’s worth of effort, loading and unloading the machine from their car, and using a machine that is probably older, difficult to use and might not do the best job on their yard.
They might try it themselves once or twice. They will learn that your company can make it a lot easier — and help them save their Saturday. You’ll flag irrigation heads and use the right tine depth. Professional equipment is also more steerable and maneuverable, making sure you’ll get the whole yard done successfully.
Read more: Is Aeration a Real Money-Maker?
3. Explain to customers that improvements are noticeable and stick around
While aeration isn’t a next-day solution, customers will see noticeable improvement in their turf. For most yards, the service is only necessary once in the fall and once in the spring. With fall aeration, you also have the opportunity to sell grass seeding — the extra growth will help turf overwinter and produce a healthier lawn come spring.
Aerating more often might be needed in several instances, though, like for lawns on college campuses or backyards near children’s playhouses and jungle gyms that become compacted from walking and playing. For customers using an organic plan, including more regular aeration into their services is also important to getting their grass the right nutrients without synthetic fertilizers.
Use these three tips to inform clients of aeration’s benefits, especially on those lawns you manage that are suffering from compaction. This is a great way to increase your profit line and make your customers happy.
One LawnSite member recently asked, “Does aeration show any significant improvements to grass?” Here’s what his peers had to say:
- “I like to use it where needed, especially on heavy thatch or compacted soils.”
- “Aeration on our clay-based soils is beneficial — that’s triple-fold if you compost topdress over the top.”
- “Do you think golf courses would spend so much time and money aerating, collecting cores and topdressing if it wasn’t beneficial?”
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