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Converting skeptics

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How to successfully sell biofertility programs to clients.

| June 16, 2011

While going organic is a growing trend, it doesn’t mean many homeowners and property managers aren’t skeptical about the effectiveness and price tag of the products.

We spoke to a few lawn care operators to get their advice on how they successfully sold biofertility programs to their customers.

Help the client understand the different programs. Pointing out how bionutrition is different from people’s perception of organics is essential, especially when competing with other organic companies, says Ryan Wilmott, owner of R-Green Organic Turf Fertilization Systems in Lehigh Valley, Pa. Wilmott uses specific talking points when working with customers and shares the long-term advantages of a bionutrition program. “I basically tell them we feed the soil, and the soil feeds the lawn.”

Explain what’s in the price. Eric Greenwood, owner of Heritage Lawn Care in Ann Arbor, Mich., charges more for his biofertility program, so he explains to clients the value behind the price. Using a bionutrition program means fewer pesticides and nitrates are applied, which is a cost savings for the client. “I tell clients they’re getting natural insect and disease suppression, a pH adjuster and fertilizer with weed control, at no extra charge,” he says.

Face the big challenges. Some LCOs are switching their fertilizer program solely to biofertility. To retain skeptical clients, they have to convince them they won’t miss synthetic products. Chris Koelling tells clients that lawns actually deteriorate over a 10-year period when they’re treated with synthetic fertilizer. Koelling offers some synthetic fertilizing, but he tries to incorporate bionutrition in all of the programs at Lawn Perfection in Mt. Vernon, Ill. “I see the future going that way,” he says. “I think there will be more of a demand for it. I think the company that doesn’t embrace it will pay for it in a loss of sales.”

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