My wife and I are selling our condo and buying a new home in the country. If you haven’t tried to manage this transition, it’s stressful. As we went over our checklist of things to do before moving into our new home, purchasing a new washer and dryer stared us in the face. My wife and I don’t always agree on everything, but we agree that shopping for new appliances is not a top priority on either of our lists. I would rather spend the morning at my dentist’s office than look for the right washer and dryer to buy.

A brief search online frustrated and overwhelmed us, so we reluctantly decided to look at washers and dryers at one of the big box hardware stores near our home. Being a beautiful and sunny November Saturday morning, we got an early start to beat the crowds of shoppers that would be out later in the morning.

As we wandered through the appliance section, a friendly salesman named Raj greeted us and asked, “Can I be of any assistance to you today in purchasing home appliances?” Mind you, I had not been in this store in quite some time, not since we purchased supplies at the same store to renovate our first home. Excellent customer service was not the first thought that popped into my head regarding that particular experience.

On our most recent trip to the store, I let Raj take control, and he did so with the confidence and awareness that suggested to us that he wanted to make the experience as painless as possible. Raj quickly educated us about the different washers and dryers in the store, and helped us narrow down the best choices based on our budget, brand preference and style of machines. He was not pushy or impatient. He allowed us to make our decision on our own.

Once we selected the appliances that appealed to us the most, he then asked, “OK, so how would you like to pay for this and when would you like it delivered? Please keep in mind the holidays are fast approaching and, once they hit, our drivers will be booked solid through the month of December.”

I responded that we weren’t prepared to make a purchase right then and there.

To my surprise, Raj sternly but politely asked why we weren’t ready to buy. Yes, he acknowledged that he had heard that we weren’t ready to buy and he sympathized with our reluctance. It did not stop him from selling. He patiently overcame all of our objections by letting us know that his big box store guarantees the lowest price and has a one-year warranty. Raj impressed us.

It was apparent to us that Raj is an excellent salesman who sensed that applying a slight amount of polite pressure would tip the scales in favor of us buying the washer and dryer. He also realized that the purchase was for our good whether we realized it at the moment. Minutes later I handed him my credit card, and 20 minutes later we left the store with one more thing checked off our to-do list.

As landscape and lawn care professionals who sell a spring lawn care service in the winter, we can all learn from Raj. In fact, the Monday morning following our purchase of the washer and dryer, I used our experience with Raj as an example for my sales team. The point I emphasized was the importance of adding urgency while selling lawn care during this off-season. Since we are in a seasonal business, the quicker we fill our lawn and maintenance routes in the winter, the more organized and efficient we can be in the spring.

I urge you to try Raj’s techniques on your sales prospects. Do them a favor by applying a little pressure and explaining to them that educated consumers pre-purchase their services as they will save money and also be guaranteed a spot on your lawn routes for the spring.

What message are you using to make them comfortable that they are getting the best value by buying from your company? That doesn’t mean they are getting the lowest price, but that they are getting the best value for their money. Remind clients and prospects that by signing up this winter they will be guaranteed to receive your firm’s service.

My company sells more than 2,000 new contracts while the snow covers the ground in New England. I always remind my sales team that they are doing our customers a favor because it’s one more thing these homeowners can check off of their spring to-do-lists.

Chris Noon is the owner of Noon Turf Care and Green Light Sales Consulting. Contact him at