Monday, July 21, 2008

Ray is out, Ben is in - More Lawn Care Adventures

It pains me to write this, but I have to - it's official, Ray, my lawn guy has been fired. Well, he actually fired himself. He was doing fantastic, and then just disappeared. I e-mailed, called and left voice mail, and yet, I've heard nothing back from him.

I don't actually know what happened - so it's quite possible that he has a good excuse for dropping off the face of planet. Personally, if he could give me a reasonable explanation as to why he vanished, I'd do business with him in the future.

OK, so Ray is gone - but today, I found his replacement, Ben (e-mail:, phone: 202-413-9292). While, I don't know anything about how well he cuts lawns, I am impressed with a few things he's done well so far. Including:

  • A highly geographically centric craiglist ad. I called him because he mentioned Arlington in the title (which was: $20.00 Lawn Care most yards in Arlington). By narrowing his focus, he caught my eye as being unique and standing out in the crowd.
  • When I called him, he was cheerful and upbeat and made it clear he was glad to have my business. There was just something nice about talking to someone who was genuinely glad you were calling them.
  • He promised he would be over in a few hours to give me an estimate, and most importantly, he was. This is key - before I had a chance to find someone else, or have second thoughts, he was over here following up and giving me more attention.
  • He was personable and made it clear that he could do more handy man services than just mowing the grass if I was interested (he could smell the I'm a programmer, I don't do hardware on me, no doubt). This came across less as an upsell, and more as a hey, I really hope to earn your business type of statement.

So, while I'm disappointed that Ray went away, and I sincerely hope that he's OK - I'm glad to have met Ben. As I told him today, my business has more in common with the work he does than most other businesses. So, I'm always on the lookout to learn from others.

Stay tuned for an update as to whether or not he can actually cut the grass...

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