I know a landscape foreman who received a nice card from a kid living on his site. As the seasons piled up the two developed a nice relationship. The kid would “help” on site and it would totally excite him. His mother appreciated the attention the boy received but now they were moving away.
What I remember
I would see them only sporadically and every time I saw the woman she was very pregnant or stuffing her family car with kids. I also remember the boy handing me a bag of cookies once to hand over to the previous foreman. But since the man was on holiday, I promised to hand over the cookies later and thanked the boy. I lied.
One of the cookies broke so I tested it and the others soon followed. And they all passed their final test. I’m not proud of it but the boy never found out.
I also remember the boy being excited about tree work and my ISA certified arborist patch. Unfortunately, I couldn’t give him one. He can easily earn it later.
1. This boy is a poster child for biophilia, defined by Edward O. Wilson as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. He loved “helping” the landscape crew, excited by trees, machines and the big truck moving around the site. I’m sure he will become a green industry worker when he grows up.
2. This case also nicely illustrates that providing good quality work on site isn’t the only thing landscape companies should focus on. Building relationships is just as important. Sure, it takes precious time away from never-ending maintenance work but it’s an important sacrifice. Assuming it doesn’t get out of hand.
Clients that get to know you well are more likely to retain you so don’t forget to build relationships with your clients. You might get a cool card one day.