Arbys Drive thruMy daughter was at a Soccer Camp and I had time to burn. It was on a Sunday and on Sunday I usually treat myself to something like a milkshake. I can’t drink those all the time but one a month is fine. So, I pulled in the drive-thru at Arby’s and ordered a SMALL Jamocha shake. When I got to the window, the polite, young lady handed me a milkshake that had to be 24 or more ounces. It was enough fat and calories to last a year; I was not going to kill my diet. (Checking two sources on the Internet, an Arby’s Jamocha shake contains either 498 calories or 560 calories.) So, I said to her, “I ordered a SMALL Jamocha shake.” She replied, “This is a small.” I said, “No it’s not, you say I owe you $2.59 and the small one is $1.69.” She said, “You don’t want a small; you want a 16-ounce shake.” You see where this stupidity is going? “So, if the small is 24 ounces, then what do you call the 16-ounce shake?” She said, “A 16-ounce shake.”

Customers don’t like being tricked. A small in my book means the small shake; I guess they can now offer a “smallest” shake or whatever. Shame on you, Arby’s. Not only are you contributing to the obesity of America, you’re also tricking your customers and getting more money from them. Smalls should be the smallest size you offer.

Anyway, I hope you get where I’m going with my rant. The lesson? Landscapers, don’t trick your clients. Be straight with them; be open; don’t trick them. I suppose a big outfit like Arby’s can do this and it won’t hurt them as even a customer like me is going to go back but it just doesn’t seem like the type of business practice that the customers of a small business would appreciate. Your thoughts?

Oh, and just to poke fun at our industry, did you know a “dwarf” Mugo Pine can get 8′ in spread? And is there really such a thing as “shade” seed?

You still have time to sign up for the Selling Symposium. Check out the agenda here. It is May 31 and June 1 in Dayton. If your sales techniques aren’t where you want them to be, you should come to the Selling Symposium. Sign up today!

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  1. Chris Edwards Reply

    I totally agree!!! I have found that if you are an honest business person and do what you say you are going to do. It will carry more weight and take you much further with clients.

    Chris Edwards
    Robbins Landscaping Inc.
    Richmond Va.

  2. Adam Linnemann Reply

    How about the fertilizer, “Spread it and forget it”. Bet it doesn’t really feed the lawn from March till November.

  3. marty grunder Reply

    Chris, I agree with you 100%. Well said, can’t add a thing that would make it better, thanks.

    Adam, have to object to you on that comment. I use spreaditandforgetit on my own lawn and I have the greenest lawn on the street. One application. Its incredible stuff and a product that every landscaper ought to consider. Just so you know, Agrium AAT, the makers of spreaditandforgetit is a client of mine. And to be blunt its quite easy to brag about their stuff, they are an incredible company and leaders in the fertilizer industry. MG

  4. Aaron Smith Reply


    I will second your experience with the spread and forget. I have a great deal of respect for AAT and Signature fertilizers. We were using them till the salesman went to a new company. Our salesman has been very good to us so we stayed with him and use a new product.

    As for the article–so appropriate for our industry. I cannot tell you the times I have been to a client meeting after they have met with a competing “professional” landscaper. It blows my mind to hear some of the yarns these people weave to sell a job.

    Would love to attend the selling symposium, but our noses are firmly to the grindstone till fall. Perhaps we will see you at GROW.



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