How Changing One Word Will Make Your Business Explode

By Eric Petersen, CIC

A few years ago, I was attending the Wisconsin Arborist Association’s Annual Conference when I was awe struck during the keynote session. Jim Skiera, former International Society of Arboriculture’s Executive Director, was speaking on the state of the tree care industry.

He asked everyone in attendance to stand up. All three hundred of us, slowly got out of our seats and waited uncomfortably for him to ask us to do something. His direction was straightforward; if you removed more trees last year than you planted, please sit down. I looked around the room and was shocked to see only a handful of people remain standing.

He then asked the rhetorical question; if the vast majority of us in this room are removing more trees than we are planting, what does the future of our industry look like? He then challenged everyone in the room to change one word within their list of services. He said to eliminate the word “removal” and use “replacement” instead.

While the concept was very simple it had a huge impact on me. Imagine if you started doing tree replacements instead of just tree removals. First off, you would definitely stand out from the other tree services that your potential customer has talked to and you immediately open the door for future revenue.  There are many other benefits to this customer experience approach, but three obvious ones that you would realize are:

  • Instantly boost your revenue from the tree plantings.
  • Become the valued professional who is looking to take care of their property long term, not just do a one-time job.
  • Create an easy future revenue stream by offering to prune the young tree and others on their property.

So just like Mr. Skiera did to the WAA crowd years ago, I challenge you to change merely one word within your operation and watch your business grow.

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