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How do you close out a conversation with a talkative customer? (4 Pro Tactics)

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So, you have driven the mower onto the trailer and you are ready to get to the next lawn…

And then it happens!

Your client sees you and starts to walk toward you, you try to pretend like you don't see them, but they don't slow down!

No, in fact, they approach faster. 

You close the trailer gate, and just as you think you're in the clear... you drop your keys on the ground!

And by the time you pick them up, you realize it's too late...

They have started talking, and you know it won't end soon!

Your palms are sweating, and all you want to know is:

ending a conversation with a talkative client

It's true that talking to your clients is an essential part of business, but sometimes they just won’t stop!

You have to get to the next job, but you don’t want to be rude. 

Ending a conversation with a talkative client

So how do you end a conversation with a talkative client? 

More importantly, how do you do it without being rude? 

And how do you train your crew to do the same?

Well, below you will find some creative solutions brought to you by other lawn care pros.

Charge more if they talk too much

Tactic 1: Extra Charges

Ok. This is definitely not the move for most situations. 

In fact, I would say if it's to the point where you are charging your client for talking too much… It’s time to remove them from your route. 

But, if you are feeling extra gutsy, and you don’t mind whether or not you lose a client. You could consider charging an hourly fee if they talk too much. 

Or a surcharge as some suggested.

In my experience, cutting the client would be way less stressful than billing them for talking too much. 

Never shut of your lawn mower

Tactic 2: Don’t Shut Off the Equipment

This is definitely a simple way to show that you are busy and don’t have time to talk. 

If your client comes up to you, especially if you know they have a habit of being long-winded, keep your equipment running. 

Keep your mower running

To a talkative client, shutting off your equipment is akin to a shark smelling blood in the water. Keep your equipment running,  if you can't talk. 

Answer your phone and walk away

Tactic 3: “Answer” Your Phone 

This is perhaps the easiest indirect way to get going. 

It’s simple, you likely have your phone on you. You can either set an alarm for yourself when you see a client coming. Or you could just see “that you missed a call”. 

Of course, you could always switch it up and see that you got an emergency text too.

Crazier still, you can train your crew to call you:Train your crew to call you to bail you out GreenPal

Pro Tip! If you have an employee, train them to call you when they see you talking with a client for more than a couple of minutes. That way you always have an easy out. 

Tell them to have a good weekend

Tactic 4: Tell Them You Got to Go

All joking aside, at the end of the day, simply telling your client that you have to run is the best way to handle the situation.

This method is as simple as:

  1. Tell your client something like “I have a lot of lawns today and need to hit the road”

  2. Break eye contact, 

  3. Turn around,

  4. Walk away,

  5. Say something casual like “Have a good day”, as you walk off into the Sunset. 

Say goodbye and leave

Of course, you may have to repeat yourself a few times. 

Sometimes it doesn't matter what you say, you simply have to start walking toward your truck.

While this method may feel awkward the first few times you do it, it comes naturally after a while. 

Training your lawn care crew to end a conversation

Train Your Crew!

Look, while you as the owner of a lawn care company may have the experience it takes to end a conversation with a talkative client...

Your crew is a different story. 

That is why it is important to train your crew not only on how to cut lawns. But also how to cut off a conversation and get back to work. 

After all, the longer your clients talk with your employees, the less productive they will be. 

Plus, your employees likely have less experience dealing with such interactions. So training them on how to escape long-winded conversations is a must. 

Fortunately, it’s easier for your employees to leave than it is for you when you train them accordingly. 

Train your crew how to avoid the conversation

Crew Conversation Avoidance Tactic #1: Run Tools 

If you and your employee are on the same job site this one is simple

All you have to train your employee to do is run to the truck and grab you a tool when they get cornered by the talker. 

Any tool will do.

This takes away the awkward burden they may feel of ending the conversation with them abruptly.

Theres an emergency I need to get to

Crew Conversation Avoidance Tactic #2: There is an Emergency At Another Jobsite

On the other hand, if your employee is on a different job site, all they have to do is use Tactic 2. 

To keep things simple for your employee we have created the following step-by-step guide to staging an exit using their phone.

Step 1: Pull phone from pocket.

Step 2: Look at phone.

Step 3: Look at customer.

Step 4: Say “I have to go, the boss needs me”

Step 5: Break eye contact and begin to turn around,

Step 6: Say goodbye while continuing to turn and stretching your leg out toward the truck.

Step 7: Run, don’t walk to the truck, and drive away. 

Pro Tip! If you aren’t on-site and your client has concerns, your employees should be aware that they should immediately direct your clients to you. This can help them get out of conversations, and perhaps more importantly prevent them from misrepresenting the company. 

Alternative Solution #1: Use the Conversation To Take a Break

Here’s the deal, sometimes it’s ok to relax. 

If you have a minute, maybe relax and enjoy the conversation for a minute. You can always end the conversation later. 

Use the conversation to sell them more services

Alternative Solution #2: Use the conversation to Upsell the Client

In my experience, conversations can often lead to more work. 

Rather than ending the conversation abruptly, use it as an opportunity to kick up some more work if you can fit it into your schedule. 

For example, “Hey I realized your bushes need to be pruned, I can get you an estimate if you would like.”

In a nutshell:

As you can see there are plenty of easy ways you can cut a conversation with a client without being rude.

Here’s the deal, while you can spin stories to get out of a conversation, the best option is to shoot straight and tell the truth. After all you are busy, and you have to do what it takes to get your route done on time

And don’t forget to train your employees on how to end the conversion. After all they aren't as concerned about your money as you are.

Of course, if you are really desperate you could use this one:


For more great info on running your lawn care company, check out our blog for lawn care pros

Cutting the Conversation Short Like a Pro

Gotta go. 

See you later. 


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