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The Moisture Manager Advantage is

Happy Customers! 
By Sarah Spatola

In September 2014, with no end in sight to the California drought, Max Todd began to fear that many of his customers might not want their fall lawn aeration service. "When it was time to begin our fall service, we were concerned because there had been no rain for months, and many water districts had asked residents to cut back on outdoor watering. We wondered, what if many of our customers had cut back watering to the point that their lawns had died; what are we going to do then?"

Max is the owner of Fairway Lawn Service, a company whose sole purpose has been to provide lawn aeration in the San Francisco Bay area since 1977.

Aerating helps lawns survive drought, but not if they are already dead. With the drought on his mind, Max began searching for a way to help his customers. "Because of the drought, I was looking for something that would allow my customers to water much less without losing their lawns."

Max recalled seeing information about a new water-saving product being developed some years ago. This revolutionary new technology promised to reduce watering requirements by up to 50%.

Max also remembered a TV program he had seen several years ago called Moving America Forward, where host William Shatner would interview people who had new ideas and new inventions that had promise to change the world. On the program, the inventors of this new water-saving product were explaining how their invention might help people conserve up to 50% of their water.

Since about 50% of the water we use is lost due to evaporation, and this technology promised to grab that evaporating water and concentrate it onto the plant's roots, Max saw that this might be the answer to his problem. Up to this point, though, the product was only available as a liquid and required watering immediately following its application, which would be inappropriate during a drought.

When a granular option called Moisture Manager that does not require immediate watering became available, the product once again caught Max's attention and he began seeking additional information.

Max researched the product, requested information from the manufacturer, and spoke to others who had personal experience using it. "We looked into it pretty carefully before starting to use it because my customers trust me to do the right thing. I needed to prove it to myself before I could think about offering it to my customers."

So Max asked his friend Egon, who has a Ph.D. degree in geology and extensive experience in hydrology, to look into the product for him. Egon performed numerous tests, spending several days assessing its claims of up to 50% water reduction. "Egon called me back and told me that a 50% reduction in watering is not an excessive claim, based on his experience as a scientist; that it could even exceed that amount."

In addition, Max learned that Moisture Manager is a USDA Certified Biobased Product, which means it's plant-based. It biodegrades after about three months, does not leach out of the soil, is nontoxic, and is safe for people, pets, and the environment.

Finally convinced, Max began offering Moisture Manager to his customers. Since most yards have plants, bushes and trees, as well as lawns, his company also offered to apply Moisture Manager off-lawn. In addition to his rather small lawn, a customer in Los Altos Hills had his home vineyard treated with Moisture Manager.

Rather than apply Moisture Manager at the recommended spreader setting of 2.7, Max decided to apply nearly twice as much product, at a setting of 5, with the idea that it would have even more effect and last longer. Although this strategy would reduce net profit, it would assure results and generate repeat business.

To Max, the secret to selling Moisture Manager is simple. Max says, "Everyone needs to conserve water, and that's exactly what Moisture Manager does. It's economical because it costs less to apply than the water you would have otherwise used, and it can save your landscaping."

Some customers told Max, "We've been with you for years, and if you say that this is good stuff, then go ahead and do it." According to Max, it comes down to having a good relationship with your customers.

Initial success in selling is one thing; happy customers and a sustainable business model is another. To ensure that his customers were completely satisfied with Moisture Manager's effect, Max began contacting them about a month after the product was applied. In total, he was able to get reviews from about one third of the customers who had Moisture Manager applied.

Max noted, "In three cases, people told me that their lawns had greened up but they hadn't watered at all except for the initial watering in of the Moisture Manager. It had rained only once, maybe a  of an inch. That blew my mind!"

Max said, "One customer I called said that a neighbor had reported him to the water cops for watering too much because of the way his lawn looked after the Moisture Manager application, even though he was actually watering less than before."

For Fairway Lawn Service, Moisture Manager has provided a very realistic way to help their customers' lawns and landscaping survive the drought. According to Max, "Anyone with plants in their yard should get Moisture Manager."

It simply works. Everyone who has a yard with plants has the same needs: to reduce the amount of water they use, to prevent overwatering fines, and to protect their property values.

Sarah Spatola is the Marketing Coordinator for Ecologel Solutions, LLC.  After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, Sarah joined the Ecologel team in November of 2009.

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