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bobbygedd
04-08-2005, 06:25 PM
you send out renewel contracts, or, if u r a scrub and don't use contracts, you make your yearly phone call, "i'm getting started mrs smith, are we on?" ok, either way, you don't hear back from the client. what do you do? call again, or just leave it at that? and...what if you DO make a follow up call, and they don't return your call, or send back the contract, do you keep calling?

Eho
04-08-2005, 06:45 PM
I am still small and don't use contracts so in about February I give every single one of my customers a call and let them know I m still in the business would like their business this year. One year a guy told me he d call me for some work in a while...never heard from him again and he had another company mowing that year, oh well it happens. This year I managed to retain 100% of my customers. I like to call them once and if they dont call me back ever, I get the message.
EHO

willretire@40
04-08-2005, 06:45 PM
I wonder the same thing. What i have been doing for one customer that i really want back ($150 a week) is i called her and left one message and call her back once a week but dont leave a message. But i still dont have her yet so i guess i need to let this one go.

rodfather
04-08-2005, 06:47 PM
I'm not a scrub and I don't use contracts...after 11 dependable years, we just show up when it's time and begin.

Kickin Your Grass
04-08-2005, 06:55 PM
I dont use contracts unless its commercial. As far as residential goes....If you hired me.....We show up each year as usuall untill the customer calls and cancels.

bobbygedd
04-08-2005, 06:58 PM
oh crap, i'm sorry, let me rephrase that. it's A NEW CUSTOMER in a neighborhood your working in. they inquired about service in fall. you gave the info, the deal is set, you send out contract, and never hear from them. you follow up call, they don't return your call. does it stop there? or do you keep calling?

specialtylc
04-08-2005, 06:58 PM
I guess we are a scrub operation with our few residetial clients, as we have no contract with them. We do about 20 res lawns which amounts to less than 10% of our business.And I call them a month or so in advance to be sure its a go for this season.If they dont call me back , then they are not going to get service for the year. The comercial accts are on a contract basis and most of those are all signed in october.

Mo Green
04-08-2005, 07:00 PM
you send out renewel contracts, or, if u r a scrub and don't use contracts, you make your yearly phone call, "i'm getting started mrs smith, are we on?" ok, either way, you don't hear back from the client. what do you do? call again, or just leave it at that? and...what if you DO make a follow up call, and they don't return your call, or send back the contract, do you keep calling?
Just another BobbyGedd trying to make himself out to be superior thread.

I send out a letter to my customers telling them when I will be there for their first cut. I tell them to call me if there is a problem.

rodfather
04-08-2005, 07:01 PM
Sorry, I do in fact use contracts with a few commercial accounts...no residentials though.

proenterprises
04-08-2005, 07:06 PM
Just another BobbyGedd trying to make himself out to be superior thread.

I send out a letter to my customers telling them when I will be there for their first cut. I tell them to call me if there is a problem.

Lacking contracts dosent make a scrub. BTW Bobby, I hope when you draft memo's to your customers, you dont write like you do here "u/r"? Some capital letters wouldnt hurt either.

bobbygedd
04-08-2005, 07:10 PM
you see, my problem here is, we made the deals, i sent contracts, and a couple did not send thier contract back, or a check, actually, there are like 4 of them. now, i sent the contracts, i followed up with a call, and still no response. i'd love to have these clients as they are right in my area, but calling again would be too much like begging. i even had one email me, "hi, i see you serviced my neighbors already, did you forget me?" i simply replied:" sorry, i need a signed contract and a check before i start." never heard back from that one

Mo Green
04-08-2005, 07:21 PM
I thought you had all of your customers wrapped around your little finger. You know, since you are the all knowing, most professional, most talented, licensed applicator in the entire northeast. How dare they not send that contract back. I guess you don't have them trained as well as you think.

GrassBustersLawn
04-08-2005, 07:45 PM
Eho - you are never too small to use contracts!

My CONTRACTS say "This document will automatically renew from year to year. 30 days written notice required to cease services." I do send out a new one each year with the current rate. If I don't hear from them, I just show up and start cutting & they are billed.

Someone commented that they had 100% retention. Sounds to me like you need to RAISE YOUR RATES!

Mike

walker-talker
04-08-2005, 07:56 PM
I'm not a scrub and I don't use contracts...after 11 dependable years, we just show up when it's time and begin.
Same here. I send a letter out in February stating any price increases or schedules changes. I remind them they are on automatic renewal and I will show up when it's time to mow.....works for me and I am not a scrub either.

Eho
04-08-2005, 08:05 PM
I actually did raise my rates on a few of them( only the ones that needed it)...I think retaining 100% just means that I was satisfying all of them and doing a good job. Keep in mind it was only 18 people but i added 10 more this year
EHO

YardPro
04-08-2005, 08:11 PM
I'm not a scrub and I don't use contracts...after 11 dependable years, we just show up when it's time and begin.

same here

i am far from a scrub and don't use contracts.
we just start each season.

we rely on our quality of service to retain our customers, not a contract.

rodfather
04-08-2005, 08:18 PM
Same here. I send a letter out in February stating any price increases or schedules changes. I remind them they are on automatic renewal and I will show up when it's time to mow.....works for me and I am not a scrub either.

Automatic renewal is the same as evergreen agreement Matt...all the phone companies have used them for centuries.

lawnandplow42
04-08-2005, 08:28 PM
i ain't a srub, and yes i make some phone calls

lawnguyland
04-08-2005, 08:31 PM
Where I live (NY) if you don't use contracts for chemical apps you are breaking the law and therefore an automatic scrub. Also, in Nassau county one is required by consumer affairs to be licensed and this also requires contracts, also making you a scrub if you lack them, although much less scrubby than an illegal applicator. Scrub a dub dub none the less. Plus, contracts increase the value of a business if one were to sell. Maybe in other places no contracts is not equivalent to scrub, but here it is.

bobbygedd
04-08-2005, 08:40 PM
same here

i am far from a scrub and don't use contracts.
we just start each season.

we rely on our quality of service to retain our customers, not a contract.
wrong, you ARE A SCRUB. interesting though, where you live, they allow you to apply pesticides on peoples property without written consent?

bobbygedd
04-08-2005, 08:42 PM
I thought you had all of your customers wrapped around your little finger. You know, since you are the all knowing, most professional, most talented, licensed applicator in the entire northeast. How dare they not send that contract back. I guess you don't have them trained as well as you think.
i bet i do! i'll lay 10-1 odds, that when thier lawn is 4 feet high, and they realize I WILL NOT WORK till i get that contract, not only will they sign it and send it, i will also get back payments plus late fees. garenteed

pjslawncare/landscap
04-08-2005, 08:43 PM
Whats a contract?

:blush:

bobbygedd
04-08-2005, 08:57 PM
if you don't use contracts, you are not a businessman, you are a little boy

lpwhandyman
04-08-2005, 09:06 PM
oh crap, i'm sorry, let me rephrase that. it's A NEW CUSTOMER in a neighborhood your working in. they inquired about service in fall. you gave the info, the deal is set, you send out contract, and never hear from them. you follow up call, they don't return your call. does it stop there? or do you keep calling?

You said they inquired, you gave the info, the deal is set, ............Here's a tip for you to minimize your hassle later. Close the deal NOW. Right then and there. You're always talking about contracts. Do you keep them in your truck? If so, go back to your truck, write up the agreement, have them sign it, and there you have it. You just gained a new customer and saved all of that future hassle. Even better yet, ask for a deposit...or upfront money....whatever you want to call it. If they don't want to meet with your terms, you just weeded out a bad one with minimal effort. Simple enough?

bobbygedd
04-08-2005, 09:09 PM
not really ipw. if a client approaches me in fall of 2004, asking about service for 2005, i generally explain the policy, take down thier info, and send out a contract when i send them to everyone else.

lpwhandyman
04-08-2005, 09:15 PM
Why? In sales, we used to call that a HOT lead. They're there, you're there, they're motivated, they want you and if you want them, land the deal, NOW. Think about it for a bit. If you would have signed them up right then, would you be here talking, asking about this same scenario? No you wouldn't, you would be telling everybody you gained another customer. Next time you have the chance, try it and see what happens. If you go to the truck and get a contract and they start back peddling, then you know that maybe they're just getting a feel for you. But if they say sure, let's sit down and take a look at what you can offer, then it's a done deal.

jajwrigh
04-08-2005, 09:17 PM
I keep calling until a get an answer.......

Ol'time Lawncare
04-08-2005, 09:25 PM
not really ipw. if a client approaches me in fall of 2004, asking about service for 2005, i generally explain the policy, take down thier info, and send out a contract when i send them to everyone else.
What do you use? cardboard boxes or something? isn't your contracts,like 400 pages long? do you get balk rate with the postal service???

nriddle77
04-08-2005, 09:47 PM
if you don't use contracts, you are not a businessman, you are a little boy



If you love starting arguments on LS you're a little boy!

Mo Green
04-08-2005, 09:54 PM
Why? In sales, we used to call that a HOT lead. They're there, you're there, they're motivated, they want you and if you want them, land the deal, NOW. Think about it for a bit. If you would have signed them up right then, would you be here talking, asking about this same scenario? No you wouldn't, you would be telling everybody you gained another customer. Next time you have the chance, try it and see what happens. If you go to the truck and get a contract and they start back peddling, then you know that maybe they're just getting a feel for you. But if they say sure, let's sit down and take a look at what you can offer, then it's a done deal.
How dare you tell the great booby how to sell, or how to handle customers. His method is the only method. Just ask him, he'll tell you. lol

tinman
04-08-2005, 09:55 PM
Just another BobbyGedd trying to make himself out to be superior thread. I send out a letter to my customers telling them when I will be there for their first cut. I tell them to call me if there is a problem.

Exactly :rolleyes:


Good idea. I just call to confirm everyone.....May swith to the letter for next year.

LALawnboy
04-09-2005, 01:58 AM
i've been doing about 15 yards for the past 3 years part time, and have never used any contract. people always want the service.

also, i'm new to this website and i was wondering what a "scrub" (a word bobbygedd uses a lot) and a "pita" are. could anyone help me out?

volp0005
04-09-2005, 03:40 AM
"GrassBustersLawn -- Someone commented that they had 100% retention. Sounds to me like you need to RAISE YOUR RATES!"

Wow I love this site. This comment above just shows how smart some of you are. GrassBustersLawn, how do you know this guy doesn't offer a fair price and do reliable and quality work? Just because you have 100% customer retention does NOT mean you are not making a profit, not a "real business" or are a scrub. If I'm making a decent profit or a profit at all and keeping 100% of my customers because I do a good job what is wrong with that? Should I raise my rate's $5 per week and lose the account (a.k.a. several hundred/thousand dollars per year) just to say, "Wow I'm a reall business/not a scrub because I do not have 100% customer retention? Maybe you should re-evaluate your strategy and try to keep all of your customers each year, while maintaining your cost structure to be profitable and add new clients each year to GROW your business.

But I guess yourself and boobygedd are the smartest lawn people in the world so you must be right. We all should retire and give yourself and bobby all of our accounts and the world will be happy.

P.S. Bobbygedd, I bet there are a lot of people who would like to tell you a thing or twenty because you are "superior to all of us" and everyone but you must be a scrub. Well I'm surprised that your superior business sense hasn't figured out that if they don't get the first message/call, then call them again, if they do not get the second call/message then try again until they say no. A sale is a sale, which leads to the almighty buck that we all scrap for each year, and you go after that sale/buck until you hear "No, I am not interested". Then you say "Thank you for your time, I appreciate having the opportunity to bid on your property, I will contact you next year when you're ready for service." Bobby, maybe if you spent less time on here writing to everyone and more time pursuing your leads you'd reach "godfather" status in the industry instead of "threadking" status.

YardPro
04-09-2005, 07:30 AM
wrong, you ARE A SCRUB. interesting though, where you live, they allow you to apply pesticides on peoples property without written consent?


LOL
Bobby- we are far from being a scrub operation. We are a incorperated, own 5 trucks, the oldest being a 99. We have a nice office on the main street on the island that's paid for.

we will do well over $500K this year in landscape services alone ( not including our pool services).

If that's a scrub, then i am happy to be one.

and yes, you do not have to hve written consent to apply on a property.
we do not use contracts, and have not lost even one client in several years.

bobbygedd
04-09-2005, 07:56 AM
LOL
Bobby- we are far from being a scrub operation. We are a incorperated, own 5 trucks, the oldest being a 99. We have a nice office on the main street on the island that's paid for.

we will do well over $500K this year in landscape services alone ( not including our pool services).

If that's a scrub, then i am happy to be one.

and yes, you do not have to hve written consent to apply on a property.
we do not use contracts, and have not lost even one client in several years.
if you have not lost a client, you are -#1-allowing them to walk all over you. and/or- #2- working cheap. i guess when mommy pays your bills, you can work for $300 a week

bobbygedd
04-09-2005, 08:14 AM
"GrassBustersLawn -- Someone commented that they had 100% retention. Sounds to me like you need to RAISE YOUR RATES!"

Wow I love this site. This comment above just shows how smart some of you are. GrassBustersLawn, how do you know this guy doesn't offer a fair price and do reliable and quality work? Just because you have 100% customer retention does NOT mean you are not making a profit, not a "real business" or are a scrub. If I'm making a decent profit or a profit at all and keeping 100% of my customers because I do a good job what is wrong with that? Should I raise my rate's $5 per week and lose the account (a.k.a. several hundred/thousand dollars per year) just to say, "Wow I'm a reall business/not a scrub because I do not have 100% customer retention? Maybe you should re-evaluate your strategy and try to keep all of your customers each year, while maintaining your cost structure to be profitable and add new clients each year to GROW your business.

But I guess yourself and boobygedd are the smartest lawn people in the world so you must be right. We all should retire and give yourself and bobby all of our accounts and the world will be happy.

P.S. Bobbygedd, I bet there are a lot of people who would like to tell you a thing or twenty because you are "superior to all of us" and everyone but you must be a scrub. Well I'm surprised that your superior business sense hasn't figured out that if they don't get the first message/call, then call them again, if they do not get the second call/message then try again until they say no. A sale is a sale, which leads to the almighty buck that we all scrap for each year, and you go after that sale/buck until you hear "No, I am not interested". Then you say "Thank you for your time, I appreciate having the opportunity to bid on your property, I will contact you next year when you're ready for service." Bobby, maybe if you spent less time on here writing to everyone and more time pursuing your leads you'd reach "godfather" status in the industry instead of "threadking" status.
you know something, when a client ASKS YOU about service, and YOU do what you're supposed to do, THEN THEY flat out ignore you, you would be a fool to keep chasing them.i inquired about a bedliner a couple weeks ago, i never followed up on it, the guy doesn't keep calling my house. that's rediculous. i will get these clients because they want me. i will get backpayments, as well as late fees , for work i never even did. i garentee it. you can't allow clients to ignore you, then expect them to respect you. i DON'T care about the electric bill, the water bill, the car payment, or your momma's hospital bills! I AM THE LAWNBOY, you will acknowledge me, respect me, and pay me. and that, is all i'm gonna say about that.

lpwhandyman
04-09-2005, 08:19 AM
Bobby.....What I really like about you and this site is when someone actually gives you the most simplest of answers to your endless problems, you wait and wait and let the posts come in and forget about responding to them. But if somebody comes back and yanks your chain, you respond RIGHT AWAY with the little boy, scrubs, and back to the bus comments. We all know you love to keep the drama going, but I'd like to hear you respond to my suggestion. Why would you not try signing them NOW? Oh well, this scrub is going to work, and dangit....I forgot I don't have a contract for this little job this morning. But wait, I got paid in full for the job last week when I did the estimate. Hmmm, does that make me a scrub, or a half a scrub, or a prepaid scrub, or scrubbulicious?

packerbacker
04-09-2005, 08:19 AM
you know something, when a client ASKS YOU about service, and YOU do what you're supposed to do, THEN THEY flat out ignore you, you would be a fool to keep chasing them.i inquired about a bedliner a couple weeks ago, i never followed up on it, the guy doesn't keep calling my house. that's rediculous. i will get these clients because they want me. i will get backpayments, as well as late fees , for work i never even did. i garentee it. you can't allow clients to ignore you, then expect them to respect you. i DON'T care about the electric bill, the water bill, the car payment, or your momma's hospital bills! I AM THE LAWNBOY, you will acknowledge me, respect me, and pay me. and that, is all i'm gonna say about that.






Maybe they havent sent them back because they dont know what language you wrote them in.

lpwhandyman
04-09-2005, 08:24 AM
I AM THE LAWNBOY, you will acknowledge me, respect me, and pay me. and that, is all i'm gonna say about that.[/QUOTE]


I have to figure out how to put that on my signature line here under my name. That is soooo funny. " I AM THE LAWNBOY". HA HA HAHA HAHA AH WEEEEEE HAA AHAHAHAH. All I can picture is Superman being replaced with a Lawnboy ....with tights and a cape and a L on his chest.

YardPro
04-09-2005, 08:25 AM
if you have not lost a client, you are -#1-allowing them to walk all over you. and/or- #2- working cheap. i guess when mommy pays your bills, you can work for $300 a week

that's right bobby.
no one can be more successful that you. you are the lawncare god. you are truly omnipotent.....

my parent's haven't had to help me me in over 10 years.

you must be confusing them with your wife having to give you your weekly allowance. LOL


lpwhandyman-
i see you have bobby figured out. Don't get too bent out of shape with him, he only has the mental abilities of about a 14 year old, so it's not really his fualt.

bobbygedd
04-09-2005, 08:26 AM
Bobby.....What I really like about you and this site is when someone actually gives you the most simplest of answers to your endless problems, you wait and wait and let the posts come in and forget about responding to them. But if somebody comes back and yanks your chain, you respond RIGHT AWAY with the little boy, scrubs, and back to the bus comments. We all know you love to keep the drama going, but I'd like to hear you respond to my suggestion. Why would you not try signing them NOW? Oh well, this scrub is going to work, and dangit....I forgot I don't have a contract for this little job this morning. But wait, I got paid in full for the job last week when I did the estimate. Hmmm, does that make me a scrub, or a half a scrub, or a prepaid scrub, or scrubbulicious?
quite honestly, a can't see how i can sign a client in november of 2004, for service that begins in march of 2005. late november, early december is the ending of our season. we finish up, pack up, and remain on vacation for 3 months. during this time, i evaluate the 2004 season, make any neccesary changes to our procedures, prices, etc. i submit new contracts in feb of 2005. your idea is a good one, but wouldn't work for me

Duramax99
04-09-2005, 11:52 AM
We don't step foot onto a property until we have a deposit and a signed contract

dwthomas
04-09-2005, 10:45 PM
About 1 month prior to the beginning of the season we send out a letter to all current customers offering discounts on mulching and spring cleanup services. Within the letter we state that the mowing season will most likely begin during the 1st or 2nd week of April, and that if they have any questions or requests to give us a call. We end the letter by saying that we look forward to working with them again this season. With commercial clients same routine, just include a new contract along with your updated liability ins. and Workers Comp.

Pro - Cut
04-10-2005, 02:11 AM
Bobby Boy knows it all and answers his own question and it looks like he just likes to aurge. I am new in the buss and would never think the way he does. I have contracts and next year will be looking to sign new cust in Oct and Nov for 2006 season or someone else will !!!! With the attuide they will come to you is B/S they havent called you back because they found someone who isnt a jerk and wont be charged late fees for not calling you back. If you are wondering if you should call them back you must have too much work and it doesnt matter. Pluss why keep trying when you are going to get a late fees any way. You must have alot of monney to spent on small claim court fees. Because that is the only way your are going to see you late fees. It sounds like you know everything and do not care about your custmors just your late fees and rasing prices. In my 3 months off I will be looking on ways to improve my services and adjust necc accounts.