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View Full Version : Possible customer wants a NEW Tractor how do I show #'s to hire ME instead???


IMoLwnz.com
04-11-2005, 01:01 AM
I am hired to mow the property at an accounting firm. The owner has a 52,000 sq ft lawn at his residence and I would like to get that too. he is spending about 2.5 - 3hrs mowing with a JD 212. He is looking at new ZTR's I said a JD 717 or 737 will be around 7-8K to buy.

HOW do I show him #'s that its cheeper to hire me at 85.00 cut than buy a mower and do it himself..... He is an accountant and if I have the #'s to prove it he should go for it..

Thanks for the help!!

WhohasHelios?
04-11-2005, 01:07 AM
ask him what he charges himself out at per hour. Assuming that he is above 50 somewhere, you show it to him that way, that he can actually make more money by doing what he is good at and paying you to do what you are good at. Everybody wins, he makes more, you make more!

IMoLwnz.com
04-11-2005, 01:11 AM
Well he DOES like to be out side and "relax" its getting away from work for him to do the lawn so Im not sure that will work... he does it on Saturdays so he isnt working then. I know the angle you are going in and Ill use that. but I think if I have a real good way of showing the REAL cost of him doing it and me doing it I can win him over at his own accounting game. He is a real nice guy I went to HS with his son so I do have an in. I just need to show some #'s I think the 85.00/ week will be a put off with out showing him its cheeper in the long run.

PMLAWN
04-11-2005, 04:12 AM
Think about this.
The reason that many of us are into this dirty, low paying job is why??

Because of the cool toys we get to play with!!

Does he really want to cut his grass? NO
but can he pick up a cool toy along the way and get to test it out each week.
First, if he is a good accountant he can not cut before APR 15th so there is the in.
Or maybe he can just "test" one and see if he likes it.
Find out what he really wants and see what you can do to help.

This is more than likely not about money so dig a little and find out what he wants. Also what does his kid do and why is he not cutting the grass.

Grassmechanic
04-11-2005, 07:22 AM
Show him the costs of capital outlay, maintenance costs, gas, oil, place to store the mower, time it will take from his leisure time, etc. One thing I say to customers is that you probably have something better to do with your time than mow grass every weekend.

David Grass
04-11-2005, 08:12 AM
a mower does not depreciate to zero. He could probably buy one at a great price, mow for 10 years, and upon resale, come out ahead. Dont waste your time with an accountant that knows this!!! (and keep it quiet to your other customers)

David Grass
04-11-2005, 08:15 AM
Most people hire us because they DONT want to do grass, but many love to mow, sounds like he may be in the second category, I would just say "try me one year on your residence, then decide" and see what he says.

bigz1001
04-11-2005, 08:26 AM
I am hired to mow the property at an accounting firm. The owner has a 52,000 sq ft lawn at his residence and I would like to get that too. he is spending about 2.5 - 3hrs mowing with a JD 212. He is looking at new ZTR's I said a JD 717 or 737 will be around 7-8K to buy.

HOW do I show him #'s that its cheeper to hire me at 85.00 cut than buy a mower and do it himself..... He is an accountant and if I have the #'s to prove it he should go for it..

Thanks for the help!!

You can't show him the number's to prove this, because they don't. If he spends $7,000 on a mower, and your price per cut, after 3 years he is money ahead, and still has a mower worth something.

MarcSmith
04-11-2005, 08:38 AM
You can't show him the number's to prove this, because they don't. If he spends $7,000 on a mower, and your price per cut, after 3 years he is money ahead, and still has a mower worth something.
but the homeowner has lost TIME...something that he may or may not be able to put a value on.....Dont forget to factor in cost of maintenence on his new machine.....Hope he has a trailer to take to the dealer...

Inthe long run it will be cheaper for himto cut his own grass....but you need ot focus on the short term gains and the time savings for him

MMLawn
04-11-2005, 08:55 AM
But it's not cheaper for him in the long run so those numbers won't exsist and you probably don't want to get into a numbers game with an accountant who does numbers for a living anyway. What you will have to sale him on is the time and trouble it saves him with you doing it. The tax angle work as mentioned is a good one but since that season runs Jan 1-April 15 there is not a whole lot of grass cutting in that time span.

IMoLwnz.com
04-11-2005, 09:02 AM
Well it all sounds good. I thought I saw on here that there was a way to calculate the bennifits of hireing rather than buying. Maybe that was somthing else I was thinking of though. He does like to be outside but If I can get to his wife that MAY help me out too... I have talked with him about the ideas and Ill keep it up and see what happens.

His son is 29 (like me) and not at home.
We dont start mowing here till arround the 15th... so that wont work. If it did Id be IN!!
I think he does like the New toy Idea, I know I do that is whats great about the business the toys!!

I always tell posible customers that if you like to be outside and work in the yard spend the time on your landscaping and let me mow the lawn.
He also has a pond with Koi or regular fish, didnt totally see, so there are alot of other things to keep him busy outside.

Ill let you know what happens.

I plan on proposing

27 to mow the office (already accepted)
85 to mow the house
-7 to do the both and BILL BOTH to the ofice
105.00 weekly + Fert on the office (maybe the house if I am lucky!)

Ill take the hit on the Office its only 2400sqft and if I can turn 27 into 105 Id be happy and the house is nice and open for my 777 with my 72"

Runner
04-11-2005, 09:16 AM
Well, usually the way I sell it is like this. I say."You go and buy a mower...Then you have gas, grease, oil, belts, pulleys, blades, and other maintenance that has to be done. After that, you STILL have the time that goes into it, and you haven't even DONE the all the string trimming, yet. Why spend your weekend WORKING in your yard, when you can spend your weekend ENJOYING it."
However, in your case, this isn't exactly going to be the case, because if he's looking to buy a mower like that, he will have gas, and perhaps a little oil to change, but hardly anything else, as this is a commercial machine. It will last him forever. That is not to mention that depreciation will be very slow, as home owned machines always have a higher resale value due to the care that was taken of them. Like was mentioned before, he may just want to get out and cut some grass himself...it happens. Many people like it, because it is so relaxing. I have a fert. customer who went and bought brand new full size Lazer. He has a large yard on a golf course, and he's loving life, now.

MarcSmith
04-11-2005, 09:50 AM
MM....why do you think that it's not cheaper for the homeowner to cut their own lawn in the long term (3-8 years)

If they invest the money into a good lawn mower, and honestly there is no need for a homeowner to spend 8k on a ztr . The longer they own it, the cost of ownership drops....

Lets say they spend 8K and use it for 8 years (very easy since many comercial machines will last this long, especially with light homeowner use)....then its only costing him 1000 per year for the mower and lets say another 2-500 per year(probably High) for maintenace so we are looking at 1500 a year max...at the quoted pricing thats only 17 cuts per year.....if you throw in a weedy and a blower, over 8 years miniscule cost.... the only thing the accountant has to put a price on is his time....Thats where the sale needs to be made..How much does he value his free time???? Maybe his wife is a PITA and he needs the "alone" time, or maybe he spends so much time in the office looking at numbers the ability to get out and be one with nature is valuable to him.....Thats the "x" factor so to speak....

grass_cuttin_fool
04-11-2005, 10:00 AM
if he is sitting behind a desk alot, then this may be away for him to unwind and relax and enjoy some out door time

KathysLGC
04-11-2005, 10:01 AM
I wouldn't give him any answers. I would let him go out and price things for him self. The dealer will probly try to sell him extras and stuff. He's been cutting his own lawn with no issues. If he wanted to hire some one i think he would of done so a long time ago. Now if you think he might consider you just give him the bid and let him do his own homework. He might get too busy to do it and the grass will get out of hand then your phone will ring....

timinkc
04-11-2005, 11:39 AM
if you really run the numbers, the ONLY and i repeat ONLY way you can make the numbers come out in your favor is if you (and he)count the cost of his labor... this is truly a bad situation, because he is not and probably will not be including the cost of his time, because he probably enjoys it. also a $7-8k mower is a depreciable asset.

Ant_Knee
04-11-2005, 12:08 PM
The dealer is also going to convince him to buy because that puts money in the dealers pocket.

Don't try to beat an accountant at numbers...unless he's not a very good accountant. If he's any good he will charge out at more than $50 an hour. My firm charged me out at $350 an hour. Yes I was (still am at heart) an accountant.

There are better things for him to do with his lawn then maintain it and his time is very valuable.

For a home owner you cannot depreciate anything to zero because you are not allowed to expense anything. For a business you can depreciate any equipment to zero and if you sell it you then have a capital gain.

RichmondR
04-11-2005, 12:17 PM
For what its worth, you can still sell other services to this guy if you offer them. That's my situation -- I have always cut my own lawn, because I really enjoy doing it, and I recently got a Toro 52" Z453 Z-Master to replace my JD lawn tractor.

BUT my LCO: 1) still does my spring clean up because I'm not going to buy a $1500 collection system, 2) still does my fertilization/weed control because he is priced well, does a great job and I cant stand ChemLawn, and 3) still does other jobs (landscaping, tree triming, etc.) as they arise, because I dont have anyplace to easily dump the yard waste and he does a good job. If you offer these other services, you can still make some money, particularly if you dont give him a hard time about cutting his own grass.

PMLAWN
04-12-2005, 08:35 AM
Go to the store and pick out the Z that YOU want. Than go back and tell him that that's the one to buy. Let him get the new toy part over with and even the "It's great to out riding the range" part over with. Do a great job on the office part. In about a year or so the novelty will wear off and he will ask again if you can cut his grass. He may also look at unloading that HUGE mower that takes up his parking spot in the garage and now is the time to pick up YOUR Z at a great price. : :D

By the way did he ask you to price his house or are you just pushing this on him. That will have a lot to do with how likely you are to get the job.

IMoLwnz.com
04-15-2005, 10:42 PM
GOT THE JOB!!!

Thanks!!

I did go with the 85 for the home and the 27 for the office and will deduct 7.00 for the total weekly mowing of the 2.

Should be a good thing!