PDA

View Full Version : fired 2 clients yesterday


bobbygedd
09-24-2005, 09:40 AM
tell me, how much extra are you charging for all the leaves that have been blanketing the properties, as a result of the drought? only a complete and total moronic fool would clean them at no extra charge. the drought has caused leaves to fall, in quantity, for about the last 2 months. i don't mean one leaf, or 5, or 50, i mean a blanket of leaves covering the turf, and also leaves in the beds. for my clients that pay a flat monthly fee, i show up only every 2-3 weeks, and cut +clean. i charge them the usual monthly fee. this works out fine. the problem is, the "pay per cut" clients. what a joke, there were 2 yesterday, #1- i show up last week, there is a little sign taped to the tree in the front yard, "bob, don't cut this week." ok, fine, i'm there to do the neighbors anyhow. i go back this week, the place is covered in leaves. i run over them, shoot them all over, and proceed with the neighbors. lady #1 comes out, "hey bob, if you want, after you pick up the leaves, you can just pile them in the back along the fence." i'm like, " leaves? what do you mean? today is scheduled for a grasscut, you want a cleanup too?" she goes, "well....yea, it's a mess." i said, "well, don't u want to know how much it's gonna cost, first?" her, "huh, what do you mean?" yea, ok, end of story, find another schmuck to clean your property for $40. client #2- i went over the property, and did use a catcher. some of the leaves got picked up, some didn't. i move on to the neighbors, and the guy comes out waving his arms. i go, "WHAT seems to be the problem?" he's pointing to the lawn. i'm like, "what, i don't understand, what r u saying?" he says, "the leaves, what about the leaves?" i said, "well, who did u talk to when u called?" he goes, "what? talk to who? what r u talking about?" i said, "well, nobody gave me the messege that you requested a cleanup, who did u speak with?" he goes, "what cleanup, it's part of the grasscut, you can't leave the place a wreck, it looks like u werent even here?" i said, "well, let me see if i understand this. you WANT ME , to clean your property, for $28? i'll tell you what. it's still september, i'll service the property until all the leaves are down, for a flat rate of $300, above the weekly grass cutting fee." he goes, "you must be on drugs, i aint paying $300 to have my grass cut." i said, "and i aint doin it, for $28, find another sucker." the story is always the same, THE LAST GUY used to just pick them up with his lawnmower, what's the big deal? the BIG DEAL, is that a 15 minute grasscut, turns into an hour long dusty dirty nasty cleanup. i aint doin it for free. i want to thank all you "last guys" who created this problem. tell me, what are u boys doing about the leaves? anything? free???? clean the leaves, and send a gift?

DSIM
09-24-2005, 09:52 AM
you sure showed them & taught them a good lesson! :D

I usually have to contact them and ask if they want a leaf removal next time for x amount & they almost always pay for it.

naturescape
09-24-2005, 10:07 AM
I mulch all leaves on the lawn, with double blades. Often I will have to make a second or even third pass.

Yes, leaves are coming down really early this year, thanks to the drought. But they get mulched anyway, even if it takes more time. It's just part of the service. I'm not leaving the lawn covered in leaves when I'm done......

NOW, leaves in the beds -- heck no, I'm not cleaning those up.

fcl01
09-24-2005, 10:19 AM
I mulch all leaves on the lawn, with double blades. Often I will have to make a second or even third pass.

Yes, leaves are coming down really early this year, thanks to the drought. But they get mulched anyway, even if it takes more time. It's just part of the service. I'm not leaving the lawn covered in leaves when I'm done......

NOW, leaves in the beds -- heck no, I'm not cleaning those up.


so you go over it upto 3 times for the price of 1???????
:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

nobagger
09-24-2005, 10:22 AM
I let all my customers know that when the leaves start coming down I will bag what I can but nothing above and beyond what I normally cut. An extra grass catcher full of leaves isn't a big deal but when there are 2 and 3 and so on then its time to talk more$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ :alien:

naturescape
09-24-2005, 01:52 PM
so you go over it upto 3 times for the price of 1???????
:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

Usually there are only a couple places on the lawn that need to be double-cut, let alone triple cut.

Now, in late Fall when the leaves are really coming down, I need to double cut everything, and go over some areas 3 times. But at that time of the year, I am no longer edging, and trimming is at a minimum if any.

If I'm not making $45 - 60 per hour (gross -- for my solo op.), whenever I'm working, then I underpriced the property -- it doesn't happen!

Nosmo
09-24-2005, 02:12 PM
Leaves -- what a name. Leave means to go away or it could mean leave things alone. hah Customers like Bobby's don't want things left alone , they want the leaves to go away.

Well now he has two less customers that he has to listen to what they want and what they are willing to pay.

For less than $200.00 and mowing at the same time I can get rid of my leaves. If you don't want to bag 'em like you do grass then use a lawn sweeper and pick em up while you mow. Start around the edges and blow every thing towards the middle and make a few passes. Shut off the blades and make a couple passes and pick up a load of them.

Make a deal with the customer if they want the leaves picked up they get to keep them because you don't haul them off. Ask where they want the sweeper unloaded.Don't put 'em in a corner just tell the customer all I do is pull up near a spot and pull the rope.

It may not work with some of them but you can't please everybody.

Nosmo

Dirty Water
09-24-2005, 02:15 PM
So I think Bobby is down to 3 customers now.

mcwlandscaping
09-24-2005, 02:36 PM
I just chop em up till they ask for a cleanup and my clients know that. I am glad the leaves are falling early because with having to work after school and with the days getting shorter and shorter, it gives me more daylight hours to get them cleaned up. Just my 2 cents.

Kelly's Landscaping
09-24-2005, 08:39 PM
what's the big deal? the BIG DEAL, is that a 15 minute grasscut, turns into an hour long dusty dirty nasty cleanup. i aint doin it for free. i want to thank all you "last guys" who created this problem. tell me, what are u boys doing about the leaves? anything? free???? clean the leaves, and send a gift?

:) You are right 5 mins I will eat it 1 hour they can go to hell this time of year I blow the leaves to the beds or the sides the lawn needs to be clean the rest does not. I will not do clean ups at this time of year and they cost money when I do them. You could have probably saved the cuts if you were not so rude but then the story would not be as fun to read. But you are in the right on this one they do need to pay more for that type of service.

M RASCOE&SONS
10-21-2005, 10:30 PM
i feel your pain bob but next time try to make your exit a little easier on yourself because word of mouth gets around and you dont want those guys talking to potential customers and badmouthing you.dont get me wrong i wouldnt have done it for free but a little time to explain the cost will go along way and if they still dont understand you have to tell them they are gonna have to find someone else.

CT18fireman
10-21-2005, 10:32 PM
You don't fire clients, they fire you. You drop clients or stop offering your services.

For a guy with all the answers you sure can't communicate very well. Perhaps that is the root of the problem.

ed2hess
10-21-2005, 10:49 PM
We stopped trying to get extra money for leaves, we mulch them into submission and take big blowers and spread them out. If they want the stuff bagged then we have a minumal charge. It took us more time and effort to sell the leaf cleanup idea to customer and get agreement then to just do the work. None of our customers are at home so I sure not going to miss a cut then call them and try to get more money. And besides with 4 men crews it only takes a few minutes.

Scotts' Yard Care
10-21-2005, 11:29 PM
We used to do fairly well in the fall with leaf clean ups but more of the yard services, even the big guys who should know better, are including this by just mowing and bagging with no extra charge. Most of our customers want a good thorough clean up but extra leaf work is about non existent as a side line for autumn.

Envy Lawn Service
10-22-2005, 02:42 AM
I think most miss the point here....

This is less about who did and said what, and more about making a point...

All of the precedents set and followed by the majority.

It's to the point where there is no reasoning process that the customer goes through prior to making a request or a complaint. This is because there is this automatic expectation already in place.

It seems there is no limit to the number of idiots that will perform a 2 hour leaf cleanup for no extra charge above the normal 30 minute grass cut... and that's just one example of the many similar acts people have come to expect.

This is just all the more reason that my programs are about the only way I can make this work smoothly enough to suit me and the customer without getting stressed out and/or taking a loss to pacify someone else.

This way, I set down with the customer and initiate this 'reasoning process' right from the beginning when I'm selling my service program. I address all the variations and fluctuations that can be hard to plan for, the issues involved, ect. Then I sell them a flat seasonal rate for up to a specified limitation for each of the services involved. They get a predictable bill with no big surprise surcharges that can be difficult to budget for so long as they do not exceed the limitations.... and they know this going in.

I'm a lot happier and so is the customer, because the last thing either of us want is for lawn care to become and aggrivating "nickel and dime to death" situation. Nobody is complaining and it's not because I am doing double and triple passes on leaves for free.

They know the weekly items are based on an easily understandable per-pass basis. Likewise, they know when the leaf cover gets to the point where I'm blowing out, cutting the grass and making and extra pass to take care of the leaves it counts as double. It's understandable, reasonable and easy to keep track of... and for the most part it balances out.

Those I skipped some back in September are evening out with the drought leaf drops and will not be incurring extra charges or be bothered with the nickel and dime aggrivation. Instead, I get to tell them the good news about how my program just benefited them. For example, if I don't see them, I can leave a card or drop them and e-mail with pics (my favorite) thanking them for the call-in back in September to inform me that I didn't have to bother that week unless I wanted to... and that I just gave them credit for that, which covered the extra pass/work/time that was involved in taking care of the leaves this week.

Yes, some also know that they are burning services at double the norm right now, which my result in the possibility of using up all the services that are included and paid for in their program. So they already have the expectation that their package will run out on them soon and an idea of the price range that the extra weekly service visits will cost. They have an understanding that the extra charges will also be elevated due to the fact the cost is not spread out over the course of the season, and an understanding of the relationship between the actual charges and the volume of work being performed.

So they don't expect to wait until the last leaf falls to call me out to do it for the price of a weekly grass cut. They know that waiting is only going to cost them more... and they know they will either be breaking out the checkbook to write extra checks, or they will be breaking out the rakes.

Runner
10-22-2005, 05:43 AM
We just shred them up until it's time to pick them up. This also makes our final cleanup alot easier, because we are removing ALOT less material. Even though the grass slows down (although OURS hasn't yet - it's exploding out of the ground right now), I like to stay on top of the lawns to keep all the leaves shuffled and mulched. This way no grass is blocked, and no leaves get matted.

bobbygedd
10-22-2005, 08:16 AM
You don't fire clients, they fire you. You drop clients or stop offering your services.

For a guy with all the answers you sure can't communicate very well. Perhaps that is the root of the problem.
it is YOUR mentality, that has, and will always keep lawnboys at the bottom of the food chain. you have BOSSES, i have CLIENTS. i would sooner cut my own head off with a chainsaw, than call a CLIENT my BOSS.

roscioli
10-23-2005, 11:46 PM
How long have you been in this business? Are you really even in this business? Why are your clients dictating when you do leaf clean ups? You are paid to keep their yards looking great. Not to mow, not to pick up a leaf, not to "remove that dead branch" or any other specific thing, but to keep their lawns looking great all season long. So, you show up, and there are leaves, but you skip over them? What the heck are you thinking? Pick them up, charge them accordingly, and nobody ever asks another question.

PMLAWN
10-24-2005, 12:06 AM
. And besides with 4 men crews it only takes a few minutes.
But every min. is really 4
Few x's 4 = all the profit that was in the job.
Our monthly contracts are all the same every month but the leaves were figured in at the start.

Precision
10-24-2005, 10:26 AM
I mulch all leaves on the lawn, with double blades. Often I will have to make a second or even third pass.

Yes, leaves are coming down really early this year, thanks to the drought. But they get mulched anyway, even if it takes more time. It's just part of the service. I'm not leaving the lawn covered in leaves when I'm done......

NOW, leaves in the beds -- heck no, I'm not cleaning those up.

Yeah, its part of the service if you included that in the bid. Otherwise, the chump is you, working for free.

Let me put it another way. If you were working for someone else and your route normally takes 8 hour and now it takes 12, are you still happy getting the same daily rate. example $100 for the day whether 8 hours or 12 hours.

I know I would be a little annoyed. So, why is this any different.

Wake up and smell your losses mounting.

Precision
10-24-2005, 10:31 AM
[QUOTE=CT18fireman]You don't fire clients, they fire you. You drop clients or stop offering your services.QUOTE]

I fire clients. Can an agent not fire an athlete?

They pay me with money, I pay them with labor. It is called consideration in both directions. When one party stops the flow of consideration, the agreement has been terminated. Termination of an employment arrangement is firing. And thus we fire clients.

Precision
10-24-2005, 10:47 AM
it is YOUR mentality, that has, and will always keep lawnboys at the bottom of the food chain. you have BOSSES, i have CLIENTS. i would sooner cut my own head off with a chainsaw, than call a CLIENT my BOSS.

I agree Bobby.

CT18fireman, here is how it works. Say you have 40 clients. 5 are Pitas. When you get a full schedule, as new clients want to come on board, the Pitas get price increases or just plain fired when they do something stupid. OR if they are real annoying they get fired without a replacement.

I ended last year with 3-4 Pita clients. NONE of them still pay me (1 quit, 2 fired). I have 2 new Pitas and I guarantee they will not be around much beyond spring of next year. In the last year I have churned through about 18 clients to raise my total count from 36 to 46. but more importantly the Old PITAs are gone and my gross revenue is up about 70% and profit is up from 16% to 25%.

Not bad for a guy who is firing his clients and running a second business as well.

daveintoledo
10-24-2005, 01:28 PM
i mulch while i can, when its too many leaves i knock ont he door and sell them a leaf cleanup... sir there alot of leaves, i can clean them up and remove them for x dollars, or whould you like me to wait a couple weeks till they all fall, then it will be xy dollars.....

i never give them a chance to say no to my price, pay me now or later its up to you.... so far it works well with all my customers......

sell em the stuff bobby, i KNOW your a good salesmen

naturescape
10-24-2005, 02:16 PM
Yeah, its part of the service if you included that in the bid. Otherwise, the chump is you, working for free.

Let me put it another way. If you were working for someone else and your route normally takes 8 hour and now it takes 12, are you still happy getting the same daily rate. example $100 for the day whether 8 hours or 12 hours.

I know I would be a little annoyed. So, why is this any different.

Wake up and smell your losses mounting.

Yep, I agree. When I bid my lawns, it's done figuring the extra cost of leaf mulching into the overall cut price, and that's explained to my customers. The result is in Fall, I keep on working till all the leaves are down. Nice simple system, easy to bookkeep.

If my customers don't want me working till the end of leaf season, I don't want 'em anyway.

skurkp
10-24-2005, 03:04 PM
If I have a customer that pay's lets say 1900 per year I would be a fool not to clean up some leaves or pull weeds once in a while to keep them happy. I don't have the leaf problem like some of you guys do, but I still have customers that want an extra now and then. I would hate to think that I lost an account that pays me in the long run more than the cost of a couple of hours work. I only have 3 residentail jobs so I really don't deal with home owners, but an unhappy customer is not going to keep my company growing.

Precision
10-24-2005, 03:05 PM
Yep, I agree. When I bid my lawns, it's done figuring the extra cost of leaf mulching into the overall cut price, and that's explained to my customers. The result is in Fall, I keep on working till all the leaves are down. Nice simple system, easy to bookkeep.

If my customers don't want me working till the end of leaf season, I don't want 'em anyway.


Then you are way ahead of many.

It really isn't a surprise each year when the leaves fall. I mean they do it every year, so why not just build it into the contract.

spread it out over the year or double or triple the last few cut prices or whatever just get paid and paid well for crappy work.

I have found that in Spring, when I discuss issues that will occur in Fall, the clients are usually impressed that I am thinking ahead and that ends up being a reason they chose me. It sure isn't my low price.

DUSTYCEDAR
10-24-2005, 03:13 PM
i hated leaf season it was a pain in the azz
i had clients that would pay for anything i did no problems
i had others that would stop mowing services at the end of sept...ok i can do that but then they would call in oct to have me do 1 last cut "which means cleanup my lawn for 35 bucks" no way i would quoat them a cleanup price with a lawn cut included if they would not pay for it i never showed up
after a few years of that game i would drop the chepos
bobby is right it is expected by many homeowners that fall cleanup is just part of the mowing well its not
if u do work for free they will expect it and tell there friends about it and they will call u to do it for free
charge them or dont do it

Ol'time Lawncare
10-24-2005, 05:02 PM
As of September 15th we start bagging leaves for $10 bucks more. So if we charge $35 for you lawn ,Grass cutting, then it will be $45 with the leaves . only till October 1st .Then it's $20 more , a total of $55 a week all the way up till the 3rd week of November. Then we end the season with a complete clean up for $175. This only applys to lawn customers with lawns that are 10,000 sq or less. prize varys by sq-footage! this works for me.

bobbygedd
10-24-2005, 05:27 PM
10,000 sq ft, bagging and hauling leaves for $175? i got 3.5 k properties, where i blow em to the curb for $450. lowballer

Ol'time Lawncare
10-24-2005, 05:41 PM
i didn't say i hauled them away, everything is to the curb. Lowballer? me? it takes me 35 minutes to do a clean up and thats by my self. i don,t think $175to blowing some leaves is bad at all, but 450 for 3.5!mmmm that sound high to me. god bless you if you can get that kind of money!!!

Fubba
10-24-2005, 06:18 PM
I'd pay you $300 to clean my yard up bobby. Even with my equipment sitting right beside yours and with a car payment due for $300 that day.

bobbygedd
10-24-2005, 06:27 PM
ok, but...traveling time is gonna cost u quite a bit

pjslawncare/landscap
10-24-2005, 08:37 PM
We chop them up while mowing when there lite. When they need to be cleaned up, we charge them accordingly and automaticly. Have never gotten any complaints jet. Lighten up and dont dis your customers Bob. Most people just need to be educated and explained to, back off on that coffee a bit too man :blob3:

bobbygedd
10-24-2005, 08:42 PM
if i didn't have a bad attitude, i'd have no attitude at all. my point is, simply that, THEY EXPECT the leaves to be cleaned, for the price of a grasscut. aint happening here, neverrrrrrrrr

roscioli
10-24-2005, 11:42 PM
BOBBY- did they specifically say that they didnt want to pay extra?

dhess
10-27-2005, 12:26 AM
Will someone please post some BEFORE pictures of these infamous leaf cleanup jobs you guys have to deal with up North so we all might get a better idea what these $500-1000 dollar jobs look like.

PMLAWN
10-27-2005, 12:50 PM
Will someone please post some BEFORE pictures of these infamous leaf cleanup jobs you guys have to deal with up North so we all might get a better idea what these $500-1000 dollar jobs look like.
A very good question as every area is different. I know east Texas is full of pines but forget what Austin is like. I know NC is nothing like up north with the leaves.
I am from Chicago and the leaves were 10x's worse than down here.
Lived in a state park in Texas (Mexia) and most of the trees around there were Mesquite