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View Full Version : Quality, price or human contact--psychology


yrdandgardenhandyman
10-09-2005, 12:47 AM
Quoted of Kelly's Landscaping from another thread:

>>I go in and bid on a lawn and only dare ask 40 for an acre and there is a good chance I will not see it because the guy they have now that they hate so much that they called me is only charging 25-30 and the idiot is bagging it as well.<<

Why do you think people do this? I get a couple of people every season (different people every time for the most part) who call me for a bid. I go and they start in how their current guy is doing a lousy job, not showing up, not trimming, missing spots, bad attitude etc. I give my bid and they start in about how their current guy charges $5.00 less. I explain that I do an excellent job, have references and all that broo ha ha. Then they tell me that they think they will just stay with their current guy and try to get him to improve and in most cases I guess they do because I have monitored a couple of them after the bid, out of curiosity. If they are simply looking for a low price, why stay with the current guy? It's like they just want some human contact. I know that I am not the only LCO they had contacted and some of the guys with a push mower tied to the back of the Schwinn have to be cheaper. :dizzy:
I have started to screen these when they start out on the phone telling me they want a replacement because of quality. I usually ask if quality is really a concern or if price is. Saved myself a few useless trips this year.

olderthandirt
10-09-2005, 12:58 AM
They do it so they can lite a fire under the guy they have now. All they have to say is I had so & so co. stop and give me the same price as you but they were gonna {name some extras} also. I told them I was gonna stick with you for the time being and see how your quality stacks up. 9 out of 10 times it works and the old lco is now doing better AND more work for the same price. If he don't, the customer already know how much it will cost them to replace the old with the new

Wells
10-09-2005, 01:31 AM
I'm always amazed how many people will compromise quality for a few dollars.

Last Saturday I received a call from the next door neighbor of a current client. The guy went on and on about his current lawn company and how un-happy he was because the guys were chewing away his fence posts every time they trim.

The guy said he was impressed at how our clients fence posts look (un-damaged) and wanted to inquire about us taking him on as a client.

I explained that I would do his yard for the same price as his neighbor, I still haven't heard back from him. Seems like he's willing to live with the damaged posts if it saves a few bucks each week.

This particular client might save a buck or two each week but maybe he'll think twice about quality next year when he's replacing all of his fence posts.

Wells
10-09-2005, 01:46 AM
They do it so they can lite a fire under the guy they have now. All they have to say is I had so & so co. stop and give me the same price as you but they were gonna {name some extras} also. I told them I was gonna stick with you for the time being and see how your quality stacks up. 9 out of 10 times it works and the old lco is now doing better AND more work for the same price. If he don't, the customer already know how much it will cost them to replace the old with the new

Mac,
I had a client call me for a one-time service last year. Come to find out the client already had a 16 year old kid from across the street mowing his property each week but wanted to show the kid how easily he could be replaced.

I was sort of torqued that the guy used me that way but oh-well. Guy said if the kid didn't shape up he would be calling us back, never heard from the guy again so I guess the kid got the point.

olderthandirt
10-09-2005, 02:12 AM
Mac,
I had a client call me for a one-time service last year. Come to find out the client already had a 16 year old kid from across the street mowing his property each week but wanted to show the kid how easily he could be replaced.

I was sort of torqued that the guy used me that way but oh-well. Guy said if the kid didn't shape up he would be calling us back, never heard from the guy again so I guess the kid got the point.

Its happened to everyone that has a 1/2 way decent size company that projects a professional image. And it won't be the last time you get used to get the others to do some extra work or better quility. Its all part of the game the other part that you have to figure in as an expense is your time and gas to for these friviolus estimates. The estimates are only free to the customer payup
And yet its hard to screen these calls out. One of the best most profitable jobs I ever did I got from a call the week of Christmas. Was going to just blow the woman off and tell her I'd get in touch when the weather broke, but went anyway. Turned into a full installation at her new home and all the sub work at her husbands "sub division" he was building and 1 commercial account for a office building they owned, and I almost did'nt get it because I did not think she was serious the week of christmas just calling co. in the phone book.

yrdandgardenhandyman
10-09-2005, 02:23 AM
They do it so they can lite a fire under the guy they have now. All they have to say is I had so & so co. stop and give me the same price as you but they were gonna {name some extras} also. I told them I was gonna stick with you for the time being and see how your quality stacks up. 9 out of 10 times it works and the old lco is now doing better AND more work for the same price. If he don't, the customer already know how much it will cost them to replace the old with the new


Strange thing is that the ones I monitored still have the same guys and they are still doing a poor job. Haven't had but one call me back to replace the old guy. And her complaint was very valid. He killed 2 trees with the string trimmer (Made a bunch of money replacing those trees and adding tree rings and mulch to all the trees) and busted up the siding on one corner of the house and a shed by slamming into the corners with his Hustler.

nate1422
10-09-2005, 08:49 AM
Here's a story. Moved into a new house, went with the lowest bid trash collector. They did great with the trash pickup but missed the recycling pick up 3 times, actually never picked it up. I called and said I wanted to cancel, they picked up the garbage tote with my recycling bin and all missed recycling inside the garbage tote, then I called back to sign up. They missed the recycling again so I cancelled and now I pay an extra $8 a month for a company that picks up the trash and recycling on time and am very happy to pay the extra $8. All that company had to do was pick up my recycling but they didn't and they didn't care that is why I stopped service with them.

It sucks because all people are different and it is hard to know what they really want. They also fear change sometimes and who is to say you are better, maybe not, but you probably are better. It will forever be a guessing game.

lawnwizards
10-09-2005, 12:18 PM
Its happened to everyone that has a 1/2 way decent size company that projects a professional image. And it won't be the last time you get used to get the others to do some extra work or better quility. Its all part of the game the other part that you have to figure in as an expense is your time and gas to for these friviolus estimates. The estimates are only free to the customer payup
And yet its hard to screen these calls out. One of the best most profitable jobs I ever did I got from a call the week of Christmas. Was going to just blow the woman off and tell her I'd get in touch when the weather broke, but went anyway. Turned into a full installation at her new home and all the sub work at her husbands "sub division" he was building and 1 commercial account for a office building they owned, and I almost did'nt get it because I did not think she was serious the week of christmas just calling co. in the phone book.
i hate when new lcos call you up and try to get estimates over the phone for installs or maintenence just so they'll have an idea of what to bid.... thats why i don't do estimates unless i see the property and believe its legit.

Likestomow
10-09-2005, 02:22 PM
i hate when new lcos call you up and try to get estimates over the phone for installs or maintenence just so they'll have an idea of what to bid.... thats why i don't do estimates unless i see the property and believe its legit.

When you know it's another LCO fishing and they won't give you the address, just tell them, "If you want a really nice job done it will cost you $15."

Kelly's Landscaping
10-09-2005, 03:26 PM
Some of my areas are super competitive others are much easier to get our price. I have lost a few this year where I went higher then I normally ask just to see what my limitations are with price structure that and I can not give a bid to save my butt when the ground is covered in snow I always seem to be very high then. But you gota wonder why are they calling you when the place is covered in snow unless they are so hard to deal with they figure they need a much longer bidding period. When I have posted in the past there are 245 other landscapers just in my yellow pages I am not making that up I actually counted them in disgust one day. I have since pulled out, as it does not generate the cliental I am after. I know who the large low ballers are yet I take their work quite often, as it is the worst level of service one could get. That does not mean I give grade A to any one I have seen many pics on here especially of edges. I do not bother with that because nobody here cares so why take the time. I have transformed into a mow and go company over the last 3 years and will be expanding yet again next season this time to 225 cuts or around 6500 a week in lawn cut income. You add in fert work and small 200-3000 dollar jobs for my existing customers and itís not a bad nitch. They want cheap prices I sell them on middle of the road although in truth I do not know whom if anyone in my area offers high end of the road. I work for the middle class yes more then 50 of my account homes would cost over a million but the cheap homes are still 400k here.

They all seem to want to know you and I do my best for that I smile as I cut as I like what I do I wave to them I will even stop and chat if they want. I find it stunning how many ugly guys will compound that by frowning with a look like it is the worst day of there life as they cut the lawn. It can be simply that people respond better to someone with a positive outlook or that cheap is great but the human nature is to always aspire to be better so if they have a choice 30 dollars 40 dollars or 55 dollars most will select 40 as they assume something must be defective with the cheaper service.

Brianslawn
10-09-2005, 06:10 PM
we tell them our minimum price over the phone when they call. our minimum is often higher than what they are currently paying. the cheapos keep calling around and the rest give us their address.