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PLS-Tx
03-09-2006, 06:05 PM
What do you do when you get a call for an estimate and you go by and look at the lawn and it's not something you want to do?

How do you tell the people without offending them, that you don't want to do the lawn?

I'm mainly talking about if it's junky, trashy or just an overall mess.

Duck Dodger
03-09-2006, 06:08 PM
You give them a price that would make you glad to do the lawn.

Fantasy Lawns
03-09-2006, 06:08 PM
You double your price n ask for payment up front

John Gamba
03-09-2006, 06:10 PM
What do you do when you get a call for an estimate and you go by and look at the lawn and it's not something you want to do?

How do you tell the people without offending them, that you don't want to do the lawn?

I'm mainly talking about if it's junky, trashy or just an overall mess.


Say your at the wrong house:laugh:

Woody82986
03-09-2006, 06:18 PM
You double the price you would normally do it for and see if they bite.

Roger
03-09-2006, 06:19 PM
I just tell them their property is not allow me to work the way I want to work. In some cases, it is too big (I don't want a job that takes more than 2 hrs), has difficult terrain (at 65 I don't move as well as I did when I was much younger), requires use of a particular kind of mower (I make my best money when I can keep my large mower running, ... ), or the property does not allow me to make good use of the equipment that I presently own.

I've never had anybody question my explanation and I never felt any of them were offended. There is nothing wrong with using the truth to make your claim -- why make up a false reason?

lawn_pro
03-09-2006, 07:16 PM
give em a sky-high price....

beautifullawns
03-09-2006, 07:21 PM
out price yourself. It is the easiest way to get out of it.

TJLC
03-09-2006, 07:33 PM
You give them a price that would make you glad to do the lawn.

I try to explain to them that because of the condition it is in, it will cost them alot to get it in good shape. This is usually enough to discourage them. If that does not work, use John's line.:laugh:

Green-Pro
03-09-2006, 07:47 PM
You give them a price that would make you glad to do the lawn.


I like it.... Ilike it a lot :)

deereman
03-09-2006, 09:00 PM
If it was me, I would NOT give a high price just to get out of the job. UNLESS you are willing to do it for that price! Giving a high price because you dont want it could hurt you getting future jobs if, they spread the word around about how high priced that you are. Honesty is always the way to go.:)

Roger
03-09-2006, 09:34 PM
Should I be amazed at all the answers offered, other than truth and honesty? I agree with Deereman, coupled with what I said earlier -- truth and honesty always will be the right thing to do. False pricing, lame excuses, or ????, why? We read numerous threads about "being a professional" (by the way, I am still waiting for a definition of the term), but yet when the opportunity arises to be truthful and honest, the tone changes to "lawnboy." Can anybody reconcile these two positions for me?

specialtylc
03-09-2006, 09:41 PM
I had one of those just a couple weeks ago. They were reffered by a current customer and was right on our route. I get there and its a real mess. Just had the septic system redone( pourly I might add) and crappy bushes all over , rough and rocky , etc. After walking the property with the owner , I just told her it was not the type of property we like to do. And that we only do residential customers that fit into our schedule and are highly maintained .I was afraid of offending them like you too, but she understood that I was not willing to beat up my equipment.
Sometimes its best to try and look first before actually meeting with a new customer so you can just tell them you are too full to add another client.

Jpocket
03-09-2006, 09:47 PM
What do you do when you get a call for an estimate and you go by and look at the lawn and it's not something you want to do?

How do you tell the people without offending them, that you don't want to do the lawn?

I'm mainly talking about if it's junky, trashy or just an overall mess.

Bid it extremely high..so there is no possible way they'll say go ahead. I do it all the time on clean-ups and mulch

topsites
03-09-2006, 09:59 PM
The high bids do fix some of these problems, yes...
But I've done it and had them say yes, too !

And what I found out is sometimes no matter how much they pay, I still don't want it. So now, sometimes I just keep right on driving, never stop or get out of the car. It's likely a good example of a yard where I just don't get a good feeling out of the situation.

Because it's just too much, I can't handle but so much of the projects anymore, the dirt and the dust gets into everything and the resulting grit eats my machines alive.

It is an exception to the rule if the people claim they just moved in / bought this house and they would like to hire someone to restore the yard to decency... That I can handle.

LwnmwrMan22
03-09-2006, 10:35 PM
I just tell them "honestly, I don't want to do your yard." "if you DO want me to do your yard, it'll be $300 / month." I go after open flat properties that I can get my 60" ZTR, or my 11' WAM on, so if it's a small residential yard, I tell them it'll be $300 / month.

befnme
03-09-2006, 10:39 PM
i had one last season i wanted to get rid of and i sent them a letter staing " due to irreconcilable(sp) differences i thought it was a good idea for them to search for a new lawn co ." and the guy called me and said thanks for working for me as long as you did .

Luvs2Play
03-09-2006, 10:45 PM
Make sure you get to keep any cars you uncover!


Explain the reason for quoting a high price. Tell them that you will need special equipment to do the job right. It is not a job that will be done right away because of the time it will take to do it to your specifications, and you don't lower yourself to B grade work. Look them in the eye when you tell them what you would do if you got the job. It could end up being a good relationship leading to more better jobs. Take before and after pictures to prove the job was worthy of your price and time. If you don't want it, just say you can't do it.

JimLewis
03-10-2006, 02:29 AM
If it was me, I would NOT give a high price just to get out of the job. UNLESS you are willing to do it for that price! Giving a high price because you dont want it could hurt you getting future jobs if, they spread the word around about how high priced that you are. Honesty is always the way to go.:)

I'm with Deereman and Roger. I think it hurts your company's reputation to just quote jobs like this super high. They have friends and family and co-workers and if your name ever comes up they'll say, "Oh, Gawd! Don't call Lewis Landscape. Their prices are outrageous!!! They wanted $300 a month to do my tiny yard. I couldn't believe it!"

Better to either just decline the job politely.

Sometimes I just call and say, "Hi. John? Yah, Jim Lewis here with Lewis Landscape. I stopped by today and took a look at your property. And to be honest, I am not sure our company is the best to handle your property. I recommend calling A&J Landscape. I think they are more suited for what you're looking for. Their number is 555-1212."

CAG
03-10-2006, 02:59 AM
shoot the price high like others said.. if you don't want to do it most likely other's wont either which naturally brings the value up. get good money for it and do the work ..theirs plenty of things in life that you will have to do that you wont want to do so get paid for it...

Richard Martin
03-10-2006, 03:24 AM
I've tried the high bidding trick before and apparently I wasn't high enough. I ended up cutting that lawn for 2 years before I finally just cut it loose. Now I just tell them I'm booked up.

work_it
03-10-2006, 03:48 AM
I politely explain the situation and tell the HO/PM why I would have to pass on the lawn. I've also offered to give them a bid on a total lawn renovation (if that's the situation). For gated yards with narrow gates; I give them a name and phone number from one of the fence companies in the area. Then I tell them what the weekly rate will be once they have the gate widened.

PaulJ
03-10-2006, 09:31 AM
I like Jim Lewis's approach. If it is a yard I htink I could get into shape I will let the customer know what that would take. Some really want a nic elawn but havn't gotten there yet.

LawnMowerMan3875
03-10-2006, 10:39 AM
To me it would be a potintal client for some landscaping work before preforming any cutting...Of course that would depend on the condition of the yard....If its going to take a full size bulldozer to get it into shape, I would recomend someone with that kind of equipment...Then tell them to give me a call for the lawn care...If it isn't to bad, get out the bobcat, level the yard, trim tree's, shrubs ect. seed and wait for the growing to begin..and then hopefully get the lawn....If not, you made money doing the landscaping...JMO>>>

M RASCOE&SONS
03-10-2006, 11:13 AM
I just tell them their property is not allow me to work the way I want to work. In some cases, it is too big (I don't want a job that takes more than 2 hrs), has difficult terrain (at 65 I don't move as well as I did when I was much younger), requires use of a particular kind of mower (I make my best money when I can keep my large mower running, ... ), or the property does not allow me to make good use of the equipment that I presently own.

I've never had anybody question my explanation and I never felt any of them were offended. There is nothing wrong with using the truth to make your claim -- why make up a false reason?
this is the perfect way too handle it because if your honest about it they may pass your name around and we all know word of mouth is always good.nice explanation roger:usflag:

YGWBill
03-10-2006, 12:51 PM
just bid real high

QualityLawnCare4u
03-10-2006, 01:44 PM
I also agree with Roger and deereman. I just thank them for calling me but their yard is not one that my equipment is suited for or one that I dont think I would be able to do their yard to my standard to get it like I would like it to look. Not one person has ever acted offended. I dumped one last month that Ive had for 6 years and I hated that yard with a passion. I told the lady I appreciated her patronage but her yard was bad on my equipment (sand and leaves and extremely rough terrain) and she understood. If I double the price and get it Im still not going to like doing the yard so why take it. Some I get a bad feeling from right off the bat and I learned a long time ago to go with that gut feeling.

dkeisala
03-10-2006, 03:51 PM
I'm with Deereman and Roger. I think it hurts your company's reputation to just quote jobs like this super high. They have friends and family and co-workers and if your name ever comes up they'll say, "Oh, Gawd! Don't call Lewis Landscape. Their prices are outrageous!!! They wanted $300 a month to do my tiny yard. I couldn't believe it!"

Better to either just decline the job politely.

Sometimes I just call and say, "Hi. John? Yah, Jim Lewis here with Lewis Landscape. I stopped by today and took a look at your property. And to be honest, I am not sure our company is the best to handle your property. I recommend calling A&J Landscape. I think they are more suited for what you're looking for. Their number is 555-1212."
This is pretty much what I do. A couple of weeks ago I visited a property that's a rental (always a red flag in my book) on a very busy street. Place has been neglected for a couple of years. Flower beds had been overtaken by grass, junk everywhere, overgrown fence lines, berry vines, no place to safely park the truck and trailer. I walked around with the guy and told him that honestly, it wasn't the type of property we could clean up at a reasonable price. Told him his best bet would be to stay out of the phone book and pick up the local paper or nickel ads and find someone that could do it for him for a decent fee. Yeah, he was a little put off but at least I didn't lie to him and I helped by giving him a suggestion of where he might find someone that could do it for him.

rodfather
03-10-2006, 03:55 PM
Simple...do a drive-by and keep on going. :walking: