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Sharp Services
03-13-2006, 03:28 AM
How are we to make any money if your competition is willing to work for peanuts?

I bid a local church, who wanted to pay per cut, at $ 180.00 a cut. This would be weekly during the growing season and monthly the rest of the year.

The first call back I received was that they were really unhappy with there present LC and wanted to change ... so I give the $180 bid. Two weeks later they called and said that the old contract was for $170 per cut and if I could meet that price they would sign the contract. I said that $180 was fair and that I could go no lower.

Monday I get a call that they decided to give me the contract and to come get the signed contract on Wednesday after lunch. Wednesday, while I am driving over, I get a call and said that when they told the old LC that he was loosing the contract he lowered the price to $150 per cut. I told them that I could not do it for less than $180. I was told that they were going to give the old guy one more chance.

I thanked them for the opportunity to provide them with service and to call me if the old LC did not work out.

I am mad ... What would you have done different? This was my first attempt to get commercial work,

JKOOPERS
03-13-2006, 03:50 AM
i did the same thing stick to your guns . if you lower it for one person then you will lowering it for everyone. good job suck it up and move on .

lawnman_scott
03-13-2006, 03:58 AM
I would have asked them why they asked you to bid in the first place, ask what was wrong with the guy they had. Then when they told you what they were unhappy with, I would have asked them if they honestly thought he would do a better job for less money.

Bottom line is, God works in mysterious ways, churches work in idiotic ways. Be happy you saved yourself the trouble.

lawn_pro
03-13-2006, 05:34 AM
its amazing, they will get what they pay for..I wouldn't worry about it, its still early, you will get something better....

LawnScapers of Dayton
03-13-2006, 07:29 AM
Why would they all of a sudden be happy with the current guy at a lower price..... Makes no sense..... Tell them $200 when they call back.

D

cwlawley
03-13-2006, 07:30 AM
I feel you. Very discouraging.

E.L.I.T.E.LawnCare
03-13-2006, 09:52 AM
A lot of commercial customers are starting to see that these LC companies with these low bids are not doing the same work as someone with a higher bid. For example the church i attend hired a LC 5yrs ago, because the guy was charging $225-$250 per wk. for 9.4 acres, after about two yrs. they started tearing up trees while weed whipping, running into lights with ztr's etc.. I decided to put my bid in last season for $550 per wk. and got the contract signed. This season I went up even higher (because of gas prices and to cover damages to my equip.) and i'm just waiting to hear back from them. I'm also bidding on a apt. complex that was paying $450 per wk. and the LC under bid on that, my bid is for $750 so i will post again if they call back.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
03-13-2006, 10:02 AM
I would have done pretty much exactly what you did. I have had this happen a few times. We recently had a customer ask that we keep their price the same as last year. We explained to them that we could do that, but we wouldn't be able to do all the add on's. They were not happy at first, but then my wife reminded the gentleman of the quality of work that we provide and he agreed. Once they realize that even though they are getting the service for cheaper, but not getting what they are looking for they will be back.

Remsen1
03-13-2006, 10:44 AM
you're getting robbed at $18 per cut on any size property on a monthly cutting schedule. That other LCO will not last for long, be prepared for when these penny pinchers call you back. Don't let them nickel and dime you down to 1 cut per month, cause that one cut will be a pain in the @#$

The other lawn guy will realize that he is being nit-picked and making less money than before and will think wtf? and stop showing up.

TURF DOCTOR
03-13-2006, 10:54 AM
You are right stick to your price, trying to knock you 10 bucks come on big accounts are crap we have a lot of small commercial accounts that pay good you know work 10 min at 30 and up less wear and tear.

GrassBustersLawn
03-13-2006, 12:46 PM
I'm with DRM...tell them $200 when they call back!

Gas will certainly be higher by then (it is $2.49 here now and supposedly GOING UP as summer approaches) and you are passing it along. Also you will have a FULL SCHEDULE that you will have to WORK THEM INTO, which costs $.

Mike

Precision
03-13-2006, 05:37 PM
I agree next time they call back tell them it was your pre-season special price, now the price is $200 (or more).

quality or low price. they can take their pick, but they can't have both, at least not for long.

Don't feel bad, I bid on a property.
The current guy is doing a horrible job, not just what they say, it is a fact.

I come highly recommended and bid a bit over $10,000 monthly (28 acres of turf and TONS of hedges, beds, trimming, edging 21 buildings you name it.)
They tell me the current guy is doing it for $3000 monthly could I do it for something close to that.

Sure. I could come out one day a week with 3 guys and do whatever, just like him and get a bad reputation, No thanks.

Or

I can come out 2 days a week with a crew of 4 each time and properly maintain the property. My cost on labor ONLY for that about $3000 monthly.

Obviously, I didn't get the bid. Didn't want it.

Next year I will add a few hundred to my bid and send it out again.

Shawns Lawns
03-13-2006, 05:39 PM
When they called back to tell you that the other guy was willing to do it for $150 and wanted you to match that, you could have said that you misquoted him and it would really be $220. He would probably resettle back at $180 if he really did not want the other lc to do the work. :waving:

Rev. Crabgrass
03-13-2006, 05:48 PM
Although that ticked you off, think about if you got it and everytime you went you were there for a price that wasn't going to make you as much money. I agree with everyone that thinking the other LCO is going to do a better job for less money hahahahahahaha. They will call back at some point.


REV.

HOOLIE
03-13-2006, 06:02 PM
How are we to make any money if your competition is willing to work for peanuts?

I bid a local church, who wanted to pay per cut, at $ 180.00 a cut. This would be weekly during the growing season and monthly the rest of the year.

The first call back I received was that they were really unhappy with there present LC and wanted to change ... so I give the $180 bid. Two weeks later they called and said that the old contract was for $170 per cut and if I could meet that price they would sign the contract. I said that $180 was fair and that I could go no lower.

Monday I get a call that they decided to give me the contract and to come get the signed contract on Wednesday after lunch. Wednesday, while I am driving over, I get a call and said that when they told the old LC that he was loosing the contract he lowered the price to $150 per cut. I told them that I could not do it for less than $180. I was told that they were going to give the old guy one more chance.

I thanked them for the opportunity to provide them with service and to call me if the old LC did not work out.

I am mad ... What would you have done different? This was my first attempt to get commercial work,

That church did you a favor...now you know how they operate...move on and go after better jobs.

Sharp Services
03-15-2006, 07:31 AM
Thanks for all the encouraging post. On the bright side, I picked up 4 new residentials this week. At that rate when they call back I will have to tell them that I am just to busy to cut there grass.

qualitylawnmanagement
03-15-2006, 07:59 AM
If the last guy did a bad job then why do they want to continue he's service? Don't go lower then your price. There playing a game with you, You go high they go low. Oldest trick in the book.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-15-2006, 09:23 AM
The only reason they told you they weren't happy with the current company was because they didn't feel good about telling you the truth...that they only wanted an estimate from you to help them pressure the current guy to drop his prices. If his quality was bad enough, they would have switched to you. His quality was fine. They just wanted to take advantage of our situation (no barrier to entry) and make him lower his price.

They used you, plain and simple.

I wish the industry could come together and start charging these a-holes for estimates. Estimates are work. They shouldn't be free. But because our industry is so un-united, they probably always will be.

It's not like they can drive their landscape to us and have us look at it. Typically, service industries that provide free estimates don't leave the shop to provide the free estimate. The customer does the driving if they want a free estimate.

Just curious, how many hours would you guess you put into this?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Sharp Services
03-15-2006, 09:40 AM
The only reason they told you they weren't happy with the current company was because they didn't feel good about telling you the truth...that they only wanted an estimate from you to help them pressure the current guy to drop his prices. If his quality was bad enough, they would have switched to you. His quality was fine. They just wanted to take advantage of our situation (no barrier to entry) and make him lower his price.

They used you, plain and simple.

I wish the industry could come together and start charging these a-holes for estimates. Estimates are work. They shouldn't be free. But because our industry is so un-united, they probably always will be.

It's not like they can drive their landscape to us and have us look at it. Typically, service industries that provide free estimates don't leave the shop to provide the free estimate. The customer does the driving if they want a free estimate.

Just curious, how many hours would you guess you put into this?

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

I have about 3 1/2 hours in the looking over the job, phone calls, drawing up the quote and follow-up.

DFW Area Landscaper
03-15-2006, 09:51 AM
It's sad, but it's true. You worked 3.5 hours for free. You get the frustration of not winning the business to boot!

You might contact the person who you were dealing with and just let them know how many hours you put into getting them a price. Do it tactfully, but at the same, throw a little guilt in their face.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

PaulJ
03-15-2006, 06:59 PM
I wonder what makes them think that the "old guy" is goint to do a better job for less money??:hammerhead: :dizzy: :hammerhead: :dizzy:

befnme
03-15-2006, 11:02 PM
they are prob just bull schitin ya trying to get you to lower your price .just wait they will call back.