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View Full Version : Do they think we mow for our health?


FIRESCOOBY
06-29-2006, 06:15 PM
Was going through town to get lunch today and got a call about a quote. The guy said that he saw my magnets while I was driving down the road. He said he currently has his yard done by a local company. (This is the second call I've gotten in the last week from customers of that company with people not happy.)

Anyway, went by at the end of the day and looked at it. Yard is at least 3/4 acre, bumping a full acre and 1/3 of it is steep as heck. Front is sodded Bermuda and the rear is very thin Fecue seed. The front was cut this week and was scalped BAD.

Called him with my price. He said "Well, we're paying about 50% of that now" And paused for my response. I told him that I appreciate the opportunity for his business and that he is welcome to call me anytime he may need anything. He then asked if I was going to do anything about my price. I told him that if the current company is doing it for 50% of what I quoted, then he should probably stay with them and learn to live with the things he is unhappy with. He asked how could I charge what I quoted. I told him I do not advertise as the cheapest. I charge a fair price, do quality work, very reliable and I could provide references. He was fairly cordial when he hung up.

Now...what I quoted was $65. The side (1/3 of the yard) is on a 30-40 degree angle. You can see where the current company has rutted the yard out by going the same direction with their mower. I figured I'd have to push mow this part. Two LARGE beds to edge. Standard trimming, etc.

Am I doing something wrong? I currently have two accounts that I "let" the customer talk me down in price when I was first starting out and "hungry". Those jobs are no profit at all for me. I vowed after that I'd figure my price fairly and stick to it no matter what. I've developed a "If they don't like my price...move on". I don't mind losing a job due to price. My main focus is to NEVER lose a job due to quality of job done.

mexiking
06-29-2006, 06:55 PM
Was going through town to get lunch today and got a call about a quote. The guy said that he saw my magnets while I was driving down the road. He said he currently has his yard done by a local company. (This is the second call I've gotten in the last week from customers of that company with people not happy.)

Anyway, went by at the end of the day and looked at it. Yard is at least 3/4 acre, bumping a full acre and 1/3 of it is steep as heck. Front is sodded Bermuda and the rear is very thin Fecue seed. The front was cut this week and was scalped BAD.

Called him with my price. He said "Well, we're paying about 50% of that now" And paused for my response. I told him that I appreciate the opportunity for his business and that he is welcome to call me anytime he may need anything. He then asked if I was going to do anything about my price. I told him that if the current company is doing it for 50% of what I quoted, then he should probably stay with them and learn to live with the things he is unhappy with. He asked how could I charge what I quoted. I told him I do not advertise as the cheapest. I charge a fair price, do quality work, very reliable and I could provide references. He was fairly cordial when he hung up.

Now...what I quoted was $65. The side (1/3 of the yard) is on a 30-40 degree angle. You can see where the current company has rutted the yard out by going the same direction with their mower. I figured I'd have to push mow this part. Two LARGE beds to edge. Standard trimming, etc.

Am I doing something wrong? I currently have two accounts that I "let" the customer talk me down in price when I was first starting out and "hungry". Those jobs are no profit at all for me. I vowed after that I'd figure my price fairly and stick to it no matter what. I've developed a "If they don't like my price...move on". I don't mind losing a job due to price. My main focus is to NEVER lose a job due to quality of job done.

nope you're right, never lower down your price.

Charles
06-29-2006, 07:05 PM
Ya, the guy got the service he was paying for thats for sure. Stick with your prices. Some will pay and some won't....

Branchland
06-29-2006, 07:07 PM
You did right. You set your prices at a fair rate to start with, no haggling, you're not a car saleman.

OMG
06-29-2006, 07:52 PM
Never forget- If you get every job you bid, your price is too low.



----Regardless of your appearance, salesmanship, etc.

scagwildcat
06-29-2006, 08:05 PM
the only time i lower my price is if i figured for more mowing, ( on lawns were you cant tell where the property lines are) then once i talk to the owner and know how far they want me to mow, i adjust the price.stick to your price, never lower it, people try this all the time to get a better deal even at time were they know you are giving them a deal.... plus if you do lower your price , it comes across as if you were trying to rip them off ...

LawnGuy73
06-29-2006, 09:43 PM
"Do they think we mow for our health"? Very simple....Yes, Yes they do.

Lizard Lawn Care
06-29-2006, 09:55 PM
obviously, your not too hungry anymore!:) :)

jpp
06-29-2006, 10:13 PM
Sounds like he may have been just doing a "price check" on isle 5.:waving: Sounds to me like he wants a cheap price with quality service and he just won't get it. These types go through lco's so fast they won't know who they had and who they hadn't had.

topsites
06-29-2006, 10:20 PM
Never forget- If you get every job you bid, your price is too low.

----Regardless of your appearance, salesmanship, etc.

That's golden rule there.

I learned so long I get at least 1 out of every 10, my price is not too high and right there is awesome profit and to be truthful, I can only get what I want to get paid when I lose 9 out of every 10 calls.
If I get 1/2 to say yes, that's borderline, right down to the wire (meaning if anything doesn't go exactly right, I lose money).
Anything more than 1/2 is too low.

It is hard to do this when you're new, here are some more tips:
Keep working, and keep doing what you're doing, in my case I found you need to cut at least 1,000 yards before you're half decent, 2,000 yards cut makes you pretty good and once you get 3k under you, you are an expert cutter.
So in my case I did a lot of work cheaper so I could get the experience, but how you go about it is entirely up to you, and certainly you do not need to come down in price because I also learned it is a long, hard road up from that.
One way to increase profit is with experience you get better, so I sometimes lowball so as to challenge myself to find faster ways to get it done. In the end, if I can do what used to take me an hour in 50 minutes due to me pushing the issue, I now earn the same money in less time (and invisibly to the customer, mostly). But quality must get in there, too, so it's not easy.
Another way is to lower your own cost, this also takes time by learning where to get the materials / parts that yield the most for the money, whether cheap is the answer is the same as your work, sometimes expensive is better, sometimes cheap is.

Good luck!

Freddy_Kruger
06-29-2006, 10:50 PM
I guess another thing to do would be to generate lots and lots of quotes. FLYER TIME.

All_Clear
06-30-2006, 12:47 AM
Had a guy call the other day asking what's your mine price to mow... well $25 i told him, he said well ok but it's only 10 mins of mowing :rolleyes: I said ok well i'd charge you $25 then... he says can't you go lower? Sure i could i say but i won't, Not even for 10 mins of mowing? Sorry sir!

So then i said well it's 10 mins of mowing, how about trimming? Is there any fence? He says yeah the entire yard is fenced :rolleyes: Ok well my min. is $25 but if you want an est. in writing I'll be happy to come by... He says well I'll just have to keep looking :laugh:

Ok!!!

Later i looked up the address from the guys number and it's within my route, i could have probably mowed it for $25 even $20 (like he wanted) but he'd be trimming it himself.

Some people just don't get it....Some don't take what we do as a serious profession... He doesn't want to mow and is calling a service provider to bicker over $5 and trying to get me to commit to something over the phone when i know, he knows, he's only telling me half the story!

Stick to your price, Remember you set it for a reason!


All Clear

coyotekid
06-30-2006, 03:42 AM
Had a guy call the other day asking what's your mine price to mow... well $25 i told him, he said well ok but it's only 10 mins of mowing :rolleyes: I said ok well i'd charge you $25 then... he says can't you go lower? Sure i could i say but i won't, Not even for 10 mins of mowing? Sorry sir!

So then i said well it's 10 mins of mowing, how about trimming? Is there any fence? He says yeah the entire yard is fenced :rolleyes: Ok well my min. is $25 but if you want an est. in writing I'll be happy to come by... He says well I'll just have to keep looking :laugh:

Ok!!!

Later i looked up the address from the guys number and it's within my route, i could have probably mowed it for $25 even $20 (like he wanted) but he'd be trimming it himself.

Some people just don't get it....Some don't take what we do as a serious profession... He doesn't want to mow and is calling a service provider to bicker over $5 and trying to get me to commit to something over the phone when i know, he knows, he's only telling me half the story!

Stick to your price, Remember you set it for a reason!


All Clear

Well said!!!! People will take advantage IF you let them!!!

topsites
06-30-2006, 06:55 AM
This whole thread is the real reason why I first raised my prices above what I always thought was the 'ceiling' and why I now have a $35 minimum. I got tired of hearing it but what really ticked me off in the end is that no matter how low you go, to some it's still too much. So one day, I had gotten real desperate for work and I quoted someone like 70% off (seriously, like 20 bucks on a 60 dollar job) and the first thing out of their mouth right after I quoted the price was: Geezzz can't you do it for LESS???

I really think half of them don't even stop to think what just flew out of their mouth.

But as for me, I lost it that day. I was so mad that I said to myself, you know, if some are going to complain no matter what I do, then I'm going to give them the REASON! And I did, and ever since life has become much easier.

Nowadays I really don't care, I quote as high as I want and I can go higher, then I'll go higher than that, and higher still. And just when you really think I won't do it no more, I'll double my price and then double it again and go ahead and test me and see if I don't do it one more time: 1,200 dollars for me to come out and fart once in your yard. I especially like to raise my price on ALL those jokers who want something for nothing, the ones who are always trying to take advantage of me, the kind you can see coming for miles.

As a buddy of mine likes to say: If I wanted to work for free, I can do that sleeping.

As for the straight people, the ones who don't try to mess me around, they get the normal price.

dcgreenspro
06-30-2006, 08:30 AM
I agree with you topsites...for some reason my yards less tan 5000 sq. ft. are all 35$ and above and these people absolutly love it. no complaining, noi nothing...some of my larger close to an acre yards having a hard time getting fifty a cut..i would really like to start to gear towards the smaller yards i think...people suck:hammerhead:

naturescape
06-30-2006, 08:37 AM
I think you should have pointed out the difference between your work and the current LCO's, and that basically one gets what they pay for.

Freddy_Kruger
06-30-2006, 08:47 AM
I collected $75 bucks the other day and she mention she got a flyer for "Family Run, $45" lol.

Even low ballers hate lowballers.

Sandgropher
06-30-2006, 08:55 AM
"I looked up the guys address from his number"

I wish i could do that just to cross check the address, i hope they bring out a phone thats brings up the no. and address , it would save a lot of time and money for me.

FIRESCOOBY
06-30-2006, 04:20 PM
Thanks for all the support guys.

I've already decided that IF he calls me back, I will explain to him that die to the recent spike in gas prices that the revised price will be $75/cut.

I recently set my minimum at $45 except for my two neighbors. The yards are small and take less than 30 minutes each. My area is rural with most of my accounts being 15-30 miles away. Gotta pay for the gas somehow.

rodfather
06-30-2006, 04:23 PM
Thanks for all the support guys.

I've already decided that IF he calls me back, I will explain to him that die to the recent spike in gas prices that the revised price will be $75/cut.

I recently set my minimum at $45 except for my two neighbors. The yards are small and take less than 30 minutes each. My area is rural with most of my accounts being 15-30 miles away. Gotta pay for the gas somehow.

Why even give a reason? If X dollars is what you need, so be it...that's the price, take it or leave it IMO.

WJW Lawn
06-30-2006, 09:46 PM
Ya, the guy got the service he was paying for thats for sure. Stick with your prices. Some will pay and some won't....
Exactly! If that guy wants a scalped up sh**** looking yard, then let him pay 50% less. Good for you for holding your price!

topsites
06-30-2006, 10:08 PM
"I looked up the guys address from his number"

I wish i could do that just to cross check the address, i hope they bring out a phone thats brings up the no. and address , it would save a lot of time and money for me.

Well I do it, too... It's a bit of a rigmarole because I'm not always home when the call comes in, but go to whitepages.com and do a reverse number search.

Be aware some numbers are unlisted and it is possible someone JUST moved so the listing is wrong, but I'd say at least half the time it is a fair indication that if everything pans out, it is one more sign that you should be ok and vice versa.

It is also a great tool if you got the job and you did the work, but you're kinda wondering about getting paid and you forgot to write down their info or don't have it, this lookup relieves stress because once I have that info, I find it easier to wait for the check.

Not for sure for sure, but it helps a little ...

DuraCutter
07-01-2006, 12:10 AM
One of the main problems with homeowners is that every dollar they spend on their property is wasted money. I say wasted because it doesn't earn them money. That doesn't apply to all, but to most homeowners. Also, you're looking at a person who can mow their own lot, but chooses not to.

Like M&M said in another post on this site, commercial properties in general can't mow their own unless they have maintenance staff. And keeping the grass nice pays for them. It adds value to property and helps rent space.

If you deal with a management company, you're also dealing with a person who's spending someone elses money...lol :)
Not every commercial property is good, as everything else it's got it's ups and downs, but I find the residential market to have more downs than ups as far as profit ratio. In commercial, !00/hr is common in just every site I do. I mean really easy to achieve. In residential, it's possible but harder for reasons stated above.

I suggest you get more commercial accounts. It takes time to get the hang of it, but eventually you earn two or three times the money.

Yesterday, I did one cut for a small warehouse, took 5 hours/2 people and paid $745. Just cut and trim with some round up. Hope this helps...

Precision
07-01-2006, 08:43 PM
Never forget- If you get every job you bid, your price is too low.



----Regardless of your appearance, salesmanship, etc.

If you get more than 30-40% of your bids you are too low.

Precision
07-01-2006, 08:45 PM
Had a guy call the other day asking what's your mine price to mow... well $25 i told him, he said well ok but it's only 10 mins of mowing :rolleyes: I said ok well i'd charge you $25 then... he says can't you go lower? Sure i could i say but i won't, Not even for 10 mins of mowing? Sorry sir!

So then i said well it's 10 mins of mowing, how about trimming? Is there any fence? He says yeah the entire yard is fenced :rolleyes: Ok well my min. is $25 but if you want an est. in writing I'll be happy to come by... He says well I'll just have to keep looking :laugh:

Ok!!!

Later i looked up the address from the guys number and it's within my route, i could have probably mowed it for $25 even $20 (like he wanted) but he'd be trimming it himself.

Some people just don't get it....Some don't take what we do as a serious profession... He doesn't want to mow and is calling a service provider to bicker over $5 and trying to get me to commit to something over the phone when i know, he knows, he's only telling me half the story!

Stick to your price, Remember you set it for a reason!


All Clear


Just tell those kind of people that you actually mow for fun. It is the dealing with clients that is so expensive.

HighGrass
07-01-2006, 11:44 PM
You did right. You set your prices at a fair rate to start with, no haggling, you're not a car saleman.

First off, the salesman always gives out the price, it's the customer that usually throws a fit and starts haggling. I know, I worked in the car biz enough to know.

Likestomow
07-02-2006, 10:16 AM
... at least 3/4 acre, bumping a full acre and 1/3 of it is steep as heck. Front is sodded Bermuda and the rear is very thin Fecue seed. The front was cut this week and was scalped BAD....I quoted was $65. The side (1/3 of the yard) is on a 30-40 degree angle. You can see where the current company has rutted the yard out by going the same direction with their mower. I figured I'd have to push mow this part. Two LARGE beds to edge. Standard trimming, etc....Am I doing something wrong? ....

My advise is get real, or get the right equipment.

$65 to mow a 3/4 acre property? Even with the steep bank it shouldn't take two men more than 25-30 minutes top. I'd easily eat this one for breakfast every time for $40.

The bottom line here is that you didn't get the job... someone else did. And maybe the other guy is doing it now for $20/hr, maybe not. I earn between $70 - $80/hr, but have the correct equipment to make that happen.

HighGrass
07-02-2006, 10:24 AM
My advise is get real, or get the right equipment.

$65 to mow a 3/4 acre property? Even with the steep bank it shouldn't take two men more than 25-30 minutes top. I'd easily eat this one for breakfast every time for $40.

The bottom line here is that you didn't get the job... someone else did. And maybe the other guy is doing it now for $20/hr, maybe not. I earn between $70 - $80/hr, but have the correct equipment to make that happen.

Not. $40?...two guys? No getting rich here. Move on if they don't want to pay it. If someone is willing to do it for $40, let em have it.

naturescape
07-02-2006, 10:48 AM
My advise is get real, or get the right equipment.

$65 to mow a 3/4 acre property? Even with the steep bank it shouldn't take two men more than 25-30 minutes top. I'd easily eat this one for breakfast every time for $40.

The bottom line here is that you didn't get the job... someone else did. And maybe the other guy is doing it now for $20/hr, maybe not. I earn between $70 - $80/hr, but have the correct equipment to make that happen.

You'd going to charge $40 for two guys to spend thiry minutes at the property? That's $40/man hour, not even including travel time. You can't do that where I live if you want to make a living!