View Full Version : Rude comment??

06-27-2001, 05:14 PM
Yesterday went to look at closer storage facility. Was talking with 2 women and told them what I was storing and they got very excited that I was in lawn maintenance biz. They rushed me outside to see if I would give an estimate on property. Currently an employee is doing it and they want to use him for what he was hired to do (work in warehouse).
The employee was standing there and said "I hope you try to get it because I'm tired of doing it!".
One of the women said her husband and son do lawns for a living and THEY turned it down (because they are too busy and because there's alot of trash to pick up along the roadside and they don't want to deal with the trash, according to her).
Told them I would work up an estimate.
Went there today and was walking whole prooerty. One of the women saw me and asked how it was looking. I told here good except for one area. Area is a mess. It's a strip about 1200' long by about 15' wide with about 100 or so pine trees planted along the middle. Ground is VERY uneven in most spots and will require ALOT of trimming. Mower won't make it over most of the area (rocks, ruts, you name it).
So she told me to give a seperate price for that if I didn't want to do it. It wasn't that I didn't want to do it, but that it would be more difficult to do then regular grass cutting.
I said "oh, you don't just want one price for whole property". She said "well, I don't want you to do anything that you don't want to. I can just call someone else to that part if it's too much for you".
"Just remember, your just starting out and you might not need us this year, but you might need us next year". And there was a bit of attitude in the tone of her voice. Really not sure what that was all about.

If it's so easy for her to call someone else to do it, why was the warehouse guy still doing it halfway through the season then ?! And why did she get so excited when I told her what I did for a living? Almost as if they've been having trouble finding anyone to do it?!

So, what do you guys think?
Seems like we're already off to a bad start, huh? Thanks in advance.

06-27-2001, 05:44 PM
If she gave you that bad of an attitude before you even got the job she must not be too pleasant to work for, especially if her own husband and son don't want to do it. I would personally pass it up, unless you really want this account, then you'll have to deal with her.


Kent Lawns
06-27-2001, 05:56 PM
Be a Turf Professional, not a Psycologist.

Give her a written estimate, answer any questions and let her sign your agreement.

If she chooses another route, so be it.

06-27-2001, 06:29 PM
Just to be clear, the woman that gave me the attitude was not the same woman who's husband and son turned it down. That woman seemed very nice. And she seemed understanding about the difficult area by the roadside.
I'm thinking that maybe the rude woman got the attitude because she was offended when I said that difficult area was a mess and would be hard to cut. I would never have said that to a homeowner or property owner, she was an office manager. I figured she'd understand where I was coming from.
It really is a mess! We're talking about 18K sq. ft. of trimming! Maybe a little mower use in some small areas, but mostly trimming.

I dunno, the P.I.T.A. area, the attitude, I'm thinking I might just pass. I'd like to have the job, but I don't "need it" as she says.

06-27-2001, 07:04 PM
I'm usually very easy going, but when I come across people that have issues right from the get go I'm learning to be firm and stand my ground. Things like "I only want it cut 2 times a month" or "cut it real low" or the other guy did it for less". I know you don't like to pass work up, but, we need to be treated with more respect. We are not lawnmonkeys, we are professionals and we are sweating our butts off out there and deserve to be recognized for this. I refuse to stand there and argue with anyone over petty issues. Sorry, had to vent a little. Thanks

06-27-2001, 08:54 PM
sometimes ladies have reasons to be irritable. give her
a little time . might be a good money acct.

06-27-2001, 09:09 PM
Maybe she got the same impression from you. Just forget it for now, give the estimate and see what happens. Spell everything out very clearly in the contract and then you should have no problems. As many people do, put yourself an out in the contract just in case. Don't sweat the small stuff.

06-27-2001, 09:41 PM
She is playing you by saying "if you cant handle it" She knows the macho in you will do it just to prove you can LOL. Oldest trick in the book.

06-27-2001, 10:20 PM
I have mowed for people that were absolutly awful at first. Many of them became some of my best customers after I gave them a chance. Give it a chance, if it turns out to be to much you can always quit.

06-27-2001, 10:28 PM
I think that she was complimenting you. In essence she was saying that she liked you, and would like for you to do the as much of the work as possible, but that if there was a part that you did not want to do, or could not handle, that they could get someone else for that part. She could have eaisly said "it's all or nothing, buddy". She is giving you the chance to pick and choose the parts that you want to do. This oppertunity does not come along often.

Imagine if every job was like this. You could opt out of all the monkey work, and only do the gravy work.

06-27-2001, 10:49 PM
Price the mowable area, then come up with a plan for the trashy area (chips, mulch, ground cover, etc) and show her how spending one lump sum in that area will save them (whatever) over how many years. Oh and also give them a price to weed whack the 1/2 ac strip twice a month lol...

06-27-2001, 10:58 PM
For rough areas like this I use my old Toro 44" walk behind, just raise the deck hook on the sulky and go. Just explain to her that it won't be as perfect as the rest but it will be cut. No property is perfect.

06-27-2001, 11:12 PM
Spray roundup or growth regulator on the area, if it's ok with them.

David Gretzmier
06-28-2001, 12:21 AM
growth regulater every 6 weeks. you'll learn to love it. Dave g

06-28-2001, 12:28 AM
I would just ignore her and give the estimate who cares how she acted. If you were insulted then give her a really high estimate so you won't get the job and piss her off, but I wouldn't do that. I would just give the estimate.

For the other area thats hard to trim and mow, I would turn that into a big mulch bed or somthing like that make it so you dont have to trim or mow it.

06-28-2001, 01:46 AM
Thanks guys for all the input. You've all given me some different ways to look at it.
I thought about suggesting a change for the messy area (and probably will), but I just don't see them putting out the money. This has been in this condition for years.

65hoss said "don't sweat the small stuff". I do small residential and this would actually be my first commercial job and it's large compared to what I normally do. Everything together would take me the better part of the day. This would save me going out and signing up about 10 residential customers. So it's kinda "big stuff" for me at this point. But I hear ya 65, thanks!

Gonna give them an estimate. Going a little high though because of trashy area (an maybe a little 'cause of her attitude). If I get it, great. If not, wasn't meant to be. Thanks again all!

06-28-2001, 08:45 AM
If I were you, I would price all of it as one job. If you just get the easy part and she hires another LCO to do the rest then when people drive by and see you mowing and a couple of days later see someone else mowing they will think that you must not have done the job right and the company has hired someone else. If they do use another LCO to do the bad part, whats to say that they will not get all of it from you. Price it all on what it is worth to you to make money. They are used to paying the warehouse man 6-7 bucks and hour and may not want to pay your price. But, by no means should you price it to break even or lose money. Time is valuable.

06-28-2001, 10:00 AM
Hello Everybody:

I would really think Long & Hard about this one, nothing sounds to stable so far, it doesn't make any sense at all?

Also if there was any Money in it at all, Her Husband & Son would be doing it. LOL, maybe they know how she is? Wouldn't you think so?????

Off Topic:
If you at a family reunion & they are running out of Gravey. The Lady that cooked it will make sure Her Husband & Son get some if they want it? If not the Gravey must not be any good? Think about it?

Just my thoughts! :)

06-28-2001, 10:19 AM
grassmasters right, if this thing is going to take you all day
charge big. the husband will end up with the acct
anyway after you get the bid up where it should be.
hate to say so but thats my read.good luck

06-29-2001, 12:14 AM
They were excited because they thought they had found somebody hungry and ready to work for a song and dance. What Grassmater said was probably right, when they start to pay what the job is really worth, husband and son will jump on the band wagon. Save face and give them a reasonable price for the work at hand. Try to convince them to mulch around the seedling pine trees and convey the saving over the long haul. The reason I think the hired help is still doing the work is because they don't want to pay a professional what the job is worth. Good Luck!

06-30-2001, 04:08 AM
Originally posted by David Gretzmier
growth regulater every 6 weeks. you'll learn to love it. Dave g

you had better check this stuff out it can realy cut down on trimming we are going to spray it around all trimmed areas

07-02-2001, 03:48 PM
Just remember, if you act like a professional you will be treated like one. And that is regardless if you get this account or not. It might even cause them to give you more work for not being the typical hothead and blow them off. I hope you get the account! Good luck....:D