View Full Version : Am I the idiot?

06-18-2007, 04:16 AM
Quoted a guy I know for doing his yard. About 1/2 acre with LOTS of shrubs, etc and LOTS of sidewalks that need edging. Told him $50 per visit, with weekly service. He says good deal! Lets get started! The night before I plan to go to his house to start service, I get an email from him asking if it really needs to be done once per week. Could I do it bi-weekly? I told him yes, I can do that. However, its going to cost $75 per visit. You can see the explanation in the quote below. He comes back with this.... Am I being stupid or is he? Im new to this, and I gotta say, Im not so sure I want to cut his yard even if we do come to an agreement....

This is what made me change my mind....
I can do bi-weekly, but the rate would change to $75 per cut. When I submit a proposal to a client (Written) for just say 35 hours at 85/per hour and if they decide they need less hours I don't ever tell them, well since it is lower hours I am going to have to charge you 120.00.

Also this was not at all a money issue. Yes, after a hand shake I consider it a deal but once I got the price change it didn't feel right.


whether you want it weekly or not is your call. I can do bi-weekly, but the rate would change to $75 per cut. Weekly maintenance is best, it keeps the grass the healthiest, and is easier to maintain. Going to bi-weekly lets the grass and edging get longer, therefore taking more time, and creating more clippings to get rid of, which is why the extra cost.

Ill do it either way you want it though.


06-18-2007, 04:57 AM
He changed that deal after the handshake did he not? You are in the right here and he knows damn well you are. He is playing you don't fall for it.

06-18-2007, 09:19 AM
this is just the way they will do you....

almost every bid I have been on. the Customer will try to add something after they have the bid in writting, stick to your guns, if you dont you will be hating your self....

What I have learned is when to keep my mouth shut.....Let them talk..... when your sure absoultey sure there done talking then give then the bid in writting...

06-18-2007, 09:19 AM
You're in the right. Try to keep him @ weekly maintenance & then just maintain the lawn whether it needs mowing or not. That way in the Summer you just need to stop by & check up on it. Let him know that it is an average price for the whole year. It takes longer in the spring than in the summer & fall. Also, charge extra for bagged leaves & will be billed accordingly.

06-18-2007, 07:08 PM
Maybe we are bad sales people but in all our years we never ever convinced a customer to pay more on bi-weekly.....

06-18-2007, 07:24 PM
The ones I dislike are those who wait about 3-4 services into the haul before they slip me the ole mickey, but if I can pre-screen my customers then I reckon they can do it to me (thou in real life it worked out backwards lol).

But he does have a point, simply agreeing and not talking about the increase.
Just do it, then leave the bill nice as can be (yes for 75, not another word, just lalala and tyvm).
Then you might plan on it being over, but every once in a moon you get a serious customer who will turn into one of your most trusted allies. That's the thing here, test me and I test you back, how are you and have a nice day, lalala.
I have done that so many times, 50-50 I guess, it is a gamble but what have I got to lose?

Yeah I've lost many customers over it but it's the same when I take my car in for an estimated repair and I just got to add some lip service, next thing I know the bill is what it comes to... Teaches me to run my mouth, right?
So sometimes it quiets customers down right quick, too, next thing you know it's the perfect relationship.
Weekly at 50 or bi-weekly at 75, customer's choice here, bi-weekly is still the better deal, so why not?

Because it's simple, change the contract, it costs more, everybody knows that.

06-18-2007, 07:25 PM
Well i have charged a little more for biweekly never 25% more it all depends how bad you want the job.

06-18-2007, 10:43 PM
Maybe we are bad sales people but in all our years we never ever convinced a customer to pay more on bi-weekly.....

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't bi-weekly harder to cut because of the growth? If so, more money is needed isn't it? :dizzy:

06-19-2007, 03:31 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't bi-weekly harder to cut because of the growth? If so, more money is needed isn't it? :dizzy:

Thats exactly why the price increase. This is not just mow blow and go, its also shrub and bush pruning. I didnt post the original exchange, but he basically told me that I was trying to rip him off and he was going to call other companies for estimates.

I responded and asked him if this is the way he generally does business. Agree to a contract, THEN ask for more estimates?

The whole thing just rubbed me the wrong way. This is not some guy I just met that responded to a flyer, this is a guy I have know for over a year.

I replied this:

"Do you think it would be fair if you gave a quote for $35 an hour, for weekly maintenance of a server. (hes a computer guy) then the customer said hey, you know what, I only want you to maintain it every other week. If you were doing it once a week, it would take you 2 hours, so you would be billing $280 per month. Now, with the change, you maintain it every other week and it takes you 3 hours due to the backup. Since you are charging hourly, each visit now costs $105, but the monthly bill is now $210. So which is less expensive? Did your hourly rate change? No. Did your time spent on the server change? Yes. You now spend less time, and your fee reflects that. Does that make sense to you?"

Im still waiting to hear back from him, but I think its fair to say I wont be maintaining his property.


06-19-2007, 04:29 AM
I would have said no i dont do Bi -weekly. :)

06-19-2007, 07:54 AM
his logic is flawed in that you really wont' save any time going to bi weekly. it will most likey take just as long as two weekly visits. more weeds to weed more edge to edge and clean up. more grass to cut and cleanup. the one thing you a re saving on is travel time...ask the guy not to shave for one week., then cut his beard with a razor. then ask him to go two weeks and cut his beard with that same razor....it will take twice a long...its a fairly good analogy.

not to mention wear and tear on the machine, what happens if you get rain on the day you are supposed to cut after two weeks...and you end having to push it to 14-15 days.... :O

I always did yearly contacts with the clients paying the same price each month for twelve months. grass to be cut as needed...

You know whats going to happen when the grass slows down or you hit a drought. he'll call you up and say "you know let skip it this week and let the grass go three weeks between cuts...."

Your Lawn First
06-19-2007, 10:27 AM
I have customer that I bill for the hole year up front he pays half in the spring and the other half in the fall, this guy every year about june trys to tell me well last year you only charged me 1,500 and know your charging me 1600 Finally I broke down this year and kind of went off on him. I said look man did you get a raise at your job last year and the year before that or this year, I bet you did. So let me ask you if your boss came to you the last 3 years and said remember when you first started here and made 25,000 a year well know you make 50,000 but we are going to pay you only 25,000 instead of the 50,000 you were going ot get. Long story short never make a hand shake and always go with a contract or agreement. this will always save you in the long run. But you where in the right and for him to say we had a hand shake on it and know you want to change it, he is the one changing the hand shake not you.