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View Full Version : What about this idea for negotiating non-recurring work?


DFW Area Landscaper
07-10-2007, 05:29 PM
When a client calls for shrub trimming or bed clean-up, the current sales pitch is this:

"We charge by the hour for this type of labor. The labor rate is $44 per man-hour, but, we'll discount that to $36 per man-hour if the client doesn't require a free estimate before we do the work."

The problem I am having, is, I am offering an automatic schedule whereby we'll send our shrub crew out 4 times per year. One of the visits is a winter visit to clean the leaves and prune the crepe myrtles before they break dormancy.

About half of my clients take the auto program. For the other half, they are dictating the intervals and more importantly, each time Mrs Jones gets a wild hair for shrub trimming, I have to answer yet another friggin' phone call. I HATE hearing my phone ring. Not a worse sound in the world to me. I HATE it.

Meanwhile, the clients who I have on the auto program allow us more revenues per year AND I don't have to talk to them about this revenue.

I have wrestled and wrestled with this issue and today, I a light bulb went off.

What if I start telling them "We charge by the hour for this. The labor rate is $44 per man-hour, plus a $20 trip charge, but we'll discount the labor to $36 per man-hour if the client doesn't require a free estimate before we come out. Additionally, we'll waive the $20 trip charge for clients who sign up for our automatic shrub trimming service. With that service, we automatically send our shrub crew out four times per year to trim the shrubs and clean the beds. One of the visits is a winter visit to clean the leaves and prune the crepe myrtles before they break dormancy."

Think this will fly????

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
07-10-2007, 05:54 PM
Why take $$$$ for not giving an estimate? You tell them $44 then thats what it should be regardless. Rather then offer them a discount I would pitch how busy you are and that recurring customers come first, and if they wish to sign up you'll add them to the list or they'll have to wait which could be a while until you are done with all your regular customers. Most of the time when people call they want it done right then and if you are a good salesman you should be able to add them to your list of regular customers.

DFW Area Landscaper
07-18-2007, 11:49 AM
I decided to update the website and started quoting the $20 trip charge. So far, I've only quoted it to one client but she was fine with it. She wanted a one time shrub trimming. That extra $20 is pure gravy.

My workers work on straight commission and my shrub foreman is already making excellent money as it is. I will pocket the $20 trip charge when they agree to it. I consider it my compensation for stopping whatever it is that I'm doing to answer their phone call. It's either that, or they commit to regular shrub trimming 4X per year.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

GreenT
07-18-2007, 04:08 PM
DFW,

Why only 4X year?

I sell trimming on a once/month basis during growing season and every 2 months during winter.

Trimming can be very profitable, as you know. I think you are leaving money on the table @ only 4X.