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View Full Version : Question for BigW!


stevenf
03-11-2008, 11:27 PM
Im asking you because I know you sent out 10,000 post cards recently. How many people have you had to deal with that werent interested after you quoted price?
Ive gotten 8 calls so far, One was a one time job. The others(even at rock bottem $25-$30.00 per cut) werent interested after the quote. Im very friendly with them. I tell them what all is getting done for the price...... Sometimes I think they just want the estimate for the word "FREE". Even at the beginning they dont show much interest. I know its early in the season, Im just trying to figure out what these people are wanting?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

bigw
03-11-2008, 11:51 PM
Im asking you because I know you sent out 10,000 post cards recently. How many people have you had to deal with that werent interested after you quoted price?
Ive gotten 8 calls so far, One was a one time job. The others(even at rock bottem $25-$30.00 per cut) werent interested after the quote. Im very friendly with them. I tell them what all is getting done for the price...... Sometimes I think they just want the estimate for the word "FREE". Even at the beginning they dont show much interest. I know its early in the season, Im just trying to figure out what these people are wanting?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Well first of all no one is calling you just because you have a "free" estimate..all estimates are free,well atleast in this business. I would honestly say that maybe 2-3 people gave me the brush off after hearing my price and i just chalk them up as part of business { you cant please them all }.
I dont know you so its hard to say what you are doing wrong but i would bet its either in your approach or "how you word" what you say! Remember you have 20 secounds to make a first impression...how is your first impression?
If you can honestly say that your price is not to high then perhaps it may be to low and your customer sense's one of 2 things...1 you seem desperate and not expierenced or 2 if your that low how good of a job are you going to do?
You have to go to the door with confidence and your head high looking clean and like you know what you are doing or they will sense it! How can you tell me someone was not interested in a 25 cut unless the lawn was 5,000 feet and even then id have to say it was not the "high price". Listen sometimes your'e going to get tire kickers but not in droves like this so you are doing something to turn them off right away and you have to figure it out fast.

Trust me these people are not calling lcos for the hell of it,they want service. How is the vehicle that you pull up in, how are you dressed,how do you walk up to the door? Do you stumble with your words...look i could go on all day here but i think you get my drift and if you really want some help just call me tomorrow and ill gladly give you some great tips ok. you can get my # on my website!

stevenf
03-12-2008, 12:32 AM
The vehicle that I am in is old but has a new paint job and I ALWAYS have it well cleaned. I usualy wear jeans with a collard shirt and casual shoes. I always approach with confidence and a hand shake with "How are you doing?, Im Steven, Nice to meet you"
I then proceed to ask what services they are looking for. Once they tell me, I look over the lawn or flowerbed, I give them a price and what the price includes. There usually response is "Ok, well Im going to talk to my husband" or " Ok, well Im going to think about it and get back to you."
I then end with something like, " Ok, well talk to your husband and give me a call, thank you, have a good afternoon"

Raven386
03-12-2008, 12:35 AM
I think instead of just telling them a price, you should make an estimate form to fill out while on the property. Ask if you can go to your truck for a minute to finish it up and then present your form completely filled out to them.

stevenf
03-12-2008, 12:36 AM
Im comparing my prices to the $35.00 minimum companies around here. I bid properly and its rock bottem price as in, any cheaper and we wouldnt make any profit. $25-$30 a week is 1/8 acre-1/4 acre lots with small backyards because of driveways or porches.

bigw
03-12-2008, 12:36 AM
I think instead of just telling them a price, you should make an estimate form to fill out while on the property. Ask if you can go to your truck for a minute to finish it up and then present your form completely filled out to them.

exactly but carry the form up to the door on a clip board,it makes you look so much more professional.

CreativeEdge
03-12-2008, 12:38 AM
Steven,
Also, you are selling your business...do not leave it up to the customer to call you back. Tell them to discuss it and ask them what time this evening would be a good time to call to discuss the estimate w/ both of them, or say ok, i will give you a call tomorrow to check up on it. You have to engage your customers, you want their business not to show them that you are a pushover. NEVER leave the ball in their court.

stevenf
03-12-2008, 12:38 AM
Just for your thoughts on personal appearence.
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p175/brherper/Picture050.jpg

bigw
03-12-2008, 12:40 AM
The vehicle that I am in is old but has a new paint job and I ALWAYS have it well cleaned. I usualy wear jeans with a collard shirt and casual shoes. I always approach with confidence and a hand shake with "How are you doing?, Im Steven, Nice to meet you"
I then proceed to ask what services they are looking for. Once they tell me, I look over the lawn or flowerbed, I give them a price and what the price includes. There usually response is "Ok, well Im going to talk to my husband" or " Ok, well Im going to think about it and get back to you."
I then end with something like, " Ok, well talk to your husband and give me a call, thank you, have a good afternoon"

Does this vehicle have a logo or signage at all on it? Trust me if not invest in it,if you could see or hear all the complimenets i get on my logo and truck before i even start talking you would die.Sometimes i swear my trucks appearance gets my foot in the door and then i take over from their. Look like i said call me tomorrow!

stevenf
03-12-2008, 12:40 AM
exactly but carry the form up to the door on a clip board,it makes you look so much more professional.

Just have the paper to show them a write up or give them the written estimate?

stevenf
03-12-2008, 12:41 AM
I have trailer signs, a big one for the gate and two small for the sides.

Raven386
03-12-2008, 12:44 AM
well that might have something to do with it.. when they ask you if you have a truck and you say no I use this thing. they are left to wonder how you will deliver mulch or haul leaves away.

bigw
03-12-2008, 12:46 AM
Just for your thoughts on personal appearence.
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p175/brherper/Picture050.jpg

Please dont take this the wrong way but im sorry i just think pulling up in that bronco is killing you right away and some on here will say different but in my honest opinion it does not make you look professional and gives a weekend warrior appearance and most people will look at you as a joke.

Sure you may get some accounts but a professional looking truck with logo's will give you so much more credibilty. Trade that dam thing in for a pick up,you will get so much more use out of it anyway.

stevenf
03-12-2008, 12:47 AM
They dont ask me if I have a truck. Most of the turndowns are mow&blow only.

stevenf
03-12-2008, 12:48 AM
Please dont take this the wrong way but im sorry i just think pulling up in that bronco is killing you right away and some on here will say different but in my honest opinion it does not make you look professional and gives a weekend warrior appearance and most people will look at you as a joke.

Sure you may get some accounts but a professional looking truck with logo's will give you so much more credibilty. Trade that dam thing in for a pick up,you will get so much more use out of it anyway.

I understand, I have often thought the same thing about a professional looking truck. In the next 2-3 weeks I will have a 98 Ram 1500 which Im repainting and either signs or small decals.

stevenf
03-12-2008, 12:49 AM
What about the clipboard, Give them the written estimate or show them the write out of what it includes?

bigw
03-12-2008, 12:51 AM
Just have the paper to show them a write up or give them the written estimate?

Buy legitamate estimates with your logo on them and all the things you do on them and then when you go to the door this will be on the clip board. Now as you talk or walk the lawn you are writing figures and or comments and then when you are done discuss your price and present it to them verbally and on paper...if the customer says ok thanks do not just leave,find out the real objection and overcome it!!

bigw
03-12-2008, 12:54 AM
They dont ask me if I have a truck. Most of the turndowns are mow&blow only.

They dont have to ask they see what you pulled up in! You only think they are mow and blow because thats in your head,no one ever calls and says hello ill take 1 mow and blow!!! You have the potential to upsell every customer but you have to have that mentality first!

Raven386
03-12-2008, 12:56 AM
if you dont have the money for custom estimate forms, go to staples and get the estimate forms they have. then get yourself a nice clipboard and just write down notes the whole time you are on the property, ask to be excused for a few minutes to calculate a price, then fill out your sheet.

CreativeEdge
03-12-2008, 01:02 AM
i used to make 2 copies one for me and one for my client to have and hold, they want to see these numbers, and if they want to talk to their sig. others then they have that estimate in hand to show them and when you contact them back, you have the numbers so that you know what you are talking about

stevenf
03-12-2008, 01:04 AM
They wouldnt find it weird that I overlooked the property , wrote down a price, and it came to an even $30 or $35.00?

bigw
03-12-2008, 01:05 AM
They wouldnt find it weird that I overlooked the property , wrote down a price, and it came to an even $30 or $35.00?

now i am confused :confused:

Raven386
03-12-2008, 01:06 AM
well on your estimate you have to write the details.... mow all grass areas, trim around any areas mower does not reach etc....

bigw
03-12-2008, 01:07 AM
They wouldnt find it weird that I overlooked the property , wrote down a price, and it came to an even $30 or $35.00?

why would that be weird? dont forget to add the sales tax..do not quote 30$ and let the tax come out of that 30..you will be paying the tax so let them pay it! You are just the middle man for the tax so dont feel bad.

HOOLIE
03-12-2008, 01:09 AM
I think all this has much more to do with it being early in the season, people tend to take their time and get more than one estimate until they really need something done.

I also doubt it has much to do with what you're driving, or any appearance-related issue. Just make sure you appear confident in yourself no matter how you present an estimate.

bigw
03-12-2008, 01:09 AM
I can tell you need alot of help and a boost in your confidence and this is your problem, your like the puppy in the window i want to adopt you and help you..lol look call me and ill help you tm ok.

CreativeEdge
03-12-2008, 01:09 AM
steven, 1st i hope you are not dropping your gate for $35, but no they wont find it weird...when you get done overlooking the property tell them to give you a few minutes so that you can review the estimate to ensure the best possible price

bigw
03-12-2008, 01:11 AM
i just realized their are so many Big W'S on this site lmao...no seriously they are all giving you good advice so far!!!

bigw
03-12-2008, 01:12 AM
steven, 1st i hope you are not dropping your gate for $35, but no they wont find it weird...when you get done overlooking the property tell them to give you a few minutes so that you can review the estimate to ensure the best possible price

I dont see a problem with him dropping his gate for 35$ if its close to home and under 1/4 acre do you?

stevenf
03-12-2008, 01:18 AM
What I was talking about was a written paper, with small details, and it always comes out to an even $30 or $35.00. Seems like the purpose of an estimate form is for exact detail and a price for each service, trimming, edging, blowing. When it is all based on total time,labor, and price.

CreativeEdge
03-12-2008, 01:20 AM
great point big w, but he will need to make sure he knows his limits as far as he can go...me personally w/ my business will not drop for less than 50 under any circumstances, mainly b/c i dont have the time for smaller yards...i have a bout 45 residentials and 6 commercials and I work 7 days a week during the summer so its not worth it to me for less than 50...but I also had to start somewhere and was cutting for 35

stevenf
03-12-2008, 01:20 AM
Confidence isnt my problem. Its the customers views Im trying to figure out. Like if they are shopping around. do they honestly think people would do it for less? Mabey im really underestimating my competitions labor rate.

CreativeEdge
03-12-2008, 01:23 AM
steven, call some contractors and tell them the company that you have been using went out of business and you need prices a full landscape maintenance contract, call 3-5 and compare prices...this will be the first step to your market research...also if you have time and see a contractor working, stop and watch..see what they do.

Raven386
03-12-2008, 01:25 AM
steven, call some contractors and tell them the company that you have been using went out of business and you need prices a full landscape maintenance contract, call 3-5 and compare prices...this will be the first step to your market research...also if you have time and see a contractor working, stop and watch..see what they do.

thats pretty much doing what he is complaining about. I would be pretty pissed off if i found out someone just called me to their house to find out my prices.

CreativeEdge
03-12-2008, 01:31 AM
but he is also new to the business, he has to find out what his competition charges...yeah it sucks as a contractor, but bottom line...competitive prices, know your competition. They are your best teaching tool for learning the business.
Look at their ads, see what catches your eye, see what catches families eyes. YOU MUST RESEARCH THE INDUSTRY

flattoplawncare
03-12-2008, 02:03 AM
Hey Steven, I started with a Lincoln Towncar LOL!!! People thought it was a little weird, But it never stopped me, I was 100% determined to get my start and show people that i could do a great job! When giving your estimate, go over your notes with the customer and then tell them your price and then close it. (like i have an opening on Monday and Tuesday which one works best for you?) And them put your head down and wait to start writing on your schedule on the clipboard, If you don't hear mon or tue in a couple seconds look then in the eye and say would Wed work better for you? If they don't bite then ask what will it take to gain your business today? now lets say you told them $50 and they say well the price is a little high can you do it for $40 say ill tell you what i will meet you halfway and do it for $45 now will monday or tuesday work better for you? Just make sure you close after every objection they give you, I usually get at least 3 no's before i say ok john you have my number give me a call when you decide which day you would like me to come out have a great day. That is how i do things usually but you will get the feel for all sorts of people pretty quickly and you will have no problems bidding and you will be really confident, That goes a LONG WAY!! I have earned 100 accounts in 2 years that way and i have come along way already!! Oh Yeah dont be afraid to build more value of your services while closing.

bigw
03-12-2008, 08:22 AM
Hey Steven, I started with a Lincoln Towncar LOL!!! People thought it was a little weird, But it never stopped me, I was 100% determined to get my start and show people that i could do a great job! When giving your estimate, go over your notes with the customer and then tell them your price and then close it. (like i have an opening on Monday and Tuesday which one works best for you?) And them put your head down and wait to start writing on your schedule on the clipboard, If you don't hear mon or tue in a couple seconds look then in the eye and say would Wed work better for you? If they don't bite then ask what will it take to gain your business today? now lets say you told them $50 and they say well the price is a little high can you do it for $40 say ill tell you what i will meet you halfway and do it for $45 now will monday or tuesday work better for you? Just make sure you close after every objection they give you, I usually get at least 3 no's before i say ok john you have my number give me a call when you decide which day you would like me to come out have a great day. That is how i do things usually but you will get the feel for all sorts of people pretty quickly and you will have no problems bidding and you will be really confident, That goes a LONG WAY!! I have earned 100 accounts in 2 years that way and i have come along way already!! Oh Yeah dont be afraid to build more value of your services while closing.

And i thought i was the only one that got these things...i use everything you said and then some. I especially use "how can i earn your business today" if the numbers are the problem.
I mean come on if your too high they will not call you back once you leave so its best to find out that objection while you are their....Mr Smith you seem reluctant and you obviously want my service's or you would not have called me right?
UH well yeah i guess...Is it the price mr smith or is their something else that you have questions on?...Uh well i really didnt expect to pay 45.00 i guess...Oh ok mr smith well did you have a figure in mind when you called me..uh yeah i was hoping it be more like 35$.

Hey i understand mr smith your probably on a budget just like me and dont like to go over it,i know how that feels especially with gas and everything the way its is...ill tell you what mr smith ill make you a deal im at 45 you want to be at 35 what do you say we "split the difference" and call it 40.00 would that work for you?
Uh yeah that wouldnt be too bad i guess..Great and dont worry mr smith i will make sure your lawn is well taken care of.
Now i usally come to your town on thursdays will that be ok with you? uh sure.
Great mr smith if you could just sign here! Have a nice day mr smith..oh and mr smith one more thing i am running a special for my yearly lawn accounts right now would you like to hear about it? Uh sure why not....well i am giving 10% off on all spring clean ups and mulch jobs right now..how are your beds lets go see....wow you really are geting low on the mulch arent you...uh yeah ive been meaning to get to it...would you like me to quote you a price for me to do it for you mr smith while im here...yeah ok.

Now this is called upselling and closing a deal and this is why i have 27 accounts in 1 month and this is only a taste of what i know about selling. I hope you get the jist of everything i just wrote,it was not to pat myself on my back { i already know what i can do when it comes to sales} it was for you to see what you may be lacking while at your customers house.

NOW OF COURSE IF THE 40$ PRICE IS JUST NOT GOOD FOR YOU THEN YOU HAVE TO START EXPLAINING THE BENIFITS OF YOUR COMPANY BETTER SO YOU CAN JUSTIFY THE PRICE TO THE GUY THAT WANTS IT LOWER..REMEMBER THIS MOST PEOPLE BUY BENIFITS NOT PRICE...NOW I SAID MOST!

BeautifulBlooms
03-12-2008, 08:47 AM
Also a very important point would be that you can't sell things to people everytime. Don't get discouraged if you don't make every sale!

Weekes
03-12-2008, 11:42 AM
I've gotten 8 calls so far, One was a one time job. The others (even at rock bottem $25-$30.00 per cut) werent interested after the quote. Im very friendly with them. I tell them what all is getting done for the price...... Sometimes I think they just want the estimate for the word "FREE". Even at the beginning they dont show much interest. I know its early in the season, Im just trying to figure out what these people are wanting?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

As others have stated they did call you. I doubt that they are really not interested, "Even at the beginning they don't show much interest." There must be something to their early lack of interest.

It might be the Bronco

It might be the way your hair is cut

It might be lack of signage

I don't know, I have never met you. You need to evaluate all angles of your approach. Do you make them feel like you are inexperienced? Not that you say "Hey, I am new can you be my first client?" But do you approach them with a confidence of a lawn care guy? Do you compliment aspects of their property that only a lawn guy would notice?

You would be amazed at how well people respond to you complimenting their yard. It helps them realize you really care about the work you do and can provide for them.

Maybe they don't want you because you quote so low and give the appearance of a mow and blow guy. Many of the people looking for yard care service are looking for the whole package. Sell yourself up. Many, many, many, many times I win the bid because as the customer says, "Wow, you really do it all don't you."

Find an aspect of their yard that does not look great. For example is the grass growing over the sidewalk. Don't say anything like "That looks terrible, I would never do that." Just sell yourself that "as part of mowing we would keep a good edge running along the sides of the sidewalk." That is part of your weekly cutting service, right? It should be, it is what sets you apart from the neighbor kid mowing for cheap.

bigw
03-12-2008, 11:47 AM
As others have stated they did call you. I doubt that they are really not interested, "Even at the beginning they don't show much interest." There must be something to their early lack of interest.

It might be the Bronco

It might be the way your hair is cut

It might be lack of signage

I don't know, I have never met you. You need to evaluate all angles of your approach. Do you make them feel like you are inexperienced? Not that you say "Hey, I am new can you be my first client?" But do you approach them with a confidence of a lawn care guy? Do you compliment aspects of their property that only a lawn guy would notice?

You would be amazed at how well people respond to you complimenting their yard. It helps them realize you really care about the work you do and can provide for them.

Maybe they don't want you because you quote so low and give the appearance of a mow and blow guy. Many of the people looking for yard care service are looking for the whole package. Sell yourself up. Many, many, many, many times I win the bid because as the customer says, "Wow, you really do it all don't you."

Find an aspect of their yard that does not look great. For example is the grass growing over the sidewalk. Don't say anything like "That looks terrible, I would never do that." Just sell yourself that "as part of mowing we would keep a good edge running along the sides of the sidewalk." That is part of your weekly cutting service, right? It should be, it is what sets you apart from the neighbor kid mowing for cheap.

very good techniques and great advice!!!

bigw
03-12-2008, 11:48 AM
Also a very important point would be that you can't sell things to people everytime. Don't get discouraged if you don't make every sale!

How's that saying go ...NEXT.

QLC- Rick
03-12-2008, 12:03 PM
Don't be surprised if some of those people you're writing off right now call you as soon as the grass starts growing. It's early still, at least here it is, and people like to wait till the last minute sometimes.

There's some great advice on this thread imo. What you have to do is, find what works for you. I've been going to people's houses and giving estimates for a long time and one thing I learned way back is, I'm not a strong closer. When I try to use some of the closing techniques mentioned on this thread it comes out as being forced and basically uncomfortable. I just try to be personable, knowledgeable, and generally make them feel good about using me. Let them know what you can do, give them a good price, and make some small talk, it goes a long way. Sometimes price is the main issue, sometimes they just want to feel comfortable with YOU.

Keep at it until you get some that come through and figure out what works for you, and what doesn't. Keep on giving estimates and tweaking your approach and you'll gain more confidence, and don't worry about overconfidence, the customers always find a way to humble you and keep you guessing. Definitely give them a professional looking written proposal though.