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shovelracer
04-14-2008, 08:10 PM
So there is a potential full service client that Ive been dealing with lately. She's been hehawing around for over a month with her contract. Not even sure I want to deal with her anymore anyways. So the soil temps are over 50 degrees and she wants her PreM treatment but I wont schedule till I have paper in hand so it wouldnt be till next week. Ive explained that it wont be as effective and she may still get crabgrass. Furthermore this would push back all her further treatments and create problems later in the year with that. So first question is what do you do about this? I say shes beat. Next her last company insisted that she get her grub treatment in April. Well she has had grubs and doesnt understand why. Ive explained it is too early but she wants the treatment now and then later. This would probably put her over her allowable yearly amount, and Ive tried to explain why its too early. I say shes beat again. Well my thoughts are to tell her she will just have to deal with the crabgrass and start with treatment 2. Start planning earlier next year. Lawn is irrigated and mowed weekly and house is for sale so she will be Florida's problem soon anyways. As far as my other services, she requested friday which was available a month ago, but now I can only squeeze her in early in the week. I already know if she's around in the fall that her leaf cleanup price will be an issue. I dont have a good gut fealing about her.

turf hokie
04-14-2008, 08:22 PM
Read your post, if you haven't convinced yourself to walk away from a potentially short term PITA customer then read your post again.

Rayholio
04-14-2008, 08:23 PM
This customer will be a problem from the day you met her til the day you fire her, or she quits because she knows more than you..

The only way to save this situation is to stop answering her calls, and forget about her.

shovelracer
04-14-2008, 08:29 PM
Avoiding will be hard, cause I also have a full service customer across the road. I know I need to walk, I just have to tell her that she waited to long. Not too far from the truth. She may get mad, but at least Im the better about it.

RigglePLC
04-14-2008, 09:14 PM
Go for it. Pre-emergent. Charge her accordingly--if she costs you extra time or extra trips--explain you bill for all your time. Dollar a minute-whatever you do. If she wants two grub controls--do it. First one is Sevin, second is Merit. Explain that her next treatment will be timed with your regular route in her neighborhood--it will happen a little early. Future treatments and work done and timed with your regular route.

humble1
04-14-2008, 09:33 PM
Avoiding will be hard, cause I also have a full service customer across the road. I know I need to walk, I just have to tell her that she waited to long. Not too far from the truth. She may get mad, but at least Im the better about it.

Tell her she lost her window of oppourtunity to do the job properly, and that you only do jobs properly so she should plan earlier next year.. Or you could tell her you have had some product price increases and will have to requote the job, charge more and bring the contract to her. I had a woman that was telling me how I should apply tick control product, i sometimes hate the internet, it gives homeowners too much info sometimes:hammerhead:

tlg
04-14-2008, 10:07 PM
So there is a potential full service client that Ive been dealing with lately. She's been hehawing around for over a month with her contract. Not even sure I want to deal with her anymore anyways. So the soil temps are over 50 degrees and she wants her PreM treatment but I wont schedule till I have paper in hand so it wouldnt be till next week. Ive explained that it wont be as effective and she may still get crabgrass. Furthermore this would push back all her further treatments and create problems later in the year with that. So first question is what do you do about this? I say shes beat. Next her last company insisted that she get her grub treatment in April. Well she has had grubs and doesnt understand why. Ive explained it is too early but she wants the treatment now and then later. This would probably put her over her allowable yearly amount, and Ive tried to explain why its too early. I say shes beat again. Well my thoughts are to tell her she will just have to deal with the crabgrass and start with treatment 2. Start planning earlier next year. Lawn is irrigated and mowed weekly and house is for sale so she will be Florida's problem soon anyways. As far as my other services, she requested friday which was available a month ago, but now I can only squeeze her in early in the week. I already know if she's around in the fall that her leaf cleanup price will be an issue. I dont have a good gut fealing about her.

Trust your gut. Run and never look back. If it looks like a duck it's a duck!:walking:

JeffW0011
04-14-2008, 11:15 PM
man,
you already know the answer to this. I know it can be hard, but you will be kicking yourself in the keister all summer is you get involved with this broad. I had to let a guy go today and it sucks....this guy was the biggest PITA last year that you could imagine, everything, sounds a lot like this chick. I honored my agreement with him last year as much as I wanted to walk away. I sent him a letter in Feb that basically was a professional blow off....Changing my business model, tightinening routes dadada. He called me up then whining about it...I though dude....all you did last year was ***** about everything anyway why would you even want me again. answer: probably the only guy that ever stuck it out a full year. Anyway, after telling him I really could no longer afford to service his neighborhood, he caught me out working today a few streets over and actually got out and started raising a little hell with me. He nearly begged me to "give this thing another shot" acting like some ex girlfriend you broke up with or something. I have a hard time saying no but then I realized that if I agreed to work him back in it would have been the sos for another season. I stuck to my guns and just told him it was not the right situation for me.....then I gave him my buddies card and said this guy might be interested....laughed my ass off all the way home.

mngrassguy
04-15-2008, 01:51 AM
I never walk away from money. I would keep increasing the price (like humble1 said) and let her "walk away".

lifetree
04-15-2008, 05:38 AM
Along with the others, I think you should walk away from this customer and just let her know that she waited too long because your schedule is full now !!

leostaats
04-15-2008, 03:56 PM
Its time to become more assertive. Tell her what the situation is and how it is going to be handled. Stop leaving it open ended. You need to be able to convince the customer that you are qualified and you are the one with the information regarding times and treatments. Reverse the role and get her in your back pocket. Do not walk away from a customer regardless of how much of a pain they are. Once she understands you are the one taking the reins then the questions from her will soon become compliments. Business 101.

ffemt1271
04-15-2008, 04:42 PM
just tell her that someone else sent in a contract and her spot was taken.
if she knows so much why aint she doing her own stuff?
she'd probable stiff you with the bill when she heads to florida anyways.

Ric
04-15-2008, 05:27 PM
Read your post, if you haven't convinced yourself to walk away from a potentially short term PITA customer then read your post again.

Turf Hokie

IMHO you gave the best answer. The Quality of your customer base is more important than the Quantity. With Quality you can build Quantity easily.

shovelracer
04-15-2008, 09:06 PM
I never walk away from money. I would keep increasing the price (like humble1 said) and let her "walk away".

That doesnt always work. I raised my prices as high as 75% this year on a few full service customers just to get rid of them, and they still came back. I guess it means that we are doing something right, and the money definitely will pay for the extra phone time these people need to have. As for the lady this was about, well after my last post I told her she was going to do it my way and that I could squeeze her maintenance in early tuesday mornings and she was going to have to follow my application schedule. She said she would get back to me today. I just happen to drive by today and the other company in that development was finishing up her service which appeared to be clean up, thatching, and a little white flag which probably was her grub and PreM. That means this guy dropped whatever he was doing today to make this lady happy after blowing him off for weeks. No thanks

ted putnam
04-15-2008, 09:40 PM
There are a few people in this world who have the need to be a puppet master and everyone around them to be their puppet. That's what's great about doing your own thing. You can pretty much run things the way you want and there's no strings attached! You didn't need the headache...

leostaats
04-16-2008, 07:11 AM
Thats it, you became assertive and left her with no way to waiver and got your answer. Instead of blowing her off lke everyone was recomending, even though she decided to go with another service, you left her with the impression that you know what your doing and when her current service starts to slip she'll remember the guy who had the answers... Its a win win, your at ease knowing shes not going to bug you weekly and the power is on your side when she decides to speak with you again..

timturf
04-16-2008, 09:21 AM
Turf Hokie

IMHO you gave the best answer. The Quality of your customer base is more important than the Quantity. With Quality you can build Quantity easily.

Turf Hokie and Ric are on the right page

Ric
04-16-2008, 10:58 AM
Turf Hokie and Ric are on the right page

Tim

I think we all have been in the start up position where ANY customer was a good customer. But as you grow and start to gain confidence in your self and business your values change. Doesn't matter if you are doing Extra Fine Turf or Blown & Go work, You shouldn't put up with a PITA customer.

One Story I do love to tell is Dr. PITA. For 2 years I kissed his Butt. One day I had it and Quit Him. He went to the Country Club and Told everyone what a bad guy I was. I got tons of NEW customers from his Bad mouthing me. Everyone said If I could keep him happy for two years I could keep them happy for a life time. Everyone knew what a Jerk he is.

timturf
04-16-2008, 11:13 AM
Tim

I think we all have been in the start up position where ANY customer was a good customer. But as you grow and start to gain confidence in your self and business your values change. Doesn't matter if you are doing Extra Fine Turf or Blown & Go work, You shouldn't put up with a PITA customer.

One Story I do love to tell is Dr. PITA. For 2 years I kissed his Butt. One day I had it and Quit Him. He went to the Country Club and Told everyone what a bad guy I was. I got tons of NEW customers from his Bad mouthing me. Everyone said If I could keep him happy for two years I could keep them happy for a life time. Everyone knew what a Jerk he is.

Guess that was the best advertising you ever DID !!!!

Ric
04-16-2008, 01:41 PM
Guess that was the best advertising you ever DID !!!!

Tim

My favorite story when it comes to PITA customers. This is a small Country Club Neighborhood where most homeowners are Club members also. Everyone knows everyone and word of mouth is the only advertisement that really works. Dr PITA was a PITA as a Doctor and a bigger PITA as a retiree. Nothing to do and all day to do it.

Fact is my older customers told me about it first. After Dr PITA would leave the country club everyone would laugh and talk me up. They tell me one guy used to pimp poor old Dr PITA about who did the best yard care just to get him started. It was the Country Club Joke for a month or two.

In Hollywood they say bad press is better than no press. It worked for me. :D

turf hokie
04-16-2008, 08:11 PM
Wow,
Tim and Ric agreed with me, I must be getting ready to get struck by lightning:laugh:

My business just turned the corner (I think) this winter. And I realized that my business did not need to have just anybody as a customer. Became more selective with new customers, tighter route, go with your gut type stuff and dropped a few old PITA's. So far less stress and 30% bottom line growth in this early season.

Doesnt matter if I'm in the neighborhood or even across the street. I got fed up with waiting for my money and dealing with the people that would complain about one weed on 15k of lawn, insist I come back when I tell them they are scheduled for their regular service in one week anyway. Just not worth it and my bottom line says I am right.

go with your instinct and walk away.

ted putnam
04-17-2008, 12:02 AM
Wow,
Tim and Ric agreed with me, I must be getting ready to get struck by lightning:laugh:

My business just turned the corner (I think) this winter. And I realized that my business did not need to have just anybody as a customer. Became more selective with new customers, tighter route, go with your gut type stuff and dropped a few old PITA's. So far less stress and 30% bottom line growth in this early season.

Doesnt matter if I'm in the neighborhood or even across the street. I got fed up with waiting for my money and dealing with the people that would complain about one weed on 15k of lawn, insist I come back when I tell them they are scheduled for their regular service in one week anyway. Just not worth it and my bottom line says I am right.

go with your instinct and walk away.



Did the same here. raised prices, lost a few, gained a few back at the higher price(of course) and ditched the PITA's and the slow payers(F**K em and feed em fish heads) I'm in this to make a living and I can't if I do a pre -emerge on St. Pat's day and get paid for it on Thanksgiving! I actually still have slightly less customers than at the end of last year but my projected gross is up 20%. Not too shabby!