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View Full Version : Got dropped today....


Liendeni
06-27-2008, 07:47 PM
Wow...I just got fired. I know it is for the best...but at the same time...I guess it busts your bubble in some regards. She just called and said she was not happy with my services and they were going to look for someone else.

I just started a couple months ago...and had 15 accounts....14 now. Its okay though....I have only had her account for four weeks and after the very first mowing she called me on the phone and said, "You don't pick the dead leaves out of the flower bed or anything?" and then followed that up with...."I mean you don't cut the trees back?""

You know....I am really trying to stick with this because I know there is always a lot of mistakes an lessons to be learned with any new business and when things get hard....most people quit or give up....so I am really trying to keep a positive attitude but crap like this just gets you down

Do you know what I mean?

Any advice for the newbie who is working hard...and going above and beyond?

DBL
06-27-2008, 08:04 PM
get used to it...sounds like a pita to me

WHIPPLE5.7
06-27-2008, 08:22 PM
I've lost several because some kid walked up to their door and said they would do it for 1/2 what I do it for.

Lbilawncare
06-27-2008, 08:33 PM
Don't take it too hard. After being in business for 15 years I have dealt with all kinds of people. If she didn't ask for extras then how would you have known to do them? I've had people pissed off at me for mowing because "the morning dew on the grass was just so pretty and you've ruined it" Trust me, you are better off without that type of demographic.

1cooltreeguy
06-27-2008, 08:35 PM
I've lost several because some kid walked up to their door and said they would do it for 1/2 what I do it for.

So - lets see - 1/2 of what you do it for in montana would make it $7.50 per lawn.....Just kiddin...LOL:rolleyes::usflag:

Grits
06-27-2008, 08:49 PM
You should think about using a service agreement to spell out what will and won't be done. But it sounds like this one is a pita, so don't worry about it.

calandscaper
06-27-2008, 09:10 PM
Wow...I just got fired. I know it is for the best...but at the same time...I guess it busts your bubble in some regards. She just called and said she was not happy with my services and they were going to look for someone else.

I just started a couple months ago...and had 15 accounts....14 now. Its okay though....I have only had her account for four weeks and after the very first mowing she called me on the phone and said, "You don't pick the dead leaves out of the flower bed or anything?" and then followed that up with...."I mean you don't cut the trees back?""

You know....I am really trying to stick with this because I know there is always a lot of mistakes an lessons to be learned with any new business and when things get hard....most people quit or give up....so I am really trying to keep a positive attitude but crap like this just gets you down

Do you know what I mean?

Any advice for the newbie who is working hard...and going above and beyond?

In the beginning it really sucks because your trying really hard to build your name/credibility etc. However, believe me, she did you a favor. This lady would have taking advantage of you never mind be a pita about everything. You would have had dumped this account eventually. Just my opinion. I would stay focused and keep the other 14 looking great and the rest will follow.
-Good Luck

CuttingEdge,LLC
06-27-2008, 09:11 PM
I agree with GRITS...

Letting the customer know what is and isn't included in the price you quoted them prior to any services completed will help keep this from happening. Remember most people want something for nothing, so don't give in and lose your a$$ on a job....

stevenf
06-27-2008, 09:39 PM
I just hit the 14 account mark myself. Must have gone through 4 bad ones in the last three weeks.
The customers that I do have never complain, know exactly what my services consist of, understand schedualing for rain outs or equipment and pay there bill on time every month. If I have to go through 10 bad ones to get one good customer then so be it.

cgaengineer
06-27-2008, 09:52 PM
I lost a few this year...hell right now I am glad I have any with the drought and grass not growing.

DeepGreenLawn
06-27-2008, 10:01 PM
I heard that! I have customers complaining because their grass isn't green enough. Well... ferts only do so much, water is really the main component.

Whitey4
06-27-2008, 11:17 PM
Thick skin is VERY usefull in this biz.... even when you have done a great job, some idiot will fire you for no good reason. One guy got rid of me because I didn't have an enclosed trailer! He was VERY happy with the service, but he was "embarrassed" that I didn't have a "Tru-Green" image. Let these people walk where they will, as others have said, sounds like this one did you a favor.

I had a new customer and did his first cut after doing a HUGE pruning job for him a few weeks ago. Indian folks, and his mother can't speak english when it suits her. So, she comes out and pulls a weed out of a bed and throws it on the walkway. I guess I'm supposed to pick it up. I did, but it was the last thing I did before I left. Then she follows me around, and when I get the blower on my back, tells me to cut back an ornamental grass that was starting to block the walkway, I flat out said no. Then she tries to tell me I should have pruned it when I did the pruning job 3 weeks ago.... when it was NOT imposing itself on the walk.

She can speak well enough to harrass me tho.... and she was supposed to pay me before I left, as per her son, who hired me. I left without the cash. Her son is gonna hear about it.... and if he doesn't pay me and agree to tell her to get off my back.... so long.

Ordinarilly, I would have pruned the damned grass back.... but that weed on the walk, my last mow of the day, and bad hot and humid.... keep the stinkin 30 bucks for that kind of aggravation.

Some of these people are simply .... just wacky. Some are cheap, and others will squeeze you as hard as they can. Walk away.... and keep the good ones you get. I always go the extra mile for the good ones.

When I drove a subway train, an instructor once told me there are two kinds of motormen.... ones that have hit a red signal and the ones that lie about it. Getting fired is gonna happen in this biz, even if you are perfect.... and no one is perfect.

Uranus
06-27-2008, 11:26 PM
Think positive. Now you have an opening for that new customer who has a hot daughter that just graduated from college and is still looking for work and has nothing better to do with herself than to wear a skimpy bikini and sun herself by the pool while your servicing the property.

srqlawn
06-28-2008, 12:08 AM
I would simply think back to a line from my all-time favorite movie - The Godfather....."it's not personal, it's just business"

Lil'MowinMan93
06-28-2008, 12:11 AM
don't worry. this lady i have for me says "well you know theres not much grass so come next week" im like alright every other week for 30 or every week for 20. trust me. i try to keep my cool with my customers but some of the crap i get is just unbelievable.

Az Gardener
06-28-2008, 12:12 AM
You guys just amaze me :dizzy: thank god you represent the prevailing attitudes in the industry because I have built a business handling your "pitas". They are not pitas they are people who want what they want and there are lots of them out there.

In the last month I have picked up 3 jobs where I am charging 2-4 times more than the last guy. I bet they called those clients pitas too :laugh: I'm not talking about a 25 cut that I am charging 50 for I'm talking 200 month account I get 439 for or a 240 account that is 960 per month with me.

I'm not bragging I am just trying to illustrate a point. Don't impose your limiting belief system onto other people. Just because you don't think someone would pay that much does not mean they wont. Just give them the oppertunity.

Here is what you do...

Make a list of all the services you can provide, go down the list and ask the client if they want that service. Make a form, put youur letterhead on the top then your questions or services and yes or no so you can circle their responses. If they do the next question is how often.
Its just like ordering off a menu. You want a mow its 26 you want line trimming its 6 you want edging its 7 you want the beds blown out... you get the picture.

You will do several things with this method. You will illustrate your professionalism. You will illustrate you are doing your best to understand and please your client. You will instill confidence in your client that you are organized, probably dependable, and that you will deliver a consistent product because you have made an effort to document their requests. You have also set a precedent that extra services are not free services.

You do this and you will be on your way. Let the herd whine about the pitas

Good Luck

Liendeni
06-28-2008, 03:18 AM
You guys just amaze me :dizzy: thank god you represent the prevailing attitudes in the industry because I have built a business handling your "pitas". They are not pitas they are people who want what they want and there are lots of them out there.

In the last month I have picked up 3 jobs where I am charging 2-4 times more than the last guy. I bet they called those clients pitas too :laugh: I'm not talking about a 25 cut that I am charging 50 for I'm talking 200 month account I get 439 for or a 240 account that is 960 per month with me.

I'm not bragging I am just trying to illustrate a point. Don't impose your limiting belief system onto other people. Just because you don't think someone would pay that much does not mean they wont. Just give them the oppertunity.

Here is what you do...

Make a list of all the services you can provide, go down the list and ask the client if they want that service. Make a form, put youur letterhead on the top then your questions or services and yes or no so you can circle their responses. If they do the next question is how often.
Its just like ordering off a menu. You want a mow its 26 you want line trimming its 6 you want edging its 7 you want the beds blown out... you get the picture.

You will do several things with this method. You will illustrate your professionalism. You will illustrate you are doing your best to understand and please your client. You will instill confidence in your client that you are organized, probably dependable, and that you will deliver a consistent product because you have made an effort to document their requests. You have also set a precedent that extra services are not free services.

You do this and you will be on your way. Let the herd whine about the pitas

Good Luck

Ya, we get the picture but your method would be a joke around here. I can just see you going down the list and then checking off the "yes" boxes when it comes to...."Okay...do you want trimming? yes. Do you want edging? yes."

People down here would look at me like I was a flipping idiot.

Its like you ordering a pizza off the menu and then the guy says to you, "Do you want crust on that? check the yes. Do you want Cheese? okay, check the yes. Do you want pizza sauce? check the yes."

Some of that stuff you named goes without saying down here. Nobody mows in my area without trimming, edging, blowing off the debris....and about another 50% automatically do your hedges and inclue them in the price.

I think Pita's are realistic part of ANY business...not just here. If you think that you have the magic touch to deal with them all than you are either kidding your self or just full of it. Tell me then....what do you do when you get a customer who insists that you do something for her that was not aggreed upon and she doesn't want to pay you. Something unrealistic. Let's say....haul away some garbage left in her yard by a construstion crew that didn't clean up after themselves.

No, she doesn't want to pay you....but you have that nice big truck and you can just load your truck right up and swing on down to the dump in no time at all....and you should....because you are the lawn guy.

And when you tell her no...she is offended....and is unhappy and now thinks that you are providing poor services. Your nice...your polite...and you explain to her that you don't do that and can't anyways because you have 6 more houses to hit before you go home....and you had no plans on swinging by the dump....nor do you wish to.

Makes sense....but sense doesn't reason with her....and she is upset now and you are a terrible lawnboy that won't remove all the left over bricks, half bags of morter, just crap strung about her yard.

Do you have a nice little check off area for that?

Sometimes people are unrealistic in their expectations of what you should be doing for what amount of money....even if it is spelled out in black and white and signed.

Liendeni
06-28-2008, 03:25 AM
And for everybody else that left me a comment....I really appreciate it. It was just kind of a downer but bound to happen sooner or later anyways...thanks guys!

kleankutslawn
06-28-2008, 06:02 AM
keep your head up.this just the beginning next year you will look back and laughg at this.if it was something you did wrong,you may see it later in time with experience.good luck, be safe and go get sum more accounts!

railman
06-28-2008, 07:24 AM
in my opinion the lady did you a favor. she just made room for good customer.

topsites
06-28-2008, 09:42 AM
I learned like yourself, I try and be a nice guy and it works so-so...
Some folks you can give that $35 price to and they're happy, glad you didn't charge them $40 and gtg.
Other folks they just keep trying and trying to get an even better deal...
I'm guessing they can't help it, this falling all over themselves, if that's what it is?

Just the way it is, I guess.

Ya, we get the picture but your method would be a joke around here.

Yeah I thought that was pretty funny, too.

With 6 years in I know of a few tricks where I could do some of that and get away with it,
but that's not a very good thing to try because customers are not stupid and sooner or later
they would catch on, and then it all goes downhill and fast for real I mean it.

It's real simple, if a customer wants to pay $300'ish for something then neither you nor I
nor anyone else is getting no 600 and certainly no 1200 out of them... But go on and get smart
and pull it out of them anyhow and I am sure that crap comes back around, too...

So it's just like some folks say, you can't get blood out of a turnip.

what do you do when you get a customer who insists that you do something for her that was not aggreed upon and she doesn't want to pay you.

Or when they come out one day all nice and friendly like "Hey how are you?" and waving and smiling and I'm
not thinking in a bad way about this so I'm like "well Heeey HI!!!" and then find out why they're being so nice lol

Do you have a nice little check off area for that?

And even if you do, which you don't...
But lets just say you're smart so you do, fine but you still get the dirty look :p

Story of my life, and it could be I am missing something here, but I don't see it any other way.

topsites
06-28-2008, 09:57 AM
Oh...

Any advice for the newbie who is working hard...and going above and beyond?

Just keep doing what you're doing.
At least you're one guy who seems to have the right attitude and...
Maybe you and I we're doing it all wrong, could be,
but that's just how things are.

It does get better in time, to a point, I still get that crap
but not as often and as someone said a thick skin helps.

Another thing that helps me, is I know a few guys in my area real good,
one of them does trees the other two are unrelated to residential services like ours
but agricultural nonetheless... All three of them have been doing their thing at least
twice as long as I have mine, we're talking 12-20+ years here.
And you know what?

Same story from those guys, matter of fact their stories make my dire straights look
pale in comparison so I'm guessing I actually got it good (and this is what helps lol).
So...

Just keep doing what you're doing.

Lawnut101
06-29-2008, 01:51 AM
Wow...I just got fired. I know it is for the best...but at the same time...I guess it busts your bubble in some regards. She just called and said she was not happy with my services and they were going to look for someone else.

I just started a couple months ago...and had 15 accounts....14 now. Its okay though....I have only had her account for four weeks and after the very first mowing she called me on the phone and said, "You don't pick the leaves out of the flower bed or anything?" and then followed that up with...."I mean you don't cut the trees back?""

You know....I am really trying to stick with this because I know there is always a lot of mistakes an lessons to be learned with any new business and when things get hard....most people quit or give up....so I am really trying to keep a positive attitude but crap like this just gets you down

Do you know what I mean?

Any advice for the newbie who is working hard...and going above and beyond?

I wouldn't be sad at all about loosing a customer like that. I've had a few like that in the past, but I won't deal with those people anymore.

Whitey4
06-29-2008, 04:29 PM
You guys just amaze me :dizzy: thank god you represent the prevailing attitudes in the industry because I have built a business handling your "pitas". They are not pitas they are people who want what they want and there are lots of them out there.

In the last month I have picked up 3 jobs where I am charging 2-4 times more than the last guy. I bet they called those clients pitas too :laugh: I'm not talking about a 25 cut that I am charging 50 for I'm talking 200 month account I get 439 for or a 240 account that is 960 per month with me.

I'm not bragging I am just trying to illustrate a point. Don't impose your limiting belief system onto other people. Just because you don't think someone would pay that much does not mean they wont. Just give them the oppertunity.

Here is what you do...

Make a list of all the services you can provide, go down the list and ask the client if they want that service. Make a form, put youur letterhead on the top then your questions or services and yes or no so you can circle their responses. If they do the next question is how often.
Its just like ordering off a menu. You want a mow its 26 you want line trimming its 6 you want edging its 7 you want the beds blown out... you get the picture.

You will do several things with this method. You will illustrate your professionalism. You will illustrate you are doing your best to understand and please your client. You will instill confidence in your client that you are organized, probably dependable, and that you will deliver a consistent product because you have made an effort to document their requests. You have also set a precedent that extra services are not free services.

You do this and you will be on your way. Let the herd whine about the pitas

Good Luck

I get the impression that you never had a customer that was so unreasonable that your silver tongue couldnt fix the probem?

As with all generalizations. you're pita theory is faulted. Newbies arent likely to fire a customer, as increasing the client base is foremost.... but from what I've read from old vets is that cherry picking accounts is where you want to be eventually.... and there is another solo guy in my town that does just that. His rep (and ability) lets him charge top dollar and cherry pick accouts.

Hey, when some 60 year old woman who can't speak english pulls a weed and throws it on the walk for me to pickup..... and watches and waits for me to do it.... that is a pita you would be most welcome to take and make as much $ as you could from. God bless your humility and patience. I have faults, and my ego says to go shove that weed up her ***. You want this one pita? By all means, take it.

HOOLIE
06-29-2008, 04:54 PM
I get the impression that you never had a customer that was so unreasonable that your silver tongue couldnt fix the probem?

As with all generalizations. you're pita theory is faulted. Newbies arent likely to fire a customer, as increasing the client base is foremost.... but from what I've read from old vets is that cherry picking accounts is where you want to be eventually.... and there is another solo guy in my town that does just that. His rep (and ability) lets him charge top dollar and cherry pick accouts.

Hey, when some 60 year old woman who can't speak english pulls a weed and throws it on the walk for me to pickup..... and watches and waits for me to do it.... that is a pita you would be most welcome to take and make as much $ as you could from. God bless your humility and patience. I have faults, and my ego says to go shove that weed up her ***. You want this one pita? By all means, take it.

Whitey...my dawg...you're a good guy, but AZ is too. His advice may not pertain to the particular customer in question but in general it's excellent advice. The problem is, the vets with experience keep getting told to take it up the a-hole so they just stop posting. Already many of the old timers have left. If you cant' learn a thing or two from AZ then you're just not paying attention. I've been in this game for 19 years but I still learn new tricks from the veterans, and maybe pass along a trick or two.

Az Gardener
06-29-2008, 05:32 PM
Whitey...my dawg...you're a good guy, but AZ is too. His advice may not pertain to the particular customer in question but in general it's excellent advice. The problem is, the vets with experience keep getting told to take it up the a-hole so they just stop posting. Already many of the old timers have left. If you cant' learn a thing or two from AZ then you're just not paying attention. I've been in this game for 19 years but I still learn new tricks from the veterans, and maybe pass along a trick or two.

Thank you Hollie. Yes, it does get very old spending the time to answer questions and be told that I'm wrong. There are never any absolutes so there always is an exception to the rule. Rather than trying to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about, that wont work here. Newbies would be better served to see how you can apply my advise to your situation.

Whitey4
06-29-2008, 07:22 PM
Thank you Hollie. Yes, it does get very old spending the time to answer questions and be told that I'm wrong. There are never any absolutes so there always is an exception to the rule. Rather than trying to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about, that wont work here. Newbies would be better served to see how you can apply my advise to your situation.

Never said you didn't know what you are talking about. I know better than that, not just because I'm a newbie, but I do respect other's opinions, in particularly from those that have been around the block.

Having said that... Az, in your post you made it sound like any pita customer really isn't a pita, and you would take every last one of them. Truth is, and you already know this, some pita customers are not worth the aggravation, extra time, meaning lower profit per hour and lost time doing "extras" no matter how irod clad the service agreement might be. If a customer pays you for a late spring pruning, and 4 weeks later wants you to prune again as part of your mow and blow agreement..... that is a pita. Some peole want free services, and will squeeze us like a lemon.

I never said you were wrong.... but your position made it sound like there is no bad customer. There ARE bad customers, those a small (or large) LCO might be better off without. That was my point.... I said earlier in this thread that a thick skin is helpful..... it is also helpful in net forums, and not taking things so personally.

Liendeni
06-29-2008, 07:53 PM
Thank you Hollie. Yes, it does get very old spending the time to answer questions and be told that I'm wrong. There are never any absolutes so there always is an exception to the rule. Rather than trying to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about, that wont work here. Newbies would be better served to see how you can apply my advise to your situation.

Not saying you haven't been in business for a great deal of time....and not saying you are not very good at what you do in your area....but I also know if someone came to my door down here in Florida with a check off list of what 100% of residents assume is the basics and included (ie. Blowing off the debris when you finished) and you break out with...."would you like the grass on the driveway blown off.....okay....each time your lawn is service....or just once a month? okay...that will be $10 extra....than you would never find work around here. End of story.

Anybody disagree?

Adding things like Edging, Trimming, blowing off debris....as an additional cost...makes you look very unprofessional.

My first question as a customer would be...."So...you are willing to cut the grass only and leave the rest of the yard looking like total sh*t?"

I would automatically think you have no pride in your work whatsoever and you would certainly be the first guy I had ever come across that wanted to charge a separate fee for trimming, edging, blowing off the debris.

Am I missing something???

Az Gardener
06-29-2008, 08:27 PM
Am I missing something???

Yes you are. You are thinking for your customer. If you are in the same demographic as your customers, have the same income and lifestyle then you can possibly make the same decisions based on what you would do. My guess is you are not, yet you are imposing your belief system on your clients.

If I go to do a bid and it comes out to 1600 per month for a home and I say to myself that's too expensive they will never go for that and begin cutting my price and therefore eliminating services. I would never be in the market I am now. I find out what level of service they want and that's what I bid. If my bid is too high they have two options reduce the quality or frequency of service and use me or use someone else. Either way it is their decision and everything is transparent.

As I mentioned in a previous post that was deleted if you don't have the good sense to take a format I have given and apply it to your situation you don't deserve my help. I am not going to send you a ready to use form. You think I don't know its silly to ask if you want your lawn weed eated? I thought it was stupid but I don't know the level of service you provide. Many are unwilling to pull a weed or haul away some brush, what do I know. I would never decline a request that was so trivial. So I made no assumptions and started with the basics.

You figure it out. Whats the worse thing that could happen? You look like a professional or a dirt-bag. Its business you try things and improve on the things that work and dump the things that don't.

Greenleaf Lawns
06-30-2008, 01:48 PM
For every customer lost there are more around the corner.

Just do a good job, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.

So customers you are better without

Now that said I still hate losing a customer but sometimes it is for the best

Brent