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View Full Version : does the vehicle you give estimates from matter?


WHIPPLE5.7
03-24-2009, 01:56 PM
I sometimes have to give estimates that are pretty far from where I live because I service a wide area but it all works out because I make one big loop making stops all along the way. I own a Geo metro that gits 47 mpg and I wouldn't mind using it for some of farther away estimates but I fear that potential customers may look at the car as how I conduct business overall. My trucks and trailers are professional looking but it seems smarter to use the little car for estimates that are way out of the way unless they won't hire me just because of the car I'm driving. Anyone else have dealings with an issue like this?

ExtExc
03-24-2009, 02:16 PM
unless the accounts are so large they are totally worth it, why venture that far out of your way anyway? keep your route tight? if they are large commercials, i would be taking my nicest truck there.

THEGOLDPRO
03-24-2009, 02:34 PM
i always bring my truck for estimates, i have a honda accord that gets amazing mpg but i nevr take it

Lawnut101
03-24-2009, 02:39 PM
I most of the time bring one of my nice trucks to look at a job. However, if I know the person, or have done work for them before, then I may take a different vehicle if it's not convenient for me to take my truck. But I feel more confident driving through nice areas of town in one of my nice trucks. People will see you and remember you.

lawnpro724
03-24-2009, 03:01 PM
If its nice out I take my bike. I let them know gas is to much and bike gets great gas mileage. If its colder out I take the car. My trucks average 12-15 mile per gal so if I have to go very far it ads up fast. Everyone understands so its no big deal.

topsites
03-24-2009, 06:18 PM
Only time I do it in the truck is when it's en-route anyhow, nice mpg
makes the whole 'free' part of the estimate noticeably easier to swallow.

As for what customers might think, I've never had this problem but that could be because I flat out don't care.
So I think being self-conscious would be detrimental here, just be yourself and it's like, yeah this is what I do, pretend if you must.

Like, matter of fact, you know...

PROCUT1
03-24-2009, 07:07 PM
I wouldnt show up in a piece of junk but I think any nice looking vehicle is fine.

Scagguy
03-24-2009, 07:23 PM
If it's a prospective new client, I show up in one of my trucks. If it's an established customer, I'll fire up the Harley and ride over. I tell them it's my way of going green.

WHIPPLE5.7
03-24-2009, 08:01 PM
unless the accounts are so large they are totally worth it, why venture that far out of your way anyway? keep your route tight? if they are large commercials, i would be taking my nicest truck there.


They are worth it. All the lowballers work within the city limits and price eachother right out of the game. I work along the river front properties and at the lake which is filled with tons of high end vacation homes. The distance is about 1 hour at my furthest point but these people complain the least and pay the highest. The scrubs from town won't even consider traveling out there because they think the drive is too far. Then again their trucks suck and their equipment is even more crappy so they are stuck in town fighting over postage stamp lawns.

stroker51
03-24-2009, 08:05 PM
I dont have anything other than the trucks. If it's a prospective customer, I take the 01 Super Duty, cleanest truck i've got, and looks really nice, so kinda gives the impression that I'm no fly by nighter and here to stay. I am thinking pretty hard about getting a harley or something similar this year, which will probably be my bid vehicle, especially if it's only a mowing bid or a bid that doesn't require any tools, laser, wheel, whatever. That's why I like my Super Duty, it's got every thing I need to do a bid in the toolbox.

mowerbrad
03-24-2009, 08:13 PM
Going and giving an estimate is part of your job. They called your company and would probably expect to see a company truck pull up to their house. It is kind of like if we at the fire department were to get a call, we would take one of the engines, not our personal car that gets good mpg's. You would expect a fire department vehicle to pull up to your house if you called them.

burge19
03-24-2009, 09:41 PM
I think how you present is a big part of getting an estimate. if that helps
?

Ford4Ever
03-24-2009, 09:47 PM
I drive my 4 cylinder Ranger to all my estimates...practical (24mpg) but still looks fairly professional.

LwnmwrMan22
03-24-2009, 10:07 PM
If it's a property where the contact is located at, I'll take the truck.

If it's a property where no one knows who I am, meaning a townhome without the manager on site, or if it's a commercial property where no one looks outside (Wal-Mart, office inside a building) then I'll take the wife's minivan.

JShe8918
03-24-2009, 10:42 PM
I had the same problem, but i came to a conclusion. First a little info I drive an 2005 duramax with 20's and 35's and a single chrome stack. I am 19 years old and my truck doesn't look professional. People take a look at what i pull up in and then a look at me. And are like WTF is this kid doing. I dress professionally but my ride is not so professional. I can't help what i like. OH.. the other thing that scares me is i have a decal at the top of my back glass that says CHAIN SMOKER... I have built my truck to not only tow daily but to race on the weekends the tuning i run SMOKES big black clouds when i gas on it (hence the CHAIN SMOKER). Best time so far is 12.89. So should we worry about what we drive there? Or should we just show up and look our best and impress them with the knowledge that we have. I have came to the conclusion looks matter but a professional presentation is better. Take them a portfolio of some of your work and it shouldn't matter what you drive there. Show pictures of your work vehicles, equipment, and lawns that you service, with the owners permission of course. Just my personal thoughts. Everyone even the old people just ask questions about my truck and make comments. I mean does it really matter. We are worried about the yard here not me and my belongings. Good luck

DuallyVette
03-24-2009, 11:16 PM
When I go talk to a prospective customer & want to save some gas, I drive my Corvette (19 city/26 hwy) They might as well see what they're paying for. :)....just kidding.

Danscapes
03-25-2009, 10:35 AM
I take my Super Duty out for estimates (since its my only truck), but I'm thinking of picking up a small Nissan or Toyota 4-banger truck. I would paint it to match my company truck and decal it up so it looks the same.

LwnmwrMan22
03-25-2009, 10:44 AM
I take my Super Duty out for estimates (since its my only truck), but I'm thinking of picking up a small Nissan or Toyota 4-banger truck. I would paint it to match my company truck and decal it up so it looks the same.

This is what a good friend of mine does. His brother owns a good body shop, and they watched for a wrecked pickup.

They found a Ranger with 25k miles on it, heavy sheet metal damage, but a solid frame, drivetrain, engine, etc.

Anyways, it needed to be painted once they redid the sheet metal, so he painted it the same as his regular truck, put the decals on, and uses it for his irrigation service calls, or putting bids in.

He thought about putting a small flat bed on it for his small accounts, but instead bought an NPR and has put a mowing / irrigation flatbed on that instead.