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John_DeereGreen
09-09-2009, 07:21 AM
A little background: We're a small company getting started, who currently has about 35 accounts per week.

About a month ago, I got a phone call from an older gentleman asking if we could come give him a price for his lawn. Said sure, no problem, we'll be up this afternoon. Went up, gave the price, and he said sounds good, go ahead and do it every week.

The way our scheduling is set up, we can mow an account once per week, or once per every two weeks. We can't, don't, and won't take on any 10 day accounts, or any account that wants to go over 2 weeks.

We arrived to mow yesterday, and he asked if the grass really needed cut. I said yes, since about 75-80% did, and reminded him that he was the one that requested to be on the weekly cutting schedule.

We collect money after each mowing, so I went to the door, and he asked how much he owed me. I responded "the normal price that we agreed on." He said, "oh, it's still full price even though you cut less lawn?"

How would you have responded to his question?

BeSeenGraphics
09-09-2009, 07:29 AM
I would have chuckled at his joke and handed him the bill with a big smile.

Littleriver1
09-09-2009, 08:28 AM
You did go there, in your truck with the trailer, use your equipment and employees and insurance. Was he willing to pay extra when the grass is over grown in the spring? Just explain to him that the price is averaged to include the spring growth, summer growth and fall growth.

BeSeenGraphics
09-09-2009, 09:28 AM
You did go there, in your truck with the trailer, use your equipment and employees and insurance. Was he willing to pay extra when the grass is over grown in the spring? Just explain to him that the price is averaged to include the spring growth, summer growth and fall growth.

Yes..and that too. :drinkup:

LushGreenLawn
09-09-2009, 09:34 AM
I would have explain that the whole lawn is cut every visit, regardless of spots that may be low, because they would have grown, even if it was a quarter inch. To not cut those areas would make the lawn look uneven.
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E.L.Co
09-09-2009, 10:35 AM
does my big mac cost less if my stomachs somewhat full already? no but i buy it anyways. You dont have time for these types and you will see the profit suffer from pita customers. i had 35 accounts last year and am now down to far less QUALITY customers on 2 month agreements paid in full upfront or on a monthly billing cycle, im not a kid with the crapsmen who lives down the street that wants money to buy a new bycicle i am a business trying to pay bills. If me coming off like a prick is required by george i do what i gotta

BeSeenGraphics
09-09-2009, 01:43 PM
I agree and know how you feel.

lawnjocky
09-09-2009, 02:14 PM
If he wasn't joking I'd drop him.

asps4u
09-09-2009, 03:06 PM
Maybe the guy just has Alzheimers! Or maybe he's that stupid. Either way, I would've laughed it off and if he did it again, I'd ask him if there was a problem with my service, or if there was something that I did or didn't do that he didn't like so we could try to correct it for him, and if he said all is good, than I'd ask why he doesn't want to pay the agreed price for the agreed job! If he just decided that after the fact he wanted to "re-negotiate" than I'd drop him. I don't need those kinds of headaches

BCL Services
09-09-2009, 05:24 PM
Thank god i don't do residential accounts any longer. Stuff like that is just stupid.

mowisme
09-09-2009, 05:42 PM
Me..I'd be gone. He sounds like a pain waiting to happen. He wants to change things and pinch his pennys already and it's only a Month- which brings up another question- Why did he take on a mowing service after half of mowing season is over?..did he have a prior service cutting it? if so..why they gone. I need accounts..but not bad enough I'd loose sleep because customer pulls stuff out of his hat..He was just being plain 'ignorant' and bit disrespectful when he said he should pay less because grass wasn't as tall so you did less mowing. Tough call..But I told you what I'd do. Geno

silverado212
09-09-2009, 06:34 PM
I would say when you cut it again if it is the same situation and he gives you that line again, get your money and don't go back. I have a residential client that told me last week to cut what I could (had a siding co. there and the back yard was full of tools and material) he was paying me full price whether all was cut or half. Not the same but if I had to do what you did I still get paid full price. Good clients I guess.

John_DeereGreen
09-09-2009, 09:33 PM
You did go there, in your truck with the trailer, use your equipment and employees and insurance. Was he willing to pay extra when the grass is over grown in the spring? Just explain to him that the price is averaged to include the spring growth, summer growth and fall growth.
That, more or less, is the response he got.

I don't think he was joking, but I'm not sure.

Either way, red flags have already gone up on this one, so I'll be paying close attention to him and the account from now on.

Thanks guys!!

JCPM
09-09-2009, 09:49 PM
Theres always a reason why we pick up accounts mid season. Either the customer couldn't mow it anymore themselves for any reason OR they had a dissagreement with another lawn company.
It's always important to find out why someone is hiring you. You can sidestep alot of confrontations if your prepared for what a customer might say.
The customer is almost NEVER right.

Florida Gardener
09-09-2009, 10:18 PM
The first question i ask a potential new customer is "why am i here." not exactly in those words but you get the idea. The first conversation will tell you a lot about the person. if they had another lco or still have one, ask them why they want to switch. this will let you know if the reasons are legit or the person is a pita. down here we have a lot of latinos who are sent out by the owner and a big problem i usually hear is that the communication barrier is bad. Helps me pick up accounts very easily. Listen to what the person is saying and i really feel you can get a good idea of who they are and what they expect.....

Big Bad Bob
09-09-2009, 10:43 PM
A little background: We're a small company getting started, who currently has about 35 accounts per week.

About a month ago, I got a phone call from an older gentleman asking if we could come give him a price for his lawn. Said sure, no problem, we'll be up this afternoon. Went up, gave the price, and he said sounds good, go ahead and do it every week.

The way our scheduling is set up, we can mow an account once per week, or once per every two weeks. We can't, don't, and won't take on any 10 day accounts, or any account that wants to go over 2 weeks.

We arrived to mow yesterday, and he asked if the grass really needed cut. I said yes, since about 75-80% did, and reminded him that he was the one that requested to be on the weekly cutting schedule.

We collect money after each mowing, so I went to the door, and he asked how much he owed me. I responded "the normal price that we agreed on." He said, "oh, it's still full price even though you cut less lawn?"

How would you have responded to his question?



Just tell him that you should charge more for premium service. Tell him that the less you cut from the grass stem, the better for the grass. Better for the grass equals premium service.
I mean, why should I leave money on the table just to prove I'm honest?
payuppayup

Isn't one of the main principles of business to attempt to extract as much money from a customer as is fairly possible and without gouging?

Nosmo
09-10-2009, 05:16 AM
He asked "full price and you didn't cut the whole lawn". hah Bet the guy doesn't have a full head of hair either. Ask him if his barber gives him a discount because he has less hair.

Nosmo

topsites
11-02-2010, 09:41 AM
F that.
Right off the bat, when I show up and the customer asks whether I think it needs cutting,
I look at the lawn and if it's only like half way or whatever I say "want me to wait another week?"

And as likely I could have just got in my truck and head on down the road, see you in a week!
Ain't no hair off my back thou, I'm half glad I didn't have to do any work lol

Let me tell you something...
Customer in hand is worth two in the bush.
I'll go out of my way for a regular.

That to me is just not a pita situation, especially if the grass really didn't need it,
which from the sound of things appears to have been the case.

Just come back in a week, what big a deal is that?

Cajun Cleanin'
11-02-2010, 10:06 AM
People who try to negotiate after the work is done and not before are a huge red flag.They either are very cheap and are trying to put the screws to you or can't really afford the service but can't do it themselves.

MOturkey
11-02-2010, 10:09 AM
F that.
Right off the bat, when I show up and the customer asks whether I think it needs cutting,
I look at the lawn and if it's only like half way or whatever I say "want me to wait another week?"

And as likely I could have just got in my truck and head on down the road, see you in a week!
Ain't no hair off my back thou, I'm half glad I didn't have to do any work lol

Let me tell you something...
Customer in hand is worth two in the bush.
I'll go out of my way for a regular.

That to me is just not a pita situation, especially if the grass really didn't need it,
which from the sound of things appears to have been the case.

Just come back in a week, what big a deal is that?

For once, I totally agree with Topsites.

93Chevy
11-02-2010, 10:16 AM
F that.
Right off the bat, when I show up and the customer asks whether I think it needs cutting,
I look at the lawn and if it's only like half way or whatever I say "want me to wait another week?"

And as likely I could have just got in my truck and head on down the road, see you in a week!
Ain't no hair off my back thou, I'm half glad I didn't have to do any work lol

Let me tell you something...
Customer in hand is worth two in the bush.
I'll go out of my way for a regular.

That to me is just not a pita situation, especially if the grass really didn't need it,
which from the sound of things appears to have been the case.

Just come back in a week, what big a deal is that?

Yeah, I maybe could have said it better, but close enough to what I was thinking.

The lack of planning for these situations creates problems when there shouldn't be a problem. You don't need to explain to your customers your pricing strategy, but with a service business, it's your responsibility to educate the customer as to why they're paying what they're paying.

stan the man
11-02-2010, 10:18 AM
if i tell them a price and the job is finish that is price.trying to cut the price after the work is done isn't going to work. try to cut the price 1st time. my price is the price or find some else. Sunday i went to look at fall clean up told the guy 400.00. he said he got it done last year for 300.00. i said call that guy. he said do the jobs he was unhappy by his face.

mbrew
11-02-2010, 11:26 AM
Wow Top! Your post count must be getting low or something to need to wake this old thread up.