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intimidator782
03-30-2010, 01:49 PM
What do you do when customers dont care about how their lawn looks? I have a couple that could really look nice if i fertilized and did some mulch jobs. The problem is that these people would rather not even have grass. I dont want to put a sign in their yard if there isnt any good grass growing. I always do the best job i can no matter what, i just know i could get them looking a lot better. Should i drop them and find more customers that want their lawns to look good or what?

JB1
03-30-2010, 01:51 PM
i just keep mowing along, if they don't care it sure doesn't bother me.

Lugnut
03-30-2010, 01:59 PM
as long as they care enough to pay you keep them unless you're so busy you have to pass on the nice ones

ashgrove landscaping
03-30-2010, 01:59 PM
No way. Do not drop them. They are gravy lawns you can just blast through. Keep them real tight of course but easy going customers are a blessing. As long as they pay and don't mind regular grass with some weeds why should you, right? You could suggest some extra care and see if they bite. Just don't put your sign up if you feel it s bad for business. I personally don't think it is a bad thing. The more people see you working the better they think you are and will tell others. We all have diifferent types of lawns and customers, enjoy the variety.

lawnkingforever
03-30-2010, 02:28 PM
As long as they are not PITAS or slowpayers, I would not drop them. I have some customers that don't care much about their yards either, they just want the grass mowed. It used to bother me that people did not care, now I wish I had more yards like that. These type of customers never complain and tend to be the more profitable yards on my route. Some will disagree, because there is not much upselling to these clients. But I can bang out these types of yards quickly which makes my hourly rate a little higher on these yards. Just unload, mow, trim, blow, collect payment and go. If you drop these accounts, there will be ten people in line to do these yards.

Yater
03-30-2010, 02:39 PM
It's a business. Do your job and collect your money. You're the lawn guy....don't expect any praise.

WholeSaleSteve
03-30-2010, 02:41 PM
What do you do when you have customers that don't care about maintaining their ZTRs and never change the oil. I just had a LCO pull into my service dept with a Dixie Chopper and over 400hrs on it without changing the oil!!! UGH!!! sorry for my rant but it irritates me to see good equipment abused espeically by folks that later don't have the money to repair and need the mower to put food on the family dinner table.

betmr
03-30-2010, 02:46 PM
If a customer does not want Cruise Control, does a car dealer refuse to sell them a car? They want the lawn mowed, they just don't want to do it, so they pay you. They just want the meat, and not the gravy.

And hey you don't have to put a sign out there. And anyway, if I had a Lawn Service, the last thing I would want them to do is, decorate MY lawn with their bill boards.

KarlP
03-30-2010, 02:56 PM
If it is a hobby job to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise drop them. If you're in it to make money I'd take the attitude that they can keep their lawn brown so long as their money is green.

poncho62
03-30-2010, 03:05 PM
What I would do (maybe I am nuts)....if you have a bit of extra fertilizer, seed etc.....apply it to a corner of their lawn and show them the results......Mention that the whole place could look that good at a reasonable cost....The rest is up to them.

JB1
03-30-2010, 03:09 PM
What I would do (maybe I am nuts)....if you have a bit of extra fertilizer, seed etc.....apply it to a corner of their lawn and show them the results......Mention that the whole place could look that good at a reasonable cost....The rest is up to them.

yeah you could, but some people all they want is the grass mowed and that's all.

topsites
03-30-2010, 03:19 PM
So long there's some kind of grass and they pay, right on, easy money.
I keep them if for no other reason than you just never know what you end up losing in that little compromise lol.

The only thing that kills me...

yeah you could, but some people all they want is the grass mowed and that's all.

Yeah, I've been through that experience, unless you just have money to blow
I wouldn't do it... More than likely they know you can do that, if they don't want it...

But, now back to the only thing that really kills me...
Is when one of those types of customers one day, years down the road...
Gets a wild hair and decides they're going to go all out and make the lawn look nice?
They end up calling someone else and not just once in a moon, but every dang time, pretty much.

And you wouldn't think they would do that, but it's been my experience.
Other big jobs as well, even if I can do them, they call someone else.
That part does suck, because I'm just their dirt boy, that takes some tolerance...

On the other hand one takes what money there is.

Big C
03-30-2010, 03:33 PM
As long as they cut the check...I'm good....I do the best that I can for what they are willing to pay.

lawnlandscape
03-30-2010, 03:36 PM
What I would do (maybe I am nuts)....if you have a bit of extra fertilizer, seed etc.....apply it to a corner of their lawn and show them the results......Mention that the whole place could look that good at a reasonable cost....The rest is up to them.

I love this idea! Way to think out of the box!! :clapping:

Nothing to lose, and you have a lot that you could gain.

handymanlawncare
03-30-2010, 03:40 PM
How about the ones who keep adding on small stuff after you have quoted a price. A little of this and that add up to extra hours of my time. The bad part is when they live close to you and you have to see them everyday.

Yater
03-30-2010, 03:46 PM
How about the ones who keep adding on small stuff after you have quoted a price. A little of this and that add up to extra hours of my time. The bad part is when they live close to you and you have to see them everyday.

I tell them that I'll have to write up another invoice for "tax reasons". That way, they know it's not free.

rjh4758
03-30-2010, 03:53 PM
Moneys money! As long as they pay timely I would consider them a great customer. They have no other expectations of you other than keeping the grass cut which is about as easy as it gets.

I would not go putting their lawn in my website, business card or flyer but is easy money, take the money and run.

betmr
03-30-2010, 04:09 PM
What is the possibility they are not the owners, but tenants ?

rain man
03-30-2010, 04:26 PM
If you have an easy to please customer with twenty great potential customers on the same street it might pay to throw in a few once in a blue moon extras (if it doesn't cost much) to get more business. If there isn't anything to gain then if the customer is happy then I am happy.

yardguy28
03-30-2010, 05:31 PM
What do you do when customers dont care about how their lawn looks? I have a couple that could really look nice if i fertilized and did some mulch jobs. The problem is that these people would rather not even have grass. I dont want to put a sign in their yard if there isnt any good grass growing. I always do the best job i can no matter what, i just know i could get them looking a lot better. Should i drop them and find more customers that want their lawns to look good or what?

i'd just keep doing what your doing. wouldn't bother me a bit. they're paying you to cut there grass.

just skip that yard as far as putting a sign in it. do you have to put a sign in every single yard you service?

i personally wouldn't drop them but thats because i take any kind of work i can get. if all it is a mow, trim, blow and go thats all it is. if they want full service fine. i do pretty much all types of lawns. not all lawn businesses do. some profile there clients and will only do work for certain types of people. if your one of those then i'd be dropping them.

i have lawns in the rich neighborhoods and lawns in the poorest parts of town. i have nice manicured lawns that i prun the hedges, mulch, edge, remove the leaves and they get there grass fertilized. i also have lawns that never see a speck of fertilizer or water unless it rains and are weed infested and all i do is mow trim blow and go. work is work. for me anyways.

Nickcon404
03-30-2010, 07:02 PM
Hey, as long as they pay and are not a PITA. I have one that is about 2 acres of grass, weeds and crap. As long as it is cut he could care less. Has a check waiting for me EVERY TIME just as I finish and load up my mower. I think it looks like crap but the customer loves it!! I'll take 10 of those over a no pay/slow pay/PITA upscale lawn all day long. Cash is cash....

Mickhippy
03-30-2010, 07:15 PM
If it really bothers you, why dont you just throw some slow release down on the front yard? (if its not big!) Just tell them its your treat this time to see if they like it.

I know of guys over here that do that on occasion so they can get longer out of the season and or more regular cuts.

Personally, ferted lawns are a PITA!

lawnlandscape
03-30-2010, 07:51 PM
How about the ones who keep adding on small stuff after you have quoted a price. A little of this and that add up to extra hours of my time. The bad part is when they live close to you and you have to see them everyday.

This is an easy one to prevent. When they ask you to do something more, you just politely tell them that it is not in the contract, but you would be happy to do it if they would like, and it will be billed as time and materials.

I have learned this the hard way after my first couple years in business. Sometimes you think its nice to do a few extra things for a customer if they ask, but the more you do extra, the harder to gets to draw a line, so your better to keep the line with the contract.

If they are little things, they will not cost much to add as time an materials anyway. Most customers will understand.

Cboy7
03-30-2010, 08:59 PM
I dont really care about my own yard. just throw fertilizer on whenever I fell like it. weedeat when I get the itch .and still get yard of the month 2 times.
so you know my neighborhood looks like trash if mine wins! ha!

handymanlawncare
03-31-2010, 01:42 AM
I think I am underbidding some and overbidding others. It is a tough thing bidding these yards.

clydebusa
03-31-2010, 07:28 AM
Hell, I've been known to fertilze the front yard without them knowing. This causes the grass to green up and get another cutting or two out of it. I will spray for weeds also. Did it yesterday on 3 yards just for the heck of it.

yardguy28
03-31-2010, 09:46 AM
i'm not so sure i would be doing things for a client without there knowledge. especially "larger" services like fertilizing and weed prevention.

i've been known to bag a lawn here and there without the client knowing or paying the bagging price but thats pretty much just a time thing. i did edge the sidewalks and driveway of a client without charging her or her knowledge.

she had her house on the market and moved to florida and had me taking care of it until it sold. the grass wasn't overgrown on the sidewalk or anything. it just needed an edger ran through it so i did it. looked a little nicer.

house hasn't sold but she has people renting there so i lost the account for this season because i guess they are doing it themselves.

Roger
03-31-2010, 11:33 PM
For those suggesting putting down fertilizer and/or seed without the customer's permission, that is not "out of the box," (as somebody suggested), that is out of order. Yes, you may see how they could make their lawn look better, but doing work that is outside your scope, especially putting down chemicals, is a bad path to follow. I would never consider doing those kinds of tasks, regardless of how much better I think I could make it look. I think you are playing the wrong cards on that move.

I know some of my customers would go through the roof if they learned I did those things. They are much happier with weeds and sparse grass than to have a chemical put down on their property.

yardguy28
04-01-2010, 12:15 AM
i think the whole seeding and fertilizing without a clients knowledge is a very unprofessional and shady thing to do. i would classify those that run there business this way as scrubs. and if i caught wind of it in my neck of the woods i would have no problem letting those people know what there lawn service is doing. this industry is about a whole lot more than making money. fertilizing or seeding without a clients knowledge to extend the cutting season is unmoral and unprofessional. if you can't get your business the correct way then you shouldn't be in the business.

piste
04-01-2010, 12:31 AM
Give up your business until u determine your business model. Then u won't have to come to internet forums with these sort of questions.
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LR3
04-01-2010, 02:13 AM
if they don't care it sure doesn't bother me.

For someone who does quality work like yourself, I was suprised to read that.

Back on topic, I would think that doing your best to someones property, transforming something out of nothing encourages clients to reach deeper into their pockets for a little more to be done down the road. Once they see how good their lawn starts to look after I have dealt with it a few weeks they start looking around trying to find more things for me to do to add to the good looks. A good way to start is giving them pointers on what they already have at their disposal, such as watering. When they see that I care about their property, even if they don't, it's only a matter of time I rub off on them and they start caring more.

handymanlawncare
04-01-2010, 02:33 AM
I agree with you guys. I don't do it unless my customer asks. I dont charge much for this service, but it is not cool to be secretive with my customers. They all trust me and that is why I never lose one. They come back because of my work ethic and my honesty. That is an important thing to have in my opinion.

yardguy28
04-01-2010, 06:24 PM
For someone who does quality work like yourself, I was suprised to read that.

Back on topic, I would think that doing your best to someones property, transforming something out of nothing encourages clients to reach deeper into their pockets for a little more to be done down the road. Once they see how good their lawn starts to look after I have dealt with it a few weeks they start looking around trying to find more things for me to do to add to the good looks. A good way to start is giving them pointers on what they already have at their disposal, such as watering. When they see that I care about their property, even if they don't, it's only a matter of time I rub off on them and they start caring more.

not only that it's my hopes that even if the yard isn't all that great and i do my best purhaps the neighbors will see my work and hire me as well.

if i'm paid to cut grass, string trim and blow off the hardscapes i'm gonna do my very best no matter what. why would you do any less just because the grass is full of weeds???

I agree with you guys. I don't do it unless my customer asks. I dont charge much for this service, but it is not cool to be secretive with my customers. They all trust me and that is why I never lose one. They come back because of my work ethic and my honesty. That is an important thing to have in my opinion.

yeah i'm with you on not being secretive with the clients. i can see it backfiring. i really don't think throwing fertilizer and seed on there lawn without there knowledge is the way to get them to want to pay for that service.

if i were paying a lawn maintenance company to cut my grass and all of sudden noticed it was weed free, thick and green i wouldn't say a word except good job. i would think if it looks that good by him just cutting it weekly i don't need to bother with fert and seed. but it sure wouldn't make me wanna ask me about a fert program.........something that would cost me more money.

Trevor8
04-01-2010, 08:35 PM
Hate them. I have a commercial account that doesn't want fertilizer, doesn't water lots of dead shrubs, tons of weeds, and a tree that is almost uprooted. It is in a up and coming part of town by a new mall and he wonders why he cant get anyone to lease the space. COME ON MAN!!!!!!

LR3
04-01-2010, 08:45 PM
purhaps the neighbors will see my work and hire me as well.

Absofu:nono:nglutely! Do a great job and those 8 will turn into 18, all within the same neighborhood. I landed a monster job by that happening, my celebrity account, the opportunity with that job alone opened so many doors for me.

As far as being secretive about applying anything is ******ed, everything costs money, I don't give things away. If it needs fert., I recommend it and if they bite, I sell it to em'. Along with anything else they may need within legal right.

joel29m
04-01-2010, 08:55 PM
If you asked them to fertilize and mulch it and they said no just cut, cut it. Keep them, might be the easiest yards you have, take the advantage if they don't care about everything else.
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lawnprosteveo
04-01-2010, 09:36 PM
What do you do when customers dont care about how their lawn looks? I have a couple that could really look nice if i fertilized and did some mulch jobs. The problem is that these people would rather not even have grass. I dont want to put a sign in their yard if there isnt any good grass growing. I always do the best job i can no matter what, i just know i could get them looking a lot better. Should i drop them and find more customers that want their lawns to look good or what?Those people are some of my best customers. They pay like a slot machine and they dont fuss over anything. If you want to dump them then Ill take them.

betmr
04-01-2010, 09:40 PM
Don't forget, also, That today a number of people are anti-Lawn Chemical, no matter what it is. Do it in secret, & they find out, you could be sued. I mean just look at Canada, you can't hardly get any chemicals for ornamental landscapes.

PS: Let's not forget the old saying, "One man's weed, is another man's wildflower." So if the owner does not mind it, it isn't a weed. It's only a weed if the owner (Not you) says it is.

petara
04-02-2010, 12:40 AM
I have a customer that also could care less about his lawn. Although I have to bag it, which I charge extra, that is the only pain.

I have tried to sell him on fertilizing, but doesn't want it. However he pays cash on the spot and doesn't hold me up from the next account. This business is a mixture of clients, just show me the $, I'll cut whatever you want :)

rain man
04-02-2010, 01:26 AM
Good points. I think I agree with y'all about the extras not being a good idea.

topsites
04-02-2010, 01:40 AM
Certainly not secretly fertilizing, that yard takes off growing and you're there
every week cutting it ends up costing that customer more, like it or not...
And they probably won't like it.

But you can ask if they wouldn't mind, that shouldn't be a problem but be prepared to answer the question ...Why? :p

GrassIsGreenerLawnCare
04-02-2010, 01:56 AM
i have about 3 customers who couldnt care less what there lawn looks like....they just dont want to cut it themselves. bottom line. its not about looking nice around here....its not cutting your lawn in 100* weather i guess?? i still spend the same amount of energy on groundwork and stuff as i do my other customers who are obsessed with there lawns tho. but honestly..youre still getting paid arent you?