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View Full Version : The Freakin Tire Kickers are running me ragged this year!!


JeffW0011
04-04-2010, 07:19 PM
I am so sick of tire kickers right now I can't see straight. I did a lot of advertising last year and a lot this winter and spring. About 2 weeks ago my phone started ringing like crazy....which is good....and I have made a few decent sales and added several App customers and a handful of mowing accounts but I cannot believe the number of tire kickers out there this year on small ticket items.

The Indians have come out in force this year trying to play Lets Make A Deal (New Delhi version). I just hate it when I say "Green With Envy Lawn Care....May I help you" and I hear one of those thick accented SOB's on the other end. Today about 3PM my office phone starts ringing. I wonder to myself who would think a landscape business office would be open on Sunday, let alone Easter Sunday, but I walk downstairs and check the caller ID to make sure it is not a decent customer calling. The call comes up as blocked. I think to myself...just let it go to voicemail...but curiosity gets the better of me and I snatch up the receiver. Then some guy I can barely understand starts muttering some gibberish and I am like "Sorry sir could you please start over". He is like "we home today only you come to house and gives us dee estimates on de cuttings of mes grass". I am like.."well where do you live I can probably look at it on the Internet" it turns out to be way out on the far end of my service area. A neighborhood I hate to work in anyway...So I look at it and tell him $35.00. I have a couple real close by and I am thinking if I can land his postage stamp yard out there it will help round out that days route. He tells me "Internet no good...u need to come here today and look" I explained to him it was Easter Sunday and I was with my family and he was 45 minutes round trip from my house and I would come by there on Tuesday when I was in the area anyway...well this goes back and forth for a few minutes...him trying to convince me to come out there today...Then he starts in can I drop the price down to $29.00 cause he says he wants to show me 3 other estimates that were all $30.00 and says "u cut every 2 weeks for $29? Thats when he heard the click....It may not have been professional, but it sure made me feel good!!

Just sick of tire kickers wasting my time and gas....particularly despise the foreign ones....Ok...my little rant is making me feel better already...thanks guys!!

LandscapeSavannah
04-04-2010, 07:29 PM
I just wasted my time measuring a 12K sq ft lawn thursday to be sanded. Gave him the price friday morning and he seemed fine with it and wanted to talk to his wife. Called me three times in fifteen minutes, later on that afternoon when my phone was in the truck. First thing he said was, "I wanted to try and get that price down, I don't know if I told you or not but I have cancer." That is the exact words of this man. Then proceeded to tell me he couldn't leave the house, hasnt been to church in weeks, his wife looks after him, he doensn't have long. What the hell do you say to that? I was shocked. I feel bad for him, but still...

MOW ED
04-04-2010, 07:55 PM
Ahhh the tire kickers. I know its part of the job but they are surely everywhere. I had my share of them already this spring as I have for the last 15 years. I just give the estimate and stick with the price. Lots of wasted time and gas driving around to measure but what else can you do? I also get surprised sometimes when I think its a kicker and they actually take the estimate. I figure that I know what I am doing and if they want my service they pay my price. If they want to compare me to some lowballin scumbag then give the work to the lowballer. I am not your man anyway.

It is good to rant about it but know you are not alone in your frustration my friend.

93Chevy
04-04-2010, 08:03 PM
At least we have the privilege of saying "NO" to them.

Boy is that nice sometimes.

ALC-GregH
04-04-2010, 08:26 PM
The main reason I don't like to advertise, tire kickers. Word of mouth seems to be working well for me, I'll just stick with that and save myself a ton of money, not only in advertising but all the fuel to ride from one place to another and the time it takes to get there.

JeffW0011
04-04-2010, 09:01 PM
Ahhh the tire kickers. I know its part of the job but they are surely everywhere. I had my share of them already this spring as I have for the last 15 years. I just give the estimate and stick with the price. Lots of wasted time and gas driving around to measure but what else can you do? I also get surprised sometimes when I think its a kicker and they actually take the estimate. I figure that I know what I am doing and if they want my service they pay my price. If they want to compare me to some lowballin scumbag then give the work to the lowballer. I am not your man anyway.

It is good to rant about it but know you are not alone in your frustration my friend.

Yes.... what can you do?? And you certainly get some surprises....I have had my share of experiences where my first impression was this person is a tire kicker or this person is a cheap a$$ and they go on to become great customers...And just as often I have had it the other way where your initial impression was this person is the opposite of frugal and they end up trying to nickel and dime you to death..However, I am still waiting for that first individual from the Not so far East to prove my stereo types about that crowd wrong....They are always trying to haggle, always slow to pay and fast to ***** about anything they think might save them from paying, always giant PITA's..

GravelyGuy
04-04-2010, 09:08 PM
The tire kickers have been unbearable for the last two years. Puts me in a real sh!tty mood. I get tons of foreigners from Purdue that start rambling at you. I rarely make special trips for estimates anymore unless they are in a desireable area.

JeffW0011
04-04-2010, 09:22 PM
The tire kickers have been unbearable for the last two years. Puts me in a real sh!tty mood. I get tons of foreigners from Purdue that start rambling at you. I rarely make special trips for estimates anymore unless they are in a desireable area.

That is where I am getting to as well....especially as I am on the verge of being maxed out for the foreseeable future with current setup....Still like to add maintenance or spray accounts that fit in good or in desirable area..

I have decided though starting tomorrow unless I really like the way someone sounds or they are in a preferred area or other extinuating circumstances and they want a mow or spray estimate I am ballparking it based on the neighborhood or what I can see online and telling them if this price sounds reasonable I will come out and give them a final estimate.

People kill me...We just got finished putting in an $8000 bathroom on one estimate. A guy came highly referred, the labor price sounded fair and we said go for it. Now under different circumstances I can see getting 2 or 3 estimates on something like this....but when you tell them $35.00 to mow your lawn or $60.00 an application and they say "well you are my second estimate, I'm gonna get 2 more and I will let you know" you almost just wanna punch them in the face for wasting your time...LOL...I mean if your going with a reputable outfit that plays by the rules, how much difference can there really be?? I mean granted everyone has different overheads but seriously...I had one guy say to me "well even with your promotional offer factored in I can still get Chemlawn to do 5 applications for about $15.00 less total on the season"...I just wanted to force him into my truck and go show hiom 10 of my yards then 10 chemlawn yards...wow....do these people not care we are trying to make a living...and getting 4 estimates on lawn mowing is absurd!!!

93Chevy
04-04-2010, 09:31 PM
4 Estimates is pretty bad...although I can see screening to a point...3 or 4 of my customers interviewed me before they let me cut their lawn for the season. Definitely worth the time on part because they are my best customers...but as far as pricing, it's all pretty close.

MrRob
04-04-2010, 10:03 PM
seems like when we used to advertise 'free estimate' people would call us just to get a free estimate!

GravelyGuy
04-04-2010, 10:12 PM
That is where I am getting to as well....especially as I am on the verge of being maxed out for the foreseeable future with current setup....Still like to add maintenance or spray accounts that fit in good or in desirable area..

I have decided though starting tomorrow unless I really like the way someone sounds or they are in a preferred area or other extinuating circumstances and they want a mow or spray estimate I am ballparking it based on the neighborhood or what I can see online and telling them if this price sounds reasonable I will come out and give them a final estimate.

People kill me...We just got finished putting in an $8000 bathroom on one estimate. A guy came highly referred, the labor price sounded fair and we said go for it. Now under different circumstances I can see getting 2 or 3 estimates on something like this....but when you tell them $35.00 to mow your lawn or $60.00 an application and they say "well you are my second estimate, I'm gonna get 2 more and I will let you know" you almost just wanna punch them in the face for wasting your time...LOL...I mean if your going with a reputable outfit that plays by the rules, how much difference can there really be?? I mean granted everyone has different overheads but seriously...I had one guy say to me "well even with your promotional offer factored in I can still get Chemlawn to do 5 applications for about $15.00 less total on the season"...I just wanted to force him into my truck and go show hiom 10 of my yards then 10 chemlawn yards...wow....do these people not care we are trying to make a living...and getting 4 estimates on lawn mowing is absurd!!!


Even better is when you go to a higher class neighborhood for an estimate and the people want to act like they want absolute perfection, so you tell them, "okay Mrs. Smith I can do it for XX dollars and if you would like to see my work, go look at address _, _, _, on the same street that I take care of and get back to me."

Next time in your in the neighborhood you look over and lowballing Jimbo is cuttin the lawn. WTF?

I know damn well it's not my work. Half the guys around here don't even own an edger!

A service business is NOT the same as shopping for a car or new TV people. Take your damn degree and shove it, you have no common sense!

coolluv
04-05-2010, 06:08 AM
I am so sick of tire kickers right now I can't see straight. I did a lot of advertising last year and a lot this winter and spring. About 2 weeks ago my phone started ringing like crazy....which is good....and I have made a few decent sales and added several App customers and a handful of mowing accounts but I cannot believe the number of tire kickers out there this year on small ticket items.

The Indians have come out in force this year trying to play Lets Make A Deal (New Delhi version). I just hate it when I say "Green With Envy Lawn Care....May I help you" and I hear one of those thick accented SOB's on the other end. Today about 3PM my office phone starts ringing. I wonder to myself who would think a landscape business office would be open on Sunday, let alone Easter Sunday, but I walk downstairs and check the caller ID to make sure it is not a decent customer calling. The call comes up as blocked. I think to myself...just let it go to voicemail...but curiosity gets the better of me and I snatch up the receiver. Then some guy I can barely understand starts muttering some gibberish and I am like "Sorry sir could you please start over". He is like "we home today only you come to house and gives us dee estimates on de cuttings of mes grass". I am like.."well where do you live I can probably look at it on the Internet" it turns out to be way out on the far end of my service area. A neighborhood I hate to work in anyway...So I look at it and tell him $35.00. I have a couple real close by and I am thinking if I can land his postage stamp yard out there it will help round out that days route. He tells me "Internet no good...u need to come here today and look" I explained to him it was Easter Sunday and I was with my family and he was 45 minutes round trip from my house and I would come by there on Tuesday when I was in the area anyway...well this goes back and forth for a few minutes...him trying to convince me to come out there today...Then he starts in can I drop the price down to $29.00 cause he says he wants to show me 3 other estimates that were all $30.00 and says "u cut every 2 weeks for $29? Thats when he heard the click....It may not have been professional, but it sure made me feel good!!

Just sick of tire kickers wasting my time and gas....particularly despise the foreign ones....Ok...my little rant is making me feel better already...thanks guys!!

I won't work for dots. I do like to play head games with them when they call. I act like I don't understand, or if they say does that price include this or that, and I say yes we do it all. Then they pause for a moment to think about what I just said. Did he say it was included? Then they ask you questions to pick your brain for information so they can do it themselves. So I mess with them some more.

If I answer the phone and its a dot, I immediately know its a waste of time, been there done that too many times. Not anymore, let the newbies mess with them.

Dave...

Hoy landscaping
04-05-2010, 09:04 AM
i had one of them foregn FOB, SOBs call me when i was in disney world. i told him i would be home in a week and he would be the first on my to do list. i called him and he told me hes got another guy. ok, fine. then he came to my yard sale and wanted to buy my mower for 500 bucks. i told him he was missing a zero.

Stevegotcrabgrass
04-05-2010, 10:14 AM
I have an indian customer who is actually great. Real nice guy, spends money not a PITA....

brucec32
04-05-2010, 07:38 PM
Today's lessons:

- If you don't want to work for someone, don't bother engaging and going round and round with them. Never think you can't just say "not interested" at any point.

-If someone calls you on Easter Sunday you need to make sure you never work for them. They're clueless. I understand picking up for curiosity's sake, but my only conversation would have been "not interested in your business".

-Guys with cancer who are worried about the lawn getting sanded have priority problems and would be huge PITA's to work for. Or he's lying.

-"negotiators" for a simple service that costs around $1,000/year should bring up red flags. Like another post said before, how much less could they possibly get it done for by a reputable company? And if they don't particularly care about it being a reputable company, then you're not going to be low enough anyway. I never negotiate off my bid price. It gets them thinking it is a constant negotiation.

- If you hate time wasted giving quotes then make sure you put in your best bid to begin with. A good price (not great), no onerous conditions of service (mandatory this and that, requiring that they pay you for 12 months of service even if they only need 9 or 10, so you can collect $35 for blowing the drive off in January, etc) , and you'll lock up more than you think.

Richard Martin
04-05-2010, 08:02 PM
I had one like that last week. 5/8 acre, a decent amount of trimming. A little edging. Blah blah blah. I quote her a price of $75. She seems happy. We talked for about 45 minutes about her yard and why she wanted to switch lawn companies. She said that the prior company would leave big clumps of grass all over the place and just generally didn't do a great looking job. That should have been my first clue. But anyway we chatted for a while and then I was ready to leave and we were making final arrangments. I asked her how she wanted to pay. She said she'd pay everytime I was there. I explained to her that I didn't really want to be knocking on the door every week to get a check. That's when she hit me with it. She expected me to service her yard and make it look like a million bucks with a once a month, maybe twice a month service. It all fell completely apart at that point.

93Chevy
04-05-2010, 08:04 PM
That'd be cool if you could really understand their culture, get into their minds, and give them what they really want, and both parties end up mutually benefited.

Not trying to criticize anybody, can't really say I'd do anything differently. But it would be somebody special who could do that.

Richard Martin
04-06-2010, 04:29 AM
Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to mention. The tire kicker I had was just a plain ordinary American. Not an Indian.

topsites
04-06-2010, 04:38 AM
Well... :p

You're going to hate me lol

Just sick of tire kickers wasting my time and gas....particularly despise the foreign ones..

He wasn't a tire kicker!

He may not have wanted to pay your rates, but he wasn't kicking tires.
A tire kicker is someone who will waste your time asking all sorts of questions and you spend an hour or better out there but
in the end it has nothing to do with price because they were just wasting idle time and they buy nothing, like a window shopper,
a tire kicker has no intention of spending any money, that's a tire kicker.
There is a difference, a person who wants a discount may not be up your alley, but (s)he is not a tire kicker.

And if you're short on work...
Sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

93Chevy
04-06-2010, 10:05 AM
And if you're short on work...
Sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

Yep...I've done a lot of crap, especially for older customers, like helping bring in patio furniture, tilling gardens, heck even drywall finishing in the winter and fall when I'm trying to scrape by.