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kgcs
04-26-2010, 04:34 PM
So, I go cut this guys grass on Friday, and he is not home so I leave an invoice. The next day, Saturday, it rained heavy. On Sunday, it was sunny almost all day. Sunday night, when it was dark he gets home. (I know this because I live in his neighborhood.) Since its dark he has not seen it yet. Then on Monday he sees it for the 1st time, and he finds the invoice. He calls me up and tells me has my check and that he wants to talk to me. (almost always means bad news). So when I arrive he gives me the check and walks me through the yard. He told me that the back yard looks really great but the front yard not so much. He says it looks like it has barely been cut. I wanted to say are you stupid, your front lawn is almost all weeds and I cut it Friday and it probably grew a good bit since then especially since weeds grow faster than grass. And then he points out an area in that back yard that needs to be cut. It looks like it has not been cut in 2 years and its is swampy like. I just started servicing his prop. 2 months ago (He had a service prior) which means the people before me did not cut it also.
Sorry for the rant but I want to know what you would do in this situation.
By the way, I really don't want to loose this customer. I dont have very many right now.

kgcs
04-26-2010, 04:38 PM
I was thinking about maybe I would cut the area in his backyard once a month for an additional $5. Im already not charging that much to begin with. How would I go about telling him that though? Also what do you think about the front yard, should I cut it shorter and hope it does not scalp and/or offer a weed program? I really want to keep this customer though. Any help would be great

1993lx172
04-26-2010, 04:43 PM
That's what I would do. I have a client that has a small wooded area that they use for camp fires and "camping" right off their drive way that I mow about every other time or every time depending on how much it has grown up (almost full shade and weeds not much grass). Knock it down this first time for extra and then depending on the size of the area just weed eat it every time you mow, if it is a big area then do it every two to three weeks.

Try and get him on a weed program, cutting it lower will do almost not good or even make it worse.

Charles
04-26-2010, 04:44 PM
Customer trick. Say something bad about what you did do to get you to do something crappy. Thinks you will then be anxious to please him and do it--cheaply or free.
Just ignore his criticism. That was just a diversion tactic. Get the check and charge him extra for the extra work. I wouldn't risk getting stuck.

kgcs
04-26-2010, 04:49 PM
I'd say the next time you're there work out an agreement to cut that wet section, then hit it with the trimmer.

That's what I was thinking about doing. Do you have any ideas for the front yard.

kgcs
04-26-2010, 04:55 PM
Customer trick. Say something bad about what you did do to get you to do something crappy. Thinks you will then be anxious to please him and do it--cheaply or free.
Just ignore his criticism. That was just a diversion tactic. Get the check and charge him extra for the extra work. I wouldn't risk getting stuck.

Yeah, he has always said what a good job I do until today. Also I dont want to get stuck so I would have to do it with the trimmer which would add time so I think I should charge more also I would have to cut the front yard lower which would make me go slower so I dont hit any roots. So should I charge more for that each time to.

1993lx172
04-26-2010, 04:56 PM
That's what I was thinking about doing. Do you have any ideas for the front yard.

Get him on a weed program of some sort. Cutting it lower isn't going to do all that much good and may make it worse.

kgcs
04-26-2010, 04:59 PM
Get him on a weed program of some sort. Cutting it lower isn't going to do all that much good and may make it worse.

I mention that to him, do you think I also should mention overseeding to, because the grass is not all that thick either.

1993lx172
04-26-2010, 05:06 PM
I mention that to him, do you think I also should mention overseeding to, because the grass is not all that thick either.

I would, once those weeds die off you are going to be left with a lot of bare spots. Kill the weeds off first then dethatch to work the top layer of soil up a bit for better seed-to soil contact and aerate. Over seed it then, this part is critical, DON"T MOW IT FOR TWO WEEKS WITH A RIDER OR WB AND KEEP WATER ON IT!!! After a week you can mow the re-seeded area with a push mower then after that you can go back to using the heavier mowers.

kgcs
04-26-2010, 05:12 PM
I would, once those weeds die off you are going to be left with a lot of bare spots. Kill the weeds off first then dethatch to work the top layer of soil up a bit for better seed-to soil contact and aerate. Over seed it then, this part is critical, DON"T MOW IT FOR TWO WEEKS WITH A RIDER OR WB AND KEEP WATER ON IT!!! After a week you can mow the re-seeded area with a push mower then after that you can go back to using the heavier mowers.

Thanks for the advice. I never really took on a project like this before though I wonder if I should sub it or do it my self.

1993lx172
04-26-2010, 05:26 PM
No problem. Unless you are licensed for application I'd sub out the application part but the rest you can do yourself just charge accordingly. As for what to charge, the rule of thumb is two-three times the cost of a mowing for that yard.

GrassIsGreenerLawnCare
04-27-2010, 09:48 PM
man you can do this on your own. Give it a shot. its not as difficult as it sounds, you will learn that when u actually are doing it. and for the front yard....i would have told him u cut it on friday and it probly grew. tell him that if he does not get on a weed program then it will continue to grow at a faster rate than his backyard. If he is too cheap to go for the program, just keep on doin what ur doin. it sounds like he wants the front lower. Theres no way i would change my deck height on the front then put it back for the backyard. unless it is very easy to change ur height. this wont solve his problem overall either, it will just make him shut up

VAMower
04-27-2010, 10:34 PM
Be very clear with them upfront about what they want cut. If they told you not to mow a certain area, then don't. If they ask you to start mowing it a couple of weeks later, charge according. A lot of times they are testing you to see how much they can get away with. Pretty soon they will try to get you to do all sorts of crap for free. Be firm but friendly. I usually use the restaurant scenario.

If you go out to dinner and order a steak from the waiter, then decide you would like to add a salad, call the waiter back over and add it to the order, do you expect it to be on your bill at the end of the meal?

They usually get the point.

topsites
04-27-2010, 10:37 PM
I mention that to him, do you think I also should mention overseeding to, because the grass is not all that thick either.

No.

I am sorry but all this selling of more stuff is just as likely to back fire,
you said you really want to keep this customer, hence it is my recommendation
that the next time you cut the front...
You go over that dang thing until NO weed is left standing.
And it may take more than one pass, it might take going over the area 3-4 times.

But at least that way you can say "but sir I really DID too go over it 3-4 times and I am
very sorry if there is one lonely weed I swear I dids not see that!"
And the man will likely get off your case.

Peace out

Runner
04-27-2010, 11:15 PM
First of all, chances are better than not, you won't even have to reseed. With a good fert program - and I mean a GOOD fert program, not a franchised or big green program, you can fill the grass right in after the weeds are eradicated. It can't be done with typical store bought or run of the mill maintainer fert, though.
As far as the adding of extra area, you just quickly reply something like. "Sure, that can be added, and we're probably only looking around 10 bucks or so..." yuo say it with confidence...like you mean it. This way, it is convincing to the person that that must be the rate for it...since it was said with such sureness.

kgcs
04-28-2010, 05:55 PM
Thanks alot for the responses. Next time I go cut it I will cut it like I normally do, knock on his door and talk to him about it. I will show him that there are no tall weeds and that it was cut shorter also. I will mention to him that weeds do grow faster than grass and that it wont be long until they are long again. And then if he mentions getting rid of them I will mention a weed killer/fertilizer program. (By the way, he is a lawyer so he has money) Then I will walk him to the backyard and will say I cut the back yard like normal but the additional area you told me about is going to be an additional $xxx.

Is this the best way to go about it, or do you have any better. I put most of your responses in here to hopefully get the best outcome.