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View Full Version : How to ask for higher mowing fee?


MySide
01-28-2011, 12:25 AM
Would anyone be kind enough to let me know how you go about asking a client for an increased fee for the coming year? I bought some accounts from someone and know he hadn't raised them in years, and he'd done it on the side from his main job, so it was just extra spending money for him... but I'm trying to make a decent living at it. I appreciate anyone's input!

booboy
01-28-2011, 12:55 AM
Dear valued customer. Due to higher operating costs im writing to inform you that my lawn service fees will be increasing ___% for this season. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. Please call with any concerns you may have.

Regards.

Something like this.

LawnEnforcement25
01-28-2011, 01:33 AM
booboy has it right. but i have a question now. what do you tell them if they actually call and insist you cut for the prior agreed to rate? i mean, if they give you crap about the increase? just tell them you wont be able to service them then? negotiate to meet somewhere in the middle? honor the original price to keep the business?

290
01-28-2011, 01:36 AM
Id say hold firm.....ever see a gas station budge on price?

LawnEnforcement25
01-28-2011, 02:03 AM
thats a good point. ive had a few minutes to think about it and Im going to go on a feeling her and say: if the customer has been a good customer and always paid on time, never watched over your shoulder and never had any complaints, work with them a little. see if maybe you can meet in the middle and both have a little sense of happiness. If the customer is an ass and always busts your chops about senseless stuff or has a hard time paying on time, stay firm and hope he decides to go with someone else. if he decides to keep you, more money in your pocket and his bitching just got a little less irritating. none the less, you are thinking of raising your prices for whatever reason. its pointless to give in to the customer and honor the old price in most cases. (you be the judge on a little on lady on a fixed income, or something in that realm.) other than the little old lady idea, prices are going up just like inflation. send those letters out myside. unless your not gonna make rent next month, stay strong.

Agape
01-28-2011, 02:36 AM
I would never buy an account unless I spoke to the customer first with a meeting of the minds on price, services and what not.

Georgia Lawn Works LLC
01-28-2011, 02:38 AM
Dear (Customers name)

At (Your Company name) we have always worked hard to keep costs down and provide out clients with the highest quality service available. I am sure, as you know everything has gone up in price over the past few years. (Your company name) has worked hard in keeping prices the same and we hae held back as long as possible but we are left with no choice but to raise out prices slightly to remain competitive.

Starting on -------- we will have to go up to ---- per visit for your lawn care services.

We hope that you will agree that even with our new price, (Your company name) remains the top service provider in your area.

LawnEnforcement25
01-28-2011, 03:18 AM
im not sure raising the prices and blaming it on competitiveness would be the best way to go. just say due to rising operating costs. it sounds more logical and might deter them from looking elsewhere if they think everyone will be going up a bit on prices. other than that, yall both have some pretty nice ways of breaking the news.

Turf Dawg
01-28-2011, 09:02 AM
I would never buy an account unless I spoke to the customer first with a meeting of the minds on price, services and what not.

I agree. Did you look at the properties first? If you did and knew he was doing them too cheap I would have already asked about the increase with the customer before I bought them.

Id say hold firm.....ever see a gas station budge on price?

No, but I do know people that will drive a couple miles out of their way because another one is a couple cents per gallon cheaper.

ashgrove landscaping
01-28-2011, 09:22 AM
I would never buy an account unless I spoke to the customer first with a meeting of the minds on price, services and what not.

What does "what not" mean? That's is horrible english and sounds incredibly dumb.

I've always talked to my customers face to face about price increases. It seems more personable and they have always understood.

MySide
01-28-2011, 10:07 AM
Sincere thanks to all of you for your input!
A few of you mentioned seeing the properties first and not getting an increase then. I bought my neighbor's business, mid season, and told the people I'd honor his pricing the rest of the year. Some of them asked me about it, and I think they were/are expecting an increase because they know he was cheap and hadn't ever raised the fee. So it was a little give on my part out of respect to the (then) current arrangement.
Thanks again!

txgrassguy
01-28-2011, 10:31 AM
First and foremost, do you know your true operating costs?
Without this knowledge simply asking for a price increase won't work.
Once you know your operating costs simply re-estimate what the true cost plus profit margin, then:
1. write up an estimate for the price increase
2. specifically meet, greet and shake hands with all of your clients, and
3. inform them to their face while handing them the new estimate.

DO NOT engage in a cost of price increasing with any sort of explanation about how you acquired the accounts, DO NOT budge on your pricing, and DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY and if you haven't heard it enough DIVERSIFY your services.

If you do not have a pest applicator license - GET IT BEFORE you ask for more $$$, same with any other licensing like irrigation, tree work, hardscaping, etc.

Remember, when you want more money you have to offer more services for the client's dollar. Without this in place you are simply asking for the client to price shop which equals lost clients.

In short you HAVE to set yourself apart from the schlub Bobby who was mowing as a side job for them before - if you can't you won't get more $$$.

944own
01-28-2011, 10:47 AM
Are these accts you just got from him or did you cut them last season. The reason I ask is if you have cut them and they see the quality of your work they probably wont care to increase. If you just picked them up and immediately try to raise their rate they may be more apt to be jerks about it. good luck

TNGrassCutter
01-28-2011, 11:49 AM
What does "what not" mean? That's is horrible english and sounds incredibly dumb.

I've always talked to my customers face to face about price increases. It seems more personable and they have always understood.

Have you never heard the saying "what not"? Maybe I mow, trim, and what not.
Posted via Mobile Device

Agape
01-28-2011, 11:53 AM
What does "what not" mean? That's is horrible english and sounds incredibly dumb.

I've always talked to my customers face to face about price increases. It seems more personable and they have always understood.

everyone on the planet has heard "what not" priss. (A priss is an effeminate male, in case you haven't heard lol)

Georgia Lawn Works LLC
01-28-2011, 12:00 PM
What does "what not" mean? That's is horrible english and sounds incredibly dumb.


Definition of WHATNOT

: any of various other things that might also be mentioned <paper clips, pins, and whatnot>

Roger
01-28-2011, 12:11 PM
....., prices are going up just like inflation. ....

Telling a residential customer that your fees are changing due to inflation may fly back in your face. Anybody who follows the financial world knows that inflation has been stagnant for at least a year. Most of our residential customers are astute business people, and they will see right through your inflation argument.

Price increases may or may not be tied to inflation. I'm not saying your expenses have not increased, but that does not mean the term "inflation" can be applied to the increases.

I know if you came to me and talked the inflation story, I would refute your argument in a heartbeat. It would not work with me.

Roger
01-28-2011, 12:17 PM
To the original poster, you have tipped your hand on how you view your business. When you say "how to ask for ..." you are already telling us that you have not yet worked out what price you need to charge for your services for a profit. Nobody "asks" for an increase. You state that this is the price for this service. You have an offer on the table, one the potential customer either chooses to accept or reject.

If your offer is accepted, then the business relationship is formed and you move forward. If it is rejected, then you have the choice to either leave your offer behind, or make changes to your offer. If you are unable to make changes in your offer, then no relationship is formed.

Agape
01-28-2011, 12:42 PM
Telling a residential customer that your fees are changing due to inflation may fly back in your face. Anybody who follows the financial world knows that inflation has been stagnant for at least a year. Most of our residential customers are astute business people, and they will see right through your inflation argument.

Price increases may or may not be tied to inflation. I'm not saying your expenses have not increased, but that does not mean the term "inflation" can be applied to the increases.

I know if you came to me and talked the inflation story, I would refute your argument in a heartbeat. It would not work with me.

stagnant for a year, but the other guy hasn't raised prices in over 5-6 years.
You're one of those mouthy know it alls that has a need to try to make themselves seem smart at others expenses.

I wouldn't give a reason other than operating expenses, but I wouldn't get to that point, because I would have had the meeting of the minds before purchase..... I would have evaluated his service and how mine is better-chemicals, quality, additional services not currently included and what not and built on that instead. ("Mrs. Jones, Thats only $7/week more, and your lawn is going to look much better").

I've learned that when people ask why I charge what I do, I can't rattle off all 1000+ expenses that I have, and the three I can think of won't make sense to them or add up in their mind. so I just tell them "well, I've been doing this long enough to know what it costs me to run my business and give the excellent service I do"

I don't hang out and argue, cause the more "no"s I get brings me that much closer to a yes!

Agape
01-28-2011, 12:44 PM
To the original poster, you have tipped your hand on how you view your business. When you say "how to ask for ..." you are already telling us that you have not yet worked out what price you need to charge for your services for a profit. Nobody "asks" for an increase. You state that this is the price for this service. You have an offer on the table, one the potential customer either chooses to accept or reject.

If your offer is accepted, then the business relationship is formed and you move forward. If it is rejected, then you have the choice to either leave your offer behind, or make changes to your offer. If you are unable to make changes in your offer, then no relationship is formed.

I can agree with that.

bohiaa
01-28-2011, 01:50 PM
Due to the higher cost of doing business, in our efforts to provide you with the best possable service, we are forced to change our prices

ed2hess
01-28-2011, 08:23 PM
I think it is a very bad idea to raise prices on a set of new customers that you bought. You will lose a fair percentage of them. I would try to bring on new customer at a higher rate before approaching these guys. If you do raise prices then they will hit you with the line...."the old lawn guy used to do this or that and there wasn't any extra charge?".

dishboy
01-28-2011, 08:46 PM
I think it is a very bad idea to raise prices on a set of new customers that you bought. You will lose a fair percentage of them. I would try to bring on new customer at a higher rate before approaching these guys. If you do raise prices then they will hit you with the line...."the old lawn guy used to do this or that and there wasn't any extra charge?".

Perhaps, but if they don't pay a effort should be made to raise the price. A sentence such as if this rate change is not acceptable please contact me so we can discuss options may defer losing a account . Also only raising a few a month will give you a chance to see a reaction before losing half of your clientele.