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View Full Version : Response time, not price, wins jobs


Mykster
09-17-2002, 07:06 PM
Do you agree? And why?

There was an article in the back of Aug's issue of LM. I'm sure some of you read it and some have not. I found the article very interesting and didn't realize that this was such a deciding factor to the potential client.

Everyone is also different on how they choose any contractor for their services. So maybe Ed LaFlamme's(tester and writer of the article) reason to choose might be different than sombody elses.

marley
09-17-2002, 07:43 PM
I totally agree! I will sometimes get a job just by being the first to give the estimate and date that I can get it done . People really like that, and alot of the time they just say "ok I'll go with you " It is a matter of convience for people. They don't want to waste a lot of time meeting with other companys.

Toatlandscape
09-17-2002, 08:10 PM
I agree. I don't know how many customers have told me that they called several people and I was the only one to call or show up when I said I would. Most were slam dunks as far as getting the job after that.

65hoss
09-17-2002, 08:17 PM
Agree and disagree. It depends on what your bidding. Grass cutting for residential is usually who arrives first. Bigger jobs is not usually the case.

soccer coach
09-17-2002, 08:17 PM
I'm with To A T. I hear it all the time. It kills me knowing I get alot of jobs just because nobody else comes out to bid. We are always at the site within the next day after they call and we come with a date we can get it done by. No one likes to fool around with having to call around for any home services so if you can fill the need and they aren't just tire kickers we get the job most times.

MJStrain
09-17-2002, 08:40 PM
I'm always at a job site with all the info they could possibly want within an hour. I've never lost a bid. So I'd have to put at least some legitimacy behind the first there gets it theory. However, if I were the one getting the pricing done for my own yard, price would have a lot to do with who got the work. I can also tell you it wouldn't be the company that wanted me to sign a contract either. I'd have the attitude I just want my lawn mowed not marry you.

Michael:p

SLS
09-17-2002, 09:18 PM
Residentials...I agree.

Commercial...I disagree.

KenH
09-17-2002, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by MJStrain
I'm always at a job site with all the info they could possibly want within an hour. I've never lost a bid. So I'd have to put at least some legitimacy behind the first there gets it theory. However, if I were the one getting the pricing done for my own yard, price would have a lot to do with who got the work. I can also tell you it wouldn't be the company that wanted me to sign a contract either. I'd have the attitude I just want my lawn mowed not marry you.

Michael:p

Be careful...you might be too cheap. I was told if you get all your estimates you are working for peanuts.

soccer coach
09-17-2002, 10:03 PM
I agree with Ken. If you are getting all the bids you need to bump up the price. Make more and work less :blob3:

BigJim
09-17-2002, 10:27 PM
With the Jim,s Mowing franchise they can send you a new clients details within 11 seconds of the clients call(the computer sends a text message to your cell phone),so we can get there real quick,but while it impresses the client you don't get(or want)every job just because you show up first.:)

gravedigger5
09-17-2002, 10:44 PM
65hoss Agree and disagree. It depends on what your bidding. Grass cutting for residential is usually who arrives first. Bigger jobs is not usually the case. SLS Residentials...I agree. Hoss and SLS, I concur except on larger residentials that they know will be pricey and will tend to shop around, but around 75% of the smaller residentials I've bid on I've gotten or lost due to the time factor. JMHO Marc :)

Mykster
09-18-2002, 03:05 PM
Thought I'd bring this back to the front.

HarryD
09-18-2002, 04:04 PM
just had a guy call me for a large tree pruning job said he was getting another bid and said this other guy would not be able to start on in for about a week . asked me when i could start on it i said as soon as i get the job :) we will see what happens ill keep ya posted

Richard Martin
09-18-2002, 05:54 PM
MJStrain wrote:

I've never lost a bid.

You're working too cheap then. Oh, nice avatar by the way.

lawnworker
09-18-2002, 10:42 PM
I agree, with ken and richard martin ,tell me more about never losing a bid. I close maybe 40 percent of sales calls. As to the original question posted, at the start of the season it's like a free for all to get there first on residential esimates, but like grass in a summer draught, many of these quikly got customers whither away.Finding good customers is like pulling teeth

Hodge
09-18-2002, 11:07 PM
I agree with SLS and many others

Residentials...I agree.

Commercial...I disagree.

:pumpkin:

JimLewis
09-19-2002, 04:24 AM
Yes and No. It's more complicated. Here's basically how it works (the psychology of the clients);

The client has a need. They also have a figure in their head as to what they are willing to pay for this need. I know this because I think this way. When I need my carpets cleaned at home (which is about every 2 months) I know that I want to pay about $100, give or take $30. If the first company I call gives me a bid of $100, I will hire them on the spot. Done deal. Forget the other companies.

But if the first company comes in at $175 and doesn't give me any reason why I should be paying that high of a price, I am going to continue searching. I'll say, "Thanks for coming. We're getting a few more bids and I'll be in touch."

Now my thought pattern changes a little. As a client, I am thinking, "Hmmm. I wonder if everyone is going to be that high??? Maybe I underestimated how much carpet cleaning is......Well, I will find out. Why don't I call a few more guys....."

Now at this point, it doesn't mean that I have ruled out the first carpet cleaner guy. I may still hire him if it turns out that the other 2 or 3 are higher. But my approach has changed a little. I am now trying to figure out if I am being realistic in my expectations of price.

So at this point it's still sort of a game of "Response time, not price, wins" but it's changed a little. Now, it's more like, "First person in MY price range wins." Then if I can't find anyone in my price range I have to make a decision to either 1) Pay a higher price than I expected or 2) just not have the service done.

To further complicate things, the first guy could have won the bid if he managed to explain to me why his $175 bid was worth spending the extra $. If he read my signs at all and realized that I winced at the price a little then he can say, "I realize that may be more than you are used to paying for carpet cleaning. But let me explain why we are worth the extra $. We are not one of these quick in-and-out companies who make your carpet clean today but stains come back tomorrow. We are a lot different. First of all, those companies are going to charge you extra for spot treatment and for teflon protectant. With my service, this is all included. Furthermore, if any spots come back after we are done for 60 days you can call us back and we'll be right over to do that area again. etc...." Now that he explains this, I am a lot more apt to try his service out, even though it's more $. So if he is a good salesman like this, he can win the bid, even though he's not the cheapest.

So you gotta be sharp. Realize that 50% of the time, if you just show up first and give a reasonable price you'll land the job. You can land another 25% if you'll go the extra mile and explain why you are better. And then just realize that if you are pricing bids correctly (at a true profit) then you will never win every bid. There are a lot of people out there who just don't understand how expensive our services can be. And those people are surprised when we give them a bid. You can't - and shouldn't - try to win their business. Let the scrubs take those accounts. Go for the people who realize what stuff costs and are willing to pay good $ for good service. Those are the best clients.

Sorry for the long post :D

Hawkeye5
09-19-2002, 09:56 AM
Good thread!! Jim, I think you hit the nail square on the head in your response. Many potential customers are shocked, not the Claude Rains/Casablanca shocked, but really taken aback by how much a pro charges. That is where the sales part of the job comes in. Any basic sales training will teach you to focus on overcoming objections, and price is a big one, but if you can be there first and inspire confidence by your appearance, knowledge, attitude and what you offer (value), way over 50% of the time the job is yours. JD

MJStrain
09-19-2002, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by Richard Martin
MJStrain wrote:

I've never lost a bid.

You're working too cheap then. Oh, nice avatar by the way.

Never really thought about that. Working too cheap...make good money as it is. But it's something to think about. Oh and uh....thanks for the avatar. You know what they say about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery...:angel:

MJStrain
09-19-2002, 11:27 AM
I really never have lost a bid. Never thought that it might be due to working too cheap. I average $40.00 an hour over a days time. Some lawns less some lawns more but a $40.00 average everyday. Yes that’s after expenses. I live in a town of about 150,000 people and an article I read a couple days ago in the local paper said that 40% of the population here had a college degree and 30% of those had at least a Major and a full 10% of those had a Ph.D.. It also showed an average income of $57,000 per year and some 85% of households with at least two incomes. It also shows us as a classic “bedroom” community. With commuters traveling at least 40 miles one way to work. Not much time to work in their yards... In the classifieds this weekend there was a grand total of eight landscape companies listed.... So with this post I can see I’m really fueling your case that I am working too cheap. Little competition, lots of potential customers... hmmm:blush: