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View Full Version : what are your thoughts discounting clients next to eachother?


BadRancher
05-05-2011, 02:02 AM
I just want your thoughts on discounting when you have clients next to eachother. Example: you have 3 customers next to eachother, normal price is $35, but since they are grouped up, you cut them for $30 maybe even 25? I haven't done this yet, but I am trying to line up business close to existing customers. I mow PT in the evenings, so the closer the better. I'm also trying to think of win-win ways to offer deals that are beneficial to me.

Your thoughts please...
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TuffWork
05-05-2011, 02:13 AM
Whether you are big or small close together is an advantage. Driving time is a killer. Especially if you have someone in the truck making an hourly wage to sit there. I try not to give a discount if I can get away with it, but sometimes customers are smarter than you think and will try to get a discount from you for referring their neighbors. In that case I try to discount the one who is the referrer and not the referral. Incentives for customers who get you customers can be worth it. Often times I'll say, "Now don't tell everyone I'm cutting you a deal, because I can't do it for everyone but..."

knox gsl
05-05-2011, 02:24 AM
I don't discount any current service for a referral, but will discount an upsale.
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BadRancher
05-05-2011, 02:26 AM
I don't discount any current service for a referral, but will discount an upsale.
Posted via Mobile Device

Not really talking about referrals, but lining up new clients on the sides or across the street of existing one.

The only way it would work out is if I didn't have to reload the mower, lock down equipment and drive down the street. Say I lined up 3 next to eachother @ $30 each, and it only takes 1.5- 1.75 hours to do them, thats $51-60 an hour gross and no drive time... But mowing three yards and drive time, unload/load equipment drive & mow time together @ $35 could be up to 2.5 hours which is $42/hour gross plus vehicle gas.

Hawkshot99
05-05-2011, 02:32 AM
Have done it in the past and it was great. 4 houses right together. Mowed all four real quick with no drive time. When I was pricing them this was considered.

Then 1 moved away, and another decided to start mowing his own lawn for the exercise, and now I only had 2 of the 4 lawns but they were still discounted. So now how do I tell them I am raising your price because the neighbor moved away?

TuffWork
05-05-2011, 03:21 AM
I have ten within about 2 blocks of eachother. I only move the truck 5 times, and usually only a few houses down. I haven't raised my prices on the ones that have referred new ones. I guess that's what I'm saying. As you grow, so do prices. Don't bite the hand that feeds (in this case customers that refer others and don't add unneeded overhead)

topsites
05-05-2011, 08:21 AM
You have to be real careful how you do it, otherwise what's going to end up happening is one will drop you
(for w/e reason) and you'll be stuck with the other at the discounted rate, and don't think it won't or can't happen.

That having been said, I do it but it's my decision and it's always on a case by case basis.

nobagger
05-05-2011, 08:24 AM
Yes we do, you don't have to go crazy. People are ecstatic to save even a few bucks these days (like everyone). It just makes sense and is a good selling point. The most we ever did in a row was 4 upscale homes. One was a friend of mine who lined these up for me so his was dirt cheap but we made good money and the customer saved a few bucks, it was a win-win for everyone.

ALC-GregH
05-05-2011, 08:32 AM
You have to be real careful how you do it, otherwise what's going to end up happening is one will drop you
(for w/e reason) and you'll be stuck with the other at the discounted rate, and don't think it won't or can't happen.

That having been said, I do it but it's my decision and it's always on a case by case basis.

I totally agree. Having a group of customers all right next to each other is the fruit of the business. It's where you can actually make good money IF you don't go and discount all of them. Price them right as if you only had the one.

Golfpro21
05-05-2011, 08:33 AM
we had 4 properties lined up.....gave the entire group of owners a nice sicount because all properties were full service (fertilzing,seeding,aeration,grub control,cutting) then one old lady went nuts and tried to tell me I promised her bi-weekly cutting (which we don't do) and expected the same price, so we dropped her, but yes you still have to offer the original price to the others, so just think out all the scenarios

stan the man
05-05-2011, 08:39 AM
i have 20 on one road. i don't give them a discount. it more money in my pocket.

nobagger
05-05-2011, 08:41 AM
You have to be real careful how you do it, otherwise what's going to end up happening is one will drop you
(for w/e reason) and you'll be stuck with the other at the discounted rate, and don't think it won't or can't happen.

That having been said, I do it but it's my decision and it's always on a case by case basis.

Thats a great point! The 4 we did in a row, slowly one by one moved leaving only 2 properties out of 4 left. We just simply told them we gave them such a good deal is because they were all together and they understood when we had to raise them a few bucks. One of the two remaining moved at the end of last season leaving just one (my friend). Luckily the new owner's wanted our services too and the original owner's who moved kept us and the friend of mine lined up 2 more accounts a block away for us. I should hire him for sales!

ALC-GregH
05-05-2011, 08:48 AM
I totally agree. Having a group of customers all right next to each other is the fruit of the business. It's where you can actually make good money IF you don't go and discount all of them. Price them right as if you only had the one.

Quoting myself, geezzz. BUT, to add to what I said, if they are close or next door, I'll discount them a "free" cut for a referral but not on the price.

lawnkingforever
05-05-2011, 09:23 AM
Not really talking about referrals, but lining up new clients on the sides or across the street of existing one.

The only way it would work out is if I didn't have to reload the mower, lock down equipment and drive down the street. Say I lined up 3 next to eachother @ $30 each, and it only takes 1.5- 1.75 hours to do them, thats $51-60 an hour gross and no drive time... But mowing three yards and drive time, unload/load equipment drive & mow time together @ $35 could be up to 2.5 hours which is $42/hour gross plus vehicle gas.

With the price of gas and drive time considered, grouping houses together at a small discount can be very profitable. I have 10 in one neighborhood and 6 of them are right next to each other. The other 4 are walking distance.

BadRancher
05-05-2011, 01:59 PM
It is more profitable that way. More money per hour can be made. But the points about losing customer are good points.
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GravyTrain
05-05-2011, 04:57 PM
I offer a referral program, giving the referring individual a free cut if the new customers requests 2 or more services (this weeds out the one time trim up this shrub, or just mow it this once). I do not discount for houses in close proximity. I have a minimum rate and I stick to that.

I recently had a builder request that I mow two of his new houses and did give him a discount for mowing both ($75 instead of what would normally be $90), but then said that if one sold, it would be $45 for just the one. He feels like he is getting a discount, I save money in travel time and we are both happy.

rain man
05-05-2011, 06:44 PM
We provide the service for a fair, reasonable, and profitable price. To gain more customers in one neighborhood we advertise, do consistant quality work, and all the toppings. Therefore, when we begin seeing the rewards of building a customer base...we keep the reward. Cha-ching.

Dr.NewEarth
05-05-2011, 07:18 PM
I have a "minimum tailgate drop charge" that applies to any job.

It's all fine and dandy to be a nice guy,
But what happens when some-one is a pita or
you lose a customer in your "happy grouping?"
If you need to raise your prices later to cover you costs,
the others aren't going to pay more

I stick to my set prices. Signed; Been Burned Before

ray904
05-05-2011, 10:09 PM
has anyone ever raised ur price on a client because u cant stand them n i know bad buis but still

Landscape Poet
05-05-2011, 10:36 PM
You have to be real careful how you do it, otherwise what's going to end up happening is one will drop you
(for w/e reason) and you'll be stuck with the other at the discounted rate, and don't think it won't or can't happen.

That having been said, I do it but it's my decision and it's always on a case by case basis.

At this point I have one day I do not leave my subdivision, one day that I split between two subdivision. The other days, I have groups here and there. It saves me a ton. I am not for giving a huge discount for them being next to each other, as other have said, if one leaves then your hourly rate just went down, but giving a good discount for referrals has worked for me, I usually end up getting more for the neighboring property even if it is the same size, because word of mouth is that strong, by the time you get to the property the person has already looked at your work on their neighbors yard, find it acceptable, has spoken and confirmed with the neighbor that you are reliable, the only thing you should have to do is come in with a price somewhat in the area of what the market will bare.
By the way - your gas bill will more than pay for itself if you get it set up right, my gas bill is nothing compared to many that I know!

knox gsl
05-05-2011, 10:37 PM
has anyone ever raised ur price on a client because u cant stand them n i know bad buis but still

Yes, figured they pay what it's worth for me to put up with them or we both moved on. I really don't miss them.

BadRancher
05-06-2011, 01:50 PM
Ok, so most if not all of you guys are against it
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Dr.NewEarth
05-06-2011, 07:29 PM
has anyone ever raised ur price on a client because u cant stand them n i know bad buis but still

I will try to work out problems but...
If I can't stand a pita client, no amount of money is going to make me stay.

Bajany
05-06-2011, 07:35 PM
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weeze
05-06-2011, 08:19 PM
i never do it even if they live across the street or right next door...you never know when one of them will drop you or not need your services anymore so then you will just have the 1 yard there to cut

Agape
05-06-2011, 08:44 PM
Not really talking about referrals, but lining up new clients on the sides or across the street of existing one.

The only way it would work out is if I didn't have to reload the mower, lock down equipment and drive down the street. Say I lined up 3 next to eachother @ $30 each, and it only takes 1.5- 1.75 hours to do them, thats $51-60 an hour gross and no drive time... But mowing three yards and drive time, unload/load equipment drive & mow time together @ $35 could be up to 2.5 hours which is $42/hour gross plus vehicle gas.

so let me get this straight, you want to hustle to get more accounts and give a discount?

You got 2 houses close together because of your hard work and advertising, so the harder you work, the less you wanna make?

you already don't get paid for drive time, why the heck would you want to give a discount for not driving there?????

You asked what my thoughts were......rediculous! IMHO

clydebusa
05-06-2011, 09:15 PM
i never do it even if they live across the street or right next door...you never know when one of them will drop you or not need your services anymore so then you will just have the 1 yard there to cut

I never do it. I have 5 yards real close, one drop of the gate and get all 5. Problem 2 of the yards hold water bad. 1 on the side the other the back yard. Several times a year, I have to skip the yard and catch it in a day or so.

KINGMADE
05-06-2011, 11:24 PM
I have 4 in a row. Normal price would be anywhere from 25-30. Do them all for 22 and one for 25. Wam bam thank you maam. Why? Becuase my advertising only worked on the one customer. She said what would I do if she signed up 3 more. Gave everyone a break and after paying for labor I bring home 73 in an hour. I will take it.

KINGMADE
05-06-2011, 11:34 PM
has anyone ever raised ur price on a client because u cant stand them n i know bad buis but still

Yes I have. I should have known going in that they were going to be a pita. Took them from 38 to 45 mid season.

ProStreetCamaro
05-06-2011, 11:36 PM
Groups and a tight route is what makes you money. Our truck is a 2007 2500HD which now has 31,000 miles on it and we dont just use it for work if that gives you an idea how tight our route is. Most of our lawns are in groups and the ones that are not are no more than 5 minutes away. We do give a little better price for neighboring lawns.

BadRancher
05-07-2011, 12:25 AM
Groups and a tight route is what makes you money. Our truck is a 2007 2500HD which now has 31,000 miles on it and we dont just use it for work if that gives you an idea how tight our route is. Most of our lawns are in groups and the ones that are not are no more than 5 minutes away. We do give a little better price for neighboring lawns.
What are your experiences with losing neighboring clients? And how do you handle as fas as prices for the clients you keep next door?
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KINGMADE
05-07-2011, 12:31 AM
What are your experiences with losing neighboring clients? And how do you handle as fas as price?
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My group knows well in advance that if one leaves the deal is off. But if the people do not know each other, or are not referrals, there is no reason for me to lower my price. Unless price is my only selling point which is not a good thing.

BadRancher
05-07-2011, 12:51 AM
My group knows well in advance that if one leaves the deal is off. But if the people do not know each other, or are not referrals, there is no reason for me to lower my price. Unless price is my only selling point which is not a good thing.

This is what I was thinking. Get everyone in the group on the same page as far as the discount goes and why! let them know it is a win win situation for all parties. 1) The original 1st customer will know and would have paid the full price in the beginning. So they would probably not make a fuss about going back to original price. 2) Depending on the point of the season, you should be able to make it on the discount price (you should be able to make profit on that price despite losing one of the customers/participants if priced correctly) and you can bump/adjust your prices in the fall or following seasons. Just a thought.

I believe it is sellable like that, but that is just me.

cutnedge
05-07-2011, 01:32 AM
I have used the same barber for many, many years. For the last few years, including this one, he has been charging 12.00/cut. I brought 4 workers and myself to get a haircut a month ago. Total price: 60.00. Non-negotiable.

BadRancher
05-07-2011, 01:37 AM
I have used the same barber for many, many years. For the last few years, including this one, he has been charging 12.00/cut. I brought 4 workers and myself to get a haircut a month ago. Total price: 60.00. Non-negotiable.

Did you ask???
Not most folks are going to be willing at discounting if ya don't ask.

cutnedge
05-07-2011, 01:42 AM
It never crossed my mind. Not that it would have done any good!

BadRancher
05-07-2011, 01:49 AM
It never crossed my mind. Not that it would have done any good!

Haha. Also was it before or after shift? If it was after shift I'm surprised it wasn't more! :laugh:
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Daily Lawn/Landscape
05-07-2011, 09:54 AM
Never! Unless they give me a referral. And that is only a 1 time discount.

James

weeze
05-08-2011, 01:59 AM
i would only discount if like 1 guy owned a whole neighborhood of houses or something...i would give him a discount for that...but as far as seperate owners no way...it's none of their business what i charge their neighbor nor is it their neighbors business what i charge them..i've never really ran into a situation where people were asking for a group discount...i treat every customer as an individual...they have nothing to do with their neighbors yard or anything...i charge each person according to their yard...location or convinience has nothing to do with it...not gonna discount them just because their yard is on my route or close to another house i cut

knox gsl
05-08-2011, 01:35 PM
i would only discount if like 1 guy owned a whole neighborhood of houses or something...i would give him a discount for that...but as far as seperate owners no way...it's none of their business what i charge their neighbor nor is it their neighbors business what i charge them..i've never really ran into a situation where people were asking for a group discount...i treat every customer as an individual...they have nothing to do with their neighbors yard or anything...i charge each person according to their yard...location or convinience has nothing to do with it...not gonna discount them just because their yard is on my route or close to another house i cut

I agree 100%, I used to have a customer that had 7 rental houses on one street and she got a discount on those properties, not just because it was all together, but because I only had to deal with one person. I would also discount in a neighborhood of individual owners if I could bill one person and service several houses but that's not likely to happen unless its a HOA.

BadRancher
05-09-2011, 12:09 AM
Thanks for the info, Maybe I should have put a poll in with it.

richardcog
05-09-2011, 12:22 AM
bad thought I did that last year right here beside you it does not work more pain in the tail than money we have guys still cutting for 25 dallors just stay at your price and do good work and work will come

rain man
05-09-2011, 01:35 AM
what are your thoughts discounting clients next to each other?

I try not to discount anyone, but to treat all as worthy of my respect and trust. I have found the best policy is to never underestimate others or their accomplishments without due cause. Especially if they live next to each other.