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View Full Version : It's just a blow out or why $5 is a big deal


HBFOXJr
11-04-2011, 12:25 PM
Holy cow, consumers are getting down right ugly over price differentials equal to a cup of Starbucks. Today I was told I was way higher and the difference was $5. $72.95 compared to I guess $67 +/-. The woman was down right nasty. Never mind we gave her a FREE promo blowout for buying lawn work from us.

Or never mind we gave some folks $20.00 new customer discounts last year.

It's just a blow out, any one can do it. If you can save enough to buy a gallon of gas, I guess you gotta do that.

slemon
11-04-2011, 01:59 PM
It's just a blow out, any one can do it.
This is a contradiction to the motto of the irrigation forum "Leave to professionals"

There are two gas stations on the same block A and B. A has the price of $3.50/G; B has it for $3.70. Where do you pull up?

Kiril
11-04-2011, 02:03 PM
There are two gas stations on the same block A and B. A has the price of $3.50/G; B has it for $3.70. Where do you pull up?

It is inappropriate to compare a product against a service.

slemon
11-04-2011, 02:08 PM
Consumer doesn't care. He/she would like to save to be able to pay other bills or feed the family.

Kiril
11-04-2011, 02:14 PM
Consumer doesn't care. He/she would like to save to be able to pay other bills or feed the family.

That is not entirely true ... and if $5 is going to make a difference between food on the table or not, then they don't need a luxury item like an irrigation system.

FYI, most all of my clients (myself included) are more concerned with quality and less concerned with price.

slemon
11-04-2011, 02:21 PM
$5 here, $10 there. It all adds up in the end.
Higher price doesn't necessarily correlates with better quality or better service.

Kiril
11-04-2011, 02:57 PM
Higher price doesn't necessarily correlates with better quality or better service.

Didn't say it did .... however I have found the saying you get what you pay for is more often true than not. I have seen many people penny pinch themselves into poverty because they simply cannot grasp the concept that money spent on high quality work/products to begin with will save them money (many times substantial money) in the long run.

slemon
11-04-2011, 03:16 PM
True. Though it helps to shop around.

hoskm01
11-04-2011, 03:25 PM
Where do you pull up?



Just don't forget to pull-out!

Kiril
11-04-2011, 03:27 PM
Just don't forget to pull-out!

.... or you can wrap your pipe.

Autoflow
11-04-2011, 04:15 PM
It is inappropriate to compare a product against a service.

That's the big thing people don't understand that really pisses me off. They are not comparing a tv or a microwave that is exactly the same as another store. The quality of a service comes down to an individual (or a few individuals) and their knowledge, willingness, and skills to service something to a high standard. The service varies greatly from company to company and prices usually follow suit.

DanaMac
11-04-2011, 04:45 PM
Or never mind we gave some folks $20.00 new customer discounts last year.


I will never give a new customer discount. I give good long time customers an occasional discount. When and how much is at my discretion, but give them a big discount to start with, and they will always expect it.

greenmonster304
11-04-2011, 05:29 PM
I will never give a new customer discount. I give good long time customers an occasional discount. When and how much is at my discretion, but give them a big discount to start with, and they will always expect it.

I agree 100%.
Posted via Mobile Device

MAD whacker
11-04-2011, 05:40 PM
Holy cow, consumers are getting down right ugly over price differentials equal to a cup of Starbucks. Today I was told I was way higher and the difference was $5. $72.95 compared to I guess $67 +/-. The woman was down right nasty. Never mind we gave her a FREE promo blowout for buying lawn work from us.

Or never mind we gave some folks $20.00 new customer discounts last year.

It's just a blow out, any one can do it. If you can save enough to buy a gallon of gas, I guess you gotta do that.

in the essence of professionalism i dont deal with customers who cant afford my services. i have a business to run i know my costs, my expenses, and my profit margins with that being said im not sure that i want those "name your price" customers.

i usually find that if a customer is shopping based on lowest price then they arent the type to sign contracts and they dont care if im there next year or not. also if a customer is overly aggressive or otherwise rude to me i jack up my price so that if i do get the job it is worth dealing with THAT type of person.

HBFOXJr
11-04-2011, 06:03 PM
is the consumers idea of a relationship. The big box retail influence combined with more affluent consumers has really turned the consumer service industry upside down for the little guy.

If you are GE sending a guy to fix a fridge that is one thing. But many consumers really don't respect the green industry. Some of that is deserved, but most of it they created themselves with the buy more and cheaper attitude.

Few consumers shop our green industry services knowledgeably. They will go to the ends of the earth for their cars, house paint, carpet, tile, appliances, etc. Do they ever research irrigation and inform themselves first? Put fert application programs and landscape designs and plant material right in the same place.

So after they screw themselves with a poor, uninformed decision, they do the same thing again. Buy cheap, there is no difference.

Over 40 years, I have heard countless times complaints about every type of home maintenance contractor not showing up, not finishing, not showing up on time, no matter for the estimate or the work.

This fall, we mailed or irrigation accounts once in late August. Then we called called 2 times announcing the their appt day, date, time. Despite 3 contacts, we have days where up to one third of the stops are not ready to stop watering, not home or got some one else, so they were not completed. That hurts my pocket book and my opinion of consumers.

The lady that complained today is also a lawn fert customer and has been treated well, but only a 2nd year customer. I have dealt with her husband in the past. I think she was off her meds. I heard her husband ask why she threw the phone. Then it went dead. My reason for calling was to get a credit card number to pay their bill.

My bro had gotten the number and it didn't go through. The woman was arrogant and nasty when I asked for the number again and explained we may have recorded the number incorrectly. Just a real bad scene. I wait a few minutes, call back and got cussed out and hung up on by her husband for not being nice to his wife. Lord only knows what crap she fed him. No bad words where exchanged between she and I. She just didn't like my blow out price.

What I attempt to sell is a relationship and a skill set and professionalism to go with it. It's not just a blow out, ever. My guys and I have the ability to troubleshoot what many others can't. That goes to why they have problems in the same place in their lawn every year. We know lawns and irrigation upside down and inside out.

We can define, illustrate and solve irrigation design flaws, tell the customer precisely how much to water and when, trouble shoot their lawn problems, not matter whether they are a irrigation, fert program or dual account. We can save them money and make their place look better. But to do that, I need my price and it is worth it for every service I provide.

MAD whacker
11-04-2011, 06:10 PM
and if a customer doesnt think so then dont waste youre time thats where you really start to lose money.

Mike Leary
11-04-2011, 07:51 PM
None of my clients ever sent me a Christmas card or gave me a tip, they knew I made my money and paid my crew well. Big deal, trust is trust.

irritation
11-04-2011, 08:13 PM
I drastically raised my rates 3 years ago because of fuel prices and also found I was out of line with my competitors. Very few complaints and zero client loss.

slemon
11-04-2011, 08:34 PM
Do they ever research irrigation and inform themselves first? Put fert application programs and landscape designs and plant material right in the same place.

Yes and yes

Mike Leary
11-04-2011, 09:20 PM
But to do that, I need my price and it is worth it for every service I provide.

I like your attitude, it's tough sometimes to walk away from a site that could make some money, but if you get the feeling it's going south, load-up the cone markers and move it out. If you're any kind of quality contractor, you'll have them call you again when the dipshits screw it up. Most cold calls forget they called you in the first place and thought you were too pricey. Here's where thepayup comes in, or they're still idiots and then you don't return their calls. Simple as that. My wife always thought that was rude to not return calls; they were rude in the first place. :hammerhead:

Sprinkus
11-04-2011, 10:38 PM
Buck that fitch and dump her.
It's not worth the small amount of money that you get since the medical bills for high blood pressure and heartburn will way offset any profit that you might make off of her blankity blank blank blank.

SPEEDSKI
11-04-2011, 10:51 PM
We get rid of our worst customers in our client base this time of year. We are balls out and if someone wants to complain over $5 then they can walk. We learned that once you start to deal, it will never end and if it is not policy, then you have no structure to continue dealing. Why would I give a constant complainer a discount and not give one to my best customer. The minute you lower the price, it is an admitance that you are charging too much.

We charge what it costs to run a successful business in a professional manner. I love the saying "anyone can blow out systems....it is so easy". Tell that to the 50-100 customers every year that call us in the spring with an average of $300.00 to $800.00 in repairs and they cannot find the lawn boy that tried to make easy cash while he was raking leaves at the same time.

We do not offer one service, we offer a long term relationship to where the customer has confidence that when we do screw up, we will be there to honor our agreement. Why would anyone want the lowest bidder and possibly changing service providers every year? What kind of response would I give the person that asked me for a discount this winter and then complained in the spring that her broken rotor driven over by his wife was due to our poor winterization and now he is going to tell the neighborhood all about it.

You take that risk when you get asked to lower the price you just gave everyone else in the community and at the next block party the women starts to brag on how her husband is such a wheeler and dealer. Now what pile have you stepped in?

Discounts?? How do you figure that discount? is that figured into the costs of all of your other customers or is that out of your pocket? I am just asking?

It would be nice if all of the irrigators would work together to keep prices to a point where could all make a real living instead of some acting like the peacock that is going to take over the whole industry.....that is the guy that is gone in 2-3 years.

I try to understand how some say, X - Y - Z contractor all have been around for over 10 - 20 years and somehow the new guy thinks he can do everything for 20% less. If that person is serious about growing his business and he may have low overhead now, he will someday have similiar overhead as the bigger companies but all his customers are used to the one man band prices. Most never get that far though even with the low overhead because all he can sell is price....he has nothing else to offer.

All of this said, we have had some of our customers that are going through difficult times need help, and we have been more than happy to help them.

Someone mentioned that people shop around to save $5 so they can feed their family? Is that for real? They spend money to water their lawn but have a hard time feeding the kids? That was ignorant.

HBFOXJr
11-05-2011, 08:38 AM
Let me preface this with, this is my 40th year as my business owner and I started from scratch. I have run it with the plan to profit, pay taxes including ss self employment tax. I intend to collect that tax. I have run my business as a legit on the books business. I have developed a business that has great recurring revenue. I intend to sell my business as soon as I can sell my property, then retire.

I have found in the last 10 years or so, the more I can make service purchase feel more like the retail experience people are so familiar with, the more I sell and the more I make. Discounts are part of that experience. Plainly, the more I discount, the more I sell and make.

Discounts are a part of doing business. Do they come out of my pocket? Yes and no. If you consider the loss of the full price, yes. If you consider you may get a customer to buy more from you, or gain a new customer that can bring revenue for years, no.

Invoices always show the regular price and the discount, so nothing is ever a surprise. They know they got a deal. When it comes to blow outs, we hope to gain service work next year, and perhaps a fert program. It's up to us to capitalize on the opportunity. Increased opportunity and sales is our goal.

One of the rules of sales is to never give, with out getting in return. So my discounted work is not at a loss. Our marketing for the past several years has been geared to get us in to certain areas where we had little to no presence. All of these were areas in our core service area, and some were down right close communities.

We have found with discounted blow outs, that we are now getting work from those areas and increasing our route density. So any time you can do more work in fewer miles, that is a good thing.

For decades, I took work that came to me. We marketed, but were not good at it and not consistent. In 2003 I got divorced and rid of my defacto partner who was not good for me or my business. I began to do lots of things differently including marketing and involving my employees in the growth decisions. It has been trial and error, successes and failures. Discounts have been successful.

You have to work to grow your business in a mature market, over saturated with competition. Eat or be eaten. If you are not growing, you are falling behind. 2008 and 2009 kicked our butt. Knocked us down and bloodied us badly. We didn't quit, but came back in 2010 with 20% growth. This year is up 13% despite a lousy summer. Next year, an election year, I expect to be very tough.

So when it comes to discounts, structured properly and knowing your costs, 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Kiril
11-05-2011, 09:21 AM
Discounts are a part of doing business. Do they come out of my pocket? Yes and no. If you consider the loss of the full price, yes. If you consider you may get a customer to buy more from you, or gain a new customer that can bring revenue for years, no.

Invoices always show the regular price and the discount, so nothing is ever a surprise. They know they got a deal. When it comes to blow outs, we hope to gain service work next year, and perhaps a fert program. It's up to us to capitalize on the opportunity. Increased opportunity and sales is our goal.

One of the rules of sales is to never give, with out getting in return. So my discounted work is not at a loss. Our marketing for the past several years has been geared to get us in to certain areas where we had little to no presence. All of these were areas in our core service area, and some were down right close communities.

1000% agree. :clapping:

greenmonster304
11-05-2011, 10:29 AM
Let me preface this with, this is my 40th year as my business owner and I started from scratch. I have run it with the plan to profit, pay taxes including ss self employment tax. I intend to collect that tax. I have run my business as a legit on the books business. I have developed a business that has great recurring revenue. I intend to sell my business as soon as I can sell my property, then retire.

I have found in the last 10 years or so, the more I can make service purchase feel more like the retail experience people are so familiar with, the more I sell and the more I make. Discounts are part of that experience. Plainly, the more I discount, the more I sell and make.

Discounts are a part of doing business. Do they come out of my pocket? Yes and no. If you consider the loss of the full price, yes. If you consider you may get a customer to buy more from you, or gain a new customer that can bring revenue for years, no.

Invoices always show the regular price and the discount, so nothing is ever a surprise. They know they got a deal. When it comes to blow outs, we hope to gain service work next year, and perhaps a fert program. It's up to us to capitalize on the opportunity. Increased opportunity and sales is our goal.

One of the rules of sales is to never give, with out getting in return. So my discounted work is not at a loss. Our marketing for the past several years has been geared to get us in to certain areas where we had little to no presence. All of these were areas in our core service area, and some were down right close communities.

We have found with discounted blow outs, that we are now getting work from those areas and increasing our route density. So any time you can do more work in fewer miles, that is a good thing.

For decades, I took work that came to me. We marketed, but were not good at it and not consistent. In 2003 I got divorced and rid of my defacto partner who was not good for me or my business. I began to do lots of things differently including marketing and involving my employees in the growth decisions. It has been trial and error, successes and failures. Discounts have been successful.

You have to work to grow your business in a mature market, over saturated with competition. Eat or be eaten. If you are not growing, you are falling behind. 2008 and 2009 kicked our butt. Knocked us down and bloodied us badly. We didn't quit, but came back in 2010 with 20% growth. This year is up 13% despite a lousy summer. Next year, an election year, I expect to be very tough.

So when it comes to discounts, structured properly and knowing your costs, 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

I respect your ideas but I don't think your plan is universal and won't work in all markets. Around here few people advertise even fewer offer discounts. There was company here that had a radio comercial this spring and early summer. When I asked him how it worked out he shook his head and said he got one call from it. In my area it's about who you know because most of hiring is done by third parties like caretakers, house watchers, property managers, and landscapers, who don't care so much about price they just want good service and product so they don't look bad in the rich homeowners eyes for hiring a jackass. These third parties don't care about 20% off for the owner but they might ask for a free blow out at their house if they turn you on to a 5 acre estate.
Posted via Mobile Device

greenmonster304
11-05-2011, 10:33 AM
Let me preface this with, this is my 40th year as my business owner and I started from scratch. I have run it with the plan to profit, pay taxes including ss self employment tax. I intend to collect that tax. I have run my business as a legit on the books business. I have developed a business that has great recurring revenue. I intend to sell my business as soon as I can sell my property, then retire.

I have found in the last 10 years or so, the more I can make service purchase feel more like the retail experience people are so familiar with, the more I sell and the more I make. Discounts are part of that experience. Plainly, the more I discount, the more I sell and make.

Discounts are a part of doing business. Do they come out of my pocket? Yes and no. If you consider the loss of the full price, yes. If you consider you may get a customer to buy more from you, or gain a new customer that can bring revenue for years, no.

Invoices always show the regular price and the discount, so nothing is ever a surprise. They know they got a deal. When it comes to blow outs, we hope to gain service work next year, and perhaps a fert program. It's up to us to capitalize on the opportunity. Increased opportunity and sales is our goal.

One of the rules of sales is to never give, with out getting in return. So my discounted work is not at a loss. Our marketing for the past several years has been geared to get us in to certain areas where we had little to no presence. All of these were areas in our core service area, and some were down right close communities.

We have found with discounted blow outs, that we are now getting work from those areas and increasing our route density. So any time you can do more work in fewer miles, that is a good thing.

For decades, I took work that came to me. We marketed, but were not good at it and not consistent. In 2003 I got divorced and rid of my defacto partner who was not good for me or my business. I began to do lots of things differently including marketing and involving my employees in the growth decisions. It has been trial and error, successes and failures. Discounts have been successful.

You have to work to grow your business in a mature market, over saturated with competition. Eat or be eaten. If you are not growing, you are falling behind. 2008 and 2009 kicked our butt. Knocked us down and bloodied us badly. We didn't quit, but came back in 2010 with 20% growth. This year is up 13% despite a lousy summer. Next year, an election year, I expect to be very tough.

So when it comes to discounts, structured properly and knowing your costs, 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

I respect your ideas but I don't think your plan is universal and won't work in all markets. Around here few people advertise even fewer offer discounts. There was company here that had a radio comercial this spring and early summer. When I asked him how it worked out he shook his head and said he got one call from it. In my area it's about who you know because most of hiring is done by third parties like caretakers, house watchers, property managers, and landscapers, who don't care so much about price they just want good service and product so they don't look bad in the rich homeowners eyes for hiring a jackass. These third parties don't care about 20% off for the owner but they might ask for a free blow out at their house if they turn you on to a 5 acre estate.

Don't advertize anywhere and I am not in the phone book so every call I get is from a referral. That's how most of service people get work around here.
Posted via Mobile Device

Wet_Boots
11-05-2011, 10:39 AM
There's an echo in here :)

I bumped up prices again this season, and no one jumped ship yet.

HBFOXJr
11-05-2011, 10:55 AM
I respect your ideas but I don't think your plan is universal and won't work in all markets. Posted via Mobile Device

You are so right. However my market is mature and suburban, saturated with service suppliers. On top of that, we are there is something uniquely difficult about the Philadelphia metro area. It's talked about but never explained. Business models successful in other metro areas, do not universally do well around Philly.

Krispy Kreme Donuts - 2 in the Philly area, 1 in NJ, 1 in PA. There are 5 around Columbus OH, 4 or 5 in Nebraska. There is 1 in all of NJ, the densest state in the nation.

As I travel the country I see all kinds of places to dine way beyond BK, McD, Wendy's. There is Waffle House, Whataburger and many more I can't name. We have Applebee's and Chili's but they are few and far between. There is no regional equivalent for them.

Some of my best customers are those that have moved here, that were raised and worked in other areas of the country. They seem more civil, tend to do their diligence when buying.

My rant yesterday was really about how the woman reacted and how totally off the wall her husband was when I returned the dropped call, all over $5. Thought the competitive pressure is here every day and we win jobs and lose jobs, yesterday I took badly because I was personally attacked and insulted over $5.

Wet_Boots
11-05-2011, 11:09 AM
I'm not sure Waffle House is a shining banner for civilization. Any good Jersey diner can put those chain operations in the shade.

DanaMac
11-05-2011, 11:12 AM
I'm not sure Waffle House is a shining banner for civilization. Any good Jersey diner can put those chain operations in the shade.

We have about 4-5 Awful Waffles - errrr... excuse me Waffle Houses here. I can't stand them. Been twice.

HBFOXJr
11-05-2011, 12:09 PM
We have about 4-5 Awful Waffles - errrr... excuse me Waffle Houses here. I can't stand them. Been twice.

A whole new thread. :waving:

Wet_Boots
11-05-2011, 12:14 PM
(you can tell when a thread is running out of momentum-we diverge) - I liked the maple glaze Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but the rest of them weren't so much of all that.

HBFOXJr
11-05-2011, 12:26 PM
I like the glazed and the glazed lemon filled. Always a must stop for the Mrs and I after we have oysters on the half shell and a few beers. :dancing:

DanaMac
11-05-2011, 12:33 PM
Not a KK fan. Grew up in Mass. so I was raised on Dunkin. Only 2-3 left in town here.

Wet_Boots
11-05-2011, 12:45 PM
the one reason I'll visit a Dunkin is for a strawberry-glazed

greenmonster304
11-05-2011, 01:12 PM
I hate dunkin donuts. I spent two years in CT and that was all there was for breakfast other than mcd's. Maybe I am spoiled being from NY with lots of delis but I would rather have a egg sandwich cooked on a grill when I order it not defrosted in a microwave.
Posted via Mobile Device

AI Inc
11-05-2011, 03:14 PM
Sure is one thing New England lacks hard is good Italian deli's.

Wet_Boots
11-05-2011, 03:40 PM
there are enough Italians in California for them to know not to put mayo on a sub sandwich, but beware....

Mike Leary
11-05-2011, 03:52 PM
there are enough Italians in California for them to know not to put mayo on a sub sandwich, but beware....

Might want to watch "My Blue Heaven" again, Boots.

Wet_Boots
11-05-2011, 04:23 PM
I never saw it the first time

HBFOXJr
11-05-2011, 04:46 PM
Got plenty in my area and not enough in the south where I spend lots of time. Good bread and bagels are tough to find there too.

I had some real good Italian in Sicily this summer. Sooooooo good. But didn't have any of the goats heads or odd stuff from the sea we saw in the fish market. If it walks, crawls, flies or swims, the sicilians are going to eat it.

greenmonster304
11-05-2011, 06:20 PM
Got plenty in my area and not enough in the south where I spend lots of time. Good bread and bagels are tough to find there too.

I had some real good Italian in Sicily this summer. Sooooooo good. But didn't have any of the goats heads or odd stuff from the sea we saw in the fish market. If it walks, crawls, flies or swims, the sicilians are going to eat it.

Here in town we have a great bagel place called Goldbergs, I think they are Irish, ha ha. Don't forget the fresh hard rolls every morning.
Posted via Mobile Device

Mike Leary
11-05-2011, 06:59 PM
I'd kill for a Spudnut, my Dad worked at an outlet in Vancouver, B.C. after WWII. spudnutshop.com

Wet_Boots
11-05-2011, 07:13 PM
Potato-flour products are still somewhat popular, at least enough for me to be able to buy bread and rolls made with potato flour.

muddywater
11-07-2011, 11:32 PM
Your theory on discounts is interesting.

However, I don't like it!

One example. I am not a big apple guy, but I do have an Iphone 4s and an ipad2. I like their product. I don't care how much it is. It is been an invaluable tool to me. I want it. I bought it. I know there are millions with the same mentality towards apple's product. How can we create that kind of desire for our service or product? An irrigation install is more of a product isn't it?

HBFOXJr
11-08-2011, 07:12 AM
How can we create that kind of desire for our service or product? An irrigation install is more of a product isn't it?

Oh, so wrong my friend. An irrigation system is not a product, and not a commodity. It is really a service, that requires some one else's branded product to perform.

There is the consumer confusion. Rain Bird, Hunter, you are all using the same product, hence you are all alike and the cheapest one should be purchased.

If they were getting an addition put on their house and every one used Kohler bath products and Anderson windows, would they regard the contractors as all being the same? I think not.

So the task is to differentiate self from the pack, despite the same brand name components.

Apple doesn't have to discount because they are so unique, so good, so useable, so people friendly, so with out gazzilions of similar competition. That competitive situation does not exist in irrigation. Irrigation isn't hip, sexy and now, like apple products.

AI Inc
11-08-2011, 08:25 AM
Irrigation isn't sexy .

depends where one looks

JDiepstra
11-08-2011, 08:35 AM
Ok so OP, what do you do that makes you worth the extra $5? How do you know youre better than the other guy?

HBFOXJr
11-08-2011, 09:49 AM
How do you know youre better than the other guy?

Easy, the results can be seen on our clients lawns. No brown spots, no soggy spots, and always watered just right, no matter what the weather. My systems perform in temps in the 90s to over a hundred, no rain for weeks, and on sandy soils. Now, since my all new systems have weather based control, the client can be assured of always being watered according to need and at the lowest possible cost.

We service a lot of others guys work, not just our own. We see how they design and how they construct. Since we also do fert programs and continually deal with people who always have the same problem spots in their lawn every year. Invariably, it's a poor irrigation design, poor install set up and/or poorly operated by the client.

This summer we met with a fert client who had a good, head to head system, IF, the installer had not turned the range screw down, messing up distribution and eliminating head to head. Not only that, he had no clue how long and when to water.

We know and can calculate precipitation rates for our systems. We know seasonal water demand for our area. We can advise clients on how to improve their turf and maintenance costs.

Some of the above comes with our blowouts. We're worth more that $5 once a year. When you can save plant material or a eliminate a reseed job with what we know and can do, $5 is meaningless.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-08-2011, 10:19 AM
For good contractors the customer needs to learn how to be a good customer. Nitpicking over price because some joe blow decides he is going to be only about price is not being a good customer.
There is no harm in telling a customer it's a two way street. I'll be the best and most passionate irrigator you will find and you don't nitpick me over a fair price to run my business and be that irrigator.

HBFOXJr
11-08-2011, 10:27 AM
For good contractors the customer needs to learn how to be a good customer. Nitpicking over price because some joe blow decides he is going to be only about price is not being a good customer.
There is no harm in telling a customer it's a two way street. I'll be the best and most passionate irrigator you will find and you don't nitpick me over a fair price to run my business and be that irrigator.

Why nitpick over a once/yr $5 when every thing else provided for them has been fine. I seriously think the woman has problems. To hear her husband ask her why she threw the phone, meant there was an inappropriate action to a non confrontational situation. We didn't have words, she just didn't like the price and my answer.

GreenI.A.
11-08-2011, 12:59 PM
I agree with the others, that $5 difference is your opportunity to sell your self to the customer. I am proud of the fact that I am signifigantly higher than my compitition, winterizing starts at $125, when a person calls and asks how much, some hang up as soon as i give the price, many don't seem to bat an eye as they don't know the going rate. But more importantly many ask why I am $125 when others are around $75. That is my opportunity to sell my self and when i explain my reasonning and tell the potential customer that I have a great yearly retention rate and we have no problem filling our schedule with the pricing as our customers clearly see the difference we offer and are willing to pay a premium price for a premium service.

Mike Leary
11-08-2011, 03:29 PM
That is my opportunity to sell my self and when i explain my reasonning and tell the potential customer that I have a great yearly retention rate and we have no problem filling our schedule with the pricing as our customers clearly see the difference we offer and are willing to pay a premium price for a premium service.

Double ditto that. You not only sell your service, but you sell yourself!

DanaMac
11-09-2011, 11:56 AM
Here is one thing I am finding. If someone calls us for a fall blow out, and that is the first time they use our service, we have a low retention rate in keeping them as a longtime customer. If someone calls in the spring for a freeze repair or other first time service, we have a much higher retention rate. The first timers in the fall get shocked when I tell them $65, but the guy with a sign on the corner says $30-$40. I went through my Excel list of blowouts from last year, and I can see which people have not come back to us for a fall blow out this year, and overwhelmingly, it is people that had used us for the first time last fall. So I am assuming, it is primarily based on price.

I did not use google adwords this year, which I had done the previous 3-4 years. Google ads has worked well for me in the past, but I really just never got around to starting it back up. Most tire kickers this year were continuing to call around based on price.

HBFOXJr
11-09-2011, 12:11 PM
Here is one thing I am finding. If someone calls us for a fall blow out, and that is the first time they use our service, we have a low retention rate in keeping them as a longtime customer. If someone calls in the spring for a freeze repair or other first time service, we have a much higher retention rate. The first timers in the fall get shocked when I tell them $65, but the guy with a sign on the corner says $30-$40. I went through my Excel list of blowouts from last year, and I can see which people have not come back to us for a fall blow out this year, and overwhelmingly, it is people that had used us for the first time last fall. So I am assuming, it is primarily based on price.

I did not use google adwords this year, which I had done the previous 3-4 years. Google ads has worked well for me in the past, but I really just never got around to starting it back up. Most tire kickers this year were continuing to call around based on price.

Ditto here on the ones we retain based on last fall's marketing and this fall's retainage. I had this saying when irrigation licensing was in the works here in NJ in the early 90's. Guys thought licensing would help prices as a side effect. I say "once a cheap xcvk, always a cheap xcvk". Same goes for consumers.

If I could only develop a marketing piece as effective for selling service as I have for blow outs. 2010 and 11, we have only taken new clients on a pre pay basis for start and blowout. Even for service in the summer we make them prepay for a check up and blow out. Nearly zero walk.