View Full Version : By High Noon I Have To Have An Anwser or Else.

10-05-2004, 09:16 AM
My customer has been begging me to clean and mulch his flower bed. I came of with a price of $245.00.

3 Hedges he wants trimmed back= 45.00

7 Hedges x 10 = 70.00

508 sf to mulch with pine needles= 85.00

Waste Removal = 15.00

Flower Bed Prep = 30.00

Flower beds haven't been touch so far this year will go in and clean them out.
My client said I'll have to talk to my wife and call you back at noon, but she might decide to do it her self. Right now he pays me 50.00 to mow his yard and it takes about an hour. He pretty much leaves it up to me as too how often to mow but prefer me to mow every 2 weeks.

When we first meet he said it took him 3 hours to mow his lawn now that I came along he will never mow again. He said give me a maintenance deal. He even invited me in on the first visit to do an interview and ask me about my company.

Now that I gave him a price how do I convince him to pay me? I haven't given him an written estimate yet, I just gave him a estimate on the phone?
Should I send him an estimate with the price broken down like I do above letting him know what I charge for trimming hedges, mulching etc?

I think I could get this job if I could learn how to present it too him. I would appreciate your comments.


10-05-2004, 09:25 AM
As always it's hard to bid a job without seeing it. and although your description helps, it's still hard.
It does seem low to me though. what stuck out was 508 sqft of mulch pine needles. Depending on the depth, that's around 5 cu yards? I may be off on something, as I have not worked with pine needles, but for spreading mulch for that size for me would be about $250-$300 alone.
I understand you want to give this guya deal to get the whole account, but make sure to not undercut yourself.
are you buying the pine needles? how much will that run you? or are you just spreading it?
lots of questions like that.
One other thing, your disposal fee is a bit low. usually I have a minimum for one truck load, like $40, and go from there.

Just a couple thoughts, hope they help, and good luck with the job!

Acute Cut
10-05-2004, 09:27 AM
Has he paid you for your mowings so far? If so i think you are fine. Worst case scenario, if you really want to get a bid to him then run up to Office Depot or something and buy some contractors bid sheets. You will look professional as well. When you drop it off you can just say that "I wasnt sure if you wanted a written bid so i wrote one up for you." No biggie either way though in this circumstance i dont think though.

10-05-2004, 09:38 AM
This customer always pays, never a problem. When we first met he gave me a 30.00 tip for mowing his lawn, and he keeps plenty of refreshments on hand while I work.

My cost for pine needles is 3.77 a bale and I charge 8.50 to pick up and install. My dump fees is about 10.00.


10-05-2004, 10:04 AM
My cost for pine needles is 3.77 a bale and I charge 8.50 to pick up and install. My dump fees is about 10.00.


This price is about right here in NC as the going rates seem to be around $7.50-$8.50 per bale installed and it seems that you would be looking at 8-10 bales for that area. You other prices it is hard to say without seeing the work to be done, but the price in general for this area still sounds about right. I would give him a written estm and just group it pretty much as you broke it down here except I would include all teh hedge work together and probably would include the bedclean up and dump in with the straw work maybe.

10-05-2004, 10:24 AM
will--I am uncertain about what you are asking but it seems to be that you want the job and you want to know how to get the customer to commit.

I dunno what you would want to do except wait and when he is ready he'll let you know.

the time you spend fooling with this guy beyond what you have done already is time wasted and not making you any money.

you've done your job so far, now move on to new customers.

I guarantee when you get real busy this guy will call and want his flower beds serviced.


10-05-2004, 10:34 AM
GENERAL DESCIPTION never break it down to xx amount of dollars per shrub or you will be doing only 1 or 2 at a time as they get the money. so-n-so proposes, to fill in what you said you would do for the sum of xxxx amount of dollars to be paid by xx and have him sign it. don't forget to add in taxes if you have to collect them


10-05-2004, 10:50 AM
I'm not sure how to answer your questions, but i will say this- at least around here, if you break down the price like that, they will for sure just ask you do only do certain things to save them money. that may or may not be a problem for you but some people make more money off of some things than others, and when done in conjunction with other things thats how they do the work and get the right amount of money. He may ask you only to do things that are worth it to him the most, but not worth it to you to do just those things.

make any sense?

10-05-2004, 03:21 PM
first thing you better do is change the way you THINK! i quote, "he PAYS me $50 a week to cut his lawn." after correction: " i CHARGE HIM $50 a week to cut his lawn."

10-05-2004, 06:50 PM
I'm with FSM on the quote a "whole job" price & don't break it down. If so, they will want to "ala carte" it and pick & choose what they want. I make it known to the customer that I can't afford to do a small job, I NEED THE WHOLE JOB. You can't either if you TRULY THINK about how much time it takes to LOAD UP ALL THE EQUIP needed for that job (& employees) & get it to the work site!

Depend on how "hungry" you are, but if you start caving on items now they will always want you to cave to their wishes!


10-05-2004, 06:52 PM
Hey man, you can get pine needles cheaper from that in Charlotte, send me an email and I'll let you know where.

green with envy
10-05-2004, 06:55 PM
It sounds like a fair price to me.
I would put it in writing and present it to him in person. Just be confident and make good eye contact and I bet he will feel it too is a fair price. Just make sure that he feels your confidance.

My two cents.


10-06-2004, 01:19 PM
Let me say thank you to everyone. It's nice to go online and get information on how to close a deal and pocket more money in a few hours than I can all week. Like geogun said it's time to go make some money.

10-06-2004, 02:06 PM
I hate it when I completely agree with Bobby Gedd. First you have to develop a mindset that says you are in charge. You are the professional. If you need any reinforcement there, remember it took him 3 hours and you 1 hour to do the same work.

The best way to land this type of account is to price out the one time clean-up. charge whatever works. Then give them a quote for continued maintenance. Break that quote into basic (mow edge ...), trimming (all ornamental shrubs), weeding, fertilization. this way you give them a package price say $175 monthly(based on your mow price) or $ 100 monthly to mow and $25 for trimming $15 for weeding and $35 for Fert. Go with the approach of assuming they want the whole thing. Sell it as a package. Then close them.

Mr. Jones. So you see for just $175 per month, I can maintain your entire property. This means you will never have to deal with out of control weeds, ragged hedges again. Sound fair. THEN SHUT UP.

he who talks first loses.

If he says it is too much. Well Mr. Jones, which of these are most important to you and we can work it out that way. That is why I broke it out for you.

Do this with every new client and in spring go back to all your old clients. I guarantee you will get some takers.