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View Full Version : this is what a customer asked me today


bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 07:03 PM
i did an estimate today for 2 neighbors. both were very nice ladies, with beautiful properties. i should say potantially beautiful. they both wanted alot of work maint wise...mowing, fert programs, shrub trimming, 10-12yds of mulch each, bed edging, etc. they have both used different services, several in the last few years, that just werent cutting it. even on the frozen ground i could see an abundance of crabgrass and clover, bare spots that once were grass, and some moss started to develop on both properties. the edging was of poor quality and obviously done with a line trimmer rather than a mechanical edger. they were unhappy with the weeds, the need to reseed every spring :dizzy: and mentioned there were tons of dandelions every spring. thier properties were non irrigated. this, the lack of english speaking help, and basic unreliability were thier issues. they put together a "questionair" between them. i obviously dazzled them with my superior knowledge. they admitted to be "interviewing" others as well, and asked what questions they should add to thier list. they want to make sure thier man is knowledgable to cure thier turf problems. in a "quiz like" fashion, what questions would you suggest be on thier list , using the lawn quality problems i described above, as well as the other issues.

locutus
02-18-2005, 07:25 PM
Question #1- Are you a licensed applicator?
Question #2- Can you provide references?
Question #3- How much and in what manner will I be billed?
Question #4- Do you require that I sign a contract?
Question #5- Will I be able to communicate in English with at least one member of the crew servicing my property?

Thats just a few that I would ask given your scenario, but I have the sneaking suspicion that you are attempting to set up a straw man just to knock him over.

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 07:30 PM
locutus, be more specific in the aplicator part. believe it or not, there are many licensed aplicators that havn't a clue. the last few guys they had were licensed, and the lawns are in bad shape

1MajorTom
02-18-2005, 07:38 PM
To find out if their potential lawn man is somewhat knowledgeable, they should maybe ask:
what time of the year are dandelions treated?
what is in your opinion causing my lawn to have moss?
when do you recommend reseeding my lawn?

are you insured?
will the owner be on site at all times?
have long have you been in business?

locutus
02-18-2005, 07:40 PM
locutus, be more specific in the aplicator part. believe it or not, there are many licensed aplicators that havn't a clue. the last few guys they had were licensed, and the lawns are in bad shapeMy theory is that if you take the time to get licensed, you may actually care to learn what chemicals work for each specific problem. That is assuming the person licensed is the one doing the applications. While this is not always a guarantee of success, it is at least a start.

The only other thing that could potentially be a problem is the clients unwillingness to pay for the additional services required to bring their lawns up to par.

YardPro
02-18-2005, 07:43 PM
insurance? Workmans comp and general liability? can provide certificates?

are you a full time, or a part time service. this is important becuase the primary job WILL interfere with the mowing.

three referances

any accrediations (placca, alca, etc..)

pestacide liscense?

years in business

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 07:46 PM
yardbird, i was hoping you were a bit smarter than you look in your picture. read carefully.......in QUIZ LIKE FASHION what questions would you ask? ok, i'll make it simpler.....how many lbs of n per season, when to treat dandelions, you know, stuff like that simpleton

locutus
02-18-2005, 08:38 PM
I appear to be a thread killer.

Sir Mow-A-Lot
02-18-2005, 08:48 PM
. they admitted to be "interviewing" others as well.

Didn't you feel like they were wasting your time?

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 08:51 PM
Didn't you feel like they were wasting your time?
not really. it's dead here, havn't had a call in over a week. i enjoyed it

Envy Lawn Service
02-18-2005, 08:58 PM
they both wanted alot of work maint wise...mowing, fert programs, shrub trimming, 10-12yds of mulch each, bed edging, etc.

*i could see an abundance of crabgrass and clover,

*bare spots that once were grass,

*and some moss started to develop on both properties.

*the edging was of poor quality

*they were unhappy with the weeds, the need to reseed every spring :dizzy:

*and mentioned there were tons of dandelions every spring.

*thier properties were non irrigated.

*the lack of english speaking help, and basic unreliability were thier issues.

they put together a "questionair" between them. i obviously dazzled them with my superior knowledge. they admitted to be "interviewing" others as well, and asked what questions they should add to thier list. they want to make sure thier man is knowledgable to cure thier turf problems. in a "quiz like" fashion, what questions would you suggest be on thier list , using the lawn quality problems i described above, as well as the other issues.

Bobby,

These are the customers I have the highest closing rates with, so long as they are willing to pay my rates. But the truth of the matter is that 97% of them are not currently paying the kind of money it takes to cover minimal care requirements and you would think you skinned their cat alive when you go over it all with them. Basically they are not willing to pay what it costs. So in the end, it's really no one's fault but their own that the lawn is in it's current condition.

But on to the question you asked:

1- Are you a licensed, insured, full service lawn and landscape company that can service all my needs?
(Mowing, fert, pre-m, weed control, disease control, bed maintenace, mulch application, professional bed edging)

2- Who will be supervising the work and can all the crew members understand as well as speak english?

3- Can you provide a list of references? (reliability)

4- When do you recommend beginning and ending a fert and control program for my lawn?

5- When is the best time to treat for ______ and what control products do you recommend?
(crabgrass, clover, dandelions, wild onions, wild garlic, broadleafs)

6- What do you recommend we do to fill in these bare spots and when is the best time to do it?

7- Are there any extra care measures that we need to take since our lawn is not irrigated?

YardPro
02-18-2005, 09:05 PM
gee bobby,
must have been the way you worded it, but it seems that no one else has gotten what you asked?

also,
if you " dazzeled them with your knowledge" you can surely come up with some questions.

1MajorTom
02-18-2005, 09:17 PM
gee bobby,
if you " dazzeled them with your knowledge" you can surely come up with some questions.

He's really probably meeting them tomorrow, and he wants us to help him get prepared.....

dkeisala
02-18-2005, 09:49 PM
How about....

1) "Why should I help you prepare a questionnaire when you are simply going to continue wasting the time of, I mean interviewing, more maintenance contractors to find out which one best meets your needs. If you are so impressed with my knowledge, why don't you stop wasting both our time and simply hire me?"

Sounds like price shoppers to me. "I want everything but I don't want to pay much for it". These broads could care less about expertise, they just want the best price. That's why they're in the debacle they are in. Why help them in their quest?

dwc
02-18-2005, 10:14 PM
I would think one of the most important deciding factors would be price. If they are wanting this done and done right, then it is gonna take a few $$$$ to make it happen. If company X bids at 150 a month and company Y bids at 90 a month, then that might tell you something about the products that company Y will be using, or the lack thereof.

So for the quiz question: "what's this gonna cost me" if the company responds with about the same ammount they have been paying, that might be a good clue right there that they are gonna get about the same service they have been getting. Not always, but more than likely. Most PROFESSIONAL lco's know what to charge to cover their costs and make a profit somewhere.

Case in point: I bid on a LARGE commercial property. The bid sheet was wrote up for it to look like the Taj Mahal. MY costs for materials for maintenance alone (mulch, fert, equipment, labor, etc) was $40K not including all the unforseen expenses and any profit. The company that won the bid, bid it for $16K. Well you guessed it! It looks like $16K and that lco is bankrupt, I went to the bank repo auction so yes, bankrupt. They got what they paid for.

geogunn
02-18-2005, 10:53 PM
in a "quiz like" fashion, what questions would you suggest be on thier list....

No.1--did you really come here in that short yellow bus....

and...

No.2--since you are really a 4' 10" midget with a mullet, howinthehell did you work the pedals and see over the dash?

GEO :dizzy:

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 10:55 PM
How about....

1) "Why should I help you prepare a questionnaire when you are simply going to continue wasting the time of, I mean interviewing, more maintenance contractors to find out which one best meets your needs. If you are so impressed with my knowledge, why don't you stop wasting both our time and simply hire me?"

Sounds like price shoppers to me. "I want everything but I don't want to pay much for it". These broads could care less about expertise, they just want the best price. That's why they're in the debacle they are in. Why help them in their quest?
like i said, it was no sweat for me, i been idle for months, it was nice to get out, take some measurements, talk some trash, they even gave me a cup of coffee. i may get the job, i may not. they seemed very impressed with little things like my 10 month payment program (they never heard of it, they have only ever been billed at the end of the month after service is complete). one of the things that made me laugh....she goes, "in addition to the weed/insect blah blah blah, i want 3 aplications of fertilizer a season." i said, "really? what formulation would you like? " she goes, "what?" i said, "well, you said you want 3 aplications of fertilizer, at what formulation?" i love it when THEY TELL ME what needs to be done

bobbygedd
02-18-2005, 10:57 PM
No.1--did you really come here in that short yellow bus....

and...

No.2--since you are really a 4' 10" midget with a mullet, howinthehell did you work the pedals and see over the dash?

GEO :dizzy:
and #3- "do you clean dog poop, and perform illegal burial services like that big guy geo?"

MMLawn
02-18-2005, 11:03 PM
Did you add a Quiz Surcharge?

MMLawn
02-18-2005, 11:06 PM
three referances

any accrediations (placca, alca, etc..)

pestacide liscense?

years in business



Dam* dude I don't want to ever see you rag out anybody else about their spelling and grammar like you did the kid on the Elements of Business Forum the other day ;)

geogunn
02-18-2005, 11:12 PM
and #3- "do you clean dog poop, and perform illegal burial services like that big guy geo?"

or No. 4--the last man hurt his back bending over edging with the hand clippers. we see you can do it without bending over. can you start today?

GEO :waving:

Turf Medic
02-18-2005, 11:15 PM
Crazy part is where is the average customer going to get the correct answers to any questions they may ask, past the insurance, english speaking, certification, references. How many lbs nitrogen, how many aerations, what height to cut etc, unless they want to spend an endless amount of time learning the business they have to trust someone they possibly don't know. And to have you give them a couple of questions that they should ask your competitors, that's funny, not because it's you bobby, but you could bs them as to a question and the "proper" answer, and no one could answer it "correctly"

cutnedge
02-18-2005, 11:58 PM
they put together a "questionair" between them. i obviously dazzled them with my superior knowledge. they admitted to be "interviewing" others as well, and asked what questions they should add to thier list. they want to make sure thier man is knowledgable to cure thier turf problems

If they were so dumbfounded with your so-called "superior knowledge", it seems the buck would have stopped there. But, what did they do? They asked you what other questions they can ask the next guy. It's obvious that both parties (you and them) differ on the definition of 'knowledgable'.

The C Man
02-19-2005, 12:13 PM
Did you add a Quiz Surcharge?
LMFAO!
:p

Mo Green
02-19-2005, 01:46 PM
If they were so dumbfounded with your so-called "superior knowledge", it seems the buck would have stopped there. But, what did they do? They asked you what other questions they can ask the next guy. It's obvious that both parties (you and them) differ on the definition of 'knowledgable'.

I was thinking the same thing. I was wondering why he didn't charge them for helping with their quiz.

I'm thinking that they saw bobby as the lower end of the spectrum, and asked him for help compiling a quiz so they could avoid others like him as they search for a qualified LCO. :D