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View Full Version : just leave it in the mailbox


bobbygedd
02-20-2005, 04:02 PM
when you get a call on your answering machine, a request for an estimate, and they give you thier adress, and ask you to, "just leave me an estimate in the mailbox." do you just know it's a stroker? i just know it, everytime, when they don't want to speak with you, don't want to meet you, they are doing nothing more than price shopping. they are getting 50 different fools to come by and leave an estimate in the mailbox, and the one who is a dollar less gets the job. agree, or not?

BryPaulD
02-20-2005, 04:07 PM
I agree, tell them to come by and get it out of your mailbox

Markf
02-20-2005, 04:08 PM
I am apt to agree. I prefer to be able to size up the potential customer as they should size up the person doing the work for them. Also, how do you know that you are on the same page with the customer as to what the job entails? Would you hire a carpenter/plumber sight unseen solely based upon their quote?

bobbygedd
02-20-2005, 04:09 PM
I agree, tell them to come by and get it out of your mailbox
ha ha, i like it. i think that's my new policy, "free estimates, come by and pick it up....and grab me a 12 pack on the way."

rodfather
02-20-2005, 04:09 PM
I can't be bothered....period.

olderthandirt
02-20-2005, 04:09 PM
If they don't have the time to talk with me its a waste of time to bid the job.

Mac

YardPro
02-20-2005, 04:41 PM
you can't leave anything in a mailbox. it's a felony if the postal service wants to push it.

years ago i put a lot of flyers in mailboxes. I got a call from the postmaster. Had to pay postage on all the ones they found, and was told that if i did it again they would arrest me.

to answer the question, no i would not waste my time. they are tire kicking.

we get invitations to bid on large commercial properties all the time. We ask if they are looking for someone new. if they are not, and just getting bids, we are not interested.

ilovethisgame
02-20-2005, 04:41 PM
It's the first sign of a bad customer. If they don't have time to talk with you they may not have time to do other important things like paying you.

Carolina Cutter
02-20-2005, 04:57 PM
I actually had one peeking out the curtains when I did go over. Called them on the phone from my cell and she said yes, I see you......I proceeded to tell her to look elsewhere.....I do not want that kind of customer.

Woody82986
02-20-2005, 05:03 PM
if someone calls and tells me they won't be able to meet me and to just leave a quote I tell them to look elsewhere. I normally wont do business with someone I haven't met.

Ol'time Lawncare
02-20-2005, 06:13 PM
don't want to meet you, they are doing nothing more than price shopping. they are getting 50 different fools to come by and leave an estimate in the mailbox, and the one who is a dollar less gets the job. agree, or not?
These are the kind of people i don't want as client el!

RICHIE K
02-20-2005, 06:16 PM
I AGREE WITH OLDERTHANDIRT


RICHIE K


www.kulakandcompany.com :blob4:

nt1
02-20-2005, 09:18 PM
I have several residential customers that I've never spoken with in person. I get the call for an estimate, leave one on the door, and next thing you know they have been with us a few years. Alot of these people work 9-5 mon. thru fri. and do not have the time to meet with us. This has worked for routine stuff like cutting grass,tree pruning, hedges, mulch, leaf clean ups, and so on. If they need something extra done they call and we do it. There are some people who are just price shopping but I usually get the hint when taking the phone call and in that case I usually question them more about their needs for our services.

lawnguyland
02-20-2005, 09:23 PM
All this is true, but sometimes it's me that says "I'll leave it in your mailbox" as I can now print up estimates in the truck and leave it at the site, saving me a lot of time if I don't feel the need or have the time or desire to do a face to face. Only for routine maintenance estimates and such, not installs, etc.

impactlandscaping
02-20-2005, 10:22 PM
If they don't have the time to talk with me its a waste of time to bid the job.

Mac


I agree 100% with Mac..

Branchland
02-21-2005, 06:06 AM
I have a couple of customers that I've never met. They pay their bills and go for other services than just mowing.

kipcom
02-21-2005, 06:31 AM
Nope...wont do it, must set an appointment onsite to go over the estimate. Explain all aspects of the service estimate to the customer. We write estimates "onsite", this is the time to meet the customer and make sure you and the customer are on the same page for what service they are requesting and you are providing.

Any other way is usually a waste of time & material. :cool2:

rescuejerm
02-21-2005, 06:50 AM
Since We Use Writen Contracts, We Don't Have Any Clients We Have Not Met But We Will Leave A Bid Attached To A Door Or Under A Mat. Never In A Mail Box. Nothing Can Go Into A Mail Box That Was Not Stamped And Delivered By A Usps Employee.

crawdad
02-21-2005, 07:11 AM
Since We Use Writen Contracts, We Don't Have Any Clients We Have Not Met But We Will Leave A Bid Attached To A Door Or Under A Mat. Never In A Mail Box. Nothing Can Go Into A Mail Box That Was Not Stamped And Delivered By A Usps Employee.
Do you have a special program that capitalizes every word, or do you hit the shift button every time? (and why)

I have some customers that I never met for a few months, or years. I'll email or phone them an estimate, but I won't touch their mailbox.
Of course, I prefer to meet new customers.
Crawdad

Precision
02-21-2005, 07:30 AM
If they don't have the time to spend 15 minutes explaining what they want and showing me the wierd things about their lawn, then they probably won't have time to write a check.

I have one guy who calls me every 3-4 months wanting an estimate. Just leave it at the door. He is kinda close so I just look up the last one and add $15/month and drop it by on the way. To me he is a joke.
Anyone else I tell, when you can find time to meet me, let me know.

Soupy
02-21-2005, 10:44 AM
Some of my best customers have been ones I never met. I leave the proposal and they sign and mail back. Some of these people are just very busy working and making big bucks in a high demanding corporate job. They might be so busy that they seen your add/work etc. and only called you. Price isn't always the reason, and I have found these types to buy more up-sells. I have run into just the opposite as well, but not enough to stereo type.

Some people have anxiety disorders about meeting strangers face to face as well. I know from experience how powerful anxiety disorders can be on a person life (I have an anxiety/panic disorder, but it isn't about meeting people). This is common among lonely old ladies. These types might only call a few companies because of the uneasy feeling they get with having strangers on their property.

bobbygedd
02-21-2005, 10:55 AM
soupy that's where salesmanship, carrisma come into play. the ability to make a client feel at ease, and comfortable in your presence. i strive for full serve clients. this means they will be spending between $2,000-$3,000 with me each season. i'd like the opportunity to make a "presentation" of myself, and our service. now, if it's only grasscutting, i'd be more likely to not meet them. but i'd still like to leave a quote with them on the phone, or on thier answering machine rather than the mailbox

desert rose gardening
02-21-2005, 10:55 AM
I don't put prices in mail boxs, The only way I get work is to go and look at the house and give them a price. So I have to go and look at it.

Lux Lawn
02-21-2005, 11:08 AM
I have had couple of customers over the years that I never met until I was actually at their house working in their yard...But for the most part you can tell when someone asks for an estimate to be just left in the mailbox they are price shopping.

However there are the people that do work a lot of hours and may not have the time to meet with someone face to face.. but if you can talk to them on the phone and kind of feel them out you might be able to determine if they don't have the time or are just price shopping.

coastallandscapesolutions
02-21-2005, 11:17 AM
ha ha, i like it. i think that's my new policy, "free estimates, come by and pick it up....and grab me a 12 pack on the way."


Bobby, you don't do free estimates.

PMLAWN
02-21-2005, 11:19 AM
I try not to but sometimes I do get the call to do that. What I do is tell them that I will mail it to them so I need full name (spelling), address and phone. If they balk I say bye. I do have 2 clients that I have never seen but I have talked over the phone many times.
I guess the best answer is to play each one as it comes.

Soupy
02-21-2005, 11:33 AM
soupy that's where salesmanship, carrisma come into play. the ability to make a client feel at ease, and comfortable in your presence. i strive for full serve clients. this means they will be spending between $2,000-$3,000 with me each season. i'd like the opportunity to make a "presentation" of myself, and our service. now, if it's only grasscutting, i'd be more likely to not meet them. but i'd still like to leave a quote with them on the phone, or on thier answering machine rather than the mailbox

I know about salesmanship. My name is Soupy SALE :) I do agree, but if the customer can not or will not meet with you then you have no sale unless you leave a proposal.

I know for a fact that it takes a lot more then charisma to put a person with Anxiety/panic disorder at ease. It isn't something you can normally accomplish over the phone. charisma is not going to open the busy guys schedule either.

It all depends on how aggressive you are on growing too. I turn down proposals all the time. I am very selective. I have just had good luck leaving a full service proposal and landing the job, so I personally don't look at it as a bad thing. That may not be the case for everyone that refuses to deal with these types. Each business/area is different. It probably has a whole lot to do with why they chose to call you in the first place. Maybe finding that answer out when they call will make the decision more accurate. I have had good luck as to not be competing for the work. Most of the time I receive a call for reasons other then price.

By the way, I don't use mailboxes either. I use door hanger bags with proposal etc. hanging on the door. always call and confirm that the person received the proposal and ask if they have further questions.

STAN1366
02-21-2005, 12:56 PM
Another good, thought provoking post Bobby. It's brought out some interesting views I wouldn't have thought about. I've never had a customer that I didn't meet face to face and give them a quote. The "face to face" helps you get a feel for them. If you get bad vibes, give them a high price and scare them off. A person who's home, but won't meet you face to face has either got something to hide OR can't deal with people. There's a woman 3 houses away from me that I've seen outside only 2 times in the 20 yrs I've lived where I am now. She's white as a sheet from never going outside, but since her husband died 10 yrs ago she's had various lawn guys, tree work, snow plowing, siding, roofing, etc. Don't know how she meets these guy's, but the work does get done. I'd have left her a proposal, but I'm leary of working in my own neighborhood.

Mo Green
02-21-2005, 02:36 PM
I think it's the American way to shop around for the cheapest price. However, if I am going to shop around and get a few estimates, I want to meet the person who is going to be responsible for the service I am seeking.

tinman
02-21-2005, 03:08 PM
Not meeting face to face or at least discussing at length the service on the phone is not best unless it's just the most basic service. Bought some equipment from a friend last year & got some of his clients in the process. Never talked to them but maybe for a minute or two. Big mistake...PITA's ..almost every one of them.
As someone said earlier...you need to get a feel for the cleint.

Mo Green
02-21-2005, 03:13 PM
I picked up a couple of customers from another LCO, and I went to their houses and looked at the yard myself so I could get a face to face.

Kelly's Landscaping
02-21-2005, 03:19 PM
I refer to these as drive byes and I have learned all to well its a total waste of time the only way we closed these was to have Lou call with the price and try to close over the phone. But they are just not worth the time I find it a show of dis respect and distain towards our profession. If you do not have the decency to meet with me then I do not have the time to work for you period.