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  #1  
Old 03-07-2013, 02:37 AM
Joel D Joel D is offline
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How do I get people to sign a contract?

Hey, everyone. I recently decided to go the route of having year round contracts for new customers. However, when people call me and I come out give them a quote they don't want to do a contract. I can't afford to turn down business because this is my full time job now so I end up agreeing to no contract. I am just sick of getting burned when November comes around. How can i go about getting people to agree to a contract? Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:25 AM
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NIXRAY NIXRAY is offline
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Make it "appear" cheaper by signing a contract...for example if your current price is $35.00 per mow mark it up to $45.00 with out a contract or if they sign with you they get the lower price...Make Sense?
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:52 AM
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grandview (2006) grandview (2006) is offline
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Explain getting burned in Nov.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:11 AM
upkeeplawnscape upkeeplawnscape is offline
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Explain to them that for insurance purposes, you have to have a signed contract in order to be on the property. Works for me, although there is still a small percentage that will drop when Nov. comes along. They feel that you arent needed when EOW time comes. Contract doesnt really matter because lawyer fees would make fighting them a loss. Unfortunately that is the business. Win some lose some
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:09 AM
shovelracer shovelracer is offline
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A contract is like locks on a door. It just keeps honest people honest. If someone is going to screw you it is going to happen regardless. You are not a big corp that will drop 20K to enforce a $500 bill just on principal.

As for the contract well, it really is quite simple. Here is my contract please sign it. There is no option of no contract. The reason is also simple. It is essential to have a document that clearly spells out the scope of work and payment schedule for both parties. Without it things can get messy and no one wants that. The best part is your clients are likely getting bent over a $100 a month mowing bill and meanwhile they are locked into a 2 year $300 a month contract so the family can all have smart phones. Think about that for a moment the next time someone tells you that your labor rates are too high.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:32 AM
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Woody82986 Woody82986 is offline
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As was said before, a contract only keeps honest people honest. You will get screwed by bad people regardless of a signed piece of paper. What you might consider doing is drafting up a "service agreement" rather than a full blown contract. The word "contract" scares people. Just draft a service agreement that spells out what you do and what you don't do for whatever price you are going to charge and the prospected dates of service and have them sign it so both parties know what the score is. If you are just butthurt about people not wanting to pay you in the fall for things they either want to do themselves or don't set a high priority for then getting them to sign a contract for you to do those things seems like a no brainer "no". If they don't want to pay for leaf work, then it seems pretty simple that you just wouldn't do the leaf work. If they want it mowed but the leaves are down, inform them they have two options... do the leaves themselves and then you will mow, or pay you to do the leaves and then mow. I'd just go ahead and plan on a certain number of clients not wanting you to do that stuff and work around it. This isn't the government. You can't legislate money out of people's pockets against their will.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:15 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelracer View Post
.... It is essential to have a document that clearly spells out the scope of work and payment schedule for both parties. .....
This may be true, but you do not need a contract or service agreement (one in the same) to make this clear. A simple letter of understanding you write makes that clear for scope, charges, and expected payment.

Some people try to make the business relationship far too complicated for simple services such as grass cutting, bush trimming, leaf removal, etc. These are mundane tasks that don't require anything complicated or worrisome to a customer.

If somebody showed at my door with a contract to cut my grass, I would tell them "No thank you," and move to the next LCO. Remember, none of us doing these simple services are offering nothing unique. There are ten others standing in line are willing to do the work without a piece of paper.

As stated above, honest people are honest people. A piece of paper does not make them any more honest.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2013, 09:45 PM
Weekend cut easymoney Weekend cut easymoney is online now
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You need to get maintenance agreements, contracts signed and agreed to ensure you don't get taken advantage of...many guys without contracts are expected to be there week after week for the entire season yet many customers call and cancel with little or no notice ....i agree to service your yard for the next 9 months hence i am tied to an implied contract, certainly being fired if i failed to show up...why should the client not have to make a committment?

Contracts allow you to plan for the future and expand, hiring employees, buying and paying for equipment...
Good luck with having anormal life with call in or non committal customers...if other guys like it and can make it work without it...i applaud them....take what you can to make a living and then move to the ease of contracts...much easier
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  #9  
Old 03-09-2013, 07:00 PM
NC Greenscaper NC Greenscaper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
This may be true, but you do not need a contract or service agreement (one in the same) to make this clear. A simple letter of understanding you write makes that clear for scope, charges, and expected payment.

Some people try to make the business relationship far too complicated for simple services such as grass cutting, bush trimming, leaf removal, etc. These are mundane tasks that don't require anything complicated or worrisome to a customer.
If somebody showed at my door with a contract to cut my grass, I would tell them "No thank you," and move to the next LCO. Remember, none of us doing these simple services are offering nothing unique. There are ten others standing in line are willing to do the work without a piece of paper.

As stated above, honest people are honest people. A piece of paper does not make them any more honest.
I agree, if this is the level of service that you provide then I wouldn't try to get an agreement from the customer. We try to get all new clients to let us provide ful service which is all their maintenance, lawn care and clean up services throughout the year. These are the best paying, most appreciative customers we have. I'm not at the point that I ready to get rid of the others but the full service customers are committed to a higher level of services for the year and enjoy a affordable flat rate. It just makes sense to me.
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2013, 09:32 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upkeeplawnscape View Post
Explain to them that for insurance purposes, you have to have a signed contract in order to be on the property. Works for me, although there is still a small percentage that will drop when Nov. comes along. They feel that you arent needed when EOW time comes. Contract doesnt really matter because lawyer fees would make fighting them a loss. Unfortunately that is the business. Win some lose some
Doesn't cost anything to go to small claims court! I've had several clients there now, I'm not playing with non payers.
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