Register free!

The Green Industry's Resource Center



Reply
 
Thread Tools   Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-06-2013, 07:39 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,623
How Many Prices/Options Do You Offer a Prospect?

The landscaping industry is competitive, right?

More people are doing this kind of work now than ever before, right? At least that is how many business owners in this industry feel every time they see a new company pop-up. Frustrating.

What's even more frustrating is when someone calls you for an estimate - any kind of estimate - maintenance, lawn care, design/build, etc... and you know right away they are not merely calling on you. In fact, they openly admit to you they have called upon 3, 4, or even 5 other contractors for a bid. Now the pressure is on.

You want the job, but you kow your numbers. You know what price you need to charge to do the work. The fear of the "lowballer" or "novice" coming in and underbidding you is a legitimate concern. But its also a legitimate concern that another professional is going to come in and just do a better job at selling the work than you do.

In a perfect world, all lawn and landscape business owners are very good salespeople. We know what to say. We know how to present things and we know how to make our company stand out from the rest and get the prospect to sign on the dotted line.

But....

That's not always the case.

So how do you avoid, or at least lessen the chance that the prospect is going to choose someone else over you?

Yes, you could promise them the world, give them a ridiculously low price or whatever else you have in your bag of tricks to just "get the work", but that is not healthy for the bottom line of the business.

What you shoudl consider is the following...

Let's say a prospect calls you and wants a complete maintenance program for their home - mowing, trimming, edging, shrubs, bed maintenance, mulch, aeration, fertilization, weed control ,clean-ups, etc. The prospect hasn't really indicated some very important things to you that may help you put your bid together - simple things like how nice they want things to look, how often, or even what kind of budget they have to work with. And let's be honest, its not exactly an easy question to ask...

"Hey Mr. Smith, how much you got to spend on all this work?"

So what do you do?

Give the prospect options - I like to provide as many as three options. Let's call them Gold, Silver and Bronze to make it easy.

You lay out the proposal in a way that gives the prospect three choices instead of one.

Gold Package - all services done perfectly, on a regular basis, top notch products, top notch results. Mowing weekly and bagged, all beds edged, shrubs trimmed every two weeks, weeds removed form beds weekly, 2 applications of top quality mulch with pre-emergent granular applied, two aerations with overseeding, 6 different fert/weed control apps, leaf removal done weekly, etc, etc, etc..... Price $4,500 for the year

Silver Package - services done right, as expected with fewer details and steps. Mowing is weekly, not bagged, trimming is done, beds and hardscaping edged as needed, shrubs trimmed 4 times a year, weeds removed once a month from the beds, 1 application of mulch and no pre-m, 1 aeration and no overseeding, 4 fert/weed control apps, 2 fall clean-ups....Price $3,400 for the year

Bronze Package - mowing is done as needed, not bagged, trimming around obstacles, never any edging, shrubs trimmed twice a year, weeds pulled form beds twice a year, 1 application of mulch, 1 aeration, 3 fert/weed control apps, 1 fall clean-up.... Price 2,000 for the year

(Disclaimer: I am just doing this as an example, do don't pay attention to the actual numbers as all properties vary in size, needs, etc.)

Now Mr. Prospect has 3 bids in his hand. He sees that you can provide the service in a multitude of ways and he can look at your options and cross it against his budget. He sees that you want him as a client and are willing to tailor the services to his needs.

Does he really need to talk to anyone else? Maybe, but seeing the effort that you put into the process and knowing that you are willing to work with him to give him what he wants, needs and can afford goes a long way.

To read this blog post and more like it, go HERE
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-06-2013, 07:46 PM
alldayrj's Avatar
alldayrj alldayrj is online now
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Long island, NY
Posts: 3,135
Good post sean. I often find myself being the first responder to give an estimate and people get sticker shock and has contractor b and c estimate less work making me seem more expensive. I will have to start implementing this method
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-06-2013, 08:13 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,623
It works. Obviously if you get the opportunity to have a discussion with the prospect upon presenting the bid, even better.

I have seen this to work especially well with both maintenance and design.

Design/build has so many variables to it and if the contractor does not do a sufficient job explaining the difference between using product A versus product B (quality, warranty, maturity, etc...) then they are leaving it up to the client to decipher these things.

Never a good idea.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-06-2013, 08:27 PM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is online now
LawnSite Gold Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: nc
Posts: 3,394
The hard part I'm finding is trying to become full service in a mow-blow town. I can't go charge double what a mow blow guy does because many times clients like price.

I do see the ability to offer premium apps at good prices here.

So many of my people like the prepay discount or paying al la carte even if its cheaper than monthly.

It's all about the sell and hoping a neighbors lawn is close by so you can say...I do me smiths down the street.
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:05 PM
Will P.C. Will P.C. is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 944
As a client, I like when contractors do something similar to this instead of just giving me one bid. It takes a lot of stress and pressure off me and allows me to stick within my budget. There might be certain things that just aren't that important to me where I can save money on. It also lets me know the contractor is capable of doing other services if I need something done down the road.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:44 PM
Sean Adams Sean Adams is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will P.C. View Post
As a client, I like when contractors do something similar to this instead of just giving me one bid. It takes a lot of stress and pressure off me and allows me to stick within my budget. There might be certain things that just aren't that important to me where I can save money on. It also lets me know the contractor is capable of doing other services if I need something done down the road.
Very good point. We aren't just business owners, we too are consumers and we need to recognize that having options is a nice thing.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-06-2013, 11:28 PM
xclusive xclusive is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 946
Having packages tiered like that is a good ides. However, I think for a home owner seasonal prices might scare them. Instead give them a monthly number so there isn't as much sticker shock. I know when I meet with people most people want to know what will it cost per month.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-07-2013, 01:10 AM
NIXRAY's Avatar
NIXRAY NIXRAY is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 432
I offer a contract price when they can pay in full at signing (usually offer 15% off when this option has been chosen) then I offer a 8 mo price as well as a 12 mo price. Or in other words I guess you could say I offer in house financing or a payment plan. Out of my 8 full service contracts 2 have paid in full 4 at the 12 mo an the other at the 8 mo. So it's a good mix. IMO
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-11-2013, 06:00 AM
JContracting's Avatar
JContracting JContracting is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Champlin, MN
Posts: 1,804
Subscribing. Will come back to this later. Definitely a great idea.
__________________
2011 CCSB F350 6.7 Lariat
2004 CCSB F250 6.0 XLT w/ Boss 8'2" Power VXT
2001 ECLB Chevy 2500 HD 8.1 LT
2014 Diamond Cargo 8.5' x 20' Enclosed Trailer - Fully Loaded Interior
Exmark Lazer Z X-Series 52" w/ Ultravac
Exmark TTHP 36"

Graduate - Anoka Technical College w/ Associate's in Hort/Landscape - May 2013
In business since Feb 2011
23 Years Old

When you have systems, you have control.

"If youíre born poor, itís not your mistake. But if you die poor, it is your mistake."
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-11-2013, 09:32 AM
cpllawncare's Avatar
cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
LawnSite Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 2,647
One thing I hate on design build is trying to pick plants for customers, I always take them to the nursrey(sp) and let them pick out their own plants, how do you guys handle this?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:49 AM.

Page generated in 0.08848 seconds with 9 queries