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  #1  
Old 03-28-2008, 01:59 PM
jbturf jbturf is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: groton, MA
Posts: 1,286
lost another one

gonna be a higher than normal cancel rate
for me this year--

so a long time customer (7 years)calls me last night,
says i got a qoute from company X and its
$175 less for the year than your price.(my price was $420/year)
He asked why the huge difference in price and if
i could adjust my price for him.

i explained the (obvious to me/unbelievable to him)
reasons --getting what you pay for/quality of svc/
materials used/overall results etc...

went in one ear and out the other, unfortunately
and he asked again about price
I told him i do offer 10% discount for cash

he paused for a moment and said, thank you for all your
service over the years, i really like you personally and
you have done a fantastic job with the lawn- but im
not using you anymore- good bye click

its hard not to take BS like that personally sometimes
but hey , what else is there to do?
Thank you to company X
your just gonna make me look good

ill just wave to him when im treating his neighbors lawn


Josh
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2008, 02:10 PM
Lawn-Sharks's Avatar
Lawn-Sharks Lawn-Sharks is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dump Water, Florida
Posts: 912
He'll be back!
__________________
I got 2 turn tables and a microphone!
Every thing i do i do for them "My Family"
www.LawnSharksFla.com
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2008, 03:04 PM
PSUturf PSUturf is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 663
I'm sure we'll see more and more people like that this year. Unfortunately, they are willing to lower their expectations to save a few dollars.
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2008, 03:29 PM
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gsxr1100 gsxr1100 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: mobile
Posts: 138
I see it both ways:

1) Your prices are higher then average (fixed margin etc)
2) The other guy is trying to low-ball to get name out there (both same quality)
3) He is using average/low cost fert
4) He is not doing what you are
5) EVERYONE IS HURTING; Plumbers are slow, AC installers are slow and lawn sprinkler people are starting to see the light.

With the sinking house market, the crappy dollar, high gas prices, etc a lot of people are cutting corners to save $$$ (me included). I got quotes from $3,000 to $4,000K to do my lawn sprinklers. I told all the people that came (quick; hint hint=slow), thanks but no thanks. I know they need a profit etc but with higher prices everywhere, I am doing the same for $1,100. I cannot afford to lose the $$$ since money is tight.

I was talking to motorcycle dealer and they are taking a bath!
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2008, 03:55 PM
sclawndr sclawndr is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA`
Posts: 326
The real downside to our industry is the constant low-balling on price. I can't see the logic in taking on unprofitable business but it happens all the time. And I can't really pick just on the one truck guys when ChemLawn is out there doing the same stupid thing. But hey, it's March and the news is always more bad than good.
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2008, 04:05 PM
colawn colawn is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: co
Posts: 141
we have a guy trying to sell 6 apps for 150... Up to 8k we all know how he is doing that... I can't wait until these "customers" figure this one out. Until then I guess I will just have to make the best of it.
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2008, 12:17 PM
whoopassonthebluegrass's Avatar
whoopassonthebluegrass whoopassonthebluegrass is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Benson, UT
Posts: 4,056
We have a clown here (with a significant market share) where I live who does buy 4 get one free, and then prices a 5k lawn at $35. So $140 for 5 apps! I learned through my phone book rep last fall, that this doofus had to hire an outside firm to keep him from going under. Poor guy works down to dusk 7 days a week and couldn't pay the bills... Stupid...


My sales pitch has developed into an educational seminar on apples vs. oranges. I explain how my package is far superior to my competitors.

I show them all the extras they get with me. Then I explain that my price is my price, but if those extras I do hold no value for them as homeowners, then I'm not the right guy.
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2008, 01:33 PM
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group501 group501 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NY Metro
Posts: 173
March always proves to be a month where you start to question if business is going to take a bad turn. Usually this is a time when cancellations start to come in and are they not evenly paced with new sales. Each time a cancellation comes in you start to wonder if the floor is going to drop out. My experience has been that as soon as the first dandelion pops my phones start to ring and sales far out pace cancellations.

I have found that when you run a business you have to be proactive as well as reactive. There are many things that we can't control, such as low ballers and a bad economy. However, there are so many people who have been burned by these low ballers that when you explain why your services are priced higher and guarantee that they will be satisfied (in writing) they are generally very receptive to purchasing your higher priced services. These are generally the easiest sale to make.

Effective marketing is also very important. You can't sit around and wait for the phone to ring, you have to make it happen. Find out what works in your area and do it. With the current economy many people are not doing large scale renovations to their home, are not traveling and are spending alot of time at home. Our services are a cost effective way to improve the curb appeal of their homes.

Lastly, I think that our services need to be priced at what our market will bear. We were at the very top price point and had to have a price reduction. While the former low baller customers were not too hard to sell we left alot of first timers on the table. This is where knowing your market and being willing to change comes in handy.
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2008, 02:32 PM
mngrassguy mngrassguy is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Maple Grove, Mn
Posts: 2,167
Thanks groop 501, could'nt have said it better myself. Hang in there jbturf. This is nothing new in this business and will keep going on for years to come. Every cxl you take is a prospective client in the future. Never burn your bridges. My best (and most loyal) customers are the ones that left for a lowballer and came back after getting educated
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  #10  
Old 03-29-2008, 03:14 PM
Blink74 Blink74 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 138
A couple of weeks ago, a full service customer of mine who always tells me what wonderful work we do said she was using a different company this year. She lives in an upscale golf course community where I have a lot of customers. According to her, I was going to loose business in the area because this guy was much cheaper and could do everything. (I don't do tree and shrub treatments) I told her that it was hard to believe someone with that much knowledge and experience was much cheaper than me.

Well she calls me last week and says, "come back". Apparently the guy was throwing fert around in her flower beds by hand, which she didn't think was right. So she goes out to ask him when he'll be spraying the trees and he replies: "I don't do that, I think you need a license for that?"

BTW, I'm gonna start studying to do tree and shrub apps. But, I won't do it until I'm certain I can do it well.
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