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  #11  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:20 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyBlue32 View Post
Professional... Means appearance, communication ability, and friendly demeanor and some certification of education! Be nice and charge more ... Because no one ever hired the cheapest crackhead twice!
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Very true.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:32 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Remember, it is their property, and they can make the choices at their pleasure. In some of those cases (many?), the customer isn't worried about the "professional" look, rather, "just cut the grass." While you may not be satisfied with the appearance, your opinion does not count. They are the ones making the decision.

I've had a few customers over the years take the work back themselves. Perhaps they have retired, or were in an employment crunch for a couple of years. Or, they may have lost their employment. When I worked the property, it was trimmed, edged, hard surfaces blown off, bagged when necessary, straight stipes, ... all that. When they took it back, no trimming, no clearing of debris off drive or walk, and the cutting was done with a Craftstman tractor (yes, those that always have one side of the deck lower than the other), or (cringe...) Snapper, rear-engine rider. To be sure, it was very distressing to drive by and see clippings all over, no trimming, etc. But, it is their property, and they choose to maintain as they wish.

One more thing, ... be careful about speaking negatively of those doing the cutting that are in their 70s.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:41 PM
echo echo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post

One more thing, ... be careful about speaking negatively of those doing the cutting that are in their 70s.
Relax. Nobody's speaking negatively of somebody in their 70's or 80's. it sounds like a line to use another LCO.
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2014, 09:48 PM
DaveyBlue32 DaveyBlue32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Remember, it is their property, and they can make the choices at their pleasure. In some of those cases (many?), the customer isn't worried about the "professional" look, rather, "just cut the grass." While you may not be satisfied with the appearance, your opi
nion does not count. They are the ones making the decision.

I've had a few customers over the years take the work back themselves. Perhaps they have retired, or were in an employment crunch for a couple of years. Or, they may have lost their employment. When I worked the property, it was trimmed, edged, hard surfaces blown off, bagged when necessary, straight stipes, ... all that. When they took it back, no trimming, no clearing of debris off drive or walk, and the cutting was done with a Craftstman tractor (yes, those that always have one side of the deck lower than the other), or (cringe...) Snapper, rear-engine rider. To be sure, it was very distressing to drive by and see clippings all over, no trimming, etc. But, it is their property, and they choose to maintain as they wish.

One more thing, ... be careful about speaking negatively of those doing the cutting that are in their 70s.



I offer an A, B, and C+ cut.... You can take 5 minutes to find out what they want .... I don't care if they go up or down on quality...I care if the checks clear. If someones cheap run it over and trim every other week....cut in with roundup to save trimming time. If you edge the sidewalk with a walk behind edger twice a year...you can really speedup weekly maintenance.
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:04 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Davey... we operate much differently. Every finished job is the marketing brochure for the next customer. While you may not care about how it looks, or even the customer may not care much, others may care. I've picked up lots of customers over the years who stop where I am working, "... can you make mine look just like this?" They have looked positively on the work, and care about their property.

I would not create a marketing brochure that had tattered edges, dirt smeared across the front. The work speaks for itself. Over the years, I've established myself deeply in some neighborhoods -- work for the better part of two days on the same street, with connected properties. I don't do nearly as well with one here, one there. Travel time is overhead time, some piece of equipment is not running.

But, if somebody decides to do the work themselves, the quality is theirs to own. When I do the work, the quality is mine to own. "... 5 minutes to know what they want, ..." Sorry, but I am doubting that most do not know what they want. Rather, they "just want the grass cut." But, in reality, they do want more, they do want trimming, they do want a clean up. Rarely do I hear somebody asking for trimming, or blowing down. I don't even ask if they want it bagged any longer. I make my own decisions. They will know if the work was done well afterward, but probably cannot tell you what was done to make it look that way.
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  #16  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:06 PM
Roger Roger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echo View Post
Relax. Nobody's speaking negatively of somebody in their 70's or 80's. it sounds like a line to use another LCO.
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The OP, ... "He said His neighbor is going to do it. well all his neighbors are in their mid 70ies and 80ies. I had to laugh ..."
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  #17  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:13 PM
Tom-N-Texas Tom-N-Texas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williams lcm View Post
I have heard this many times throughout the years. Mostly current customers trying to save some $$$. They usually go with the neighbor to cut the grass and save some cash. But as you all know the neighbor is not a proffesional lawn care company. Meaning no edging and poor quality cutting etc. I usually get a call back a few months out to begin cutting again because neighbor cant do quality work. Last week I did an estimate on a property. The guy calls me back a few days later and told me estimate was great and to start cutting in February. I said OK. He calls me back today and said do not cut his lawn. He said His neighbor is going to do it. well all his neighbors are in their mid 70ies and 80ies. I had to laugh as I heard the message he left on the phone. I can guarantee I will be getting a call from him again come Summer. Have you guys come across this much? It is irritating to hear this.
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from my experience, people who are likely to let their friends or neighbors cut their lawns are not generally the types of customers I'm looking for -- not long term anyway.
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  #18  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:14 PM
echo echo is online now
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After looking, he's located in Florida, so the age makes sense.
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:32 PM
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Diesel Dude Diesel Dude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducnut View Post
Don't sweat it. If they do call you back, DO NOT raise your price. You're not going to "Teach them a lesson.", by doing that. Pick up service like normal, continue to do a great job, and keep yourself on that street. Eventually, you'll get a neighbor's yard, and another, and another. Being a jerk to people gets around.

I got a call from a lady, I know, who was having someone else, I also know, take care of her property. Her snowblower wouldn't start, for the other guy, and she needed her private road and drive cleared. No problem, as I have no animosity toward her for using someone else. I shot out there and cleared everything. In talking to her, I found the other guy hadn't been mowing her yard (he started complaining about her requests and no longer wanted to mow for her) and she had been having the neighbor do it. I, also, offered to take her snowblower home and go through it. I fully serviced it and got it running. When I took it back out to her, she said, "I'm thinking of having you take care my property.". The morals of this story? Don't be a jerk to anyone and neighbors don't always wreck another's opportunities. Keep your chin up and stay positive.
I agree with this guy. No sense in burning your bridges with potential clients.
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2014, 10:32 PM
DaveyBlue32 DaveyBlue32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
Davey... we operate much differently. Every finished job is the marketing brochure for the next customer. While you may not care about how it looks, or even the customer may not care much, others may care. I've picked up lots of customers over the years who stop where I am working, "... can you make mine look just like this?" They have looked positively on the work, and care about their property.

I would not create a marketing brochure that had tattered edges, dirt smeared across the front. The work speaks for itself. Over the years, I've established myself deeply in some neighborhoods -- work for the better part of two days on the same street, with connected properties. I don't do nearly as well with one here, one there. Travel time is overhead time, some piece of equipment is not running.

But, if somebody decides to do the work themselves, the quality is theirs to own. When I do the work, the quality is mine to own. "... 5 minutes to know what they want, ..." Sorry, but I am doubting that most do not know what they want. Rather, they "just want the grass cut." But, in reality, they do want more, they do want trimming, they do want a clean up. Rarely do I hear somebody asking for trimming, or blowing down. I don't even ask if they want it bagged any longer. I make my own decisions. They will know if the work was done well afterward, but probably cannot tell you what was done to make it look that way.
My C+ is most guys A, but I get $65 in a neighborhood where big lco's are $40. I want all the other work....beds...fert....leaves....aerate/overseed. I crush my comp on quality....ie diamond cut the front lawn. I have always found that it is easier to upsell the customer....when they are your customer. We all have different ideas of what works. I want every lawn in the neighborhood... Not just the A's. My production cost decrease radically and my profit increases working this plan.
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