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  #1  
Old 05-08-2014, 06:18 PM
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Grahamslawncare Grahamslawncare is offline
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Location: daytona beach, FL
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flakey potential clients

So, anyone else get stiffed on estimates?

This lady calls, and asks about my lawn service, and says she's interested in getting a quote. Well I had lawns the next day but I told her I could come give her an estimate around noon. I also said I'd call her first to make sure she's home when I come by(since i didn't really give a set time). Called her at 12:00 on the dot. Her phone is off. So I waited a little bit, ate my lunch, called again, still off. So, at this point I just gave up and decided that she flaked out.

Next lady, gives me her address. We set a time 2:30 exactly. I show up at 2:20, no one was home so I waited in my truck. 2:30. Made the phone call to see why she wasn't there, no answer. I sat there till 3:00pm before getting pissed off and saying saying oh well. Yet another potential I didn't hear from after this original scheduled time and day.

Does this happen often? I drive a Dodge Ram 1500 v8 5.9L truck. So driving all the way across town to give a quote is far from cheap. These are the only two people who've called me in the past month for a quote so it's annoying when they're flakes.
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2014, 06:31 PM
PenningsLandscaping PenningsLandscaping is online now
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Location: New Jersey
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It happens. Doing estimates is cost of business. I have landed only a Handful of the estimates I've done in the last month. Spent a lot of money on pointless ones. Now I'm trying to tighten up my service area so any calls that aren't worth checking out are getting a no thank you from the get go.
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2014, 06:38 PM
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KrayzKajun KrayzKajun is offline
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Unless its a landscape quote, no reason person has to be home. I've got customers I've had for years that I've never met.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:45 PM
PenningsLandscaping PenningsLandscaping is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrayzKajun View Post
Unless its a landscape quote, no reason person has to be home. I've got customers I've had for years that I've never met.
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Truth, I'll use findlotsize sometimes and just ask about fences on the phone or through email. Depends on how busy I am.

BTW how's the flood business, been following your posts about it, genius ideA.
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  #5  
Old 05-08-2014, 07:52 PM
echo echo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrayzKajun View Post
Unless its a landscape quote, no reason person has to be home. I've got customers I've had for years that I've never met.
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Yep. Stop by, check it out, and call or send a text with the estimate.
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:02 PM
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Jcl4slc Jcl4slc is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: usda zone 8
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There is a reason they are hunting for a lawncare in almost mid may in Florida.
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2014, 09:26 PM
32vld 32vld is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: LI NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrayzKajun View Post
Unless its a landscape quote, no reason person has to be home. I've got customers I've had for years that I've never met.
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I have done many a straight forward estimate without the customer being home. Estimates for mowing, cleanups, can be done without the customer being there. All I asked is there access to walk the whole property.

Though I prefer to meet with the customer and walk the property with them to try to do some up selling and to sell them on me.

Some customers have suggested and liked it when I offered to do the estimate alone because they did not want to wait till they were home on Saturday before they could get the bid done.
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  #8  
Old 05-08-2014, 09:34 PM
M&L M&L is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Central Valley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrayzKajun View Post
Unless its a landscape quote, no reason person has to be home. I've got customers I've had for years that I've never met.
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While it seems overly obvious to some, you just gave some of the best advice right there.

I scope the new properties on my route day that I'm closest to it. Maybe a mile drive and 15 minutes or so by doint it that way, instead of 10$ for gas and a bunch of "Phone tag" If its a freind of a good client or a big job, I might drive out sooner.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:18 PM
Mowinglifer Mowinglifer is offline
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Since anymore it seems people are getting as bad with mowing as they are plowing (call everyone they can possibly find and get the first cheap price that shows) I do like others have said and give a soft price over the phone, tell them my minimum and if they're still interested I stop when I'm near by and leave a printed estimate. No need to talk in person, mowing isn't a sell your self gig, it's mowing.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2014, 11:09 PM
TuffTurfLawnCare TuffTurfLawnCare is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Pittsburgh (South Hills)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mowinglifer View Post
Since anymore it seems people are getting as bad with mowing as they are plowing (call everyone they can possibly find and get the first cheap price that shows) I do like others have said and give a soft price over the phone, tell them my minimum and if they're still interested I stop when I'm near by and leave a printed estimate. No need to talk in person, mowing isn't a sell your self gig, it's mowing.
I beg to differ. I sell myself to everycustomer. I interview every customer during the first meet. I am selective about my clients and they are me. Alot depends on where you are, demographics and market but, where I am, selling yourself, the business, and the work you do is extremely important. I have two VERY nice accounts in 750k homes on 1 acre lots that hired me because they liked me. I wasnt the lowest price, I dont have the newest truck. I sold them on me, my small business and my goals for the business. One is a self made millionaire, the other is a CEO of a large company in the area, they both stated in many words that they hired me because of me.

Mindset is a big part of running a business. If its just mowing, then you just have yards to cut and customers that pay. To me its about selling me to my clients and building relationships with them on a level that's more than "just mowing". Hypothetical.... say I build relationship with a CEO of a major home builder thats in my local area while having a beer with him on his deck, it comes up that I am going full time soon and will be putting on a landscape crew. Who better to have an in with than the CEO of the builder of the major housing plans in the area? You dont think selling yourself to him and building a relationship with him was a good idea and hes nothing more than "just mowing"? We all know how to mow. But its who you know and the connections you make that can open doors you never imagined. (That hypothetical may or may not be a true story) ;-)
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