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  #8441  
Old 04-04-2007, 08:26 PM
MOOSE MOOSE is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Bloomfield Hills,MI
Posts: 393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro Lawn View Post
I don't have much turn over at all. I actually still have 3 customers that I have had from day 1. That is 22 years. I gain more and more every year, but I am very picky on who I take. I keep making my routes tighter and tighter. The key to selling is face to face contact. If I can't get them to call me, I can sell them. If this is what I have to do, then so be it. 22 years in business tells me it works.
When routes are tight then u can afford to give a little on pricing like John has been saying. I picked up 30 new accounts. And everytime I land one I let them know I can do it for a $1 or $2 less if they can get a neighbor or two or more to jump aboard. I got a call today for a estimate and it was near 14 that I do, so I bid it at $22 even though it's worth $26-28 but I have so many around, no loading the trailer or driving 3 miles to next job. It makes me wonder why theres so many companies that drive so far for work. Like guys in Warren coming my way to cut. Holy smokes they must have big gas tanks and big pockets to pay wages for that drive time. Or guys from Canton to here. But I do only live at most 3 miles from my closet client. Theres plenty of work around.
What also helps is returning calls within 4-8 hours and the face to face when trying to upsell. I learned this the hard way. I wasnt returning calls soon enough sometimes 2 days later and not landing jobs.

I see where the $12 can tick a few of u off but something has to make the phone ring. When it comes to advertising they say u need something to catch there eye and well the $12 does it. Just my .02 on this.

Last edited by MOOSE; 04-04-2007 at 08:29 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #8442  
Old 04-04-2007, 08:34 PM
grant087 grant087 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: garden city mi
Posts: 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro Lawn View Post
I don't have much turn over at all. I actually still have 3 customers that I have had from day 1. That is 22 years. I gain more and more every year, but I am very picky on who I take. I keep making my routes tighter and tighter. The key to selling is face to face contact. If I can't get them to call me, I can sell them. If this is what I have to do, then so be it. 22 years in business tells me it works. It may not be for everyone, but for me it is the way I have always done it and I will keep doing until I find something better. The biggest thing that could help us is if the cities would enforce the permit laws. I work in cities that require us to have landscaping permits and year after year I go and buy them. It ticks me off when I am out in that city working and see 20-30 lawn guys working there with no permits. The permit requires the lco to have insurance and w/c. If the cities that are so in need of revenue would hire someone to just enforce this issue, they would clean up. St. Clair Shores for example. It is a $500 fine for a 1st offense and possibly get your equipment impounded. How fast would the tune change if someone was out writing $10,000 worth of tickets each day. It would put a big dent in the "fly by night" operations, and we could actually bring the pricing up due to the lack of these characters. Just my opinion though.
i agree with you on this, it seems like they are just trying to get money from the legit companys, another issue like this is all of the non legit companys you see putting flyers on mailboxes and never getting in trouble for it
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  #8443  
Old 04-04-2007, 09:23 PM
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Smithers Smithers is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Detroit Metro, Mi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mower For Less View Post
The discussion, and the ad, started on page 517 if your interested in checking it out (Jason).

Kevin
depending on your settings, each person sees the pages differently. the last page i currently see is 212 since i see over ~40 posts per page.
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  #8444  
Old 04-04-2007, 09:53 PM
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proficient landscape proficient landscape is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: ShelbyTwp Mi
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro Lawn View Post
It is a marketing tool. Just like you see every day. ie:4 New Tires for $99.... It generates business, Just like the tires. I do have lawns that are $12. Mostly commercial with a 6 x 20 strip in front of their shop. These jobs take about 3 minutes start to finish. I can beat others pricing because in 20 years, we have learned how to keep our costs at a minimum. I won't match price with someone who isn't legit. I refuse to price match "Joe Blow's" lawn service that isn't licensed, not insured, don't have w/c, and don't pay taxes. I can however can match or beat my "real" compitition. We don't cut corners and do a decent job. Our routes are tight and I can in turn pass on the savings. You guys have pretty big balls to jump on me and call me a "low baller" when companies like Backer, Rizzo, Torre, and others bid out commercial jobs at less than $25 an acre. I'll let my guys do them $12, 3 minute lawns all day. They can do as many as 15 an hour with travel. That's $180 an hour for a 2 man crew. In this area, that kind of money is excellent. I listen to all these guys that scream $35 minimum. Yeah, right. Not around here. The economy sucks and our area is driven by the auto industry. People are in fear of losing jobs, cut backs, ect. When things go bad, luxury items go. We have to really watch ourselves here in the future if you want to stay afloat. My brother works for GM and makes just under $37 an hour. He said given the choice of losing lis job or taking a pay cut down to $15 an hour, he would take the pay cut. Makes you think????? You can say what you want about us, but we have stood the test of time, continue to grow, and our bills are paid. We do get decent money for our work. Sometimes you just have to dangle something out there to make the customers follow. Ask anyone that knows us, we are the furthest thing from being lowballers.
This is exactly what I am talking about.. You have to do what you have to do to survive.. I just lost 2 Customers in Birmingham due to a "lowballer" The hardest part for me was.. When I asked "Mrs Jones, Did we not do good work last summer? She said No you did a Great Job and I like you and your employee's It's just this guy is going to do it for a much lower price!" Unfortanetly I felt I was as low as I could possibly go, so I didnt even try to get into a bidding war. I pay taxes,w/c,ins,and Im registered with the state.

My point is.. I cant afford to take the "I wont cut under $20-$25 attitude, because then I wont have anything to cut. It's unfortanate but most of the time The average joe customer only looks at price.. very rarely does a customer ask if you are insured or pay taxes. so the lowballers that dont pay taxes end up with customers!

I agree with John more cities should make LCO's obtain permits and enforce it would make it alot easier for us legit LCO's

I dont have any customers for $12 but if it's small lots and you can afford it go for it. Im forced to use marketing techniques to get the calls and I go from there.. If I find a customer that doesnt want to be reasonable alot of times I will walk away, I get requests all the time for Bi-Weekly service and I dont do Bi-Weekly cuts, so if I cant convince them to cut weekly I walk away but with the way things are right now Im actually considering doing Bi-weekly's just to make $
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  #8445  
Old 04-04-2007, 10:00 PM
Jason Pallas Jason Pallas is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Grosse Pointe. MI
Posts: 1,321
Metro - I agree with you about the cracking down on liscensing and regualtions. It would help a lot - but I highly doubt enforcement will ever come.
In the interim, getting the phone to ring with a $12 flyer so that you can try to upsell most of the customers may work for you but it really contributes to the problem that face all of us - the discounting of our labor. I can't tell you how to market your business, but after 28 years in the business, I 've seen a lot. We could all learn an important lesson from the auto industry. The race to the bottom may gain you a short term boost, but when the market won't pay more than $15/acre to cut and $12 a driveway to plow.... we'll have no one but ourselves to blame. No one can survive on those prices - except the crackheads.
I frequently put prices in my ads with "Lawn Service starting from $XX" but that price is more representative of the Average Price in the area - not the Lowest Price I have in the area. I do some lawns for free (in-laws, friends)... but I'd never put "I do lawns for FREE" in my ad - just to get the phone to ring.
Competition in the market is good. But, the "we'll beat any price" and the lawns for as low as $12" ads really diminish the value of our service (as an industry). Like I said, I can't tell you how to market your business - but I try to encourage everyone to price and market themselves like a profession not a discount service. Only then will people respect us like service providers.
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  #8446  
Old 04-04-2007, 11:01 PM
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RedWingsDet RedWingsDet is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Detroit
Posts: 3,562
got my new dump insert today, finally. Cant wait to use it! Hopefully when its not as cold I will put my 4 foot side boards on. lol.

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  #8447  
Old 04-04-2007, 11:30 PM
Eclipse Eclipse is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,149
Looks nice.

Just curious why you went with a dump insert when you also have the dump truck? I'm guessing you just had the need for two dump beds?
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  #8448  
Old 04-04-2007, 11:32 PM
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RedWingsDet RedWingsDet is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Detroit
Posts: 3,562
i had a hole burning in my pocket. JK.
I am using the dump truck for landscaping this year, and using this truck 5 days a week for lawns, and then if I have a big sod job or something I can use the f150 for lawns and this one will come in handy, or on the weekends or such.
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  #8449  
Old 04-04-2007, 11:34 PM
Eclipse Eclipse is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,149
Are you bagging quite a few of your properties? Unfortunately collecting grass is something we have gotten into more in the last couple years. Sometimes I think it is great, while others I hate it. If I had a dump insert, I might hate it less
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  #8450  
Old 04-04-2007, 11:36 PM
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RedWingsDet RedWingsDet is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Detroit
Posts: 3,562
Yeah, all of mine get bagged execpt a few commericals. I hate bagging, but around here thats what the customer wants, reguardless what is best for the lawn. I guess we just have to keep the customer happy reguardless if we like it or not. Plus for salting next year I can get the salter attachment and use this truck, even though I would hate to rust out a 06 truck.
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