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A fairy tale...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bassman, Feb 15, 2001.

  1. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    Stopped by to give an estimate to a prospect today, they called several days ago because their next door neighbor is a current customer of mine and were not happy with their current service. I made an appt for today to meet with them. The property was in beautiful shape, plush St. Augustine lawn freshly mowed. All landscape material, shrubs & plants just trimmed. No weeds.
    Prospect: Please come in, would you like some iced tea?
    Myself: No thank you.
    Prospect: We would like an estimate for year round service, we are here in the winter only and would like our property maintained throughout the year.
    Myself: No problem, please allow me to look at your property and give you an estimate.
    Prospect: Our current lawn maint. company has not shown up for a month and we didn't want you to have to take care of the overgrown nature of our property so we mowed the lawn, trimmed all the shrubs and completely weeded everything.
    Myself: Thank you, it looks spectacular.
    Prospect: You won't have to fertilize, our son takes care of that.
    Myself: I believe I can maintain your property for $125 per month.
    Myself: If you insist.
    Prospect: We also have some extra palms and a small vacant lot adjacent that we would like figured in.
    Myself: (I had already figured it in).
    Prospect: Let's add $10 per tree and $25 for the adjacent lot. We would like it mowed 1 X per month.

    Now this prospect continued to increase the price they thought I should be making and they were soooo nice and doing all the talking, I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. It ended up being well over $200/mo. for a job that I honostly would have taken on for $125. In addition, they said if for ANY reason I ever felt that I was being short changed to just give them a call and we could re-negotiate the price.
    One last thing as we finished our visit...
    Prospect: By the way, the people across the street will want you to do their property also, make sure you talk to them.
    Sure enough, I signed them up to a yearly agreement also.
    I am not lying, this actually happened to me today. I'm still thinking I'm dreaming but it actually went down this way. Any one ever experience a prospect like this?

    [Edited by Bassman on 02-15-2001 at 07:25 PM]
  2. cleancut

    cleancut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    On occasion, I have had people offer me more money..However, this week has been a weird week as far as that goes...This guy calls me Sunday night and said that I met him 2 years ago and asked if I remembered him..I did vaguely..When I met him 2 years ago, he approached me and said that he had about 15 yards that he was wanting to get rid of...He was wanting out of the business and he asked if I would be interested in taking them over..I said sure and gave him a card..I never heard from him until this past Sunday...When he called, he said that he had gotten a job with Home Depot and was wanting to get rid of all of his lawns...I told him I was interested..Well, we went out Tuesday and visited all of his current customers...Instead of 15 lawns now, he has 24...So far 20 of the 24 customers have signed on with me...Many of them want landscaping and other jobs done...These lawns will easily make me $30,000 this year...They're all within 5 miles of each other and are in blocks of 4-5 yards with one unload..Several of them are in a high end neighborhood that I've been trying to break into for the last 2 years...What did all of this cost me????Nothing...!!!The guy said that he just didn't want to leave his customers hanging and that I had made a positive impression on him two years ago....He chose me over one of his friends..Go Figure...I'm not complaining...Sometimes it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time...Derrick
  3. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    Sounds like the other maintenence company lost a good customer. Good luck man.
  4. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    Wow Bassman, Could you imagine if every customer was like that guy. I've had great customers, but that one takes the cake!
  5. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    Bassman, I think I'd be at least a little leery. Why would the last company neglect such an obviously great customer? Congrats on the good luck, though. Cleancut, that shows that good things do happen to those who hang in there and wait. I wish someone would tell me "here, you can have my customers - I don't want them anymore".

  6. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    That would be a RARE thing to happen down here. Most people here want you to mow their lawn for $2-3 dollars less than what you bid!
  7. Nathan

    Nathan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    We just got a very similar customer. An old english couple. They had a guy taking care of their yard for nine years. He had to move back overseas so they called us out of the paper. We gave them a fair bid and they said it was too low, so we let them make an offer. Since then we have slowly been bringing the property up to our standards, but it still isn't even close to 'maintained'. They love it and say it has never looked so good. They also keep trying to pay us more. Even better is that they said they tip each year, even though we told them it was totally unnecessary. I love freindly older people with money!
  8. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    You'd better pinch yourself to see if you're just dreaming. On second thought, you need more than a pinch, maybe run over your foot with the mower or something (LOL) you've obviously entered "THE TWILIGHT ZONE"
  9. Bassman

    Bassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270


    I am simply perplexed by some of the comments from new customers regarding their previous lawn maint. co's.
    I.E. "My lawn service guy just stopped showing up and won't return my phone calls".
    "My guy was doing a good job but he stopped coming".
    This one takes the cake and I've heard it more than once. "Our guy stopped maintaining our property and he never billed me for work that he did".
    "Our guy called and said he had an accident and can't do our lawn anymore".
    Whatever, I am happy for what ever reason to take on new work and "show my stuff". As far as being leary of a situation that seems to good to be true, I won't look a gift horse in the mouth. This dream customer that my original post is about comes from a neighborhood that I have established myself in and came as a result of word of mouth. He seems very sincere and respectable. Time will tell.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    this one time i had a lady ask for a spring cleanup. thought the job should sell for around $250. i heard from someone that she was a cheapo, but had lots of money, i quoted the job at $300, expecting her to "chew me down". she says, three hundred, thats it? here is $400, do a nice job. BOB

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