A new lesson learned..

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cessnasovereign, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    I got sick of going out to "estimate" properties for regular lawn mowings and just starting asking how large the property is and then giving an estimate over the phone, to eliminate the callers who are looking for a $20-25 service. I right off the bat tell them that there's a $35 minimum regardless of lot size, etc.. And that has really saved me ALOT of time with the cheap PITA's.
    And nowadays when someone calls, I give them an estimate, usually I'll say $35-$45 and then only come out to the property to give an exact price with the equipment and ready to do the first service..

    Anyway, I get a call last week from a woman saying she needs her yard cut, some mulch and then some brush cutting.. I was done working for the day and it was only about 8 minutes away so I headed out there, no one was home but I did the measurements for the mulch and figured a price for the mowing then came home, and got everything together, and then called her with the prices, she said ok sounds good and what about the brush? :hammerhead: Oops I forgot that so I headed back out there again and got a price for that, then I called with it and she says "ok thanks, I was just curious as to how much all that would cost." and still haven't heard back..

    So... From now on, for side jobs like this, I'm gonna ask "Are you ready to have the work done now?"
     
  2. yzwannab

    yzwannab LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    wow!!!!! ouch!!!
     
  3. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    That is called selling, Part of this job is a sales career, and time you put into the business. Make sure you price all work to support that time as well as all time put into your business.
    When you buy a widget in the store that widget is priced to cover all costs of producing it -- delivering it - warehousing it - stocking it on the shelves and than paying the retail sales staff to sit in the store all day even thought that widget may not sell that day.
    You will go on many est. that do not sell. so price all work to cover all time.
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ahhhh yesss you are going through that process lol, I just smacked myself in the head hard yesterday after giving a stupid quote over the phone... Quite simply, there's too many ways they come at me and I can't remember all the right answers all the time... But it proves a point, there's just no way to head them all off, you can do pretty good but beyond that, it's not possible.

    Here's what I learned:
    9 out of 10 potential customers are all not right for you. They either want something for nothing or they're trying some scam or whatever, not all of them are bad but some just don't click with your ways or the work they want done is not something you do etc etc so in the end only one out of every ten callers is likely to be the right one for you.
    The best thing you can do is come up with a method that works for you, but don't get too carried away, and here's why:
    - Sooner or later, no matter how fire or fool proof your method is, someone will use your own method against you. Yes, this is unavoidable, no matter what, just wait until the day one of them follows your fort knox routine to the tee and you are thinking WOW it is great, the perfect customer... And then come time to get paid, it dawns on you the reason they were so agreeable could be because they never intended on paying all along :laugh: fun, fun.

    So don't get too carried away because you will only end up scaring off the few right customers left out there. Adjust it to a point and let it go, pre-screen as always but realize no matter what you do, there is no such thing as perfection.

    Hard lesson to learn, I'm still working on swallowing big chunks of it myself.
     

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