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An observation for you BobbyGedd

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Bobby, I have came to a conclusion on a rather strong observation.
    So you can take it for what it is worth or you can forget you ever read it.
    But here it is....

    As it pertains to dealing personally with prospects and customers, I think you need to shift your focus away from the pitfalls, problems, ect, and not get so caught up in the things you cannot change.

    I've noticed a pattern to your problems, and I'm not suggesting they are all your fault, but I do see a pattern... an issue you can change and can address if you focus on it. And if you do consider the critique, I think you can avoid some of the repetitive issue.

    To be honest with you Bobby, I think one of your major issues that leaves the door open for running into so many snares is.....


    What I mean is, I think that dring sales calls you just fail to disclose enough information about your expectations and policies. I think you just brush over it and focus on what it takes to close the sale.

    Personally, yeah I think you would close less sales, but I believe you would run into far less snares when attempting to get rolling on the job.

    Anyways, that's my observation, take it or leave it.
  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i'll leave it, but i'm flattered that you're thinking of ME, at 10:20 pm, on a friday night. please tell me you're wearing pants. quite the contrary, sir, i am very thorough in the signing process. my contracts state very clearly what my expectations are, and i am very receptive to hearing thiers. it doesn't mean they'll get what they ask for, but, i'll listen. i go through my contract word for word, stressing more so, the areas where i have the most problems, like, paying by THE DUE DATE. clients , after dealing with the average lawnboy, don't seem to understand what A DUE DATE is, so, i explain it to them. "we don't take clippings", is another biggie. somehow, like my counterparts, they expect me to haul off 2,000 lbs of grass clippings a day, for free. "we don't charge per mow" is another area of importance, my counterparts will mow 3 ft high grass, after 3 weeks of rain, for the same $30. " nutsedge treatments are not covered in your fert program" is another big one. year #1, i've no clue if they have a nutsedge problem, and niether do they. i run a standard program, and if anything out of the ordinary arrises, it cost extra to treat (ex: sedge, fungus, etc). unlike my counterparts, who somehow hold them selves responsible for unforseen circumstances. the list goes on and on, but i assure you, i spend adequet time explaining my policies, and better yet, give them a copy of the agreement they just signed. there is no mystery to my procedure, and nobody forced them to sign up.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    What I'm saying Bobby is... take that $975 mulch job for example...

    You called to let the guy know you were coming to do the job.
    Where is the contract/work order/agreement in all of this?
    Where is your deposit?

    For some reason, this guy just did not get it, and here you are all wound up for the job with nothing in hand I guess. You gotta be more thorough in your disclosures.... especially when it comes to how and when you expect to be paid.

    That is just a situation that in all my years of contracting I have never ran into. The closest thing to that I have ever had was one of those deals where I had "free reign" on the job to do and charge as I saw fit for a landscape renovation on a property I was already servicing. My bill broke the budget. So I allowed them to pay me up to the max and then set up an installment plan for the remaining balance. Didn't bother me one bit as I was only being as flexable and understanding as they had already been by allowing me "free reign".

    I believe I have never run into any such problems because I am very systematic in covering all contract disclosures. I go through everything, including the benefits of the written contract for both parties.... which for me outlines what tasks I will perform for what price basically, and for them it's a written contract that I will perform said work for said price, and they have the added security of that. Most of them will sign the paperwork and write the check for the entire balance.

    Those that are very cautious, I then go into a very direct dialog with that has their FULL ATTENTION and it is at the dead end of the interview. I disclose that I require a large deposit to schedule for the job, buy the materials and deliver them, which is at least 50%. (A $975 job would require at least a $500 deposit) Then the balance is due in full when I show to complete the job. So you will need to arrange to be here to pay, have someone here to pay, or leave payment somewhere on-site if you do not feel comfortable with paying the balance in full today.

    Then we scratch this down on paper, or we don't have a done deal.
    But I know on the spot, while I am there in person if the terms are understood and agreeable.

    Yes, due to other lawn boys, plenty will still expect you to complete the job and wait a month before seeing a dime. If they want that, fine, nothing I can do about it. Let them take advantage of someone else possibly. But not me... and I know one way or the other on the spot, not the night before I intend to do the job.
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900


    I don't even hold myself responsable for right in your face how can you miss it circumstances .:nono: Those people that worry about that crap and want to blame it on someone besides themselves need a shrink and they ain't paying me enough to hear about it. Contract has everything I need to say in it and everything I will do about it. Responsability cost extra :drinkup:
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ok envy, let's look at the mulch job for example. how much time do i have to run around and play games with people? here it is: #1- initial phone contact regarding inquiry for mulch install. #2- a trip to the house, converse a bit, measure beds, do math. #3- drop off mulch sample for customer to show wife. #4- phone contact again for him to say great, we like it, when can you do the job. and then i schedule it. THAT'S 4 TIMES i was in contact with ONE CLIENT over a measly $1,000. now, YOU SUGGEST i should have AGAIN driven over and had him sign an agreement, THEN, drive over AGAIN to do the job? THAT'S 6 TIMES BACK AND FOURTH for this one little job. THEN, you suggest i return AGAIN to get paid????? this is how people turn thier profits to dust. i thought steps #1 + #2 were more than enough. i can't waste that much time, but if you can, good for you.
  6. jameson

    jameson LawnSite Fanatic
    from PNW
    Posts: 7,077

    This gets me thinking. I recently did a bid for a patio installation. Of course the customer NEEDED (as they always DO) to see samples of stone to make an informed choice. While at the stone yard I picked out 4 samples that would work well for their hardscape and HAVE worked well with customers in the PAST. The point is: in the past I have never labeled samples nor kept any :confused: .

    A few small tupperware-type containers, clearly labeled, filled with your local mulch choices and kept in your work vehicle; seems we could eliminate a step or two and uneeded phone calls. Eh?

  7. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    Bobby may rub your fur the wrong way but he does provoke thought and inspire some of the lengthiest threads on this site. You may not agree with his business practices but I do believe in reading of them, it helps to refine your own.
  8. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    Envy is saying " I get paid remaining balance day of job showing up". I didnt see where you would have to come back again for payment. Everyone has their business model, although everysingle one needs to be scrutinized and refined as time goes on. I always enjoy reading yours and Envy's post and replies. Sometimes I read it as humor and other times the light bulb slightly flashes and says hey maybe their onto something. Well usually the fillament just burns out before I have a chance to go anyfurther. Good Luck Guys!!!
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    carrying mulch samples is not a good idea. a fistfull of mulch will not give the apprearance of the fresh mulched bed, and showing this, can be counter active. if i were selling the color red, i wouldn't want to show a client a piece of paper showing a faded picture of the color red. a handfull of mulch, is equivilent to a faded picture, there is no way one can appreciate what the final product will look like, while looking at a baggy full of decomposing particles of wood. sorry, disagree. hey, since u guys are so customer friendly, i say, take the client to the supplier, where they can view a fresh mulch pile, look at the varieties, and choose. hey, why not, what's another hour of your life....
  10. EvandSeby

    EvandSeby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    Dude is quite a fisherman. He tosses out the bait, and waits. Some fish come along and nibble, then go on their way. Some fish will come along and get hooked, fight a little and then come off and swim away a little dazed. Then there are those that get hooked, and I mean hooked good....all three treble hooks, FISH ON!!! and the fight is on... This fish will fight, roll, dive up, dive down. All to no avail, dude even loosens the drag a little letting the fish make one final run. Finally, when the poor fish is all tired out and close to the boat, out comes the gaff (shovel) then WHAM! Poor fish, flopping on the deck in a pool of his own blood. Would you like your filets baked or grilled?

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