another bid story. long

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by yrdandgardenhandyman, May 16, 2006.

  1. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 953

    This guy used to be my boss down at the factory. He was always a jacka** to work for but in private life he was an entirely different person. ("Nothing personal." he'd say. "It's just business.")
    Today I get a call from him and I haven't seen him for a couple of years. (Needing a shrug emoticon. :) ) I go to his house and he meets me at the door with outstretched hand. Thanked me for showing up and proceeded to show me the property and explaining his expectations. I gave him a price of $35.00 mow, trim and go once a week. He said he wanted to try every 10 days because he doesn't fertilize or water and the lawn grows slowly. I gave him a price of $45.00 every 10 days and told him that I will decide if 10 days are enough. He agreed. We had a deal on a handshake.
    Enter the wife. He explains the agreed on terms and everything suddenly just appeared to get ugly. She flat out said "NO!!! That's too much!" Keep in mind that they said they had never had a lawn service. They started to argue right there in front of me. Her saying that it wasn't worth it and that he should just continue to mow himself. He argued that he had a bad back and that they could easily afford a lawn service and that she spends $100.00 a week at a local beauty salon. (From what I saw she was the one getting robbed by the salon but that's a different story. :D ) This went on for another minute before I broke in and told them to discuss it and call me if they want my services. He said they did and then she broke in and said she would agree to the $45.00 every 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. :dizzy:
    Point: I began to feel that they were playing good cop, bad cop and trying to get me to agree to some ridiculous terms by making me feel bad for him. (bad back, hard time mowing, he once was my boss.).
    This was the first time anybody acted this bazaar at a bid meeting.
     
  2. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    There you go "The mowing Business" again. I would stay far away from them If I were you. There is nothing I hate more than pulling up to an account every week, and wondering the whole time what kinda B.S> is someone gonna come out with.
     
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    I had an account like that. She ripped into him every time I was there, right in front of me. I had to let them go because they had to have my opinion on everything. I price matched someone for $30 when I normally would have charged $40 because of the time I would have needed to talk to them. Boy did I regret that.
     
  4. OMG

    OMG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 275

    LOL.....neither one of them realized they are better off on the $35.....only $5 difference per month.
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    When they start arguing, right when they're more into each other than they are tuned in to you, that is a good time to quietly turn around, and leave. Don't say another word to folks like this, it doesn't matter what the reason, stuff like that means serious trouble one way or the other.

    .......
    Oh but it could be this reason, or maybe that reason... Yeah, maybe that's it.
    I learned over the years it doesn't matter what the reason, when it's time to leave, go and don't look back.
    Especially with someone's always been a jack, I do mean to tell you nowadays I HATE going out for an estimate because I got nothing better to do, I really hate it when I get like that. Now you see why, because if you hadn't went out there, none of this and anything else that's sure to come would have ever happened.

    Here's the way I see things:
    Customers get one red flag for free, but by the second one I take off, time to go.
    If I got nothing better to do, that's red flag number one but it's hard to catch this one.
    The customer dictating the cut schedule that's number two but if you missed that (sometimes I miss the little ones), the argument is a BIG one, I know you saw that, you got to get out of there.
     
  6. bwilder10h

    bwilder10h LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    When the argument began, I would have interrupted as you did and say "I've got somewhere else to be in 10 minutes (home), discuss it and call me"

    When they called back, I would purposely not take the call and never look back. As topsites said, there were enough red flags to tell me this WILL turn into a nightmare that would never be worth the $45 every 10 days. Trust me! Been there, done that, won't go back again...
     
  7. Idealtim

    Idealtim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 939

    im with bwilder10h. tell them this is my price and you figure it out. Be firm or she will try to cave you in.
     
  8. yrdandgardenhandyman

    yrdandgardenhandyman LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 953


    I haven't caved to a customer in a very long time and am a lot happier because of it. But then, I only get 1 of 3 bids I make.
    I just wish I could charge for estimates. I have tried that on a few bids and never got to see the property. I guess you've got to give a bid to get a bid so I do the estimates for free. I do, however, bid $3.00 higher on a prop than I used to, to cover estimate time. Plus I add $5.00 to my old pricing structure for inflation and other expense increases. I guess some will say it's unfair to charge the people who accepted my bid to cover the wasted time for estimating the ones I don't get but that's business. And that's what I am trying very hard to do. Run a business. Sure I make mistakes but I try to learn from them.
     
  9. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,389

    I have had that happen on many install bids. I just put the bid on the table and tell them to call me when they decide what they want to do. 99% call back telling me to do the work. I am not going to get caught up in the middle of a marital dispute.....
     
  10. M RASCOE&SONS

    M RASCOE&SONS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,475

    walk away .....
     

Share This Page