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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by willjones4, Dec 14, 2007.
Favors are appreciated once......then EXPECTED thereafter.
Oh Yes. i just had this happen again, i do snow removal for all my lawn customers and we just had a big snow the other day, one older couple i have with the first snow a couple weeks ago was a heavy snow so they are in thier late 70s i did them a favor and brushed the snow off thier car for them, they happy and appreciative, well we got a big snow the other day and i was very busy, i cleared thier driveway which is all they pay me for and all i charge them for, then a couple hours later they called and complained that i didnt brush off thier car for them, NEVER AGAIN ! i told them they have to request it next time and would be an extra charge. Favors are now No More
I have an old lady i mow for and every now and then she asks me if i can move this or lift that for her but i dont mind because she has got me a lot of $$$ mowing & landscaping for her friends. but to keep things on a professional level when freebee's get a little out of hand and they do. and when it gets to be a little much and she's starts asks for something as soon as shes done talking "I Say" well would you like me to shoot you an estimate for the the work or do you want it to be time and material? and by saying that im Reminding her i am a professional that Operates a legit business! (my time is money)
Sure, I can sweep those cobwebs for $30.00 !
I don't mind doing some very small good deed for some older customers of mine. But it has to be very quick. Like bring them the paper, mail, move something too heavy for them to lift, etc...It makes you feel good when a good deed is appreciated. But when it is expected, I put a stop to it.
I have been on both sides of the stick I have had what I call (adder oners) the ones that are trying to get something for free. I have also had little old ladies ask me for a favor like take the trash to the curb, I even have one that I clean her dogs crap for (she has had a stroke and can't do it). Let me tell you something some of the little old ladies that I have done favors for tell their friends about what a great guy I am and I get a call from them and they hire me without even asking how much it will cost. Favor = time, no estimate new customer= save time. Lawn Sharks has a great way of dealing with it, a few little favors no big deal, if it is beyond that in a polite way he informs them he will do it at an added cost. Lawn Sharks i like the way you do buis!
Normally and most of the time I will agree with this. But,,,
I picked up an account this year in an upscale ($399-$599k) devlopment. The customers reason for looking for a new lco was that their previous one had a mower die and he could not afford to get it repaired.
I didn't know what to hope for but I knew what to expect. It has been the complete oposite with this 1 customer. I have done lots of extra work (mulch, aerating etc) and have gotten a few refferals from them as well!
Normally it is a sign to run the other way but not always! Just something to think about.
You got to have some fun with this work and be quick witted too.
Next time they ask for you to do something for free just say sure if you don't mind doing my laundry or can you watch my pit bull for the day.
I am always willing take take accounts from the competition in fact some of my best accounts were ones where I have replaced an lco. Worst comes to worst you work for them once and if it doesn't go well you never do it again. There a few triggers that will make it so I won't take a job like it's obivious they are cheapscates, or they go on and on about how good the last guy was. I really don't care if they are picky as long as their willing to pay for being picky.
I had another one today. She approached me as I did her neighbor across the street's yard. I mowed, trimmed, blew it off and left as I was racing nightfall to finish. She emails me today and says I left leaves all along her curbs. Yeah, I did. We never talked about that, she wants those included. Should I say, yes, for an extra fee or go ahead and do it? This is one of four houses side by side that I will be doing weekly this spring/summer and I dont want to blow it. Guess I better suck it up and do it----and learn to look at all these items and discuss them with the homeowner BEFORE I even crank a mower. Live and learn, eh?