Bids run right over or take a couple of days

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by olderthandirt, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Ok I probably should have posted this under Bobbys "dog eat dog" thread but I think Its important enough that I would like to get some answer and did'nt want it to get lost.
    As we just start to get busy for the season and you start getting calls to bid do you answer the phone and run right over if you have time, or do you tell them your busy but can be there in a day or so and set an appointment? If you run right over does it give your potential customer the impression that you have no work or not enough that you can just be right there? Or does it give them the impression that you really value there business.
    Or do you feel that its better to set an appointment for a couple of days from the phone call with the explanation that your quite busy right at that moment but with an appointment you would be more than happy to go over everything with them as you would set that time aside.
    You can't just walk in and see a doctor or an attorney in fact with almost all profesionals you need to make an appointment;) So whats every ones opinion?

    Mac
     
  2. PLI1

    PLI1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    If you have the time, go over there that day or as soon as possible. Usually when someone calls, they are eager to get things tied up sooner than later. You will appear prompt and ambitious and in my opinion will have a better chance to get the job as opposed to someone playing hard to get.
     
  3. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    It really depends how busy I am. I dont think I have ever just run out and gave a bid as soon as someone calls. I usually would wait until at least the next day.

    I do believe it is important not to give off the impression that you need work, even if you do.

    On the other hand a customer might think that your quick response is a reflection on your commitment to customer service. That might actually get you the job over someone else who procrastinates.

    For me if its in the beginning of the season I try to get bids done and out of the way as soon as possible. Once the season starts I get busy and it takes me a while to get estimates completed. At one point last year, with the weather we had, I had to turn people away, and not give any estimates at all.
     
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Ditto!
     
  5. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    I don't make time definite appointments for lawn treatment programs, unless it is an especially large lawn, or an estate that will be signing onto a full program. For the average lawn no appointment. If they insist on an appointment I say there is a charge of $65 for a landscape consultation. We generally try to get to each lawn program estimate within 48 hours.

    For landscape design work there are several appointments depending on the scope of work. We also make timed appointments for irrigation installations so we can look at the point of connection.

    For lawn mowing, again no appointments.

    I try to return calls within 24 hours. Appointments are made only during business hours unless the installation is above $75,000.
     
  6. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,389

    I schedule a time that is good for me and the customer. Rarely is it the same day unless they get me on the cell and I am their area.
     
  7. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 952

    I agree with PJ and PLI1. I also look at it as when I call i dont want the i'll call you back routinue or I'll get back with you. I usually just call somone else.
     
  8. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    I try to set up an appointment within 24 hours of the initial phone call, if possible. If I get a call in the morning while I'm working I will generally try to talk face to face with the potential customer that evening. If the call comes later in the day I will usually schedule an appointment for sometime the next day. If the caller is on my mowing route I will stop that day between jobs and give an estimate. Sometimes you have to break your schedule to meet with people when they are available. I find that most customers appreciate it if I can come at a time that is convienent for them.

    But, to my knowledge I have never ran over to a property immediately after receiving the initial call. I think that gives the impression that you are desperate for work. Even if I could visit right at that moment, I would wait at least a few hours.
     
  9. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    If they call in the morning I go that afternoon.............if they call in the afternoon I go before I get started the next morning.
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ok, this is what i did last year, when i wanted more work, and i got the job alot more often than if i waited till the next day. ringggg, ringgggg, "hello, xyz lawn service, bob speaking can i help you.?" then they ask about service, then i say, "ok, what is your address? o, yea, i know where that is, in fact, i was headed in that direction in about a half an hour, will you be available then?" it worked great for me. i didn't give the impression that i was hard up for work by running right over, yet on the other hand i did make immediate contact which seemed to make a big difference. the sooner you get there, the less contact they will have with other services. though most of the others are real losers when it comes to face to face contact with a client, alot are also very good salesmen.
     

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