Chemlawn is killing me. Help.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by shovelracer, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    OK so I got my liscense 2 years ago thinking I could make a killing on turf control. That was a bunch of garbage. Don't get me wrong when I do it I make a good chunk of money, but Chemlawn always seems to take my customers. My loyal customers don't care about the price as long as it looks good. The other 50% will have some excuse. Usually that chemlawn is much cheaper. For example my weed n feed cost is $21 per 10K 40lb bag. I apply the recomended 4lb / K. I get $5 per K up to 30K then it drops to $4 per K over 30K. I feel that this is actually a little low considering I blow off the driveway and actually treat what I say I will.

    I'm guessing that chemlawn is about $3.50 per K, but I'm not sure and don't know their application rate. All I know is good customers get very irrate and angry when I tell them it will be $150 for their 30K lawn. Almost like I asked then for a $50,000 loan. It usually goes that chemlawn is a ton cheaper (20--30 really) and then they are so bitter about the high quote that they wont use any other services or drop me the next year.

    So what is my response when they give me this BS? I know what I want to say, but I keep that to myself.
     
  2. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 688

    shovelracer, have you ever looked at one of thier programs? one of my new clients wanted to show me thier fert program. i still don't know why but it all made sense when i saw what they are doing. thier program was for five treatments and aerification. my clients bill ws 150 a month. oh yeah, my new client lives on 1.25 acres. these guysd use a lot of water soluble fert and are probably going down at half rates. thats what i figure. Her lawn was lush and overgrown two weeks ago and now it is turning lime green.
    shovelracer, that is were you have to seperate yourself from other fert comp. you gotta sell yourself. you are better than chemlawn, you just hae to tell people that.gl
     
  3. kbrashears

    kbrashears LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    Weed and feed?

    You really use that in your program?

    I can tell you what is helping me right now with my program vs. the 'Big Boy' in town. The free spot spraying we do post herbicide application.

    Have you ever thought about taking pictures of the lawns you treat after every treatment and compare them to what the yard looked like a year ago? Two years ago? Compare them to chem-lawn?
     
  4. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    Ya my loyal customers realize this. It's the others that drive me nuts. The chem companies are professional salesman. I don't have the time to butter up each client, it's take it or leave it. With all the clients I have I would have to hire a full time salesman. I get your point though. The funny part is when I offer to match their exact program they wont show it to me and wont allow me to match it.

    I really hate those guys, mainly cause on more than one occasion I have watched them drive up stick a flag in the lawn and drive off without doing anything.
     
  5. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 688

    knew a guy who worked for them. once or twice a year they would spray water w/ tracker dye.
     
  6. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    Yes I really use it. My program is purely granular. At least till I have an extra 3K to shell out for a powered spreader. My program is dimension, millenium ultra or trimec, specricide or merit. I don't see a difference other than the fact that the big boys have to fill their tank with the homeowners hose, without a backflow device. And they leave about 4-5lbs of product on the pavement cause of no side shield.
     
  7. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 688

    you'd do better to apply fert/ pesticides granular and spot spray w/ a backpack sprayer for weed control. just my two cents.
     
  8. tjgray

    tjgray LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    Curious indeed you loosing customers to Chemlawn:confused:

    The Chemlawns we have around here do such sorry work that we have never had any troubles swaying Chemlawn customers....plus I guess my husband Donald working for them for too many years and knowing first hand how they work makes it easier for him to convince potential customers to hire us instead:)
     
  9. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    I hear you. My regular clients that could be done easily. I have hit my yard hard for 3 years now and I usually don't get more than a few dandilions. The ones that usually get it are 30K of clover with 1000 dandilions. That would take a long time to spray. I suspect their problem is that they go on and off with no regularity creating these nightmares. They hit it hard for a year, then the next they do nothing cause it looks OK then the following it is all weeds again.
     
  10. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    It's all the sales pitch. That is what I need to get working on. Not a single caring person who has used me has gone back to chemlawn unless they have no clue and don't care.
     

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