Correct way to turn down a customer?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by stevenf, May 1, 2007.

  1. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    Since I will just be starting, I dont have all of the supplys needed to do everything. If someone ask to edge there driveway and it has never been done, I dont have an edger......
    How do you guys turn people down? I dont want to lose any chance of business and it seems thats guaranteed when turning down someone.
     
  2. The Intimidator

    The Intimidator LawnSite Member
    Posts: 25

    My suggestion would be to take the job and push it as a new service to you're other clients you will make the money back pretty quick depending on what type of edger you purchase. Or you could rent one and have a 5 or 6 edging jobs lined up for the afternoon. IMO You never want to turn down business unless it is to the kind folk's read (deadbeats) who won't pay or want you to work miracles for free Or if it involves something you have absolutely no experience doing and you may end up with costly repair bill's


    Edit I just reread you're original post I thought you had a customer who wanted that done now I didn't realize it was a hypothetical question. but my advise still stands :) I can see what you mean though it may come up that you get asked to quote a acre lot for lawncare and you only have a 21" push mower. My advise would be to kindly state at this point in time I don't have the required equipment to maintain you're lot to my standards of quality and timely service, But I do offer such and such a service you may be interested in.

    Hope that helps you out some :)
     
  3. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 304

    You can do sidewalk and driveway with a string trimmer (don't try a flower bed though). It eats string, is very slow, is very hard to control, and hard to make strieght lines with, but you can do it with some practice and patients. I still don't have an edger (on the "to buy" list for this year behind the new trailer, trimmers, and blower lol) but i've been able to do a pretty good job of it with my trimmers, and the people that have specifically requested edging have been happy with the results. Thats one service i wouldn't want to loose a customer over.
     
  4. justanotherlawnguy

    justanotherlawnguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,251

    Just tell them, that what ever it is they are asking for, that that service is out of the scope of your business or you dont offer it.

    There is no shame in telling a customer that you cant/wont do something. They will appreciate the honesty vs. telling them you can/will do it crappy.

    I tell more people no, then I do yes.
     
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Then do it with a sharp flat shovel until you get one.
     
  6. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    I always recomand someone else if I turn down a Customer....

    look for other LCO's in your area and tell them what the deal is, Inform them that you will be recomanding them to customers and would they do the same for you....

    I have recived 2 Customers this way....
     
  7. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    Bite the bullet and buy a quality stick edger.... you will need to buy one eventually. here is the perfect opportunity to land a job that well help pay for a piece of equipment.

    Or you could rent one form the local rental place.....
     
  8. Liquidfast

    Liquidfast LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 739


    I really don't mean to be a jerk but stevenf, an edger is pretty much standard equipment (along with a lawnmower, rake, clippers) when you become a LCO. If an edger is a problem, is it safe to assume that you don't carry insurance either?

    Whether u do or don't, it's your biz. Just make sure u don't end up digging your own grave to become poorer. Edgers are cheap. Take a look at your biz and get ur self the bare essentials. After years of myself being in business, it wasn't until this year that my partner pointed out that we didn't have the LITTLE things to run efficiently....its all good now.
     
  9. Poncho25

    Poncho25 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    I agree with Liquid here. There are the bare essentials to make it in any job, whether you own a business or work for someone else, you have to supply yourself with those bare essentials to get the job done. In our business, its a mower, edger, stick trimmer, blower and a vehicle to get around. And as you grow you get the hedge trimmers, extra equipt (trimmer an edger) But as was said before, for a driveway or walkways you can use a string trimmer to edge that! Don't turn away a client based on this would be my suggestion.
     
  10. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    the only edgers I own are manual. We only edge here once a year but you can start of with any kick edger and work your way up. If you are just starting out FIND a way to get all jobs done don't turn anything away.
     

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