Counter Offers ??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Turfer, Mar 5, 2001.

  1. Turfer

    Turfer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

    I've picked up about 15 new accounts in the past month but I have at least 15 bids out with no response. Have you ever counter offerred a bid. In other words, have you re-offerred the bid at a lower price or with offers of free services such as a 1 time fertilization application ? (Sweeten the offer).

    How about approaching known households who use lawn services ? I have 3 neighbors who use a lawn service that I would like to approach. Any ideas ? Matching current LCO's price / free fertilization application ? I talked to one of them today and he said he would like to use me but he knew I could not meet his current LCO's price. He would not tell me what he was paying. I have not given bids without the homeowner asking me for one. Do you guys put bid prices on your flyers before you are contacted ? Thanks.
     
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    There is no sense in trying to low ball someone elses turf. There is just way too much work out there to be had. If these other lawns with services look decent, don't worry about them. If they do NOT look too good, then sell your service on QUALITY not cheapness. :)
     
  3. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Nope. My bids are based on what I need to make an that job, if I try to match another I may loose. I lost a $25,000 bid in Oct. for this same reason, they wanted me to meet another companies bid for much less, nope, let them loose money not me.

    I avoid doing work for neighbors, friends, or family if at all possible. (except mom or dad)

    [Edited by KirbysLawn on 03-06-2001 at 05:06 AM]
     
  4. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,073

    Three no`s

    Once we make an offer, it stands. I can not see us contacting the potenital customer and saying, Well gee, I see you have not called us back to accept our offer, how bout if we lower the price? Sorta would make us look like we were desperate.

    No, we do not intentionally target a household that is currently using another lawn service. We do not want our competition doing it to us, we do not do it to them.

    We are trying doorhangers this year to target a few select neighborhoods. And no, we will not be putting a price on the door hangers for lawn service. We offer other services also, and it would just take too much time to look over each individual yard and quote prices for everything. If they are interested, they will call. From there will we will weed out the tire kickers.
     
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I would never go underbid myself! I sometimes have people counter offer to me. I give them a price and they try to negotiate. I always tell them I try to give a fair price up front. That is what I need to do the job. This works 90% of the time.
     
  6. Kansas Turf Man

    Kansas Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    Don't do work for friends, family, or neighbors. Many times money comes between things that are more important. I did a job for a friend and few years ago and I haven't spoken to her since. She stiffed me out of 2 grand and I didn't take her to court because I thought our friendship was more Important. Looking back on it I should have taken that bag for what she signed for.

    Don't under bid yourself it makes it look like you were trying to screw them in the first bid. Better to lose the game than to die trying to stop the clock.

    Good Luck
     
  7. SpringValley

    SpringValley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    I just lost a bid a week ago that was promised to me verbally more than once. I was beat by $700 on my bid of $10,700. I just purchased new equipment for that job in particular now I have to find work for it. The guy didn't even call me after he gave me the okay to purchase the equipment. I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing.

    We are going to target a few exclusive neighborhoods. The letter will basically offer our services and if they would like an estimate to give us a call. I inquired about the oppurtunity to bid on the commons area of a subdivision but they said they were happy with the current service but I could bid if I wanted to. I will write the association a letter stating that I do not steal others' contracts but if they would like a competitive bid, let me know and the current contract holder know. That is only fair.
     
  8. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Sorry to hear about it spring valley.

    There is a lesson for everyone. Never, never buy equipment based on 1 job. Never buy it until it is a signed and sealed deal. In the commercial property area it is way to cut throat to take a chance.
     
  9. SpringValley

    SpringValley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    65hoss,

    I have definitely learned my lesson. We will recover. Like my wife says, "A verbal agreement isn't worth the paper it is written on."

    I won't do what someone else did to me. That is why we will only give bids if the customer honestly wants us to. Like someone said earlier in this thread, I am going to sell on quality an not be a lowballer. There are plenty of big lawn care companies that have lost their customer service focus due to quantity of work they do. I hope to pick up some of that work.

    Matt
     
  10. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    Matt

    I have read here and was also told by fellow LCOs/LMOs in our area that if you can prove thru a witness that he guaranteed you the bid, then he has to honor your word or he can be sued for breech of contract. I cannot remember the thread but I know there are a few that have covered this topic.

    I would consult your attorney if you have a viable witness, as ytou may be able to recover the costs of your equipment, especially if he knew you would be upgrading to honor the verbal agreement.

    I also agree that we should never buy equipment until we have a signed contract with a check for the full amount before ordering specific pieces.

    Just my .02

    Turfer

    I would never call them up and ask them if they would like a reduced rate. Afterall, why you you price them high if it wasnt necessary to begin with.

    Secondly, if they ask if we could lower the price and it was a small amount I would only consider doing so if this was a high visibility, highly recognized property that could somehow benefit you thru the recognition of maintaining it.

    Hope this helps.
    Kris
     

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