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Customer Shuffle!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by ted putnam, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    I had a feeling this would happen with fert prices rising. Sure enough, for me, it started this weekend. I got 3 calls for estimates( Which is unheard of for me this time of year.) Every one of them have been having their lawn treated. The one lady just came out and told me she was price shopping. At least she was honest. I've got a feeling I'll be doing a lot of running around this year for this type estimate.I know I need to show no mercy,but to who? the price shopper or the competitor? I 've always shown no mercy to the price shopper in the past. Never been one to cut throats. What do some of you guys think?
  2. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,059

    This is going to suck!

    If they admit they are a price shopper you could:

    1) Tell them that you are not really interested in customers that price shop as you may not always be the chepaest, but that you use high quality products, offer great service and get excellent results...and that isn't cheap.

    2) Ask them their sq ft and ask them what they are currenltly paying. Then you could just give them a price over the phone that way you don't WASTE any TIME on them!

    I dunno! Could be a long season!
  3. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    Might want to get some numbers together to explain some of the price increases. People sometimes like to see some reason why when a big increase comes. Even print out a couple of newspaper articles saying big increases in Nitrogen costs etc.
  4. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    All of my customers got that info with their prepay letter. I try to keep them informed. Unfortunately, I think others do not. They just tell them what their price will be and hope people either don't notice or don't ask. One thing's for sure. I will not have time to talk to everybody else's customers about why their previous Lawn company went up on price.
  5. MnLefty

    MnLefty LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    JMO, but I wouldn't change the way you do business yet. Give things some time to shake out. The market is changing for everyone, yet should stay the same relatively speaking. You're still going to have competition from the TGCL's of the world doing what they do, the little guy who does it cheap but doesn't make any money, and the high quality guys who get paid for their quality. No need to change your business practices unless a bunch of others force it. Of course you don't want to get left behind in a changing market, so I think one thing that will be very important this year, probably more so than other years, is shopping your competition, especially those who operate most similarly to yourself. Getting a good idea of where your competitors are at will help you stay ahead of the curve.

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