Customers calling around

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by alpine692003, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    Geeez..

    I dont get some customers, they have to call like 3 - 5 different companies to get prices on what needs to be done..

    Why do customers insist on doing this? I think I'm going to charge for estimates, lol ...

    I had a bunch of custoemrs call and say they want estimate on this, I tell them the price.. Ask them what do they think? They said, looks okay but I'm getting a few more quotes.. Iwas like okay.. Then I said, I've done these before and if you need some references we can supply you with references.

    Then I have a few bunch, that call and ask me to come downa nd give them a price.. I give them the price, they look at it, say great! when can you start?

    I wish there were more of those ones..

    :confused: :confused: :rolleyes:
     
  2. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 427

    Maybe these people aren't familiar with what LCO's typically charge and want to get a few other prices to compare.

    Nothing wrong with that, IMO.
     
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,414

    I don't agree entirely with that if you feel you need 3-10 estimates for a lawn cut then you got some serious issues and I don’t really want to find out what they are.

    I typically win in those situations but later drop the job when they start to demand we get the job done sooner then we agreed on. In other words price was the only factor that mattered to them until they decided to go with you. Then all sorts of other requests that should have been brought up before come out of the air and you find there’s a reason your gut told you to tell them to go to hell when you first met.

    The ones that piss me off are the people that are too busy to meet you at all and want the quote over the phone that minute site unseen. When in truth I happen to be working 2 times the hours they are and it is they that should be accommodating my schedule. The only people I find that really understand what it is I go through are those who own their own businesses and go through the same things we do. People that work at a job for a check are absolutely clueless when it comes to understanding how things really work in this world.
     
  4. Garden Panzer

    Garden Panzer Banned
    from Seattle
    Posts: 313

    I like it when clients get quotes from other LCO's.
    Here's why:
    1) I'm real good looking and don't LOOK like I have a criminal record... most low ballers can't say the same
    2) After they meet me they know I sit at the right hand of the father when it comes to gardening
    3) They know you're being fair in pricing
    4) Did I mention how handsome I am? People like good looking service people.
    :cool:
     
  5. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    Garden Panzer,

    You are stealing my trick.

    I am also a decent looking guy and I try my best to at least wash up and put on a clean shirt if not actually shower before I head over.

    I also have the client show me around their property and ask them exactly what they want done. This also give me an opportunity to point out things (like chinch bug infestations) that they probably don't know about. And that makes me look smart.

    People like good looking service people who happen to also sound like they know what they are doing.
     
  6. BrandonH

    BrandonH LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    I don't have much of a problem with customers getting several estimates. In most cases you get what you pay for...and they end up learning this the hard way.

    Personally I would do the same in their shoes. For example if I wanted to get some painting done I would definitely call around and get a few estimates before I made a choice...I see no difference in what they're doing.

    -Brandon
     
  7. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    When you are buying mowers do you shop around for the best price???

    This is a service industry.. Whoever can give the best results at the lowest price will get the customer..

    Get used to it
     
  8. Stephen M.

    Stephen M. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 192

    I get price shoppers calling, but I rarely give prices over the phone. You get these people insisting on a "ballpark" figure, but I rarely "ballpark" it. I tell them I have to see the property first and build a custom quote. I don't want them to figure out my pricing if I can help it.

    On Friday the wife and I scoped out a mowing job on a house a couple just purchased and who still live in CO. They bought a lawnmower from Costco the day before, but had a difficult time mowing the tall grass, and we were refered to them by the floor guy. As the wife was measuring the square footage and the linear feet of edging. the couple asked me how much? I said that I won't know until the measurements were taken and run thru the formula.

    They again asked "well, just a "ballpark figure"". What part of "I have to wait on the figures and working out the formula" didn't they understand from the first question and first refuseal?

    The Mr. asks how long will it take him to mow when he moves here and takes over? Geeze, these people didn't understand that I wouldn't know the answer to that question until I knew how long it would take me to mow!!! The difference between my mow time and his is the difference between a 36" or a 52" and a 21" mower.

    As you can see by the constant onslaught of questions I got, they would have wanted to know how I came up with their price and then they could shop around.

    I said $75 for the first mow because it was long (6-10" on about 10,000 sf. I bid high since I have alot of work going on) and $50 + tax per cut every 2 weeks thereafter. They said they would think about it. I get the call that says "a friend" will cut thru mid June, but we want you to do 4 cuttings starting June 30 thru Aug 4.

    Partial victory and they don't have a clue as to the price per hour.
     
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,414

    Quote qualitylandscaping

    When you are buying mowers do you shop around for the best price???

    Quote BrandonH

    Personally I would do the same in their shoes. For example if I wanted to get some painting done I would definitely call around and get a few estimates before I made a choice...I see no difference in what they're doing.

    Well there is a difference on something like a lawn cut the price is so low as to not be worth going for more then 3 quotes in fact most of my customers are quite happy with one quote.

    What you 2 brought up is do you price shop on big-ticket items of course you do. But do you honestly care if you could of saved 25 -50 cents off a half gallon of ice cream when your shopping by checking the other stores before you bought. The point I made is a valid one at some point the cost difference is so mild as to not be worth the time and effort to meet with all these people to save a few dollars.

    Now on a large planting job or a seeding job by all means call a bunch of contractors. Where I get annoyed is when { and this has happened} some one calls over 20 plus landscapers to give and estimate on there piddly 200 dollar fall clean up 3 months before fall. There is a fine line between price shopping and just wasting people’s time.
     
  10. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    Ya, when I get calls from other customers.. I ask them how many did you call in a discreet way, if its more then 2-3 I just say I'm busy and i wont be able to do it for 2 - 3weeks..

    I've experienced this far more often and wasted too much time
     

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