Customers trying to take advantage of me because of my age

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Ramster2000, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    Did a job last year that I pretty much gave my services away to get her have me take of the maintenance the next year. Anyway, she tells me her friend needs some work done. Went up to talk to this friend and she wanted her retaining wall backfilled and barked with some shrubbery. Gave her my bid and she said it wasn't $100 difference from the other bid she had got. She said "well, Sharon told me that you would do it for half the price of the other bid I got." She said if I could do it for half which was about $1300, I got the job. Said no thanks and left. We are in this business to make money, not to prevent the clients from spending their's. Stick to your prices.
  2. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    "Can you do it for $15 less?"

    Yes, I can.... but I'm going to make the same profit.


    I'll make the same profit because that's what I have to have, and I'll shortcut something - but you won't know where it's being cut.

    "Hmmmm..... I don't know if I like that."

    Well, at my price my experience works for you.... at your price, my experience works for me..... Who do you want me working for??
  3. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    That is one of the best rebuttals I think I have ever heard to this age-old problem. It certainly puts the client on notice.
  4. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 302

    i started my business when i was 19 and that was 3 years ago for me too, plus i look younger then i am, so i've had the same problem you did.. that is feeling that your being asked to reduce your price because your young... the best way to avoid that is to be as professional as possible and show the potential customer that you will be the one who makes the decisions in your relationship.. personally i have made a form that has a bunch of policies that i created.. when i do an estimate i go over all these policies and if they want my service they have to sign this agreement... some examples of my policies in brief are:

    the customer will clean up animal waste before work is commenced. if the waste is not cleaned up it will be cleaned up at an additional cost.

    foriegn objects will be removed to a safe location before work is commenced. if not they will be removed at an additional cost

    if an object is not removed and goes unnoticed by any employee of aiel landscaping, and results in damage to our equipment, the customer will be held responsible. plus there will be no reimbursement for damage objects...

    i have a bunch of these policies, when i first came up with these policies my wife thought i was going to lose all of my current customers, and never get anyone to start service again... but since i started doing estimates this way i've never had a potential customer not sign up unless i didn't want them too...

    just my opinion though...
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277


    I can see where those policies would make it more comfortable for you to work, but I don't see how it makes you more professional. I would think that your ability to demonstrate top-shelf knowledge about your work, dressing professionally, and speaking and acting professionally are what make you a professional.

    Certainly the things you mention are nuisances, and I'm sure it makes things easier for you by making the customer aware of them up front. I'm just not sure they buy you any credibility.
  6. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 302

    this is what i think a customer sees when i give an estimate.. they see someone who is punctual (because i show up exactly on time, everytime), organized (i keep all my forms in a folder, which i end up giving to the customer), and professional (because i go over in detail every aspect possible of lawn care.. that's all in my forms and policies)

    in my opinion customers look for about 3 things, some one who shows up on time, communicates well, acts professionally.. i think they don't look too much into actual job quality because most likely they've never seen your work and probally feel that you'll do a good job... i've never hired someone and thought "boy i bet this guy is going to do a lousy job"... and if they have seen your work then you know they already approve of your quality of work or else they wouldn't be talking to you... what i think it all comes down to is presentation.. if you can present a customer with professionalism, you'll walk away with a new account.. i just picked up two more today doing that, and i've got another lined up that i'll pick up tomorrow...
  7. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Congratulations on the new accounts.

    I'm not sure I understand the correlation between agreements for yard ornament/excrement removal and some form of cognitive dissonance.

    Can you explain that to me?
  8. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    Cognitive what ??

    Somebody better explain that to me too......
  9. garydale

    garydale LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 813

    Hey Guys, Good Morning!

    I've been in the trade 40 years. It's human nature not age,gender or whatever etc.

    I get the same routine from industry guys I sub for and builders, property managers too.

    Know your costs, Hold your price and your standards, It will get you reputation that will make you suceed.

    Howrver, ( there's always a however,) I do offer to pass along any discount or savings I may get on their work. Has helped close a couple sales..

    Have agreat day!

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