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E.T.A. for estimates

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GraZZmaZter, Apr 27, 2003.

  1. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    Business is going real good this year. Alot more calls than last year. Thanks to Jim Lewis im landing around 70-80% of them.
    My one delima is that all these people want an exact time that i will be there to look at their properties. Well, after an extra long chat with one potential client, than another wanting to show me 100 things needing to be done, i cant stay on track.

    So why cant i just tell people a time frame that i will be there like all the rest of these companies. If i want something estimated they will say we will be there sometime between 8 and noon.

    Anyone else do this type of time framing? Its fair to both parties, because i tell them they dont need to be there if they have plans. I leave the bid package in a door or mailbox, and get with them in a day or two.

    Sound like a good idea or is all this sun frying my brain?
  2. I tell them a day, I cannot specify a exact time.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Since I do most of the phone calls and scheduling, I can relate to what you are saying.
    I definitely try to set up a 2 to 3 hour window for when we will be there. It really takes the pressure off.

    I have noticed though that setting up the window for when you will be there seems to really work with younger/middle age clients who work too or are busy. They don't mind a time frame, and quickly agree that is ok to leave a bid package at their door if they aren't home.
    The elderly client though seems to tend to like a more specific time. If I sense that on the phone, then I just give them a time such as "between 1:00 and 1:30" as an example. I always leave a half hour to play around with.

    One down fall I realize with setting up a time frame and maybe not getting to meet them is, there is a chance of missing out on additional work that could be sold if given the chance to meet them in person. Walking around a property with the client sometimes sets the wheels turning in their heads, and they sometimes will suggest more work that can be done.
  4. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    2 or 3 hour window as well
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I book an exact time. I'm almost never more than 10 minutes late. If I am running late, I call and let them know. I just make sure to give myself a little extra time between apointments. Most of my appointments take about 45 minutes and I know travel time in my service area pretty well. If I end up early, I don't go there until the time I booked. I just find a spot to sit and do some paper work or phone calls in my truck or run some errands. I have found that it is worse to show up early than late.

    People don't like this "window" stuff! Do you like it when the cable guy says he'll be there between 10 and 2? I sure don't. Let's face it, people are busy and they don't have time to hang out waiting to talk to the lawn guy for half a day.

    You need to learn to keep a schedule and take control of your meetings so you can be where you say you will be WHEN you say you will be there.
  6. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    I prefer to be able to walk the property by myself if I can. Then contact the client by e-mail after I have collected my thoughts. Easier on me like that, and we can contact one another at our convenience. Also, there is a record of every communication that transpires.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    On big jobs I book a time. Anything else is a day.
  8. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    I tell them a day and can narrow it down to morning or afternoon. If they really want to push for a certian time and I really want the work, I tell them 7 AM or 7 PM, their choice.
  9. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    Got a call just a little while ago. I said i will be there Wed. ( i do estimates on Wed and Sat.) She asked about what time Wed. I said I'm sorry but i cant give you an exact time. An "OK" came out of her mouth immediately!

    I than explained if she had something to do, Don't wait around for us all day. I said that I will leave the package in the door or mailbox, whatever she wants. She said leave it in the front door if they are not home...easy as that.


    What in the world do you do for 45 min?!?!?

    And i will be a monkeys uncle before i just sit around cause I'm going to be early. Its BETTER to be early than late. I don't know what your finding, but i think you should look somewhere else. Ive been selling services door to door since i was 4 or 5. Trust me, early is better than late .... in ever situation.

    I am much to busy to be at appointments at an exact time. You said it yourself...people are to busy to sit and wait for the lawn guy. Well, the lawn guy is too busy to stress himself out catering to people that haven't paid him a dime yet. .;)
  10. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    I give them a time if it is going to be a larger bid and a day if it is smaller and they are ok with that. I have specific days I go out and do bids to I am clean and presentable. Older people definitely like to have an exact time.


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