Filtering Customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wayne Landscaping, May 22, 2004.

  1. Wayne Landscaping

    Wayne Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237

    My schedule is so busy this time of year that I am filtering my customers. When ever a one-timer calls I always give them a price that is really high. If they say no, that's no sweat of my back, more time for to study for finals. If they say yes, I get an extra $10. Also, I raised my $15 regulars to $20. If they say don't cut my lawn again, hey, I have more time on my hands. If they say o.k., hey, that's an extra $150 a year. Has anyone else tried to do this when you're so booked you just filter your customers?
     
  2. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,180

    i am starting to do it. Any calls in new neighborhoods or somewhere i am not already i bid $10 bucks higher than normal.. I STILL AM GETTING JOBS... The house i just signed today had a bid from another company that was $13 cheaper than mine. He had me do a demo cut monday, and called and raved about how good i did, so i got his job, AND he was already in an area that i have 8 other jobs.

    Trevor
     
  3. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    Absolutely, I'm so overloaded this year, that I started quoting extremely crazy prices, I actually landed about 50% of them !

    Would you consider me a "HighBaller " or "Professional Scrub" ?
     
  4. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,180

    maybe we should just always bid those really high prices, and then when we get full go even higher. WE CAN DRIVE THE MARKET NORTH!


    trevor
     
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I have always done that in the past of raising the prices extremely high.

    The only problem that I see with it is the ethical side. Is it right to raise those prices high compared to the same size lawn that would be cheaper?
     
  6. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,180

    yes..........why not? or what you do is begin replacing or weeding out bad customers or low paying ones, like take on a $50 lawn to cut down on drive time and drop the $30 one that is all by its lonesome.

    Trevor
     
  7. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I am a professional highballer. Since day one I have always filtered my customers by giving estimates that I thought were high.

    In fact, lately I've learned to figure what I think the job will be worth at premium pricing then add another 15-25% on top of that then submit the bid.

    You don't get all the work you bid. But the work you do get you get paid well, and on time.

    I'm into getting top dollar for my efforts not a huge client list.
     
  8. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I plan to issue ultimatums to a handfull of customers as soon as my projected weekly mowing revenues reach $2K. Until that point, I guess they'll be low margin accounts. I'm about 65% of the way there now.

    One in particular, I can't wait. First time I met with her, she took up at least 45 minutes to an hour of my time complaining about the LCO she was firing. Towards the end of the conversation, she says something along the lines of "Well, there are plenty of mowing companies around. They're a dime a dozen." Something to that effect. It was really degrading to me.

    Anyway, I listened to all her complaints and left with no ink. She had to get some other bids. She called back and sure enough, I was the low bidder, so I won the job. (Isn't that what wins all of the multi-bid jobs?) We charge her $21/cut and another $3.50 per cut to maintain the weeds in the beds. She's a PITA and she's low margin. Three weeks ago, I left a long detailed note on the door, pitching upsells. At the end of the note, I said, lastly, if you think it's reasonable, we'd like to increase the price per cut from $21 to $24 and went on to explain that her property was taking a little longer than we had originally anticipated. She photocopied my note and answered each item in hand writing. She declined every upsell I offered. She said she and her son had bought and planted some annuals. She was going to have the mexican guy trim the shrubs again this season. What really bothered me was, she implemented every one of my suggestions but would not let me do any of them. On the price increase, she didn't think it was reasonable because we saw the property before we bid it.

    So, once I finally get my projected weekly mowing revenues to $2K, she gets a $6 per cut increase. She can take it or leave it. But it won't be negotiable. She'll either be paying a little above market rate or she'll have to interview some more lawn "flunkies" and take another chance on having them get iron in her pool, which costs her $500 to fix (the LCO before the LCO that I replaced did that to her...now that I think about it, being the PITA she is, maybe it was no accident?)

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  9. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 820

    Sure it's ethical, this means you dont have to work like a dog; running around like your azz is on fire to get jobs done so you can make a decent profit. Whenever we get a job (cutting or landscaping etc) and we got a really killer profit margin on,the day is so much more relaxing and the employees are happier etc because your not cracking the wip all day long. Don't feel guilty, your finally able to work like a human being for a change.
     

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