Free Cut???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KDJ, May 18, 2002.

  1. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

    I have a small ad in the city paper, and it has performed well for me. But for the last one and a half weeks I have received no calls.
    I looked in the paper to make sure my ad was in there and this is what I saw.

    Lawn Maintenance
    Reliable, 13 yrs experience.
    First cut FREE. 3 J'S Lawn Service

    Well anywho, If you live in Central Florida and need your lawn cut
  2. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    i can't stand lowballers... first cut free? if his first cuts are anything like mine he must eat in the shelters each nite.

    don't think anyone hear will be needing the services though. :p
  3. Where some might only see "so called " low ballers, the enlighten see a time proven marketing plan. Anyone with any experience in sales and marketing knows the HOOK behind an ad like that. I have run that very same ad, and without exeception, have allways come away with a high precentage of signed yearly contracts. New Accouts.
  4. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    Who said he' a lowballer? His prices may be the highest in town. He's just getting his foot on thier lawn and then perhaps he upsells like crazy!
    If he's really been doing it for 13 years, he's probably doing something right.

    Last year in my area, I saw "first cut free" in many ads and coupons. I put it on my fliers too. However, this year I didn't seem to see it as much (or maybe I wasn't looking as much), so I won't be using it.
    But I wouldn't knock anyone using that method. I have more of a problem with the guys putting "all lawns $15" in a $25 neighborhood.
  5. KDJ

    KDJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

  6. wmsland

    wmsland LawnSite Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 127

    The ad says that he has 13 years of experience. It doesn't say that he has been in business for 13 years.
  7. J.Henderson

    J.Henderson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    It might also be first cut free WHEN you sign monthly contract. He may just charge for 3 weeks instead of 4, and demand payment up front.
  8. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    I've often thought about doing a first cut free with contract but I'm "underage" so I can't hold anyone under contract. So, I've thought about doing the second cut free, that way they know they will get something out of it but I'll get a payment from them anyway. I think that would filter out some of the azzholes who go get a different company once a month to cut their field they call a lawn, for free then drop them. Think that would help serve as a filter?
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,062

    I agree with some of the other guys; nothing wrong with the first cut free. I sometimes do this (although I don't advertise it) if the customer's lawn is long and they have a long bidders list. Offer to cut it free right away and chances are you have a new contract. I will also offter the first cut free if I'm not sure how long the lawn would take. Say I figure I can do it in an hour and it takes 1.5 hours (many of my lawns are 1+ acre), I'm loosing on every cut for the contract period. However, if I cut it free the first time, my bid will be right on. I'd rather eat one mow than under bid (or over bid for that matter) a contract for 28 mows.

    I remember that one member here always does the first cut free and reported a ninety something percent hit rate for contracts.
  10. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Posts: 1,540

    When the dentists in my area start offering "first tooth free" or the hamburger joints start offering "first burger free" or the gas station starts offering "first gallon of gas free"....

    ...ony then would I consider it.

    No offence to the "marketing strategists" in the crowd but...

    I cannot see where it enhances our "professional image" to be offering to "work for free". Even the panhandlers downtown hold cardboard signs that say "Will Work For Food".....not free.

    I do give 1 "complimentary" mowing to established clients who provide me with an 'accepted' referral to show my appreciation.

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