got under cut today

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jim Feder, Mar 23, 2003.

  1. Jim Feder

    Jim Feder LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    mow this house for 2yrs mow the one across the street to. so call to let them know we were going to start next week and she said that a guy up the block has a lawn bis and he is going to cut it now for 5.00 cheaper. she said he could do it and did not even call us. bad thing is this guy just call me last week and wanted to know if we needed any subs for mowing. told him I would think about it. He knows i mow this block and went and took my cust this guy may take more. I know I will see him again. can any one tell me why I should not kick his ******* ***. I know some people can cut cheaper then me but If I know the person cutting a lawn I just don't go after his work. just hard when you lose a job you worked hard for. :angry:
     
  2. The customer is as much at fault as your “buddy.” What goes around, comes around. Next time you spot a newbie in the hood, you might just have a hot tip for him, hehe. Not that you know what price that newbie LCO could steal an account from your “buddy” or anything. On the bad side, that newbie LCO might do a great job for $10 less than your price.
     
  3. BRIAN GALLO

    BRIAN GALLO LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    Did this customer ever complain about anything in the past? It seems hard to believe they would dump you JUST for the 5 bucks. I'm not implying that you actually did anything for them to have a valid complaint about - I'm just asking. Something similar just happened to me last week. I had a customer (2 yrs) that I did my best on and made the lawn look good, but they always had some "friendly" complaining. Mostly because they wanted it cut low (hacked to dirt), and no matter what height I lowered it to it was still never low enough according to them. This year I had to raise them a little bit on price and I lost them. In regards to dealing with this undercutter guy; I would just have a polite convo with him the next time you see him around. Tell him you didn't appreciate him taking your customer in that way and see how he responds. If he's a good guy he might see the error in his ways; if he's an ignoramous he'll probably give you some smart-crack response. Depending on what he does will dictate how you handle the situation.
     
  4. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,354

    I feel it's also mostly the customers fault! She either felt you did something she didnt like or she is a penny saver. 99% of clients like that are penny savers and with you doing the lawn for 2 years she sounds to fall in the penny pincher clientell! YOU DO NOT NEED THESE CUSTOMERS! Just go out and find more neiborhoods to sell yourself in ( ones that dont say can you do it any cheaper?) There the ones who will drop you for Joe Shmoe cause he was $5.00 cheaper!
     
  5. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    I know the feeling - I just found out that a "friend" underbid one of my accounts by $1!! and got the job. The guy called up and cancelled service because "his doctor said he needed the exercise/will mow it himself." Pennypinching dirtball cheapa$$es deserve eachother. I just shook my head and laughed. They can have eachother.
     
  6. Meier

    Meier LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW
    Posts: 269

    I think this is something we're just going to have to expect in this business.

    I've had two people ask me for bids who have both indicated that their current lawn guy was raising prices. They both told me what last year's price was, but neither volunteered the 'increased to' price.

    Anyway, I used my standard pricing and didn't win either customer. Guess I was too expensive too.

    Oh well. If a customer is trying to get a lower price with me today, doesn't it stand to reason that they'll leave me for the next guy with a lower price tomorrow?

    This is the nature of the business...the only real barrier to entry is the cost of a $300 lawn mower at Sears.

    I'm pricing my stuff to make money. If I can't get business at prices that make the money I want, I'll stay home and let the guy in the rusty pick up make $10 dollars an hour with his own equipment and his own fuel, etc. Sooner or later, that guy won't show up to take care of mrs jones lawn and it'll probably be the week she's hosting a party or something.

    They'll come to realize that if they try to save money on lawn care, they're going to get lower quality. The ones who have already realized this are the ones I am targeting.

    Later,
    DFW, TX
     
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I got something for ya! So far I have now lost 16 "Competetion" bids for new customers to low ballers. A few I lost to a so-called Pro company. Some of the others I lost to a guy with a 21" and evidently no trimmer.

    However, it doesn't end there! I've had nearly no work this March and this is the worst weed year I can recall! Usually by now, I'm doing cleanups, putting out apps, planting, installing mulch and even mowing a few.

    Now here is a good story for ya on someone trying to take a customer. I cut both residentially and commercially for this client. Even though all the employees know me well, one of the women has a scrub husband who's been trying his best to steal my accounts.

    That really burns me up seeing how this lady is always talking to me. Plus her and her scrub husband were always commenting on what a great job I've done with the place.

    Fortunately, my customer called me to inform me of this and he was cutting my price a lot more than $5. To make a long story short she has had 2 previous scrubs cut for her and ruin everything. I'll be starting on her accounts at my 2003 price tomorrow.

    For this particular customer, I'd just spell all the details out for them. Then if I didn't regain them by the end of the conversation, I'd hand them a card and say "Give me a call when this guy stops showing up. If it's this year and I still have an opening for you, I'll still do it for what I said. If he doesn't last out the winter and doesn't show next spring as so many of them do, give me a call and I'll get you the pricing for the 2004 season."

    I'd be a few doallrs more then too

    ;)
     
  8. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    If you lose a customer to a neighborhood competitor, forget about it and move on. It's not worth focusing on. Look forward. Think strategy. Go after new customers. Losing customers to scrubs is the nature of the business.

    To confront the other guy, you risk taking things too far and getting yourself in trouble. Just forget about him. Forget about the lost customers and move on.

    When this happens to me, I see it as an opportunity to weed out a disloyal customer. And if they are really unhappy with their new grass cutter and later want me back, oh boy - will that be funny. That is when I get the satisfaction of denying them.

    My policy is once you dump me, that's it. We're through. I have only made 2 exceptions to this rule. One was a fussy, critical old lady who begged and begged for me to come back. I agreed only if she would meet certain demands. One was a substantial price increase. Another was that she was to never, ever criticize my work again. And I forget the other conditions. I didn't like her.

    The other exception was someone who was cool - they just made a dumb mistake in dumping me for a friend of a friend. I think he learned his lesson:D
     
  9. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Nothing brings out low priced new guys who may or may not stick with the business like bad economic times. Expect tougher times with lowballers until things pick up again. This ain't the 90's. I plan to sharpen the pencil on new bids accordingly.
     
  10. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    That's exactly what you need to do.
     

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