hardtime moving clients around...Opinoins BG

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ol'time Lawncare, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 497

    this year i'm using service agreements (contracts)for all residential clients.Some who signed for annual maintenance,Others are giving me a hard time, because of some of my clauses,like late paying, obstacles in the lawn ect...They say why do i have to sign, you have bin doing a good job for years so why now the change. witch we all know why.how can i persuade these good customers to sign on the dotted line.i do not want to lose these clients to other who operate with out a service agreement?...I'd like to here from Bobby gedd on this matter!
     
  2. CLARK LAWN

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    try telling them insurence is mandating it
     
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    yes, i must be the laughing stock, since everyone always asks for my guidance. the truth is, as far as your clients needing to sign, there are alot of reasons, the main one being I JUST DON'T TRUST YOU!! but, you can't say that, so, here is what you tell them, in the words of george kostanza(sienfeld), " IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME." explain to them, that it's not THEM that is causing you to be FORCED to make this change. it is the people who don't pay on time, and who abuse certain privilages (like a little extra here and there) that are responsible for the neccesary change. a few bad apples ruin it for everyone. because of these few, you are forced to change the way you do business. and you CAN'T pick and choose who signs a service agreement, and who doesn't, to do so, would be like discriminating. also, tell them that with stricter laws by the dept of consumer affairs, for the protection of the consumer, a contractor must put in writing- what will be done, when, and how much he is charging. and finally, assure them, that nothing will change, they will recieve the same great service, and courtousy, since THEY are not one of the people who abuse your system. tell them that these changes are neccesary for the well being and future growth of your company. don't feel bad ole time, i've been slowly changing everybody over, even my clients from 6-7 yrs ago. and have lost a few over it. it's part of business. you need to turn off that little part of your brain when doing business, the part labeled- "emotion". now, since you are in jersey, if you need me, for a small fee, i'll be glad to come down, bring my paperwork, let you copy and use it, and even speak with a few of your clients for you.
     
  4. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Posts: 3,493

    What about having just the old customers who were late payers, etc sign contracts? And, you could put all new clients on a contract.
     
  5. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Yup...you can't teach old dogs new tricks. You're stuck with Fido, you raised him without a service agreement.

    You could play up the insurance bit like someone mentioned. Something like...your carrier won't pay out on a claim without proof that you were authorized to be on the property. The more legal-sounding the better :)
     
  6. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 497

    i went around today and presented my service agreement for service for this up coming season. 8 of 10 signed. i think i will lost 20 % of my clients to operators with out contracts!
     
  7. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 497

    this is something i may have to consider! but really i dont want too. who knows:dizzy:
     
  8. jpp

    jpp LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,128

    How about putting your new terms late fees,and whatever else in a letter to them. Also include it on your Invoice. That way if they say they did not receive the letter about the fees your invoices will have them on there. When they pay their invoice they will see this and not have an excuse. But I would include them on all invoicess every time. Just a thought.
     
  9. DixieFerris

    DixieFerris LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 440

    Ol Time, your best bet is to ask Booby, then do the exact opposite unless you are out to p*ss off every person you ever meet.:p
     
  10. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 497

     

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