Horrible, cheap customers!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JasonPC, Mar 29, 2000.

  1. CLM1

    CLM1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    I have the same story. Lost out on my first commercial property bid last week by $920.00.<br>However, the guy told me that my proposal was the nicest he'd ever seen. I replied, &quot;well that is a reflection on how I do things. I take alot of pride in my work and try to do the best job possible and I AM in the business to make a profit&quot;. He wanted me to have the job but wanted me to do it for the next highest bid. ($920.00 less than mine) I told him I'd run the #'s and see what I could do but it wouldn't be much less than what I had bid. I came off $400.00 and still lost out. He said that wasn't enough and he was going to have to go with the other bid. My reply,&quot;That's fine, and there are no hard feelings. If I can't do a job and feel good about it when I walk away then I don't want the job or my name associated with it. Here's my card and feel free to call me at anytime if you ever need anything and keep me in mind the next time it's up for bid&quot;. He thanked me for my time and said he would.<br>I rode by the property yesterday and after two cuts it looks like hell. I just grinned to myself and thought oh well, I bet I get a call next yr.<br>Maybe, maybe not. The bottom line is THE BOTTOM LINE...YOURS! Look after it.
     
  2. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    It's all in where people put their priorities and lawn care rates way at the bottom of the list. As a previous post said lawn care is a necessary evil. Doesn't matter if it makes the property look nice or not. In most peoples mind that $100-$150 per month could be spent on eating out or paying the phone bill on time. What kills me the most is when they balk at your price instead of having their two teenage sons mow the lawn in the first place. I could never figure that out, when I was growing we always mowed the lawn and looked forward to it.
     
  3. Retro67

    Retro67 Banned
    Posts: 207

    Mr. Homan-<p>I think what the customer is really saying is, &quot;my sons are too lazy to mow it for me, but they make a great excuse for me to call another lawn company who will mow my acre lot for $20.&quot; :)<br>
     
  4. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Yeah retro, you hit the nail right on the head. Of course if the whole family wasn't so lazy they would get out there together and knock it out in a half hour. <br>
     
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,829

    The United States is becoming more like the Roman empire every day. But instead of gladiators. The american people will entertain themselves by watching lawn companies fight in the streets over customers. I bet my lazer can whip your lazer.
     
  6. Barkleymut

    Barkleymut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,117

    The real problem here is the fact that the average homeowner doesn't understand that the Dixie Chopper I'm towing behind my $18,000 truck on my $2000 trailer costs over $9000! They think that a craftsman rider can do the same job. So let them get a craftsman and do it themselves. Your equipment is expensive and therefore time is money. If you can, get an established customer base and keep them happy. I rarely take on new work because I don't have time for it. I have only been in business for 2 years (full time). You will get to the point where you won't even go out to a home unless you think it will be profitable. Free Quotes really bite if you ask me. I don't want to go out and spend 1/2 hour listening to how some old ladys yard looks like crap and she has $75 a month that she can &quot;give&quot; you if you make it look nice. Take that job and shove it. If you are just starting out and you need work then go get it. If you have no work then get out in your mom's front yard and pick weeds, mulch it, do SOMETHING! I am at my moms eating lunch right now and right before I ate I was mowing the lawn and had someone ask me if I could look at their lawn. So get out there, the customers are waiting, but don't count yourself short, someone is willing to pay you decent money if you do great work. BTW sorry to ramble on like that.
     
  7. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Has anyone ever considered the customers perspective of lawn mowing? Did you ever cut the grass before you got into this business? (Lazer doesn't count, he was on mower, 3 days old!) What is the typical homeowner doing when he mows?<p>He's out there to relax, to just do something empty-headed and not think. Be honest - if you're not in the business, that's what lawn mowing is. So if someone is calling for your services to cut his grass, guess what he expects to deal with. You have to have some angle, some twist, or some special introduction to shatter his idea of hiring you as an empty-headed mower jockey. It's not exactly what people are spending their money for, but their perception of what they are spending it for.<p>I once had a client who constantly told me I didn't charge enough. After not raising his price for 5-6 yrs, I raised it almost 50%. After he grumbled about a &quot;50% increase!!&quot;, he said I still didn't charge enough. You will go a lot further if you are selling special grass cutting, instead of just selling grass cutting. <p>----------<br>Jim<br>North central Indiana<br>
     
  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,829

    We are a nessescity to a large part of the population now. Society has changed. The larger portion of the US population is over 60. A large portion of the population has 2 incomes. No time to take care of the yard. Too tired to take care of the yard. Too old to do it. With this great demand they need us very bad. To be dependable and keep up with this demand we need quality commercial equipment. And too we need to make a decent income to support ourselves and/or our families. And keep this high dollar equipment serviced and running. Its the public we have to educate. And slowly and surely they are. I don't know about some of you but I am trying to run my service like a business. I am trying to make a good living. Too you have to run it like the seasonal business it is. Do not be embarrassed to tell a customer what you charge. I use to be in Real Estate as a owner/salesman. No brain surgery there either On a $80,000 home I made 2800$$$ sometimes just for showing a few houses and maybe spending 10 hrs getting it to closing. Some sales job pay alot more than we make per hour for alot less labor and equipment.
     
  9. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    Good point Charles! Want to buy my equipment, I'm going to get my realestate lic. tomorrow:) No really, you have to tell them like it is. I think we are always going to have this problem getting no respect. You just have to educate the customer (those that are worth it) have a professional inmage and stand up for yourself and your business.
     

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