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How do you get a customer to do contract lawn maint agreement?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by tsimmons0615, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. tsimmons0615

    tsimmons0615 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    We have been in business for about a year and we get alot of customers who want their yards cut just once or call as needed I would like to move toward just doing agreement cuts or yearly contracts ! How did you get your customers to want to do a contract agreement ? and will it be a bad move to just take contract agreements only? How did u talk a customer into doing a contract Instead of the call as needed which those people will call and want it done right then and then we move scheduling etc. Dont get me wrong we need the as many jobs as possible but I also do irrigation landscape design and install so I'M trying to grow the business in every way
  2. Hansen's Lawn Care

    Hansen's Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Well some people will say to turn down the one times or call as they need it customers...i would disagree because you never know what that customer could give to you in terms on referral or a landscape job, etc.

    What I do is provide an exceptional service, which I'm sure you already do. But I try to push the idea that it is healthier for the grass/turf to maintain a regular mowing schedule and alternating mowing patterns.

    Most of the time this sales technique does the job...
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Just make it your policy and enforce it, whether it be written or not. The easiest time to have them sign an agreement is in the beginning of the season at which time you can also make any rate adjustments. You just sent them out to all of your current customers and request that they all sign one. It's up to you whether you make it a requirement.

    I tell my customers that it either gets cut weekly or bi-weekly. If it's a nice lawn (irrigated and/or fertilized) it's strictly weekly. If there's an extended drought I'll cut only as needed, but that's at my discretion, not theirs.

    I explain to people that I run a route and I'm only in certain areas on certain days. If they want a cut and they're not on my schedule it's a minimum of $75.

    I didn't send out contracts this year. All but 1 or 2 are long-time customers and they know how I operate and they've already passed my financial requirments (payment on time).

    You basically just have to grow some and take control of the situation. You can't run a lawn care business efficiently on a "call as needed" basis. Do what you have to if you're just starting out and just happy to have some work, but work toward getting customers on a regular schedule that you control.
  4. charmill26

    charmill26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 369

    I have never had a contract with any of my customers. Taking their word has always been good enough for me that i've never thought about it. My customers over time have changed into only weekly accounts. There's nothing wrong with on call or one time cuts if you have the time for it. Overall though they are at the end of the list. If someone comes up to me and wants it one time I will do it. But I won't do it right then and there when they want it. THe people that pay my bills come first. If its a new customer that wants it regularly then yes I will squeeze them in that day
  5. riverjunkie

    riverjunkie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    I generally find it is easier to sell a yearly contract to a home owner who actually wants a nice yard. The ones who tend to just want their yard cut in my experience are the ones who leave an unpaid balance.

    Like charmhill26 said I still do call when needed but they get done after all my regular contracted lawns.

    I like to bundle services into a yearly contract. If you not only offer cutting the grass but include stuff like seed, fert, aeration, pre-m's, post-m's, leaves, mulch, shrub work twice a year. Throw it all in one easy monthly payment. BAM! It sells itself.
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  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Rules of sales, provide two options, We offer weekly and bi-weekly
  7. LHS Lawns

    LHS Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    My policy on one time cuts is to be paid up front. I got burned one time and thats all it took to come up with a policy.

    If I can cut it right away I will if not I give a time when I can but always with money in hand.
  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Yea I've found the same thing, I bundle all my services as well, I just went this year to year round contracts, it keeps the riff raff away, they generaly can't afford it.
  9. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,755

    What he said.

  10. coolluv

    coolluv LawnSite Gold Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 3,755

    Yep and it usually prevents the rest of the problems associated with cheap asses.


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