How do you get what you need to get...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Currier, Jul 26, 2000.

  1. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    We all talk about how we charge a minimum of 25.00 or 35.00 or whatever. My question is how many times do you give a bid and they never call back? I've gotten to where I know if they will call or not. If they say &quot;sounds fair&quot; I know I've probably got it. If they say &quot;we'll be in touch&quot; I've probably wasted my time :) <p>So roughly how many bids does a service need to give out in order to get a good client base of decent paying lawns?(decent paying being at least your minimum) It seems with so many lawn services and new ones sprouting every year it is difficult to get the prices you need in order to make any money. I like the letter that explains why you cost more, but does it really help or do they still just go with joe cheepo...who won't be around next year...but somebody else will! <br>It's a frustrating thing to carry the licenses, insurance,have the uniforms, keep the equipment maintained, and do exceptional work yet have these price shoppers wasting my time with bids that might have provided a living in 1980 but are considered too high by the customer of today. It's kind of like they want to pay the professional the same as they'd pay their neighbor to do them a favor while they went on vacation. Is there a trick to how you &quot;sell&quot; the service. do you use forms that list the service, do you write the price on a business card? Any &quot;work every time&quot; statements that help you to nail the account?
     
  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    I've gotten a lot of jobs simply because I'm the first and only one to show up. If a potential customer has trouble getting estimates, chances are you&quot;ll get the job just because no one else bothered to show up. Once your &quot;foot is in the door&quot; show them what you can do.
     
  3. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 627

    I've gotten alot of new work this year just by being choosy (somewhat) on what I take, making sure I get what I need for it.<br>People call up for a bid, & I'm one of the few who still have any openings left.<br>It is frustrating to do it by the book with licenses & such, but don't be down. If & when you ever have an accident, your first one will make you remember why you were smart enough to cover your butt. These cutthroats are flying by the seat of their pants, & one accident will not only shut them down, but bankrupt their personal life & belongings too.<br>Little by little you will be able to &quot;read&quot; people, & find out that they are price shoppers-quit wasting your time on the dead end & move on to someone who wants good work. It will come. I ask a new call &quot;what is your #1 concern-price or quality?&quot; Then respond accordingly.<br>Do right until the stars fall, even if you're the only one..... Keep your chin up.<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
     
  4. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Currier, your post makes sense and I have the same concerns. I do loose or fail to sign customers as a result of my prices or the others with low prices. I had a post earlier which I think you read, and I refuse to bid my services lower than the neighborhood kids, period. I would rather mow 2 lawns and make $70.00 than 2 and make $44.00 in the same time span or a little longer. <p>When I go to give an estimate I have the following form, in color just as shown. I also include a business card, and a metal ink pen with my business info on it, placed inside a company envelope.<p>http://www.kirbycuttin.com/estimate form.htm<p>Hope that comes out ok, if I get a chance I will convert my contract to HTML and post.<p>Ray
     
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    I think if you close half of them, then you are doing good.<p>When I was in the car business, if we closed 30% of the people who came in the door we were considered the Son of God (or at least favorite nephew).<p>Bill
     
  6. Stinger

    Stinger LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 252

    Some cutters in my neck of the woods give only what they get paid for. If a customer just wants to pay a (knock down) price, then that's the way a contractor will mow. If the customer spends a little more $ then a contractor will usually give more attention to detail. One such LCO in my town has obtained 200 customers by doing business this way. I take pride in my work and would refuse a job rather than give a property less attention than it deserves. I know others have said you can only charge what the market will bear. So I try educate the customer about what a differance there is between a certified&liscened professional. Along with the level of service we provide compared to John Doe mow & blow, come next year where did he go?<br>As for bids, there is no such thing as to many. With more work coming in, the pickier you can be therefore obtaining the customer base you want.I first started out by choosing a level of comm&res customers to target. Compiled folders for each one I wanted,found out the specs,a contact person, when proposals were due for commercial properties and so on. Make a occasional phone call or stop by to see if there satisfied with their current service. This lets them know your in the game and the level of attention you provide to customers.<br>Furthermore several years will pass before you have &quot;your&quot; customer base and feel comfortable saying I don't want to work for you today Mr.Smith.
     
  7. Stinger

    Stinger LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 252

    Some cutters in my neck of the woods give only what they get paid for. If a customer just wants to pay a (knock down) price, then that's the way a contractor will mow. If the customer spends a little more $ then a contractor will usually give more attention to detail. One such LCO in my town has obtained 200 customers by doing business this way. I take pride in my work and would refuse a job rather than give a property less attention than it deserves. I know others have said you can only charge what the market will bear. So I try educate the customer about what a differance there is between a certified&liscened professional. Along with the level of service we provide compared to John Doe mow & blow, come next year where did he go?<br>As for bids, there is no such thing as to many. With more work coming in, the pickier you can be therefore obtaining the customer base you want.I first started out by choosing a level of comm&res customers to target. Compiled folders for each one I wanted,found out the specs,a contact person, when proposals were due for commercial properties and so on. Make a occasional phone call or stop by to see if there satisfied with their current service. This lets them know your in the game and the level of attention you provide to customers.<br>Furthermore several years will pass before you have &quot;your&quot; customer base and feel comfortable saying I don't want to work for you today Mr.Smith.
     
  8. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    Thanks for the information! I like the idea of the form comparing a professional service to the trunck slammers. It also nice to know that it happens to others...and we're all still in business.<br> Happy cutting<br>
     
  9. AGG Lawn Maintenance

    AGG Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    from Elberon
    Posts: 422

    We have what I call a spec sheet this shows what we do,price and time frames. Customers like to know what they are getting for the money. We close on most of our services because we our honest, professional, reasonable (but not cheap) and above all DO WHAT WE SAY WE ARE GOING TO DO. Never leave your customers hanging we address all problems asap delays,broken sprinklers etc.<br>After a some time it the biz you get to know who the price shoppers are by the things they say. Good Luck!!! Stick to your guns.<br>Travis AG&G Lawn Maintenance :)
     

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