1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

How much Crap

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by pete scalia, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    I guess I just have different clients up here. Most changes that I get asked for are actually additions (whole other kettle of fish). I had one very very challenging client this past summer, but after a few trips back, and some aesthetic changes (intensity levels requiring re-lamping, and switching some downlighting to uplighting) he was very happy.

    Did I sacrifice my vision, art or reputation by changing the system to suit the client's whims? Of course not. It took me a few trips and some hours, wire, connectors and some fixture change outs, and in the end the client got what he wanted. It is his 3 million dollar summer home after all! I would have been a fool to get all pig headed and full of myself and walk off the job... and I would not have collected on the 50% remaining. Now he is happy, I am paid and I have sold two more jobs on the same bay to his neigbours... why? Cause the came over to see and the client REFERRED ME. 90%+ of my new clients are referrals and I like that just fine, it is very cost effective marketing.

    As for the 'cost' of these changes... get a good accountant to show you how you can move these items into your promotions budget. If the chages are really significant, then a change work order and a tight contract (which we have here) will protect you.

    Have a great day.
  2. eskerlite

    eskerlite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    Well said Tim.
    Sean C.:clapping:
  3. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    This lady did this with all trades working on her property. before I got to the site I was told They had a crane out at the site for 1 full week. Planting trees then digging them up and craning them into another hole then moving them again. A flagstone driveway was demoed one week. Over a weekend she changed her mind and told them to put the flagstone back like it was. I'm sure she paid for all this but those contracts were much larger then mine. She was very conservative with the lighting project and didn't want "too much light" so my contract was a measly 20K. Had I know before I got involved I'd never have done it.
  4. John Zaprala

    John Zaprala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    Are you kidding? Pre-screening is one thing... BACKGROUND CHECKS? Sounds like borderline creepy if you ask me. Who has time to google every lead?
    I know this has been brought up many times, but padding the bill b/c someone lives in a nice house or owns a business doesn't sound like good advice to me. If you truly have great service, you would put options on every contract in an attempt to upsell (lighting, better/bigger materials) whether it's a $2K job or $200K job.
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    John, I don't think that he meant to "pad" the bill but to "up-sell". There is a huge difference. I have googled prospective clients also because it's good to know as much about someone as you can. I'm not talking "background checks" but public knowledge information. Press releases, business news and such. If you have a client that just landed a big signing bonus and wants lighting, maybe that client would spring for Tiki torches instead of path lights. You know what I mean?
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    I agree a sit down and reproposal would be in order. If she loved the job the way you did it then changed her mind from uplighting to downlighting thats obviously not just moving some fixtures around or changing up some small things.

    When she came to me asking me to downlight I would Say no problem give me a day to rewrite the proposal and furnish you with an estimate for thoes changes and we will get with it. In our experience some clients are just micromanagers. Their home is their sanctuary and the main status symbol of thier life. They are very picky about it and rightfully so. This is why they hired you the pro in the first place over joe "the 600w loop" malibu.

    If what they are asking is not your style or not a safe effective way to do it inform them politely you will not be able to execute that flawed design and move on.

    Gambino is up front about this before he even meets. Look at his terms. To meet not only do you have to pay him his consult fee but you need to look at the photos on his site and "want something similar" which means its his style... thats how he designs.
  7. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    Thanks Paul. You got it. Propsects won't always indicate right off what they are willing to spend.

    Knowing that they just might have more resources than met the eye emboldened me to expand my proposals. It wasn't about charging more for the same work, but adding work and adding value.

    Sometimes a client isn't into "conspicuous consumption" but is still willing to spend more for durable fixtures (for instance.)

Share This Page