How to compete with lowballers and rockbottom prices

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by MXrider13, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    If your just wanting to work and make a little money why not do the same prices, When someone signs up for a $10 dollar mow they know they are not getting the best quality 10 times outta ten. Go out and get 20 lawns at $40-$50 bucks then start bidding the new lawns a little higher, and the next a little higher and so on.........this way your busy as you grow your biz and continue to raise your prices. This is not conventional advice, but this economy has every freaking out and if your not already banking it out there with your established client base do what you feel you need to do.....we have guys working for $10 an hour, working not mowing working.....meaning they show up use the ho mower trimmer rake pull weeds whetever, they hit one street all day make a $100 6 days a week thats @2400 a month more than what there food stamps are doing for them........crazy tims call for thinking outside the box. When i do an estimate i this market i stress the importance of insurance, workers comp, taxes, profesioanl people not shady guys working for cash around there family, houses.....it works and works well........just go get some bizness and get to work, raise your prices after you get tired of working for a 1/4 of what everyone else is getting [paid.......no disrespect my man and good luck.....beat the idiots charging $10 a yard at there own game and do it better, then jump to $15 in the summer when they wanna quit and you get there customers at $15 as well........I mean how much overhead do you have? mower payments? trailer? car? just gas?
     
  2. MXrider13

    MXrider13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    Gas and insurence are my main over head, I don't have a commerical mower yet or a trailer. Right now its car gas, mower gas and insurence.
     
  3. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,742

    same here in southern louisiana! 70deg is great, wait till its starts hitting 90-95 with outrageous humidity!
     
  4. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,108

    i hear that Krazy Kajun! No way in heck would i be working for $40 a month, but if i had no work i probably would be........if your set on being in the business and your not getting any bites, wow them with a price that they wont care about quality, then do a quality job and go from there.......if you were in my neck of the woods you would fit right in, you have the 1-2 truck companys that work there high end clients, more is not better, the total amount at the end of the month dictates how many clients you have.....or drive around doing 150 houses in 3 days and make 3 grand a month.......you gotta figure out what you want and where you wanna fit in.....
     
  5. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,232


    Don't worry, when it gets real hot they will be gone. If their equipment breaks they will be done if they haven't set up a budget for repairs. Its all gravy to them until they get that first big bill or an IRS letter. Thats when I go shopping.
     
  6. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    I agree with your premise. I just can't imagine actually saying that to a potential customer.
     
  7. TSB group

    TSB group LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    If you can't imagine actually saying that to a customer, then you are probably losing jobs! I signed 3 deals this week and was told I was the highest price of 3 or more. Its all in how you make people feel when you are there.

    I wear a company golf shirt to my appointments, clean pants and shoes. I introduce myself with a handshake and a business card, and then detail my company to the prospective client. After we talk about the job I tell them my plan of action (and do some educating) and from there before we part ways I let them know that I will not be the lowest price, but what I do and my work ethic produces can't be done for the lowest bid.
     
  8. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    I know this is going to seem strange to post on here...but it is just like any relationship starting out. You have to make the customer want you and seem to eager. If you are to eager when talking to the customer, they will assume that they can get you to lower your price...they are making you want them. It needs to be the other way around. We need to wear the pants as the LCO's and let them know how it is going to be. (I guess that is business and relationship advice...your welcome) :)
     
  9. ef200098

    ef200098 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    I always think all these lowballer posts are funny. I guess its different in every part of the country, but any customers would LAUGH at someone that came in at a rediculous price. I almost always win bids. Go meet the customer, nothing over the phone. Talk to them, listen and then respond.

    Its basic people skills, and its sad, but most people dont have it anymore. People are buying a SERVICE, not a commodity. Once you make yourself a commodity, you will be fighting price wars with everyone. Do a great job, dont rush. 5 minutes isn't going to make or break you. If the customer is home knock on the door and say hi when you get there. Drag thier trashcans off the street if they are there. Put the newspapers on the front door step. All of these LITTLE things will make thenm desire you personally, vs just wanting their grass cut.

    Its not hard, if you are so busy that you can't stop and do the little things, then work an extra day.

    Mike
    Cardinal Lawn Care.
     
  10. gasracer

    gasracer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,049

    Very well said. Send them a Christmas card or a gift card if you know there is something special going on. It doesn't hurt to go by and do some front porch sitting if they live alone.
     

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