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I like to meet my customers

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Darryl G, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I just wanted to see what you guys do about customers who don't want to meet with you relating to bids.

    They call and say, just come on over and take a look and leave the estimate for me, or something to that effect. I tell that that I would like to meet them and discuss what it is they would like done and what we expect of eachother.

    If they don't want to meet me, I really don't want to work for them. To me it means that they're just going to take the lowest price (which probably isn't me) and don't really care who services their property.

    Your thoughts? How do you handle this type of customer?
  2. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597


    I definitely see what you are saying. Sometimes it is easy to sniff out the price shoppers. However, I must admit that I did not initially meet several of the best customers I ever had (prompt pay, no complaints, referrals).

    If that is their request, and I have prequalified them in the initial phone call, I will provide the estimate.

    But that was probably one of my biggest breakthroughs - screening people on the phone when requesting a bid. Saved us a lot of time and money for sure.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Sean - Yeah, I have one customer that I've never met and I maintain 3 properties for him. They're commercial properties, he runs 2 businesses (real estate rental and construction company and he's not local, so in that case it's fine with me.

    I do screen on the phone and stay away from tenants for sure, as well as people who won't give me their last name (I've had a few of those). Haven't figured that one out yet.

    I run into the situation mostly when I run a newspaper add. People probably just call everyone who has an add and ask for a quote. They probably don't have time to meet with everyone they've called! Maybe I need to expect that, but I've found that I have a much better chance of closing the deal if they meet me.
  4. Loosestrife

    Loosestrife LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 80

    IT depends onthe service. If it is something pretty straightforeword, like core aeration, I don't see the need to meet them at the site visit. Installation, enhancements, 100% maintenance, we will get a site visit 95% of the time.
  5. Andrew S

    Andrew S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 150

    Who cares if you meet or not

    If they agree with your price you should be happy!

    :D :) :) :)
  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    I know what you are saying darryl, I too like to meet my clients but it doesn't always happen. I have customers that I've never meet in two years of business. I have always been fortunate enough to have the ooportunity to try and get the sale over the phone if I know that I won't see them in person. Also, when you run the newspaper adds, you will have to expect some of those people. That is what the newspaper does, brings price shopping people to the table. Just give your bid, try to educate them a little on the phone, and let your dice roll. I've spent alot of time with some people thinking I have sold our company to find they go with someone else. And the opposite has happened also, send a proposal with no real effort or follow-up call and end up getting their business. Alot of variables going on out there, hard to control peoples thoughts and theories sometimes about choosing services.
  7. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    to me no diff.

    people i've met and seem nice can be late payers.

    have some people (and for that matter houses) i've never seen. they send chq's and were both happy.
  8. Kingspointe

    Kingspointe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    One thing I started doing when I started in late May was give estimates over the phone. Well what I did was figure out how much I would do my lot for. What I did was found how much my rate was per foot, asked a customer how big their yard was, and find their price that way. Yea it sounds pretty lame and it is. Some people would give me smaller lot sizes but I agreed to it and now I keep on cuttin for a lot that should be 27 but is 21 or 20, I call those my rascal lots because I was new and didnt know exactly what to do on estimates so I just learned myself. Unless its a business, all my people I do work for I meet now and shake their hand. I believe talking to a person and being able to answer their questions with a smile will increase chances of $$, thats just my .02.

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