I Would Like to Offer you the job...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by procut, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    I have a customer who I have been doing just simple mow & go service for since the spring. Never had any problems, no complaints, send bill at end of the month, check arrives about a week later. I don't think I have even talked to her since April. Anyways she calls today and says, "I would like to offer you the job of snowplowing my driveway this winter. It pays $20.00 per snowfall." I told her sorry, I am booked for plowing this winter, (not completly true) for two reasons. 1. I felt $20.00 was too low, 2. I did not like her tone of "hire you" and decide to name her own price. Shouldn't it have been more like "how much would you charge", or "Could I get an estimate?" Anyone else ever have someone decide to name their own price??
  2. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    a couple times AFTER i did the job, they decided it was worth less. i let the judge sort it out. payup
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Yah, that's kinda odd. It was probably just her way of telling you all she could afford was $20. She could have probably worded it better. But I don't think it was meant to be offensive, so it probably shouldn't be taken as being offensive.

    I think too often LCOs have a little too much pride. Again, like usual, I am preaching more to me than to you. Because I understand your feelings only too well myself from experience. Just because people don't word things the right way doesn't mean they are trying to be offensive or trying to dictate things to us. It just means that's how they are used to phrasing things. One thing I ** hate ** is when old folks call me up say, "Hi. I need a new gardner." I always want to say, "I'M NOT A FREEKIN' GARDNER!!! I AM A PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR!!!" But before I let my temper get to me I usually just say something polite and give them a bid for our maintenance service, which is what they meant to say anyway.

    Anyway, I think the way you handled it was okay. There are probably better ways to handle it. But the way you did works. One other option is you could have simply said something like, "Sure. I'd be glad to come over and give you a bid for this job. I don't know if it will be $20 like you mentioned. I can't always compete with the guy down the street who doesn't have a license, but I'll give you the best price I can."
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Just like you like to screen out the cheap and pita customers, she just doing the opposite and screening out the expensive contractors.

    I like those kind of calls !!!!!! Saves us both a lot of time
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I am the freaking Gardener. My research questioning clients prior to choosing a name was that landscape contractors and maintenance contractors were perceived as businesspeople who were there to make a profit they could just as easily have been carpenters or electricians, but as fate would have it they ended up being "Landscape Contractors". The clients I questioned did not express to me that they thought"Landscape Contractors" were any more professional just less personable. I do not take offense when someone calls me the Landscaper . But I am always curious why Landscape Contractors get so bent about being called the Gardener. Its seems to me that people want Gardeners not Landscape Contractors. The Gardener congers up images of a dependable old man that has a way with the earth, a gift, and and abundance of knowledge. Its easy to install a landscape its much more difficult to turn a landscape into a garden, to keep it alive and looking better year after year. I know, I have done both. I hope you don't take this personally just an observation. Next time someone calls you a Gardener consider it a compliment.
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    When I start in the bus. We were all gardners. We went to someones house in the mornings and weeded, pruned, mowed etc. and we stayed there all day. Sometime a rich client would have you there a cple. times a week. gardner is where I came from and after retirement where I'm going back to on my own property
  7. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    what if they dont even have a garden? around here people call shopping carts - buggies or baskets. i forget what they call buggies and baskets, though. pop = soda, trailers = houses, yards = gardens, cracker jacks box prize = drivers license, road kill = lunch...

    its like a different language. you just got to learn how to translate! :p
  8. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,823

    They can call me Druisealachd and I'll garden party with them,as long as the check clears.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Oh yeah I've had 1 or 2 of these myself, once I put my foot down this has pretty much stopped.

    Far as the person who likes to 'offer me work,' this is very nice but I have a full schedule and since lack of work is not one of my problems, a simple refusal (or a bit of a lame excuse) in this case works best.

    For those who like to name their own price, I would be glad to come out and estimate the job, would you like me to do so? But for those who are convinced their price is already correct and there is NO need for an estimate, then some other lame thing works well here also. Technically, I run this business and not them, it still frustrates me when folk want to stick their hands on the ship's rudder but I'm starting to learn how to control the frustration...

    Still, it's like: Please don't touch. (end of discussion, no? ...)
    No, not for those who can't, don't, or won't listen.
    So then here comes the rigmarole and the song and dance and the bs...

    Then they wonder why when someone puts their hand on the rudder sometimes they get a sharp slap on the wrist.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I dig your attitude bro, I LIKE that line of thinking...

    Lately the way I been seeing it is just like you, they ARE doing us ALL a favor because once they find someone cheaper, they figure it out amongst themselves and this is all a simple part of natural selection ... something about humility instead of arrogance, and I hate to say it but I LIKE the arrogance a bit better than feeling the pain in my back thou by far the worst part was always the anger, omg the anger ...

    It is hard to remember this sometimes when they keep walking in the captain's cabin and just assuming they can take over the ship... Because the thing is, MOST of my regular customers don't do this but yes about once/year one of them gets the wild hair (for lack of better words lol) and does it to me... I can deal with it so long it's not a regular thing always with the SAME person.

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