Initial Sales Call

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Emerald Cut Lawns, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Emerald Cut Lawns

    Emerald Cut Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    We have a few friends and family already when we start, but what is the best approach for the "Unknown" customer, and what proceedures should we use for our first real sales call. should we walk and measure the lawn as my partner says so we can gage the price, or use "Kentucky windage" and base it on the estimated time it will take us to mow it. We are in the ball park of the other companies in the area, because we called a few and got prices on our own lawns so we could gage it,,,we figure it will be based on 60.00pr hr and 80.00 hr for two sounds high to me but thats what partner says the others are getting....:confused:
  2. radar

    radar LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 2

    60.00 per hr? For one man,sounds a little pricey to me. That said there is much that goes into what you charge, I do not know if you are mow blow and go or full service. Bottom line you most times get what you pay for so do a quality job and keep the customer happy.
  3. codywyomingus

    codywyomingus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    60 hr is what we charge here in the atlanta ga area for mow,edge,weedeat,blow with that said it should be higher there in ct. going with what the competition is charging would be a safe gauge of pricing
  4. swim

    swim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 357

    Always use the wheel. It will never trick you by looking bigger or smaller than it really is. It is not exact but it will get you close, otherwise you may endup making 100$ per hour in this lawn and making 15 per hour in the next. It will get you close.

    As for what to charge I would have to say the way you did it is a good start, ask your neighbors what they pay and measure their lawns.
  5. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    You've got to work on your budget.Find out how much you have to make in order to pay your salary,your helpers salary,insurance,equipment maintenence,replacement costs,gas,etc.,,
    When you break that down,you know how much your actual costs are per hour.
    Next factor in how much the business needs to make(profit) from each employee as well as yourself.This is for extra money needed for unforseen expenses and those new equipment purchases.
    Use a measuring wheel to measure the property.Take a pad and pen and break up the lot into different areas.Find the square footage of those areas and add them up for your total sq ft.Now,figure out how long it will take you and your employee to service this property and there's your price.Alot of times the homeowners walk around with me and it gives me time to chat with them.They can get a sense of how I am as well as I get sense of how they are.
    Don't undercut yourself.Charge them what you have to in order to make a profit.If they don't agree to the price,simply walk away.No need giving your services away,especially when July and August come rolling around.
  6. Paradise Landscapes

    Paradise Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    NickN and others,

    I always remember this:

    "IF You Are Not Making Enough, Your Not Charging Enough"!
  7. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    Another option that you may consider is giving them a ball park estimate (like $30-$40), saying you will mow it once to see exactly how long it takes, then you will be able to charge exactly by your rate. We charge a dollar a minute for two guys.
  8. chevyman1

    chevyman1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    NEVER tell the customer what you charge per hour for lawn mowing unless you have to. Give them a price....think about it. If you look at a 1 acre lawn and can be in and out in 30 minutes, you can tell them $40....but if you tell them $80/hr, that looks a lot worse
  9. Jim H

    Jim H LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    As far as the wheel yourself $50. Go to Home Depot..take the wheel and walk up and down the aisle counting your footsteps and calculate how much your footstep is. I'm 6'4" and my stride was 2 1/2 ft. I stepped off a huge yard and was off 1 ft. in 120. Seems to work good for me....
  10. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Posts: 587

    i always use the wheel. it's part of my sales presentation. they usually don't know that much about our company during the initial estimate, so i sell our company as hard as possible. a uniform, professional image that includes the wheel.

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