Kiss mine lowballers, I was 4 times higer than the last guy! and still got the job !!

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Az Gardener, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I picked up a new client today, even I was surprised. The house was not in that bad of shape but he was undergoing his 3rd mini renovation in the last 10 years the same amount of time head employed his last gardener.

    While I was making notes to prepare his bid he asked for a "ballpark" I did some quick math and said it was going to be at least mid 700 probably higher. He about fell over and said he had no idea, he had been paying 220 for the last 10 years ;) I said well you should keep him you are getting a hell of a bargain.

    Long story short I completed my bid brought it back presented it it was 926 per month he said Ok I don't want to keep redoing the landscape every 3-4 years.

    I know this is not typical but I was just happy to squash a lowballer for a change and find a client that realizes the value for the service we provide.
     
  2. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Way to go!! It is nice when you get someone who realizes you get what you pay for. Sad thing is most don't care, just want cheap.
     
  3. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,445

    Glad to hear that, their are folks out their with money, and willing to spend it even on your higher bid, you must have presented your bid in a professional manner, great job keep it up.
     
  4. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    Az good for you. One of these days, I dont when, Im going to come out and visit you and your operation. I think you have a first class organizaton and many on this site can learn a tremedous amount from you. Way to go buddy, job well done!
     
  5. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    i wonder what happened to the guy that did it the past 10 years ? there must have been some reason he didn't hire this guy again
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Took 10 years thou... :p

    But it goes to prove something I've seen and said before, and that is better off pricing it right than giving them cheap service... Here's the kicker: I lose job after job this way, and it would appear as if giving them what they want is the answer... But do it that way hoping that one day the BIG day comes, yes sir I've been busting my tail for these folks in the cheap way all of these years having been so smart as to foresee that ONE day this customer would see the light and spend some REAL money, and here I am patiently waiting for it, hoping and wishing it would happen.

    And finally it did, this customer SAW the light and now is going to spend it BIG, you ready? I hope you are, because they will call someone else to do it. Because I have seen the landscape change in front of my very own eyes at the tune of what surely cost at least a thousand dollars, and somebody else is doing it. Better yet, they never even asked me.

    That happened to me more than I care to remember, until one day it dawned on me.
    I still don't think it's right, but in hindsight it is kind of funny how that works.

    The worst of it is hard times, making me compromise, grrr...

    Yeah, the customer got tired of re-furbishing his entire landscape every so often.
     
  7. FLAhaulboy

    FLAhaulboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    "i wonder what happened to the guy that did it the past 10 years ? there must have been some reason he didn't hire this guy again"


    OUT of business because his prices were to LOW and he couldnt make a real living! Or he did real shoddy work because he was so cheap.

    I always have a inner laugh when I quote a price and the owner tells me his last yardman charged a low low price. I ask where is he now? "Oh, He went out of business"! Then I gently get to explain WHY he failed in his business. Gotta educate these people!
     
  8. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    The guy is still doing many homes in the neighborhood. We work year around so it was not a matter of not hiring him again, he was fired. The last straw was he took some hedgers to a stand of Mesquite tree and topped them all. The HOA is all pissed off as is the client.

    Money is not a issue for this client, he just wants things done right. Once I got my foot in the door and began pointing out problems he was all to happy to spend the money. He will probably spent 10-15K in improvement work this year, 2-K in flowers. My kind of client. He is leaving tomorrow giving me the first months payment and won't return until Dec. When he returns his home will show like a resort.
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Hmmm, I don't like it when "money is not an issue"...
    Now I don't want to burst the bubble but I would be all for testing this guy :p

    Because I have met more than a few who about swore that money was not an issue, but to this day I have never met one to whom it really wasn't... I really don't have a problem with it, until one of them makes it known to me, because I have a few customers who are not afraid to spend it, but never once have they said that in those words to me, and never once have I felt that I just had no credit limit (or very, very rarely was there really an open bid).

    I do a good amount of work without my estimate or explicit approval, but the customer is aware of what is going on, there is some communication along the way... Something has to be cleared up here long before I get myself into more than a few hundred worth and they can't handle it, despite claims to the contrary.

    There's something to that, I'm not sure how to nail this one down but it's almost along the same lines of "such-and-such used to do it for a (insert ridiculous low price)"... Type of thing, maybe it's a tactic...

    Maybe not...
    But when I say testing, I mean before I really get started on some serious work.
    Start doing about $50-100 worth a week at this place, see what happens.
    That's how I would approach this, because I have never had a customer who said money was not an issue stand up to this, soon as they see the $100 bills coming in weekly they're gone, I think two weeks is the longest I've had one could stand it... Now it may seem outrageous, but all in all it's going to take a g or two, right? Well in 20 odd weeks the season's over, so $50-$100 a week is it too high? That does include the mowing, the leaves, all the usual and everything else too, granted.

    Or better yet estimate it first, get with the guy and get his approval!

    However you want to do it, but what if you end up doing $500 worth of work initially, the guy flips his top and never pays?
    Because those folks can be the biggest high-maintenance cheapo pita's, too.
    And, I hope I am wrong.
     
  10. dougmartin2003

    dougmartin2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 337

    make sure you get paid first, if it sounds too good to be true, well you have heard the old saying
     

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