Lost my first customer yesterday

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by anothertractor, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. anothertractor

    anothertractor LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    I pulled up to one of my customers yesterday that I have been mowing for about 6 weeks, and there were fresh trimmings everywhere. It looked like it had just been mowed. I have been a little uneasy about this customer from the beginning. They have a friend that does lawncare but could not handle them when the man of the household had a heart attack earlier this year. I guess I always felt like he would end up doing it sooner or later. I was leaving a note on the door telling them that I would be back next week unless I hear otherwise from them when the man came to the door. He told me that his friend was going to be helping him out because he had a few cancel on him. I let him know that I had not been notified but thanked him for the business and told him to let me know if I could help him in the future.

    This is the thing that gets me. I saw this fiend of his on Friday. he told me that he was so busy that he could hardly get things done from week to week and had referred me to someone that wanted him to mow for them. I guess that he just gave me more time to help the other potential customer.

    I need any work I can get at this point so I guess I handled it okay. What do you think? I think I can't wait until I can pick my customers.
     
  2. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    You can pick your customers right now.

    Just do it.
     
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    you will be able to pick and choose, by keeping overhead low, and getting paid properly for your services. i had one cancel a couple weeks ago, and i picked up 3 since, at premium rates. if you allow overhead to get high, you will join the 7% club, then, each and every client will own you
     
  4. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    I hear a lot about contracts (service agreements) on here. I don't have any residential contracts but, I do have commercial contracts. If you could develope a residential service agreement and get people to sign it, it would help. Residentials can be finicky and frustrating at times. You really need to be able to "read people". I think you mentioned feeling uneasy, that's what I mean. Take what you can get out of your residentials until you can pick and choose. By that time, you'll have a reputation (good, I hope!) and people will begin asking for you. Busy people tend to get more work. Don't ever tell anyone that you don't have enough accounts or things are slow. Tell them you're busy but could always handle more business. Use your spare time to develope a list of properties to bid on and get started bidding on them. If you throw enough mud on the wall, some of it is going to stick.
     
  5. anothertractor

    anothertractor LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Thanks for all of the good advice above.
     
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,180

    I think you handled it great and proffesionaly. I was starting a new contract of 9 sites yesterday and got to 1 and it had just been cut. The old guy still cut it and wasnt supposed to. Called the property managment and told them what I found and told them he scalped it all and didnt edge or blow off. They said sorry just go ahead and edge it and blow off and include it with the bill since your the one contracted to do it and we wont be paying the other guy. That was nice I didnt even have to remind them about the contract. Many of my residentials are not under contract just because they have been with me awhile and they know te drill. Even tho they have gotten lower offers they stick with me. No need to scare the secure existing clients with a contract in my opinion. They always pay and always buy the upsells.

    Take the extra work he gave you and thank him. Let him know your egar to work and looking for more so if he finds any he cant handle you would love them. Maybe offer him a refferal fee. I offer other companies the price of the 1st cut IF I can get the new customer to sign up for minimum 3 months.
     

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