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New telephone method

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by topsites, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    'Stony point lawncare'

    - Yes blablablabla and this and that work....
    - Ok blablabla, so this and that work, I can probably get to it later this week.
    - great blablabla....
    You know, this and that goes on but it does boil down to something has to get going now...

    The kicker:
    - May I have your address?
    THAT one right there stops a LOT of bs!

    Now, it's either:
    They give me their address (and all is well) OR
    They go on with some bs about giving me directions or asking me where I'm coming from or assuming / guessing where I live...
    That or they want the price on the phone, some kind of idea, that bs with the quote on the phone, all the same answer:
    - May I please have your address?
    (sometimes I say - If I can have your address, I'll have your estimate today).
    Now they either give me the address OR
    Thank you (for your time). click

    Because for some odd reason, some don't want to do it, and I find it's almost always the pita bs waiting to happen.
    Another way to say it is: This sets the tone - My way, or no way.
    Your way? No thank you. click
  2. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    My sister was discussing this the other day, when she rings up she says she would like an idea off how much things will be ( over the phone), i know this is impossible most times so since then, i have been saying most of my lawns are between $25-$35 for front and back when they ask with better success than saying that i would have to see it first as some say "ooohhh alright then" then they ring some one else that they think may have a better idea.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I know, I'm not disagreeing but I got tired of it because there's no telling...

    It could be 30, it could be 60 or 90 or 120... The problem with saying any price is it puts this seed in their mind so if I say 30-35 then I get out there and the yard is nothing but hills and dirt and it's 3/4 acre lot and it hasn't been cut in a month so I won't touch it for less than 100 dollars and I already know what the answer is... So now they think I'm half-committed to this 30-35 and I done got took this way more than once, if not completely then at least to some extent, and I am tired of being had.

    I do NOT like giving out knowledge on the phone: Estimates are not really free, they cost no money to the customer, but they do require knowledge. Knowledge is not free, in exchange for this knowledge I want your address. No? Thank you. click.
    What if it's another Lco just wants some free pricing guides? Forget it, I want to be able to cross-reference the phone number to your address as well, then I want to see your house's data on my computer! What if it's brand-new? Doesn't matter, it should still cross-reference some kind of way, and if it doesn't, that's red flag two (red flag one - You don't want to tell me where the job is).
    This gives me security because I no longer accept cell-phone jobs, so to speak (no I know, I'm just saying).

    I have NO way of knowing unless I look at it and besides, the estimate is free so who cares? WHO CARES if *I* waste my time driving out there to look to give you my price? If you're afraid of me, why did you call? I just drive out there, take a look, call you back and there's your price, it is that simple. You want the price? Then let me look. No? Ok, suit yourself.
    That's my thing, hence no quotes over the phone, not even a ballpark: May I have your address please?
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I adopted this trick from years ago working at a pizza place.

    When I worked there and the phone rang, it was always 'name of business' and hi and some minor blablabla and then:
    May I have your phone number?

    That was it!
    No phone?
    No nothing, thank you. click and NEXT !

    Back then the real reason for it was, without the phone number we could not log their order on the computer. The phone number was the first prompt and it would not let you bypass this in any way, so we HAD to have the customer's phone number first thing, no exceptions.

    I gave this a lot of thought, and finally realized whoever made that program was one smart dude. I dare say the fact one could not bypass the phone number prompt was there for the same reason: My way or no way, may I have your address?

    Thank you.

    p.s.: And no, I am real sorry but I don't have the time to explain this to the person on the phone who simply refuses to budge and do things the way I ask. I am asking nicely and I am the owner and thus I run this boat, so please do as I ask or see you later. It's another way to say that the only reason I am ASKING is to be polite, but it's not really a question: May I have your address please?
    I am sorry but there exist no other options, thank you. click and next.
  5. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    Excellent excellent post.

    May I have address!

    Man I hate when people start giving me directions like I don't have a friggin map.:dizzy:
  6. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    This method seems to be working in my area, all small houses and new lawns ( new subdivision) if its more i say this is longer or bigger than my $35 dollar lawns and quote accordly, this seems to be working out o.k at the moment, but i do get a bit nervous till i see the job, would not work in a lot of areas and agree it puts a price in somebodys head and they may be a bit shocked at the real price if its real long.

    P.S its funny how a lot of people go quite when asked for their address, its hard to find the place with out it lol
  7. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    very few times do I get the "how much you want to cut my grass yo", instantly those are tossed out the window.

    If the call starts out that way, I know I don't even have to get to "whats your address".
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ok that's cool, I can see where you're coming from. Only reason I stick to the 'may I have your address' is to make this a standard part of my answering routine, I will for some time always ask this question and if I don't get my answer straight, thank you and click.
    It's part of training myself to do it, it's also part training the customer -> Consistency is the key, once they learn how I operate, things should get better, things will be rough for a bit, but eventually the sailing should smooth out.

    I had a guy earlier today with that middle-eastern accent... Right away the thought of 'dang WHY did I answer the phone' runs through my head lol but then I am thinking well what the hey, you know... This and that and blablabla and yes: May I have your address?
    Short pause and him: Oh I want to know how much you charge?
    Now here I did not ask again, I just said Thank you and hung up.

    Had one earlier this year, I asked for the address and this gal talks on about her and her mother would like to meet me because they were interested in learning more about my company... (address?) Soon as I heard that: Thank you for your time. click
    There's more in the above sentence you can see a BIG red flag, but really the fact my question was ignored is the ticket and now I don't have to think anymore - Yes or No... No? Ok, no problem, thank you.
    That's the problem: I asked for your address. No argument, either please can I have your address or thank you and click.
    So I get short with it too, it really does weed out a lot of bs before I even waste my time driving out there for nothing.
    But I do ask the question, it's my way of saying 'we failed to reach an agreement.'
  9. tomo

    tomo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Hello, cust;approx how much would the lawn cost to have mowed? business;I would like to ask you a few questions[size, irrigation dogs access etc] cust;replies the best growing lawn on a million acres etc business; that will be between $$$ and $$$$ for your area . I will confirm this when i arrive.[ Proceed to make arrangements] briefly ,this works for me no f*****g time wasters tomo PS 25--35 may work for you but i would be broke on that money. I would think you are probally worth alot more than this.In this part of the country miniumn job 40.
  10. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    Regarding THE P.S not sure what part of aussie you are in but in Perth some guys are on $2500 per 4 day week on 25-35 $ lawns, by good grouping of lawns (compact) the guys going for higher 40-45 are not doing as well as not getting the groups, but thats here, you may go broke but i am single no family so i dont need as much to live on.

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