pitching a contract to a residential account

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by BBN, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. BBN

    BBN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    I've decided that for 2007 I'm only going to go with contracts. I reconize the benefits for us because we have backing on paper to collect in court from non-payers. I know that it benefits us but when trying to pitch a contract to a potential customer what benefit does the customer have at signing a contract? In other words, if you were a potential customer and you were trying to get me to sign a one year contract for your lawn services what benefit do I have by signing? Thanks for all input
  2. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    The customer gets the benefit of someone who by contract is supposed to show up at specific times to cut their lawn. If you offer a 12 mo contract they pay less per month than they currently pay. there are probably a couple more benefits but most benefits go to the lco. I as a customer would never sign a contract because it doesn't benefit me much. I can always wave down the id next door and get my lawn cut cheaper.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Not supposed to be benefits for the client...the benefits are for the LCO.

    So what do you mean exactly by 'contract'??? A simple service agreement, or a more long-term commitment?
  4. BBN

    BBN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Thanks for the info guys. By a contract I mean a written agreement to provide lawn services for a 12 month period. I'm just wondering if most potential customers will go for anything that does not benefit them in any way.
  5. richallseasons

    richallseasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    First impressions are important in any relationship, it sets the tone for everything to follow. As a professional company the contract sends a message, you are a professional, serious about your business, and the care of the clients landscape.

    It illustrates that you have done more than purchase some equipment and started looking for clients to make a quick buck. It illustrates some fore thought on your part. Something that is of value to those who are turning over the care of their landscape to you.

    With any service you want someone proactive to be looking out for you. To try to minimize problems. At the very least a person that would do all that would have the fore thought to begin with a contract.

    A contract is about much more than getting paid, its about setting the tone for the relationship.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    I agree with you AZ...really not a 'benefit' thing but more of a 'peace of mind' thing for the client.

    BBN, as far as a 12 month contract, do you mean they would be locked-in and can't cancel for 12 months, or are you proposing a flat-rate deal over 12 months?

    What I do now to help get paid in a timely fashion...I really push the credit cards...offer a small discount if they elect to pay the bill each month by CC. This way I control when I get paid, not them :)

    You could also experiment with the contract idea now, any new sign-ups, offer only a 12 month contract, and see how the response is.
  8. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    A contract is nothing more than a piece of paper stating what you as a contractor promise to do for the customer at a set price. And it states the customer agrees to pay you xx amount of $$$ for the work you performed by a certain date.

    The benefits to the customer is that they know the cost of service and they know what they will be getting for that cost.

    The contractor knows what he has promised to perform and when he will get paid.

    I don't pitch contracts, we reach an agreement and I write it down and ask the customer to sign and hand him his copy. If questioned I explain it to them as I explained it here.
    If they refuse to sign I refuse to work-- I can predict that there will be trouble ahead if they can not see the benefits to both parties.
  9. BBN

    BBN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    OK. That sounds good folks! Thanks

    Hoolie, I'm wanting to plan a 12 month payment agreement but allow either party to back out of the contract with 15 days notice.
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    A contract is not to "benefit" anyone, and does not need to be "pitched"
    It is the way any professional business does business.
    Most little boys down the street do not use them because the person that wants a little boy is not looking for professional lawn care.
    The contract is a document that spells out who will service the property, Who will receive the service, Where the service will take place, The scope of that that service, the cost of that service and payment arrangements.
    It addresses contingencies, may spell out materials and equipment instructions, Period of contract and renewal clause, Cancellation clause, Performance standards on both sides and any Damage addendum.
    and requirements and limits of insurance.
    The main true reason for the contract is to "PRE"answer any questions that come up during your business relationship.
    The signing of a contract should in no way affect the cost of services rendered.
    If you are truly providing full, professional, landscape maintenance, not only will the client expect to enter into an agreement but may not do business without one.

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