putting pricing on advertisements? thoughts?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by facework84, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. facework84

    facework84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    This was my first year in the lawn business. When I started out, I had some pricing on my flyers and craigslist ad that said such and such service "as low as" such and such $, but it seemed to lead to some confusion and a few unhappy people when actually quoting pricing for people. A few people said 'but the ad said it costs $35 (example)' and I explained, NO, it didn't, it said "as low as"

    Anyway, I quit putting pricing on advertisements. I did a lot of estimates but got about half the jobs. Not sure what normal closing rate is but it didn't seem good to me. It made me wonder if I should just tell people up front what minimum rates are, over the phone, instead of wasting so much drive time and gas.

    so, what are your experiences with putting pricing on advertising vs not? For my spring campaign, I can't decide if I should list "as low as pricing" for various packages, or if I should list no pricing, that way when they call, I have more of a chance to be a "salesman" to the people that wouldn't normally call if I put my minimum pricing on paper. On the other hand, if I have no pricing, and they get advertisements that DO list pricing that seem fair, they may not even give me a call. What do you think?
     
  2. richardcog

    richardcog LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    if you want price by the sq feet and then no worries
     
  3. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    Thats a tough one. I don't do maintenance but I receive multiple advertisements every year with pricing. I usually laugh at hem because I would never hire a person who said I'll do it for xx.xx without first walking the property. How do you know how exactly the back yard is? What if you cant do it with a z or large walk behind, there might be some obsticles that require you do 10k feet with a 21" mower. Is it one big area with only edging around the perimeter or are there tons of beds leading to an extra 300' of edging? My own yard you cant see 90% of the turf from google earth or other satelite imeges because it is heavily shaded, it looks like I have about 5k when it is closer to 80k of turf. Every season I get those "blind" quotes offering to do it for $40. Then I get the large fert companies sending out quotes for what my yard look like and what my neighbors yards look like and they offer a price of $60-70 an app, when the pricing sould be in the $350 range
     
  4. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I don't see anything wrong with saying "starting at" or "as low as" $____ in ads. To me it gets rid of the cheapskates if nothing else. Both my mowing and plowing prices start at $40 and I make no secret of it. But if you're going to say as low as $10 and in reality only have that include only 25 squre foot or less properties located within 100 feet of your shop you're gonna P people off.

    I ran a special one spring that was the "budget plan" special for $100/month for mowing and a spring cleanup for most properties (which around here would mean under 1/2 acre). I got a lot of calls put P'd a lot of people off because it was a 12 month budget plan. Some people got downright nasty! It was my intent to have steady income and help people budget, but many of them saw it as a scam, which wasn't my intent. So just be carefull that you don't come across as being deceptive.

    And if you're closing on 50% of your estimates you're doing pretty good...any more and I'd say your pricing is too low.
     
  5. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    A 50% closing rate on estimates is pretty good.
     
  6. AlohaMowing

    AlohaMowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    I like being very open and straightforward, but I think there are just too many variables to publish any price. To say "as low as . . ." just invites an unhappy prospective customer. I won't even quote a per square foot price over the phone because the time to do a job is so dependent on the number of obstructions, such a trees or shrubs, and slope of the land. If I was working suburban neighborhoods of postage stamp lawns I might feel differently.
     
  7. facework84

    facework84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    the replies seem to be on both sides, as i suspected. any experience with marketing data trying one method vs the other?
     
  8. facework84

    facework84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    it was worth the try. i can see having a flat, monthly fee making it easier on the customer. what all did you include in the services?
     
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Spring cleanup and weekly mowing (26 mowings) with fall cleanup extra since it's hard to give a flat rate/one rate fits all for that. Basically I figured it on $40/mow and a $150 spring cleanup on properties up to 1/2 acre or so. Like I said, I had quite a few calls, went out on a bunch of estimates and would give them my agreement and go over it with them and when I got to the 12 month payment part they'd flip out. I mean when someone tells you that it's broken up into equal monthly payments, don't you kind of assume it's 12 months...that's what every budget plan I've ever heard of is like...well some will take 2 months off or something and have 10 payments...but still, I didn't expect to get crucified over it.
     
  10. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    I wish some marketing expert would weigh in on close rates. I think 50% is high, and 25-33% would be a good goal at a slightly higher price.
     

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