Saying "No Thanks"

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by PRapoza451, Jul 6, 2001.

  1. PRapoza451

    PRapoza451 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    I went out to do an estimate this morning and the prospect wasn't even there. They left a list with a friend and wanted me to "Work up a number on it and get back to them" This after being qualified by my office manager too. I politely said no thank you. If a prospect doesn't have the time to meet with me than why should I take the time to meet with there friend and a list? We do have clients that I've never met before but this was different. It was a little tiny job replacing ties, clearing brush, lolly popping trees (which I hate to do anyways). The fastest way to get to the top. Don't waste time on the sh** jobs. It makes more time for seeing good clients and looking for better ones.
    _____________
    Paul
     
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    I'll add to that - I've had potential clients forget about an appoitment, with me showing up to find nobody home, only to get a profuse apology on my voicemail a few hours later.

    I used to try extra hard to be kind to these people and schedule another appointment and assure them that it wasn't a bother to come out a second time, but I found that I never, ever landed any work with these people. I don't know if it's because they don't respect other's time, or don't take the project very seriously, or what. But my response these days follows that of PR - if they aren't home within 10 minutes of the appointment time, I leave. No note, no phonecall. If they call and apologize, I tell them that I'm really busy and don't have time to go out and visit them again.

    Can't waste time on potential business where the odds are such that I won't get the work.
     
  3. i am a tree guy, so i gotta ask, what does it mean to lolly pop a tree? you mean round off the crown? raise the crown? thin? top (i hope not) just curious-
     
  4. PRapoza451

    PRapoza451 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    Lolly pop means to raise up the crown. Limb it up. So it looks like a lolly pop. Doesn't look natural at all.
    __________
    Paul
     
  5. i dont really prune a lot, i do mostly takedowns, and branches they are either over something, or that are cracked or dead or what not. i have been known to lolly pop trees. topping is something that i refuse to do though. unless it is something that can be done from the ground. (small saplings under 2" dbh) otherwise i wont do it.
     
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i do mostly small installs, 20-40 plants and shrubs, 5-10 yds of mulch, 3-5 ton of stone, etc. and believe it or not, i have alot of customers call and say they would like me to look at their place, come up with an idea and price, and call them back. i consider myself on the high end as far as price, but i usually get the job. i check out the place, come up with an idea and price, call them that evening. i actually prefer it that way. but, if a customer feels they must meet me in person, and they blow me off, i usually blow them off too.
     
  7. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Bobby -

    You're fortunate to thave customers that will take all of your ideas right out-of-hand.

    I won't do a design for someone without talking with them first, at the site. My customers usually have an idea of the things they like and don't like and I'd rather find that out up front and design with those things in mind rather than have to redesign later.

    If I had a customer base that accepted 100% of all my designs, I'd love it. Unfortunately, I don't.
     
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    oh, well not all of them do, but a surprising amount do. my wife and i laugh about it. i mean, if i were spending 1000 -2000 on home improvements, id sure as hell want to meet the guy doing the work, and at least get an idea of what is going to be done. youd be amazed, i call them back, tell them we r gonna put in 3 of these 5 of these, etc., they have no idea what im talking about, and they say, ok, when can u start, when will it be done. how much, who do i make the check out to. unreal!
     
  9. PRapoza451

    PRapoza451 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    Bobby,
    If it works for you that's great. I don't know you or your business but if people take your ideas right over the phone I would guess you are one of the lower prices. We price installs at 2 to 2.5 x retail installed plus prep, mulch and soil amendment if needed. We just did part of a job today cleaned up an area, planted three rhodies, and eight inkberry and mulched them in for $1950.00. The whole job took ten man hours to complete this includes going to the nursery for materials. Material cost was $740.00. We do guarantee the plant material for one year as long as they follow watering instructions which we provide them with and go over. That's over $120 per man hour. What do you consider high end?
    _______
    Paul
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    high end is what i mean in comparison to the others who bid these same jobs. my formula:planting material 2x retail price, stone $130 per ton, mulch $60 - 70 per yard. and anything else needed is extra(peat moss, preen, topsoil) . these prices are not locked in but are a bare minimum, different circumstances can change the price considerably. ive already priced jobs at $1700, and had the customer say they had another quote on the same job for $800. paul i kid u not, we are not lowballers, we actually seem to come in higher than most companies, and alot of the time we get the jobs as easily as i mentioned.
     

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