The customer always knows...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by topsites, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I've been suspecting this for some time, and through careful observation have come to the conclusion that customers in general are well aware of the average 'busi-ness' of lawn care operations. What I'm saying is, they know when things are slow as well as when things are busy, thou not all of them do, I am sure a fair to large percentage does.

    Whether they're directly aware of this or not, aware they are, that much I am sure of after many years of watching the roost, I get far more comedy on the phone and on site during lean times than a busy year. Some of it is unavoidable, Lco's tend to be more reasonable during slow times, some may even lower their prices or keep them from going up, but the fact that give an inch and they take a mile does not get past me unnoticed. This is not to say the same amount of comedy is not always present, but it is to say that there is more comedy vs. good business during slow times, it's not an equal ratio always.

    Even some of my better customers get funny during slow times, again it's not a perfect pattern and everybody has their moments even during good times, but I'm talking about those who get funny and then don't quit getting funny on me but actually get funnier and funnier as time goes on... So I'm faced with the same choice of dropping this account, maybe it's just that it hurts more during slow times, but the fresh business that comes along is also funnier than the usual.

    And no, they're not all like that, just a trend, a general drift in that direction.

    That's just my conclusion, yet one more reason to bank the next winter's cash first thing in spring or as soon thereafter as possible.
     
  2. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    I try and give the customer the impression i am a busy man , when i re-strated in late feb this year most days i had nothing on (work that is), if some body rang me up i would make a big show of being flat out and would flick throung my diary to fit them in and most were grateful in the end for squeezing me in the schedule.:)

    It wasnt always like that, i used to tell customers i could get there straight away as i am not busy and its quiet at the moment, what did this tell the customer that things are quiet, this guy will be at my beck and call and he will grateful for any money he can get so i will get a cheap price.:)

    So if its the quiet time of the year pretend other wise, demand is high and speak with a slight urgency in your voice and flick through a book (while on the phone) so they can hear you trying to find them a place in your" busy schedule"

    Before they rang they may have thought its quiet season and they will get a cheap price, but after talking to you they will realise things are busyier than they thought. :usflag:
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You make a good point, I really don't believe in faking things but then I do have my winter money saved so it's not a matter of being desperate for work. Slow yes, but needing the money, no!

    Now I pride myself on giving pronto estimates anytime, busy or not, same day at least. Most of the time I give estimates in my car but if it is enroute, I'll do it in my truck (due to fuel issues), but lately even thou I make it clear that within x- hours I will be passing by their location between jobs, every last one of them seems to believe this means I'm bending over backwards at their beck and call but I'm really not...

    So I think you're right, I must be phrasing things wrong. I'll have to work on this, I think I can handle flipping through some papers while I explain the above, that much fakeness I think I can live with lol.
     
  4. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    I've taken to that myself actually, I read it somewhere (you wrote it) great idea. I normally considered estimates to be a nuisance Because most of my advertising has prices on it so they already got an estimate, in fact I usually miss most of the altogether but I want to grow lawns fast. Thank god I think i figured out how to advertise with prices for lawn care. I think, still working on it.
     
  5. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    Yes its a funny issue some times getting out there straight away say monday give them a quote and they want the job down on friday, so they are happy with the price, then by wednesday they ring and say they dont need me any more, its given more time to explore other options before d-day, husband mows it, nieghbour, or cheaper LCO etc.

    I hate driving just for quotes, if i am quiet i tell them that i do not just come and do a quote, i will come out and give them a price and if they are happy i will do the job there and then. this gives them no time to change they minds once they say yes.

    But if they say it needs doing say friday and thats the only day they will be there for quote i will be happy with that because my success rate with quotes at the last minite is 100%, they are thinking this is a lot more than i wanted to pay but what choice do i have. ha ha :laugh: Because this guy wants an answer right now and is it worth the risk to try and find some body else at this late hour:confused:

    I find if i can help delay this, say" i cant come out to wednesday" to have a look if it needs doing by wed afternoon its helps get me a better price with a higher take up on quotes, for some reason more often than not they will wait for me instead of ringing some body else in the mean time.:)
     
  6. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    I find that lawn care customers are more ummm... (I was going to say scammers) slick than window cleaning customers. They seem to haggle more than new window cleaning customers.
     
  7. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909


    I dont haggle they can say yes or no to my price, some times after a while you can read them and start walking before they open there mouths (back to the truck):walking: i like Top Sites idea if they are a price shopper hit them with a high price and look at the shock on there stupid faces. they freeze like a rabbit in a spot light:laugh: :laugh:
     

Share This Page