The Freakin Tire Kickers are running me ragged this year!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JeffW0011, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    I am so sick of tire kickers right now I can't see straight. I did a lot of advertising last year and a lot this winter and spring. About 2 weeks ago my phone started ringing like crazy....which is good....and I have made a few decent sales and added several App customers and a handful of mowing accounts but I cannot believe the number of tire kickers out there this year on small ticket items.

    The Indians have come out in force this year trying to play Lets Make A Deal (New Delhi version). I just hate it when I say "Green With Envy Lawn Care....May I help you" and I hear one of those thick accented SOB's on the other end. Today about 3PM my office phone starts ringing. I wonder to myself who would think a landscape business office would be open on Sunday, let alone Easter Sunday, but I walk downstairs and check the caller ID to make sure it is not a decent customer calling. The call comes up as blocked. I think to myself...just let it go to voicemail...but curiosity gets the better of me and I snatch up the receiver. Then some guy I can barely understand starts muttering some gibberish and I am like "Sorry sir could you please start over". He is like "we home today only you come to house and gives us dee estimates on de cuttings of mes grass". I am like.."well where do you live I can probably look at it on the Internet" it turns out to be way out on the far end of my service area. A neighborhood I hate to work in anyway...So I look at it and tell him $35.00. I have a couple real close by and I am thinking if I can land his postage stamp yard out there it will help round out that days route. He tells me "Internet no good...u need to come here today and look" I explained to him it was Easter Sunday and I was with my family and he was 45 minutes round trip from my house and I would come by there on Tuesday when I was in the area anyway...well this goes back and forth for a few minutes...him trying to convince me to come out there today...Then he starts in can I drop the price down to $29.00 cause he says he wants to show me 3 other estimates that were all $30.00 and says "u cut every 2 weeks for $29? Thats when he heard the click....It may not have been professional, but it sure made me feel good!!

    Just sick of tire kickers wasting my time and gas....particularly despise the foreign little rant is making me feel better already...thanks guys!!
  2. LandscapeSavannah

    LandscapeSavannah LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 112

    I just wasted my time measuring a 12K sq ft lawn thursday to be sanded. Gave him the price friday morning and he seemed fine with it and wanted to talk to his wife. Called me three times in fifteen minutes, later on that afternoon when my phone was in the truck. First thing he said was, "I wanted to try and get that price down, I don't know if I told you or not but I have cancer." That is the exact words of this man. Then proceeded to tell me he couldn't leave the house, hasnt been to church in weeks, his wife looks after him, he doensn't have long. What the hell do you say to that? I was shocked. I feel bad for him, but still...
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Ahhh the tire kickers. I know its part of the job but they are surely everywhere. I had my share of them already this spring as I have for the last 15 years. I just give the estimate and stick with the price. Lots of wasted time and gas driving around to measure but what else can you do? I also get surprised sometimes when I think its a kicker and they actually take the estimate. I figure that I know what I am doing and if they want my service they pay my price. If they want to compare me to some lowballin scumbag then give the work to the lowballer. I am not your man anyway.

    It is good to rant about it but know you are not alone in your frustration my friend.
  4. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    At least we have the privilege of saying "NO" to them.

    Boy is that nice sometimes.
  5. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    The main reason I don't like to advertise, tire kickers. Word of mouth seems to be working well for me, I'll just stick with that and save myself a ton of money, not only in advertising but all the fuel to ride from one place to another and the time it takes to get there.
  6. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    Yes.... what can you do?? And you certainly get some surprises....I have had my share of experiences where my first impression was this person is a tire kicker or this person is a cheap a$$ and they go on to become great customers...And just as often I have had it the other way where your initial impression was this person is the opposite of frugal and they end up trying to nickel and dime you to death..However, I am still waiting for that first individual from the Not so far East to prove my stereo types about that crowd wrong....They are always trying to haggle, always slow to pay and fast to ***** about anything they think might save them from paying, always giant PITA's..
  7. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    The tire kickers have been unbearable for the last two years. Puts me in a real sh!tty mood. I get tons of foreigners from Purdue that start rambling at you. I rarely make special trips for estimates anymore unless they are in a desireable area.
  8. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    That is where I am getting to as well....especially as I am on the verge of being maxed out for the foreseeable future with current setup....Still like to add maintenance or spray accounts that fit in good or in desirable area..

    I have decided though starting tomorrow unless I really like the way someone sounds or they are in a preferred area or other extinuating circumstances and they want a mow or spray estimate I am ballparking it based on the neighborhood or what I can see online and telling them if this price sounds reasonable I will come out and give them a final estimate.

    People kill me...We just got finished putting in an $8000 bathroom on one estimate. A guy came highly referred, the labor price sounded fair and we said go for it. Now under different circumstances I can see getting 2 or 3 estimates on something like this....but when you tell them $35.00 to mow your lawn or $60.00 an application and they say "well you are my second estimate, I'm gonna get 2 more and I will let you know" you almost just wanna punch them in the face for wasting your time...LOL...I mean if your going with a reputable outfit that plays by the rules, how much difference can there really be?? I mean granted everyone has different overheads but seriously...I had one guy say to me "well even with your promotional offer factored in I can still get Chemlawn to do 5 applications for about $15.00 less total on the season"...I just wanted to force him into my truck and go show hiom 10 of my yards then 10 chemlawn these people not care we are trying to make a living...and getting 4 estimates on lawn mowing is absurd!!!
  9. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    4 Estimates is pretty bad...although I can see screening to a point...3 or 4 of my customers interviewed me before they let me cut their lawn for the season. Definitely worth the time on part because they are my best customers...but as far as pricing, it's all pretty close.
  10. MrRob

    MrRob LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    seems like when we used to advertise 'free estimate' people would call us just to get a free estimate!

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