Trouble With New Customers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by smitty2688, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. smitty2688

    smitty2688 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    So im just starting out in the business, i bought out about 20 accounts from a guy that was taking care of these yards last year. For the past couple of weeks i have been driving around to meet everyone face to face and take a look at their yards. On several occasions there have been yards that need alot of spring clean-up, in one case the yard was so packed with leaves that i gave the customer a quote of 5 hours at 45 per hour to clean everything up. I have come to find out that the last guy never did spring clean-up and so some of these customers are getting one hell of a sticker shock when i quote them these prices. They dont mind so much that i have bumped their prices from $25 to $30 but they have never had to pay for clean-up. I have explained to them that im not the neighbor guy running around taking care of yards but that this is a business. Now they are calling around to get a quote on other peoples prices and im afraid that im going to lose alot of them to the "low ballers" out there. Any advise?:confused:
     
  2. greenspaceny

    greenspaceny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Smitty..
    Let them get some other quotes, You can't worry about the low ball guys out there. You need to get your price bottom line. In the mean time get out and sell sell sell. Than if you don't hear back from some of those other clients you still have work coming in..
     
  3. Carolina Cuts

    Carolina Cuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,152

    ummm, how much $ did it set you back to 'buy' these 20 customers?
     
  4. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    Its the good old saying You get what you pay for. let them go some place eles, they can change diffrent people everytime they dont enjoy the service
     
  5. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,861

    smitty -- things will work out if you put in enough time & effort in. Saturdays are great so you can catch people at home. Heck----I've even worked on Sundays, and nobody minded at all. Actually they were impressed that I was working on Sunday. Meeting people face to face greatly improves sales (cuz they can explain their needs & wants), and you can also ask them if a neighbor might be interested in your service. Consumers like to see who they are dealing with. Sell yourself. You'll do fine. Larry:waving:
     
  6. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 958

    Run an add and get out and beat on some new doors. 2/3 of the bids I give are OK with customers and the 1/3 are those bargain shoppers who hire lowballers but 1/2 call me back to finish what the lowballer started anyway. I just hope you didn't pay much for the 20 accounts.
     
  7. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,612

    If there on contracts, offer to stretch out the payments for 2-3 months. If there not on contract and you are in dire need of accounts, I would do little bits at a time and charge accordingly($5.00 for an extra $5.00 minutes)
    They wont mind if you do parts at a time, they didnt mind that the previous guy didnt do it at all.......
     
  8. smitty2688

    smitty2688 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I didnt pay very much for the accounts, pretty much i bought the guys commercial mower and he gave me the accounts for free. For the customers that are saying no way they are going to pay me to do their clean-up ive told them to try to find some kid that can do it cheap and then i can maintain it for them and it will not cost as much next year for clean-up if its done right in the fall. My biggest problem with it is that some of them are saying just take care of mowing the grass and weeds and just leave the rest. but that makes me look bad when the neighbors ask "whos taking care of your yard"
     
  9. ALC-GregH

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

    Thats a tough one to figure out. If you need the work, I'd go with it for now until you find better clients. If your not in a bind for work, let them know that you don't practice lawn maintenance in the manner they are asking it to be done. Apologize and tell them if they want to reconsider, you'd be more then happy to do the service for them. Your image is of some great value and the finished product needs to reflect that image. By leaving the finished lawn looking worse for wear, you might be better off ditching them.
     
  10. Turfrific

    Turfrific LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    mow it and go. let em keep it like that until the get tired of it and pay you extra to clean it up.
     

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