Ways to successfully come down on a price?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FrankenScagMachines, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Was curious how you have learned to successfully come down on a price after you realized it was probably too high, after the client to be already discovered the price? I mean like coming down in a professional business like manner? I know that dickering shouldn't be done, but if you are way off on price, and it is a job you really want and you can do it for a better price, well it seems like coming down might not be that bad. In many businesses it is an essential part , why is lawn care any different? I still dont want to come down but I know it can be necessary sometimes.
    Thanks!
    Eric
     
  2. Acorn

    Acorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    I thought you already worked for nothing :)
     
  3. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    I hope that was a joke? haha funny...
    seriously, I know it has to happen sometimes, so how is it done?
     
  4. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    I know my costs and Know what I need to make an hour doing each form of service. This is important for all to know so that prices are always inline with the job to be completed. I will never lower a quoted price.....EVER!!!! If I customer agrees to a price I dont care if it take me 1/4 the time as planned I will not change a price. I do not think there is a professional way of lowering a price without looking desperate for work.....and we all know desperate people are taken advantage of!:nono:
     
  5. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Evan, I know I think that way too but last year I wayy overbid a job and only got him when he needed it when his mower was broke or he was gone, etc. but I want to get him this year as a regular and know i can for a cost that is competitive but how do i explain to him, just say Mr Martin, last year my price as this, but this year I have better equipment and can now do it for this price, please consider having us take care of you this year.
    That is what i was thinking?
     
  6. Acorn

    Acorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    I was joking :D

    It's happened to me before as well.

    If I really want a job and have room to come down in price without leaving too much on the table, I simply call them and explain that a miscalculation of materials or square footage was made and would resubmit. I never put the square footage of a site on the estimate just to leave things open for adjustment. Don't tell them your rates per hour or sq. ft. however you calculate. Just give them a description of work on the estimate and a final price. Basically, don't show how you came to your price. This leaves it open for adjustment. If on the estimate you say it's a 5000 sq ft lot for x$ a sq ft, it's hard to go back and say you miscalculated the area if the guy actually has a 5000 sq. ft lot.


    Sometimes you get a feeling that the customer is going another way because of a lower bid. Sometimes I've had the customer come to me and say "This guy gave me a bid for $$ but I like you. Will you beat this price? I respond by saying that if you like me, you wouldn't ask me to beat the price but I might consider meeting the price if we a sure we are comparing apples to apples and let me see the competition's estimate description of work.
     
  7. Acorn

    Acorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    more efficient equipment shouldn't mean a cheaper price because in the end both jobs are done just one was done smarter. You can explain that as a regular weekly customer, he will get the benefit of "our special pricing". He feels special, you get the job
     
  8. therainman

    therainman LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Posts: 196

    This one is easy, Tell him you had a price for that short term work last year, if he will sign an agreement he will be paying a reduced cost... This is very simple for this case..

    shawn
     
  9. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    LOL well thats where I dicked it up. Last year. The bid I gave was not particularly for one time work, it was for "anytime"... I think I can go explain that last year I didn't have the grasp of estimating and also that this year I have better equipment to do the job with and if you will become a full time customer, I will do it for only $xx.xx per week. I think I could do that w/o losing face... he is a small business owner as well and last year I could tell he wanted to hire me weekly but it was just a matter of price, I could tell that and I wanted to do something about it so I came down $5 but was still way above the "last guy" number, which I can now match and still make a good $60/hr solo. It is a 4 acre job, 2 are wide open flat with no obstacles whatsoever and the front 2 acres are flat pretty open with the house and maybe a dozen obstacles. Can do it all in under 1 1/2 hr this year if I get to add a certain peice to my collection... no I don't mean a Z either. It's top secret :eek:
    :cool:
    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  10. Jimbo

    Jimbo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,093

    Eric,

    Your going to "Dick" it up again this year if you dont pay attention.

    #1 Never tell the customer that you bought new equipment so the price is going down..NEVER!!. That new equipment cost you money, but you are now more productive, so if anything they cancel each other out.

    #2 Never tell the customer that you dont know how to run your business ("you didnt know how to correctly estimate last year"). You are undermining your business, and reputation when you do this.

    The easy solution is to simply tell the customer that you offer better rates to full time contractual customers, since they are garunateed business.

    I have ran into your situation many times cutting for sale props. The place is a jungle when I first bid on it, so the bid is really high because I am breaking up my mower and going through blades like crazy. After six months I have found and removed all the rocks, tree stumps, etc, and now my price seems high. In order to keep other bidders off my back I had to explain to the customer that the initial cuts were higher due to the rough conditions, but now that the property is in order I can afford to lower the price.
    This is the only instance where I have actually lowered my original bid.

    Hope this helps.
    Jim
     

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