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What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by fairways, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. fairways

    fairways LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    I am new to this business, well atleast running the business and lost bids today to someone that is charging more than me, both were around $9 cheaper per mow. I am giving them a very nice presentation with the estimates with a cover letter in an envelope, it's all very professionlly done.....I just dont get it, any suggestions on how you guys do your estimate process and follow up, do I need more customer interaction??????
  2. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    All i do is write a price down on the back of my business card and that seems to do it for me.
  3. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    fairways I hear ya. I been trying to gain new customers this season and like you I have a nice professional presentation and I'm in a slump I am 1 for 5 this week, one lady didn't like the way my contract looked thats why she didn't go with me, whatever. And 2 other customers said it wasn't the price but they felt bad for the guy they have been using, so my question to them waas then why waste my time giving you an estimate? Either they wanted a really cheaper price or they were price shopping. Hang in there, there are a lot of us struggeling it seems this year.
  4. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    do you have a copy of your estimate sheet or contract?
  5. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Have you thought about changing it?
  6. mikestr

    mikestr LawnSite Member
    from Toronto
    Posts: 87

    I've started this year as well, I found it more successful to see the property and state the price and do a face to face. I scored landscaping job worth about $5500 by just writting down the activities and stating the final price and presenting it to people. An elaborate presentation gets them excited, and if they want to bargain you can and offer a little discount. With these jobs I got mowing contracts because I offered a 10% discount if they do it with me. Just leaving at the door has had 0% success because there is no face to face interaction, and they can easily call 5 companies and take the lowest. If you present youself properly and they are impressed they won't bother with the other 4.

    I had one lady sign up because she asked me if I used a sit down mower... she did not want her grass and soil ruined. I matched the price and she was happy, I told her what she wanted to hear. An estimate sheet left at the door does not do it.

    Hope this helps a little.
  7. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    They may not have gone with you because the other companies may be more experienced. There's nothing you can do about this, except GAIN experience on the lawns you do get. Good luck :waving:
  8. tinman

    tinman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ga
    Posts: 1,348

    Have a list of references in your presentation.
  9. rickman

    rickman LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 29

    also remember all people are different...heres a little example of my first call this year... a woman calls says she wants me to check out her lawn etc.(sounded like an older "slow" women) I say ok no problem and said I'll be right over in the morning,so I get there she's talking like "and when you start cleaning this please keep it clean..ok?"
    I said absolutely! I always do my best work and will do it the way that makes you happy,thats what Im here for,she was all excited.Im thing "I got this job" She said call me back with the estimate I said ok,thank you etc etc. I siad heck with calling her back..I want to show her how I do my work,So I drive 20 minutes back to her house and give her the writin estimate,went over it with her,told her how,when,and cost of everything...she seemed like it was kinda high!
    She said I'll give you a call in a couple days...I was all fine with that...I mean if they think the price isnt good what can you do, About 5 days go by and I was in that area looking at other jobs about 2 houses away..I see her land was still not touched..I asked my wife to give her a call and tell the women we were just checking in to see if she still wants the work done,and or if she found someone else,that was fine,But we just wanted to know to fit her in.My wife get her on the phone asks her and..the women says "oh yes I still want you to do the work!" I will call you tonight,I was stumped,what the heck! the women assumed that I knew we were supposed to do the job,but clearly stated she'd call me back. I mean at first I thought I had it till I gave her the estimate and then she looked dissapointed...So I assumed she must have found a "cheaper" guy, So anyway I had to delay mondays job until Im done with this one, becuase I feel like Ive made this women wait,even though she is the reason I hadnt done it lol

    the point Im making over the long drawn out rambling..is that I was professional as I could be with myself,truck,paperwork,wording etc. I was in sales for a while a few years ago,so talking to people and telling them what they want to hear without BSing them comes easy,but some people just plain dont know what they want.And sometimes I dont think they even know why they ask for estimates,and even though the find that lower price from someone else like said above,they still kept the same guy.....
    I have heard that so much this year around here.I think its cause they want to see if their gettin a real screwin,seeing all these other lwancare/landscapers out there,and the people get curious :dizzy:

    and the way I see it is if your starting out and getting any decent jobs, you must be doing something right,all people are different.Some are easier to please than others.I know in my area this year there are more "landscapers" lawncare guys than ever! but I see who is advertising better,,in the paper,lettering on their truck,nice business cards and the guys, or kids with messy writing on paper advertising for their lawncare .

    Dont get me wrong...I was a kid once too,and more power to any kid that gets off his a$$ and wants to make a few bucks.But will learn over time how to do so! Good luck,I hope things turn around soon payup
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    You may not be doing anything wrong, if they are getting multiple estimates your chances of getting the account will obviously go down. I try to strike up a quick conversation about something, just a little chit-chat, loosens them up, they see you as a person vs. "the lawn service"

    At least in my area, seems the grass is growing much more slowly than usual. Almost like a mini-drought in April. Usually by now the lawns are growing like crazy. When it's slow, people take their sweet time, shop around, etc.

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