What is this customer saying???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jeffh1988, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. jeffh1988

    jeffh1988 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Posts: 112

    I go to do a mow and leaf cleanup the other day for the best customer i have. Never had any problem with him paying or anything else and he is always happy with my service. Well I show up and mow and cleanup the leaves and before i leave he starts talking to me about things he wants done. Here is the list.
    1. Dig out 30 sq. feet of monkey grass
    2. plant ten new shrubs
    3. bring in topsoil to fill some holes and to put in some beds
    4. fix his irrigation...15 broken heads...none were my fault :)
    5. trim all bushes and mulch all beds
    6. transplant 13 shrubs
    7. till a new bed
    + a couple of other small things
    Well after discussing all of these items he said i have got to go and that was that. Never mentioned a price or nothing.

    So a week later i was going to have a 5 day weekend from school and decided i would do all of this work then. I go to talk to him and he wasn't home but i talked to his wife and i hinted for her to tell me something as far as what they are willing to pay and she wouldn't really tell me anything.

    A couple days later i caught up with him and tryed to talk price with him but he acted like he didn't care what the price was he just wanted it done. So i take this as he wants the best of everything as far as parts, shrubs, etc. and he dosen't care what it cost. He is a very nice person who is a lawyer that has a hand in many other things like realestate and other buissnesses so its not like he dosen't have the money.

    What do i do he won't give me a straight answer and its a couple days before i have to roundup everything i need.

    Sorry for being so long i tend to ramble if you couldn't tell.
  2. The LawnSmith

    The LawnSmith LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    Write up an invoice for services requested before you do it.
  3. Turf Medic

    Turf Medic LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    If you don't want to be here in a couple of weeks telling how your best customer ripped you off. Take a few minutes, type up a list of what you intend to do, put the pricing on it, make two copies, take it to him have him sign it in the spot marked approved by, give him a copy, keep the one with the signature on it. It's real easy for someone to not care what it costs until the job is done, and people with a lot of money didn't get that way by throwing it around. cover your butt.
    out4now likes this.
  4. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    Write up invoice like said priced at best parts adn see if that will let you break even if you only get half the money. Then ask for half up front for materials.
  5. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    And do what Turf Medic suggested as well. Get it signed!
  6. jeffh1988

    jeffh1988 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Posts: 112

    ok i think that is what i will do but here is a new question. How do you price this i know how to price mulch and trimming bushes but this will be first irrigation. Do i price by hour since there is such a variety of tasks or do i do the best i can estimating what i think it is worth.

    One guy i have talked to said you get the price of parts and double it which all the parts will end up being around 700 dollars.

    On the comment of getting half upfront i have no problem footing the bill upfront and he prefers to receive all of his bills at the end of the month.
  7. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,410

    Definately write up a proposal! List all the services you mentioned above and estemate the prices for each. Have him look it over and sing it in agreement. If you dont know the exact prices, state in proposal "these are estimates, actual costs may vary". If u dont do this or something like this, he may not be your best customer for vary long.
  8. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    Write a Propsal. In this proposal, list all of the things he wants done and how much each will cost in itemized form. Request that he sign it to approved the work. Tell him that this is how you do business with large orders. You said he was a lawyer right? Then he of all peaple should understand.

    Always CYA ( cover your a$$ ).
  9. lampeslawnservice

    lampeslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 323

    Make sure to get an estimate apprive by him signed saying he will pay 20 days from completion of work. Trust me, he's a lawyer he will try to screw you if you don't, I don't care how nice he is. Been there, done that.
  10. jeffh1988

    jeffh1988 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Posts: 112

    thanks for all the advice.

    also another question i hear everyone say price upon what you think you are worth...Even though i am younger than most of my competition i do as good or better work than most of them... and feel i am worth as much as they charge. I have run across a couple other jobs where i gave a price based upon the going rate of proffessional lco's in my area and felt i was worth it and usually charge a few dollars less because i am younger and have less experience but was uncomfortable with the price. Some of this is due to me being afraid argument i think because i am an easy going person. I guess i just need to stand up and hold my ground with these people who think becasue i am 16 i work for 5 bucks and hour. Now that is BS and i don't work for anyone like that any more. I am rambling again i guess my point is i am intemidated by my own price that i am giving to customers. I think if i was in their shoes i am not sure i would pay 600 bucks for mulch and bushes which i guess i am not rich and i can mulch my yard myself...i don' know if anyone will see my point but do you??? :rolleyes:

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