When to break the news?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ASBK, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. ASBK

    ASBK LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 25

    A mowing customer has been having a pool and extensive landscaping work that will be completed in the spring installed.
    I get a call asking for a discount in mowing now that there is a quarter the turf area in the backyard. Do I give them a discount now for the remaining to cuts of the season, then tell them in the spring the price will increase to more than they were paying pre-pool, due to bagging and such. Or tell them now.
  2. Maitland Man

    Maitland Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    Tell them now.........
  3. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    You happily explain to them, that because they're such a good customer, you're not going to not raise their price even thought you now have more to trim because of all the added landscaping.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I would just tell them now.

    I have encountered similar situations in the past where someone took out a section of grass on the property for whatever reason and requested a lower rate. Here's how I usually answer that question,

    "Ms. Smith, I totally understand what you are asking for. It makes sense. But I should explain that the rate you're receiving now is already the lowest rate we offer. We kind of have a general minimum that we'll come out and service someone's landscape for. And a lot of that rate is based on drive time and just making the stop. And within that minimum rate it doesn't really matter whether the lawn size is 3000 sq. ft. or 4000 sq. ft. We've already been charging you the same minimum rate that we charge people who have slightly smaller lawns than you do. And I can't lower our rates any lower than this minimum rate."

    In your case, I'd go on to explain,

    "Also, I should explain although there is less turf area now, there is still at least as much work because now we have to bag that area where we used to mulch and there is also more clean-up work around the concrete."

    A lot of the time people will respond with, "No problem. That makes sense. Thanks for explaining. I just thought I'd ask. Love your service!" and that's that.
  5. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    And if they drop you after all that, you're better off? Maybe so.
  6. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    Jim Lewis, I'd just like to take the time to tell you how much I've enjoyed your common-sense, level-headed, business-like approach to the questions I've seen you answer in the years I've been on this board. LOL, I just checked my profile and noticed that I am still in my forties on it while actually I'm now in my mid-50's!

    Although we're in totally different segments of this business I've learned a lot from you and know that if more of the younger folks on this board would pay attention to your experience and counsel they'd be better off.

    BTW, I spend a fair amount of time in the Salem area, mostly summer weekends and have often thought it would be interesting to meet you and check out your operation but it seems I'm always zooming through the area either rushing down there or trying to get back on Sunday evening. If you're ever headed up this way [about an hour north of Seattle] be sure to pm me and I'll buy you a cup of coffee. Will M>
  7. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    There are really great responses to this question. I would do all that's been suggested and emphasize the need to bag the grass around the pool.
    Then, after all is settled and you see if you're keeping the account, go buy a Snapper HiVac.

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