Yellow Pages & One Time Cuts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Just curious. For those who have Yellow Pages advertisements, what do you do with people who call inquiring about having their lawn mowed just one time...tomorrow? Or am I the only who's getting these calls from the yellow pages?

    Since my yellow pages ad came out, I've received a lot of opportunities to bid on one time cuts. I mean, I'd guess over 80% of my yellow pages calls are people wanting the lawn cut just one time.

    At first, I was driving out to bid on these opportunities. I have since figured out that after I invest 45 minutes in getting them a price, there is no way to recover that time when pricing a one time cut. It's also a little embarrassing...making a trip to someone's home to give them an estimate for a one time opportunity of less than $50...by the time I leave they must be thinking "Gee, how does this idiot make any money?" On other opportunities, I've found that some of these cheap bastages are actually getting multiple quotes for a one time cut.

    I have to admit though, I was able to get one lady to sign up for regular weekly service on one of these opportunites. She called asking about getting her beds cleaned out. When I met her on the property she decided to sign up for weekly service too.

    Another lady just called today and said "I just need to have my lawn mowed one time, tomorrow, or at least before Chirstmas." I said "I don't do one time cuts, but if you'd be interested in regular service...". She immediately cut me off, saying "Thanks" and hung up.

    Just wondering how others handle this?

    I'm thinking that from now on, if I don't have anything better to do, I'll drive out to their home if they'll agree to meet me on the property. Then I'll give them a price for regular service and explain that I don't do one time cuts...sorry, but I guess we didn't understand each other...I thought you were interested in regular service. Maybe I can get some of these people to actually sign up if I can just present my product.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    I really don't do single cuts .... but why not just say $50 is the average single cut .... would you like me to come out ?
     
  3. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,389

    After I recover from hysterical laughter I tell them I do not do one time cuts. And regardless of the size of the job there is no way we could do a service the next day during the busy season. Our schedule is usually full 2-3 weeks in advance.

    We rarely have a call for this type of service. All the LCO's here are as busy as we are. No one would do a one time cut and especially one the next day. If they could they have WAY too much time on their hands. :D
     
  4. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    Most jobs in my area are one timers, and they are always after cheap, very, very few will commit to any ongoing service...I think many people enjoy having mower men arrive and quote and chat and play them against each other, e.g book in a few contractors to arrive within minutes of each other etc, commercial is the same.

    The ones not far away and are sizable are ok as it still gives you exposure if nothing else, its the little fiddly ones you drive 15 + mins one way to quote and then offer a cheap price so you hope to get it to pay the trip and they reject you and say they are getting other prices too, as if you'd bother to go back! Or the trips where you know you are being interigated as their son etc wants to mow some lawns, one I like is they make sure they aren't home, they give you a # to call and leave your message/price, they don't even have the decency to talk to you, they just filter the cheapest. And the ones that call wanting a quote over the phone, but won't tell you where the job is so you can quote it....hmmm...And the ones that always say they can get it cheaper, I work to a standard in my biz structure, not down to a price I say, they say how hard is it to cut grass? Obviously too hard for them!

    Y.P is way over priced I think, but the leads are high quality, usually commercial and government calls come from the phone book, in my experiences anyway.

    Newspapers are usually the bargain hunters and time wasters.

    Good trailer signage is worth doing too.

    Tony.
     
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    ++++We rarely have a call for this type of service. All the LCO's here are as busy as we are. No one would do a one time cut and especially one the next day. If they could they have WAY too much time on their hands.++++

    I still have way too much time on my hands. I just started in January of 2003 and I'm no where close to booked solid yet. Hopefully by mid-summer or at least by next fall I'll be where I want to be.

    I find it interesting that most of your YP calls are for regular service, yet most of my calls are people wanting me to do one time cuts.

    ++++one I like is they make sure they aren't home, they give you a # to call and leave your message/price, they don't even have the decency to talk to you,++++

    I'm 100% through with those opportunities. I would rather starve than drive out to do an estimate on a property where the owner just will not meet me face to face. I never close those deals. All but one of my regular customers met me face to face before signing up for service. For the last several months, if the homeowner hasn't agreed to meet me on their property at a time that's convenient for them, I have not and will not give them an estimate.

    ++++Or the trips where you know you are being interigated as their son etc wants to mow some lawns++++

    I've suspected that on a few estimates myself. Just a gut feeling where you suspect you're being used for an estimate by someone who is thinking about getting into this business and wants to know what kind of prices to charge.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  6. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,389

    Give it a couple of years DFW. You will not have as much time as you do now. If you do then something is seriously wrong. ;)
     
  7. precisioncut

    precisioncut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    I dont really want to one time cuts but since I'm new and if I need some work coming next year I probably will. My yellow page ad will be out soon and I'm sure I will have the same problem. Maybe I'll have them pay up front and have to be there at time of service. I just don't know yet

    I have a solid contract but I'm unsure if people in this area will accept this well. But thats where I'm aming to.
     
  8. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    The only one time cuts that I do are the neighbors of my customers when they go on vacation. Most of the time it is at least 2-4 cuts though. I have taken and made 2 new full time customers out of the vacation cuts.

    BUT THERE IS NO WAY IN HE!! I WOULD DRIVE SOMEWHERE AND BID A JOB FROM SOME PRICE SHOPPING CHEEPO WANTING A ESTIMATER FOR A ONE TIME CUT.!!!!!!
     
  9. mh1314

    mh1314 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 133

    When I do single cuts, I price them high, and then tell them the regular price if they continue on after the first cut. Never without looking at the property first. No matter what they're always ones calling and saying.....

    * Can you cut my yard tomorrow, my regular guy isn't available?

    * Can you cut it for the same price that the boy down the street charged? He doesn't come around anymore.

    * Can you cut my yard, it's too hot for my yardman, I'm afraid that he will get sick?


    :blob2:
     
  10. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    well, what are you suppose to say over the phone if they've hever met you or know your work quality?

    How can you say over the phone, are you interested in getting a regular service instead of going there and getting a 1 time cut to see how you progress?

    I don't know your work quiality and you want someone to be your regular service w/o having a 1st time cut?

    I would go out there, give them a 1st time cut, bring the customer outside to their lawn and ask them if they are satisified with our job. If they aren't, then so be it. If they are, I would ask them would they like their lawn cut regularly by us.
    :waving: :waving:
     

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