Approach when estimating for a customer

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by touhey33, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. touhey33

    touhey33 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 778

    What is your approach, when estimating for a customer? How do you represent yourself and your company? Do you just estimate and give the numbers, try to sell more services, etc. Whats your secrets to getting a customer when you do estimations?
  2. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    I have found that when you give estimates for the entire range of services you offer, it is usually unsuccessful. If I get a call for a lawn mowing estimate, I just give the estimate, but my sheet shows all the available services I offer. I find if I give the mowing estimate along with an edging, bush trimming, etc estimate, it scares them away. I try to land the original estimate, and then work on them later up selling more services. That's how I do it.

  3. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    I give them the estimate they ask for. If it's lawn care, I give them only that estimate. As the year progresses, I may drop them a letter that says "last time we were servicing your property, I noticed your lawn could use some aerating or your hedges could be trimmed up. Here is the estimate for that service, and we can complete the service on any of our scheduled stops to your place"

    or something to that effect........
  4. dforbes

    dforbes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    I try to meet with the customer when I give an estimate. Then as we walk the property I will ask, what are you expecting to acomplish by using our service. If he says I just want it mowed each week, I don't push the issue. Usually they will reply with somehting along the lines of you are the profesional, I know nothing about lawn care what would you suggest. At this point I will point out what really needs to be done to get the property in shape. If it is a large project I explain that if there budjet is restricted that it can be done in stages and we would be happy to draw up a long term plan to fit their budjet.
  5. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    When I give an estimate I write it up for what they ask for,if they are home and we meet and walk around I may offer a couple suggestions.If nobody is home then it just gets written up and left at the house with a business card,on the back of the cards we have a list of services.
  6. kandklandscape

    kandklandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 341

    When we get our calls, we always write down a call log....

    That is the customers information.. We always get where the customer heard about us, alternative phone #'s ie work, home cell etc.... and then street address, ask for the concerns they are looking to touch.

    When we get there, always have the rep say this is so and so from k and k landscaping, i am here to give you your constultaion.... and they think that is MUCH better then estimate. Because usually 1:3 will choose your company BECAUSE they see it as a consultation, not an estimate. We also charge pretty heavily for landscape design.

    So, if I were you in your situation, I would address the customer as, Mr. Smith, I am Brandon from K and K Landscaping, and I am here to do your consultation for your..... whatever it says on the call log..... Walk around the house, and ALWAYS go in to look outside if it is a landscaping job. Because you can show them, hey this would look good here, and also we sell ALOT of ponds this way.

  7. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

  8. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,804

    one additional thing we do is if we are more than 5 minutes late for an estimate, we automatically offer the customer a $10 credit towards service. i hate when the cable guy is late, so why should we also think our prospective customer's time is less valuable. the customer's love it and it's funny how many say it's not necessary because they understand traffic, weather or whatever. we still always add it and i think it goes a long way in generating referrals along the way.
  9. ProSvcs

    ProSvcs LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Messages: 84

    What would you folks think about including several options on the quote

    Silver Plan
    Mow, Trim, Blow = 200.00 monthly April through Oct
    Mow, trim, Blow, Spring / Fall cleanup = 200.00 monthly April - March
    Mow, Trim, Blow, Spring / Fall Cleanup, Snow Removal, Ice Management = 250.00 April - March

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