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Discussion in 'Winterizing' started by GreenLawn51, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. rippinryno

    rippinryno LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    The 5 decades may actually have you missing customers if this is the case. Like I said, the low ballers here have the most business, so it might be time to admit they are doing something right.

    Many times, a successful business will advertise a starting rate. In this case, let's say this company starts at $45 as they advertise, this is for a basic small residential setup. This gets them in door, stealing all of your customers, and they they can up-sell. I would bet that majority of this companies accounts aren't $45, they're likely more, however they do advertise starting at $45, and it's what we pay for a 15-20 min visit every fall when they blowout. We're happy, it's a great deal for us, they're very good, same guy comes every time. Not overpriced, and not in a hurry.
  2. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,831

    Still lowballing by any standard. Also I don't have clients that flip whenever a cheaper price is around. The expertise, knowledge of their systems and longevity keeps the good customers ours.

    You can have all the floaters who actually respond to the shiny object you dangle in front of them-take 'em all if it gets you rolling. I certainly do not want or desire their business.

    My firm simply has no need to play such games with the quality clients we have and attract-they know what they want and are willing to pay for it.
    kawasaki guy and hal like this.
  3. magna111

    magna111 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 500

    If your guy is not in a hurry then they don’t have most of the business. With the exception of the first and last week of winterizing season, we are hustling to get everyone done before the first hard freeze.
    hort101 likes this.
  4. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,831

    I hope the first week of October doesn't yield another of those 80+ degree first day of blowouts. I've had that happen in Jersey way too often over the years.
    Prefectturfnj likes this.
  5. rippinryno

    rippinryno LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    I bet these guys that we use that charge $45 starting price don't lose many clients, just like you, they hold onto them. Shouldn't be so hard to believe, nor should you be assuming that your service is that much better.

    They aren't inexperienced, they have been successfully doing irrigation for decades and have a customer base that employees 8 full time vehicles and hits several towns/cities within 100 mile radius. Just to come to us, they are driving 45 minutes, but they don't come to town for us, they come for a whole bunch of clients.

    AGain, sorry this is terrible news for you, but you should open up a littel bit and understand they're successful with their starting price of $45. It's time to step down off your horse and acknowledge that, you can keep calling them lowballers and inexperienced if you want, you can assume that they dont' hold onto clients like you do, the fact is, their clients are in the know and if you serviced in my area, you would be overcharging and would likely lose several clients, the ones youd nt' want anyway, because they're "floaters". You definition is "floater" is a customer who does due dillegence.
  6. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,831

    Doesn't upset my apple cart one bit to do half as much work for the same money. And cheap clients who like cheap rates are just that-cheap. Keep them and enjoy them.

    And FYI-I rarely go more than 10 miles for better than 90% of my 3000 plus clients. And the only ones I drive further for are large HOAs that pay travel time also. One hundred miles and $45 blowouts? Even if they did 20 at clip it still is not worth the time or the drive.

    Low ballers are low ballers-period. Give it up already-your tired and repetitive protestations have fallen on many deaf ears on this site in addition to my own. And don't think for a moment that the level of expertise, design and service I and my family deliver is anything less than top drawer.

    No-my definition of a floater is a cheap disloyal type of consumer who shops around for the cheapest price with service quality being secondary. I've encountered boatloads of them in my time in the business and can spot them merely watching their body language as they stroll over to tell me "my house is right over there".

    They are all yours and the 100 mile travelers who apparently never studied the impact of windshield time on their bottom line-or the art of correctly pricing services. AKA-the twin causes of low profitability (which is something I can assure you I do not suffer from).

    kawasaki guy likes this.
  7. biodale

    biodale LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Well I am in Washington state. Fifty dollars is a standard sprinkler blowout. I am one of the higher priced companies in the area. I winterize 1000 systems a years. Of course I charge more for large systems. This whole area is below the national average.
  8. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,831

    I am sure you have some that will do it for 30 or less. In every area, be it for lawn mowing, blowouts etc. the low ballers come out of the woodwork to drag down our industry. They help to keep margins and profits low and that is never a good thing in our fields. Have you been approached while doing a BO by a HO who asks you how much? And when you tell him 50 he turns and walks away?

    These types of floaters will never pay the going rate in an area because they always want it for a lot less. Just people to avoid.
    JLSLLC likes this.
  9. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,831

    I posted this in the 2019 Blowout thread and will share this here as well:

    I have to share this conversation I had with my dentist (also a client) who epitomizes the fact that even well trained professionals are usually only talented or knowledgable in one discipline:

    I'm in my office late one evening and the phone rings-I pick up.

    Me: Hi Dr. J- what can I do for you? (Caller ID)
    Dr. J: Your crew was just here to blowout my system and I noticed there is water dripping out of that thing outside.
    Me: That thing-you mean the hose bib/hose connection?
    Dr. J: Yes. I have guests coming over for the holidays (he is Orthodox) and I am worried about this.
    Me: Well your system is 26 years old and it indicates that the irrigation system shutoff valve is not closing 100%.
    Dr. J: I don't follow.
    Me: It tells us that the shutoff valve in the basement after your water meter is not fully closing. It will need to be replaced so you should call your plumber and advise him that you need a 1" ball valve replaced for your sprinkler system.
    Dr. J: I don't understand what does that mean?

    (Now I've know this guy and his whole family for a quarter century so being blunt is not unusual).

    Me: Doc-I only have command of the English language with a smattering of French, Spanish and Latin. I cannot put it in any more clearer words. Allow me to use an analogy-have you ever had a faucet dripping?
    Dr. J: Yes.
    Me: Good-then this should clear your mind. A faucet is a valve-it delivers the same function as an irrigation shutoff valve-it shuts water off. When it fails it must be replaced-are you clear on this now?
    Dr. J: I guess so-but my guests are coming over soon.
    Me: And why would that be an issue? The dripping hose bib is on the side of the house behind six foot shrubs-why would this be an issue? Myself if an invited dinner guest crawled behind my plantings and ragged me out about a dripping hose bib I would throw them out of my house and instruct them never to return. I suggest you do the same.
    Dr. J: Um, OK, I get it.
    Me. Good. Remember a saying that is common in my trade-IT'S ONLY WATER!!! We good now? Are you going to place a call to your plumber or lacking same do you want my plumber's number?
    Dr. J: No I've got it-thanks for putting my mind at ease.
    Me: Great Doc-I'll see you in December for my yearly X-Rays. Goodnight.
    Dr. J: Goodnight.

    I deal with this level of ignorance at least 50 times per year. You can't make this stuff up.
  10. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,831

    Well I'm 2/3 of the way through at 2076 BOs done and a freeze is coming Friday and Saturday. All the folks are in a panic over this but I give them two pieces of advice to stave off any issues-first turn the water off and open the hose bib. Second-cover the outdoor plumbing with a heavy mil plastic bag. Some do it-others are clueless. They sometimes suffer a blown poppet or a cracked pipe but those are the breaks. Then Monday it warms back up and it's like nothing happened in their universe.

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