Can You Belive This Guy

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by howardsells2000, May 22, 2006.

  1. howardsells2000

    howardsells2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 355

    I have posted on here before about a customer that I have that owns two 7-11's and a couple houses. He is always trying to get something for nothing and always negotiating my prices. Not long ago I was going to give him a piece of my mind. He calls me and before I can say anything he says he has a friend with two gas stations for me to cut. So I didn't say anything and thought to myself that maybe its worth it since he is getting me more work.

    I drove to the gas stations a few weeks ago and we agreed on a price for both. They were both over grown and one was so bad I had to use a weed whacker because the garbage, tires, bottles and misc crap. But it was just a small area that had grass. Even with it being so high it only took me about 20 minutes to cut. Well today I'm cutting at the same station and the owner tells me that I need to clean up the trash before I cut it.

    It just blew my mind. It would take me at least two hours to clean up this place. It's a disaster area. I told him my price was to cut the grass. I would gladly clean up though but I will charge him $100.00. He didn't say much about after that.

    He is just like his 7-11 buddy. Trying to get something for nothing. I know it shouldn't be important but both of them are middle eastern. I think it's something they do. Always negotiate. I hate that. My price is my price.

    Now don't get me wrong. I pick up trash all of the time off my yards. A plastic bag here and there or a soda can or news paper. But I'm not there to give them a full clean up. Just to mow, trim and blow.

    Maybe I'm just an easy target for these guys but I'm not giving them anything for nothing anymore.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    I thought we told you what to do back than. I believe everyone thought that you should drop and move on.

    "Maybe I'm just an easy target for these guys"

    Well at least you know where you stand. They will milk you dry and still squeeze more. How much are you willing to give. It's a losing game, Why play
  3. Jnamo

    Jnamo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    You did the right thing. Tell him your price to clean up and keep cutting until he says otherwise. If he brings it up again, tell him $100 and it gets done. I wouldn't drop them over this. Might lead to even more work? They all know each other.
  4. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    HOw do you think they have enough money to own multiple houses and businesses? doing exactly what they do best save a penny everywhere and it adds up because if you wont do it at a lower price someone else will and they know it( notice how i said lower price and not cheap ;))
  5. All_Clear

    All_Clear LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    You mow the trash... Shouldn't you have taken clean up each time into consideration and charged accordingly.... I couldn't mow over the trash and have anyone see my business name doing that... besides i wouldn't be happy with the results, let alone the customer....

    Sounds like you let people walk on you... which in this business if you give them an inch they expect a mile...

    All Clear
  6. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    Advertise, get lots of customers so many that your are having a tough time organizing and getting your work done then elinate all the pain in the butts.

    yeah, I know its easier to type advice then actually doing it myself :(
  7. sbc1971

    sbc1971 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Howard,I read your post last week and thought to myself that I would not drop this customer.I knew it would lead to more business.You only need to change the way you deal with these guys,and it seems like you are.Hold your ground and be "dumb like a fox".The bottom line is, the bottom line.Make sure your making money every time! To me, a little abuse here and there makes it fun,But MAKE MONEY!! Its never fun losing money.Anyway, You and Mr.Camel Hearder will find a middle ground, and when you do,and your making money, you'll be glad you stuck it out. Maybe i'll see you around, i'm in Millersville,Glen Burnie,Annapolis area.

    CWRSNY LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    I have the same problem with this type of customer, they have a small circle garden in there front lawn (3ft), so I agreed to clean and do a quick till, Today she tells me when will I trim all the bushes and trees, along with weeding the rest of the 3 garden around the house. Unreal
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    With any middle easterns, this is probably the one time where you can run away with almost absolute certainty that you're doing the right thing. I think that's wild the rest of the guys saw this one first with the 7-11 bit, pretty funny :laugh:

    As for me, as soon as I recognize the accent: WOooooosh !!! Outta there, if I catch it on the phone, I don't even bother to go out there.
  10. MowForLess

    MowForLess LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Okay. I have seen enough.

    Business 101.
    Guys and gals, all these "rich" people with the "money" problems. Haggling here and there. They got where they are because of this virtue. Not only that, they are also slight to moderate risk takers. You are not going to make money in this business being the lawn boy or the nice guy who does a good job cheap. Hold your ground, don't be afraid to be a pr*ck.
    Ever heard the term, "a fool and his money will soon part"? Well, these guys are no fools when it comes to money.
    Just be worth what you are charging, stand your ground and don't go back on your word! If you say you will do such and such job for this specific amount, then do the job and get paid.
    This can be a real nice business for you, don't make it harder than it has to be.
    Just my two cents worth.

    BTW, just bought a new GMC 3500 Crew Cab Dually. Nothing I can't pull now!

Share This Page