Cheapskate customers...


LawnSite Senior Member
South, FL
What is it with these skinflints I'm going out to bid on this week. They want their property mowed every 2 weeks for the same price as a regular weekly customer. Grass is much higher, harder on the mower, some you have to double cut. Outrageous. Also had a lady want me to cut every 10 days. How can you fit that into a schedule? Every 10 days its a different day of the week. I may have to travel way out of the area I'm working just because she says she's on a fixed income and can't afford weekly cuts. I'm fairly new full timer and things are working out well so far. I don't want to turn away any business but some of these tightwads are making me think twice about whether I want to play ball with them or not. Might be better off declining their business. Any one else getting calls from prospects wanting you to stretch their scheduled cuts at your expense?<br>Bassman<p><p><font size="1">Edited by: Bassman


LawnSite Member
St. Paul,MN.
Bassman, The hardest lesson Ive learned so far is that I dont want EVERYONES buisness.It is really hard to say no - the first time. Then you realize that,maybe more than any buisness,time is money.<br>I &quot;fired&quot; an elderly woman earlier this season whose price had not been raised in years and always complained and came at me with any questions or concerns like i was a thief! In anger I wrote her a calm, reasonable letter telling her she was fired! It was liberating.<br>Stop thinking nice guy and realize this is buisness. State your policy and if people want otherwise, bid them adios.


LawnSite Senior Member
I've tried the everyother thing before and it rarely works . 9 of 10 need weekly mowing . They are skinflints for sure . Don't give in . Remember that the day of their mows is longer every other week with out overtime pay . Just say NO and give'em to the inexperenced guy who thinks everyhting is a graet deal.


Former Moderator
You definitely are going to run into people like that.<p>The best thing to do is when a potential customer calls, try to weed out the tight wads immediately.<p>Example:<p>&quot;Hello, I'm calling about getting an estimate on getting my grass cut. Do you give free estimates?&quot;<p>&quot;Yes Ma'am we sure do. When has the last time your grass been cut?&quot;<p>&quot;Last week.&quot;<p>&quot;Sounds good. Do you normally get your grass cut every week?&quot; <p>&quot;Well no, I like to get my grass cut every 14 days. I'm a senior citizen on a limited income.&quot;<p>&quot;Well to be honest, we normally cut every 7 days. What happens is, the grass gets too high when left go longer, and that ends up putting too much wear and tear on our machines. But I'll tell you what though. Tell me where you are located. I'm sure I'll be in the area in the next couple of days, I'll drive by, and if I think it is something we are interested in, I'll stop and give you an estimate.&quot;<p>*********************************<p><br>We have about 10 bi-weekly customers. A few of them need to be. Their grass just does not grow. Very shaded locations, and every 14 days is fine. (that's why it's best if you can at least drive by and take a look at a potential customer to see if their lot is all shade. You can tell immediately if their grass is a heavy grower. Plus it is nice to have a few bi-weeklys as fill-ins)<br> <br>But we also have a few bi-weekly customers that definitely are going to get the boot next year. Would do it now since we've been picking up some really good gravy yards, but I think that would look unprofessional to just stop in the middle of the season.&quot; But come January, they will be getting their letter saying, &quot;We regret to inform you....&quot;<p><br>We learned the hard way in the beginning. We would get tons of phone calls. And being naive, we thought we had to go check them all out. We wasted so much time on cheapskates. This year we ask all the right questions before we waste our time.<p>If you are just starting out, not sure on how many customers you need to have, you might have to pick up a few of these bi-weeklys. But believe me, you won't have to keep these ones for long, once you are out there cutting. It's amazing how many times now we are stopped. Just today we picked up 2 nice flat yards. Not many obstacles, and you can tell right from the get-go that these people care about their lawns. <p>Little by little, you will be able to organize your route so it is very condensed and profitable, plus have customers that want their grass cut every 7 days.<p>Hang in there. It just takes a little time.<p><br>Jodi<p>

Jerrys Lawn Service

LawnSite Member
Bassman, We offer two mowing options 7 day &<br>10 day cuts. All of our 10 day cuts are <br>non fertilized yards, that way they are still<br>cutable, as far as fitting them in it's<br>easy one cut falls on a monday and the other<br>falls on thursday or friday, as long as you<br>get enough customers to flip back and forth.<br>Good Luck!


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
Tell your customer to &quot;want&quot; in one hand and $#!t in the other then call and tell you which filled quicker.<p>Seriously, you need to spell out, that the price is for mowing weekly, &quot;as needed&quot;, or whatever is comfortable for you. If the customer wants you to wait til the grass is out of hand, then its $x/ per cut extra, regardless of what they &quot;want&quot;. They &quot;want&quot; you to do it all the time for $2 a cut but it aint gonna happen right?<p>Bill


LawnSite Senior Member
Northern NJ
I tell all of my customers 7-10 day intervals. This way when the growing slows down, I can start on other projects that I had to put off. This also gives some flex. for when the rain comes or you just can't make it. I let the customer know that I need some flexability in the schedule. I had one this year I told &quot;every 7-10 days&quot; and she replied &quot;We will take the 10 day&quot;. I had to explain that this was not an option in the spring, but would happen in August. She actualy turned out to be a keeper though.<p>jeff

AGG Lawn Maintenance

LawnSite Senior Member
We try and stay away from those to of accounts. I tell them if for example your lawn is $100 a month for weekly then for bi-weekly it will be $80.00 if that doesn't work I say have a nice day. We service 100 lawns and two old ladies we have are starting to do that &quot;don't cut it this week&quot;<br>thing. After this year they will get dropped.<br>Be firm you don't need the extra work on your body and machines!!! Weekly is better and the lawn looks better. The only time we get into bi-weekly is if its not growing.<br>Good Luck Travis AG&G Lawn Maintenance

Premo Services

LawnSite Bronze Member
I had a new customer tell me this spring to cut every two weeks, in the spring it grows 6-8 in. or more in a week. I told him that would be fine, but would have to charge 75.00 a cut. The weekly charge is 40.00 cut. He said you are not saving me any money, and I said I am not in business to save you money, ask all my other customers who prefer a quality job, needless to say he is getting cut every week & is happy,& a very good customer now.<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: mow money

Richard Martin

LawnSite Fanatic
Greenville, NC
I have actually had one customer switch (very slowly) from weekly to bi-weekly. I'm not sure just how he managed to do this. I'm going to keep him around for the remainder of the year just to fill the schedule. All of my new customers are weekly cuts. When I bid the job I inform them that it will be X amount for a weekly cut. If they inquire about bi-weekly I tell them that I don't do bi-weekly or 10 days or whatever kinda kooky schedule busting frequency of cuts that they want. When you work by yourself it is important to have a fixed schedule to work by. You need to be able to schedule work so you don't kill yourself one day and sit around clipping your fingernails the next.