critics wanted for this revised letter

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Twotoros, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    Thanks for all the help on the first letter. It was much too harsh. This will go out tommorrow unless someone convinces me it is out of line.

    Dear Sir or Madam,
    I’d like to thank you for your business in the past, and once again need your attention for a couple of minutes to review this proposal for the 2001 season. The white copy has all of the services I offer for this season and the prices for your property.
    With increasing fuel, equipment and other costs I have made some price adjustments on some accounts. I know that we are all having tough times in the valley now but I must consider the future of my business.
    If after you review this proposal and find the prices unreasonable, then I urge you to call me and allow me to explain the changes. I also urge you to compare with other licensed lawn care companies. Lawn care prices in our area are still well below national averages, whereas cost of doing business is not.

    This year I will offer some different fertilizer program choices. The first is fertilizer only and are the products I get from Wilbur-Ellis Co. They are good products and are the cheaper of the programs I offer.
    The other program is Scott’s brand premium fertilizer with or without weed control. Scott’s suggests a 4-step program. To keep your lawn green and healthy four applications may not be necessary. Every lawn is different and I can help you decide what it may need. Prices are on the white copy.

    If you would rather have a spray fertilizer program, I can arrange that with a licensed, bonded service that I can trust to not over fertilize. That program can be billed through me, saving you from having to pay two different companies. I can also arrange for your tree and shrub spraying needs, dormant spray and insect control.

    What I’m trying to get away from are fertilizer programs that tend to over fertilize and cause extreme growth, leaving me to deal with the consequences. Excessive growth due to poor turf care practices may result in increased charges. The only way I have to deal with this problem may be to charge by the hour instead of flat rate prices.
    All services can be combined as a contract if you wish and billed as a monthly flat rate from March to December. This would be useful if you are on a budget. Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely, Gary Gallipo

  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

    I'd skip the part about using a company that sprays. I also don't give my customers choices of what brand of fertilizer that I use. I'd also shorten it a little. Over all its good.
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Agree with bob, Gary. You can supply the fertilization needs, period. And forget the details & brand names; in future you may find better or more economical products. Use a standard/regular/simple program and a premium/better program.

    Sell yourself as an improvement over the third party service. OK to offer extras for tree/shrub/etc. thru a third party.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Very good letter! This one is much more subtle than the last, and much more pleasing to the customer. Might I suggest just a few refinements. First, instead of telling them increases on "some" accounts, which might make them feel like one of the "singled out" ones, I would say, perhaps, all the accounts.(even though this may not be the case). This way it looks straight across the board. Also, do NOT "urge" your customers to compare with other licensed lawn care companies. That drops a thought into their mind that they may not have been there, and for the ones that may have it slightly, influences them even more to do just that. I would just state a fact and say something like; Our prices are still competetive with those of other comparable licensed services. And last sentence, say this may be useful, as opposed to this "would". Other than that, very nice letter! :)
  5. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Banned
    Messages: 181

    I'm not too sure about using the word unreasonable. Just say what you said without that sentence. Also bag the part about the spray co. too. Do that yourself and make the $$$. That's where the real $ is anyway, not just mowing. I mow because it leads to aerating, pruning, spraying, etc. I wish you success this year!

    In fact, you should really not accept accounts that have other companies do their appliactions and then you won't have to deal w/the last two paragraphs at all.

    MIDSOUTH LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    I agree with runner
  7. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    Much better than the first one! I am not sure I would go into detail about how you plan to use a sub for spraying. I would just offer the service. My old sprayer, before TG/CL and before I got my own license, use to give me a price cut, so I could say to the client I was getting them a better price by using all my accounts to negotiate a better price at their benifit.

    I disagree slightly with Jim about name dropping of products manufacturers if it can be used to benifit you. Scott's is a great name to use as a qaulity product, but some people think it might mean they could buy it themselves at Wal-mart. So, if you are using a product like a Professional version, then capitolize on it. They are doing the advertising for you. Example: why do some LCO's put manufacturers logos of their mowers, irrigation heads, etc,.. on their enclosed trailers and trucks? It lets the customer know that you are using quality products that they know as being a quality product.

    [Edited by Skookum on 02-27-2001 at 10:07 PM]
  8. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    Definitly dont give them so much deatail... the last thing you need is for customers to start telling you that they can buy scotts fertilizer for "x" amount and too lower your price. I would use the best fertilizer available to you... dont give them a cheap option! Either they want a plush green lawn or they dont!
  9. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 621


    Here is what I would change in your letter:

    loose the part of the future of my business: instead say to stay competive

    Never Never Never justify charges or pricing structure by doing this you open the flood gate for people who are satisfied with your service but are just trying to save a buck

    No choice of fert. One brand only cuts down on your stock sell them the brand you have in stock what I mean by this they are more than likely to ask your recomendation you sell them what you have

    Do not explain the fert. problems of finding the right balance. Most people understand the concept of fert.

    Do not say you are subbing the liquid fert. program out just tell them you offer it only tell it's subbed if asked directly

    Do not say an addtional charge may be needed if you do fert. people read this is "if we get fert. then we pay more for mowing.

    These subtle changes will you your letter the polished and professional image your company deserves.

  10. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    Thanks. I used some ideas and shaved a few phrases.
    Putting my foot down about too much fertilizers by other sources . That is what I am trying to get across this year. I am offering more than one fert choice this year to see what works. Subing the spray because I do not want to invest this year and customer base would be weak. Spent too much last season and need to recoup this year. Also so this is a make or break year. Market here sux and I may relocate.

    Thanks for all the great ideas. Thanks runner good input. Used all of it.

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