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Customers trying to take advantage of me because of my age

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Ramster2000, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. Ramster2000

    Ramster2000 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I am an eighteen year old, I have been in the business for 3 years now so I know how everything works. I offer many different services to my customers and do my best to keep them happy, because if there not happy, I'm not happy. Well anyway, whenever I give them an estimate on a job they try to talk me down everytime and I think it is because of my age they are trying to take advantage of me. I'm a nice guy I don't like saying no, so I usually take a little off the price. I've tried different things to try and make up for lost money, for example I would give them a higher estimate then normal and negotiate down to the price I would normally charge. That works for some customers, but for others they see the high price and look else where so I don't want to scare away customers. Are there any techniques I could try to get the amount I want from a job. I'm open to any suggestions on what you guys do when giving an estimate. Thank you to all in advance.
  2. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    it doesn't stop...at 30, they still want me to lower my price. they want a cheap price and I let them know that with a cheap price, comes cheap work, and cheap quality....I stand my ground....if they still don't budge, you don't need them....my clients want quality and they pay my price knowing they get it....sometimes I'll tell them to let me do their lawn 3 times at my price, and if you still think the price is to high and don't want to pay, I can recomend someone....half the time, they call me back...
  3. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 738

    Once you give in on price and customers know you'll budge on it - then you're toast. They'll play you each time.

    I tell my customers I don't set my prices artificially high to just knock the price down or give a discount. "Do you give senior discounts?" No we don't. We price our jobs based on the cost to perform the job the customer is asking to have done. If the customer wants a lower price, change the parameters of the job, not your profit. If it's too much money, delete the ground cover or lighting from the install and just mulch. If the maintenance price is too high, then don't edge the beds every week, or charge extra to do it.

    Let them know where the job could change to meet their budget expectations. But NEVER NEVER just give a little off the price. It pisses people off. It's like you were trying to take advantage of them from the get go. Many people will see your discounting your services as being dishonest since you were going to try and get it out of them before the said something.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Good reply, LawnLad...I like it. BTW, age (I'm 47) has nothing to do with people wanting you to cut them a deal or get you to lower your price.

    Stick to your guns!
  5. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    i can understand your sentiment. sometimes, current, and potential customers will get a price for a job from me instead of my employer. i think their reasoning is that since im an employee, either i wont charge as much, or i dont know how to charge accordingly. how wrong they are.

    9 times out of 10, my price will be higher than if my boss had quoted it. i dont budge on any price i give, unless it is to drop something in order to reduce the price as LawnLad stated. this is a business, and if we arent making so much money an hour, day, week, year, then we will go out of business.

    remember, any tom dick, or harry can get in this business. but, do they know what they are doing, and will they be around in 5 years?
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Only thing is you have to know your operating costs and the cost of providing the different components of your service pkgs.

    Armed with that info you become a very formidable negotiator and will sell more work and at a higher profit.

    When I have to dicker with folks this way, it costs them a little more even though the price goes down. Sometimes I keep all the profit from what I'm cutting out and just cut the job cost by by the amount it costs me to provide the service being reduced or eliminated.
  7. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I agree, it has nothing to do with age. You're 18, so you may not have the confidence yet to stand firm on your price, but you'll find you do better when you do.

    Tell them why you price the way you do, what they are getting for that money, and that there isn't any wiggle room on that price. And leave it at that.
  8. Loosestrife

    Loosestrife LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 80

    Must be nice, approaching 15 years in this business, and I still don't know how everything works...
  9. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    LOL! That's what I was thinking, too!
  10. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 214

    Hey, me too. I'm fifty. Did a repeat customer for aeration. She has me aerate each year, plus a few sprinkler repairs. I give her a good price. The neighbor behind calls me over. Want's his aerated. I'm in the area and unloaded, so I tell him the price I give to my steady customer. He lowballs me. I tell him I've a whole list of people at the higher price and that's what it is. He bawls he's got a bad heart. I smile and say I've got a lot of kids to feed. Turn and walk away. Can't give it away and still make a living. Charity is for the boy scouts.

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