Disgruntled Customers

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by baseballfan42093, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. baseballfan42093

    baseballfan42093 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Dear Lawnsiters,

    I have been experiencing a lot of resistance from soem of my clients lately with regards to my pricing. I am pretty confident that my quotes are competitive and even low for the area, but I think I may be presenting things in a way that leads them to believe that I am overcharging them.

    Here is an excerpt from a lawn renovation quote for 8,000 sq ft of lawn on a very steep hill. Application of loam will be done at .5in (admittedly probably not enough).

    Here is a response from the client to the quote:
    "Why did you select loam instead of general dirt, or topsoil? I was surprised to see the application so expensive given you have mechanical equipment to do the spreading. What's driving the labor cost so high?

    I'm not sure how to explain to this client that contractors do not spend $30,000 on skidsteers to make the labor costs cheaper for their clients. Normally I would shrug this off as a little bit of client ignorance, but it is becoming a regular issue and I am not sure quite how to deal with it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Client #153.png
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,793

    Perhaps he has been comparing the bid from another company. I am sure you could omit some of the procedures to reduce your price. Are you quoting $100 per hour for 8.5 hours of spreading the loam? Perhaps omit the loam...save him a lot of cost, ($1691).
    So the seed you need is about 50 pounds--why does it cost $210?
    Are you thinking of a mid summer seeding--bad timing--if he has irrigation it would be a slight help. Aug 15 would be much better--fall seeding. On a steep slope there could be additional problems--heavy rain--run off of soil and seed. Callbacks are costly.

    You would probably save him money and get better results if you just sprayed Roundup, cut short, removed old sod and then sodded the area. Sod cost would be about 1600. Bluegrass instead of rye. If the sod company does "big roll" sod--its probably a two hour job. Perhaps you would need a slope stake in each piece of sod.
    Perhaps do a soil test and add fertilizer and lime according to recommendations, (instead of loam). Use a high level of slow-release nitrogen.

    MSMA for post emergent is not available any more. Post emergent crab control not needed if job is done in August--crab will not grow in the cool weather of fall, killed by frost in late October, anyway.

    Get him to accept that the job is complete and done to his satisfaction and accept his check before leaving the site. Make it clear that all callbacks on on his dime.
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,286

    Your bid looks decent to me. If you are power slice seeding, your seeding price is WAY too low. I assume you are just broadcasting?

    That customer can take a flying leap IMO. This business is hard work. Move on.
  4. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Never split labor and material, they want to think you're working for free and the dirt is expensive

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