doing estimates

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    well, 3 weeks ago i was afraid there would be no new customers this year. now, im getting 3-4 calls a day, every day. last sunday i drove around for 5 hrs doin estimates, yesterday, it was 3 hrs. this morning, first call came in at 8 am. so, i made the mistake i said ill never make again. i gave a price over the phone! i got the job, its in the same 2 mile radius as about 10 of my other clients, but i know quoting on the phone is a big mistake. now im scared. ive given a price on the phone a couple of times b4, it always turned out bad. do any of u folks quote on the phone(for lawn cutting?)
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183


  3. jocko1104

    jocko1104 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    It is tempting isn't it? Save the extra trip.

    First rule of sales is that you cannot sell over the phone, always face to face.

    I just started this year giving written estimates immediately at the site for approval. I hate getting the call, going to meet, drawing up estimate, dropping estimate off, going back for job. When I actually figured the time i was spending running around without (gulp) being paid I put and end to that real quick.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i know what u mean. its definitly against my better judgement, but im tired of driving around on my days off , quoting prices, just to hear, "ive always paid $22.....".id rather spend the time with my kids.
  5. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    If that's whats happening then it might behoove you to ask some "screening" questions over the phone. You could pre-qualify these people before you ever leave the house.

    One thing I always ask: Is this a one time thing or are you wanting regular service?

    I no longer do one timers........too disruptive..........but I find out before I waste time driving over there.

    You know your price range and your area. Ask them what they have been paying and why they are changing LCO's. Might give you some insight into their "history".
  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    It's part of the business.

    I usually try to screen as much as I can over the phone also. If they insist on a price over the phone, I will give a "ballpark" price, nothing definite. At that point and time I know they are simply price shopping. I NEVER would hold to the price over the phone. It is always made clear to them that the price will be finalized when I come and finaly look at the property. It really doesn't matter anyways what I say over the phone, there has been no final contract drawn or signed at that time so I wouldn't be stuck anyways. If I got there and it was way worse than I had anticipated, that would be explained to them and they would have the choice to go with the new price or not.

    Chasing around for estimates is just a crappy part of this business. If you don't want to do that part of it, some other company is going to.
  7. Casey

    Casey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    Heck just tell them you will mow it for 10% less than the last guy, save that driving around time.:D
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I give a broad price range based on the number of square feet they have. I let them know very clearly nothing is "cast in stone" until I have the chance to do a visual estimate. If they have a problem with that, it's hasta la vista, baby.
  9. ConPro

    ConPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    If they want a ballpark price tell them it was $225,000,000 to build Camden Yards. Tell them you'll be there in a week and show up tomorrow, so it looks like you made a special trip. Sell yourself over the phone. Talk about the soil and the trees, will you be fertilizing? Tell them" I don't want to interupt my existing clients main work, let me see if I can fit you in about a week." If you sold yourself well, they'll wait.
  10. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I sold a job over the phone last week. She described the size of her lawn and I told her that it sounded like it would fall well within my minimum price. She said great and to come and mow it next week. Other jobs, like aerating, overseeding, dethatching.....I have learned never to try and sell over the phone because of such a high failure rate. If I can talk to them in person, have the equipment on the truck and the time to do the work right then and there, this sells the best.


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