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Givin it away

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by tmasterlc, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. tmasterlc

    tmasterlc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Ive been in business 21 years and have noticed in the last several years new companies popping up giving away everything.

    They will sell a 7 app fert/weed control program and tell the customer they will do nutsedge control, grub control, lime, and disease control for free and on top of that throw in a free app for new customers. I could maybe understand this if they priced the apps high to help cover... nothing is really free... but they dont.

    With the economy what it is, homeowners are jumping at these offers.


  2. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,160

    That's why they are doing the offers
  3. TriCityLawnCareLLC

    TriCityLawnCareLLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,025

    I have no statistics to back up my thoughts but I say that companies like this, unless they get all of there product for free or nearly nothing won't survive. NOW, if they do this as a strategy to build up a clientele- Maybe. A problem i see with this is once they pick up a new client, this client will expect the same "free" treatments the next year or they will go find another company.

    No matter how you slice it, material costs, labor cost etc you can't get away very long by giving all this away.
  4. Mayor of Mow Town

    Mayor of Mow Town LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    If you're not losing customers because of it, don't let it take up any mind space.

    If you are losing customers, find the thing that makes your business unique, and focus on that. If you don't have anything unique, then by default, you end up competing on price.
  5. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,160

    I hear you. If you bought something for $500 the year before why would you pay $1000 the next
  6. Wayne 55

    Wayne 55 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    This is no different now than it was in the 70's Back then the economy took a crap same as now and guys who were laid off from steel plants and auto factories went out and bought Kmart lawn mowers and called themselves Landscapers. They killed the professional the ones Like myself who went to school for this business and expected to be compensated for my knowledge. These fly by nights never did last long but like roaches more replaced those who gave up. I keep trying to tell those who see this and get all bothered about it to forget it. I would just as soon loose a couple jobs to those than give my services away. I am sure many of those who do this work looses customers to those kind and I also know first hand many of those who left also wanted to return when their property looks like crap. Its all goes full circle and will always be this way in this business. Nothing new.
  7. tmasterlc

    tmasterlc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Thanks for the replies... I pretty much understand and agree with all the comments and actually knew I would get some of these comments. I guess every once in a while you just need to vent and move on. Its just hard after 20 years plus to see companies come in town and do this. Fortunately the problem is not with my existing customers... its with new prospects.

    And on the subject of selling your strong point or why your better.... as I look at every LCO I see everyone saying the same thing, making the same promises, and about the same price... nothing new, same old story. Thats why I always go back to my referral business... it works... you gotta just keep remembering to ask for them.

  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    TGCL gets a lot of business by name recognition for excellence in the eyes of the public... their volume allows them to reduce the cost of the service and I'll bet they get their chemicals much cheaper than single city businesses...
    When I got the clients to stop TGCL in order to grow new grass, I was able to do everything they did cheaper, becuz I used my knowledge on growing turf and backed off the 7 app. rippoff, that is unnecessary in most lawns...
    I recognise that the squirt&fert industry needs to come back once a month for something in order to survive financially, but let's not forget about the value of diversification... :)
  9. tmasterlc

    tmasterlc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I totally agree with the excessive number of apps being sold... and I tried dealing with that and promoting a more appropriate number of apps to prospects but for some reason I kept running into people wanting more... sounds crazy I know but it never seemed to come across as a selling point. Maybe I just didnt sell the idea of "less is more" good enough.

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