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Here comes the calls for one time apps

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,671

    We offer a 30 day guarantee on all work.(after 30 days, another spray is another charge unless you are a full program customer). I tell the customer this up front. If you haven't wasted some weeds in 30 days, you didn't do the job right the first time. Setting expectations from the beginning is the key. I at least try to talk them in to the Spring and Fall pre/post and most will do this when I explain the benefits. Besides, these are the most profitable apps we apply so how can we turn them away...as long as like I said before, it is scheduled at our convenience.

    Also, like Riggle said, it offers future opportunity to upsell.
  2. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    I won't do any one time sprays if they ask, they will have to sign up and cancel after 1 treatment like everybody else that just wants one app.
  3. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    From this discussion, it looks like everyone bases their business decisions on what the owner/operator wants to do, as opposed to doing what the customer wants to do. We see this all the time in other industries -- and we rightly complain about it! We complain about how the cable company bundles everything and makes it so we have to buy stuff we don't want just so we can get the stuff we do want.

    Some in the cell phone industry have finally listened to their customers and now we see no-contract phones with only the things some folks want -- unlimited talk & text, but no data, or some talk, some text, and some data. Just having a no-contract option is a huge breakthrough!

    I'm hearing a lot of "we want to discourage these apps," "this one is going to be a higher price," "we don't do one-time apps," "they will have to wait until we can fit them in our schedule," and on and on. These all jump out at me as being excuses on why the owner/operator doesn't want to do them. There's already a lot of guys on here who think that the customer owes them an easy operation in addition to paying for the service.

    I think the successful companies (the ones that customers love to work with and recommend) are the ones that do things based on what is best for the customer, not what is best for the operations manager. Just a couple of wks ago, I needed a new heating system installed in my house. One company did a great job of inspecting the system and telling me what would be needed to fixit. He could give me an estimate for his parts and labor, but he needed to get a separate electrician to come in, then another separate contractor, and in the end, I needed to call around to all these different guys and add all the estimates together to get the final price. The company we went with did all those things together and they did the estimate on-site. The point is that one company did what was easiest for them, while the other did what was easiest for me (the customer).

    Now, I'm not saying that you have to drop your current recurring revenue business model (the basis for multi-app lawncare) or that you can't charge more for single apps. I think that the single app market could quite profitable and could be a great feeder for full program customers. All you would have to do is approach it from the standpoint of helping your customer, then figure out a way to make money on it.
  4. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,944

    Ditto with Ted & Riggle. Shoot me here, but we don't charge extra for one-time app's. Several reasons for not charging more for just one app.

    1) Creates trust/honesty, and we gain friends
    2) Limited income folks cannot always afford full programs
    3) Improves word of mouth
    4) Family members & friends learn about our honesty
    5) Usually able to sell 2 app's per year or more
    6) Prevents folks from choosing another company
    7) More lawn flags/trucks in the neighborhood is always good

    BTW -- I am totally against "spread it & forget it" fert for several raesons. Land grant universities recommend "spoon feeding" lawns. Also -- several visits each year keeps weeds in check.

    Doing one-time app's will grow your business & improve your name. IMO
  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,765

    Only time I have said absolutely no to a one time application is if doing so would be likely to kill the lawn. I am talking about lawns that are nutrient deficient, dry, and/or mowed incorrectly with no intention of maintaining better cultural practices. Last thing I want is finger pointing after the application is made. I learned my lesson 20 years ago spraying Three Way on bermuda cut at golf height however it was not fertilized and really underwatered. Whole lawn was smoked by the label rate for bermuda kept at greens height. That situation was never repeated since.
  6. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,920

    All great info.

    Let me clarify that I do charge a one time app based on what I'm putting down at the time.

    I've been lucky that my one time app customers are pretty consistent and usually call me every spring for pre. I wish I could convince them to do a spring and fall app.

    My one concern is most of the one time app calls I'm getting are lawns that are covered completely in henbit, Poa, etc. I don't want people who see my flags there think that's the quality of job I do. Hopefully they see the weeds, see my sign, then see the weeds die off!!
  7. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,046

    I'm not in the same league as many of you are in the application department, but I get calls too for one time weeds and I charge them what I need to cover two aps, cause usually one ap won't kill good enough. So I collect the whole payment for both aps and then I come back in 3 or 4 weeks for a second ap. Usually the second ap uses less product as well.
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,765

    That is how I do it. A "one time treatment" buys me for the month.

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