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Holding my price

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BAMARED, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    I have my best luck with the blue collar workers, first to pay and never complain.

    However I have had middle class folk try dickering with me over the price. Today a lady calls and wants a bid. Explains that the kid down the street; who's in college, may not be able to fulfill the work wanted for the full year.

    I quiz her on a few details and she volunteers that she's paying this kid $22 for mowing, trimming, edging and blowing off the clippings. I explain to her my minimum is $30 and I don't bag clippings. I then had to explain to her that thatch is not caused by cut grass clippings.

    She then tells me that her elderly neighbor usually uses the same service she does. I tell her for the referral she'll get a free mowing. Her reply, "yeah, but she's next door, couldn't we work something out." I said yes, you get a free cutting for the referral and my minimum is $30.

    She then asks for an estimate for her and her neighbor.

    Needless to say, I won't be holding my breath.
  2. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    House rich, money poor. The upper end usually are so over extended they are having a hard time just staying in the house. If a customer asks an open ended question such as "Can you do better?", I always reply, " Sure I can charge $xx.00 more per service if you like." I usually get these jobs if the customer has even the smallest sense of humor. Depending on the attitude of the customer trying to dictate price, I simply reply, "You are obviously confused in thinking you hold some position of authority within my business to set pricing. You don't." or "If that is what you consider to be a fair price for the work you are asking for, you need to find another lawn service that agrees with you. I don't." Even if they subsequently agree to my price, I still walk off the estimate. My philosophy is that there are just far too many good quality customers out there that respect us and appreciate our work then to have to put up with the minority of pin heads. I was told one time I had an attitude and that there was more than just my lawn service out there. I told the former customer to look up and down the street and see how many more potential customers there were that may not treat me like dirt.
  3. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    I have had different types of experiences with different types of rich people. I have had experiences with rich people who don't have much money because they are retired, and overextended. I have had experiences with rich people who are rich because they don't like to spend money, but love to charge a lot of money for what they do. Then I have had experiences with rich people who are willing to pay what something is worth, because they really do have a LOT of money to spend.

    Honestly, situations 1 & 3 are enjoyable to deal with. Situation 2 I would walk away from time and time again if I knew beforehand.
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Good for you ..continue taking the high road and stick to your price. But I do have a couple of property managers who will always want to haggle at renewal time. Both of them spend allot of money with me and just like the fun of haggling but I always get what I need...then there are those who just want to beat you down in price for whatever reason. Do they haggle with the plumber when he says x dollars to show up and x dollars to fix?? Haggle with their mechanic, their TV guy, etc??? NO

    IF someone starts this with me I stand up a little taller and sometimes even use the plumber example with them. You might as well get them trained and whipped into shape on the front end.Then they will know you say what you mean and mean what you say. If they walk, so be it...they would be a PITA anyway long term.

    BAMARED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    Thanks for the replys, guys. I am a low quantity, high quality part-timer at this game and have all my licensing and permitting in place and I do report my earned $.

    But I have noticed a marked increase in "quote turndowns" this season. I've quoted a ton, but have only netted a few. I feel like this is because of (2) reasons: #1. I'm quoting fair-market prices to these customers and am having unlicensed guys coming in behind me and quoting less. #2. More folks have less "free" money this year w/ all the lays offs, econonmy, war, etc.

    Thanks again,

  6. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    These are sometimes up and raising people. Meaning they started out with not too much and are trying to obtain the American dream. They also maybe house poor. This means they have more house then they can afford and are strapped for cash and are trying to cut costs every way possible.


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