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How do YOU bid?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Expert Lawns, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    When you guys bid, do you put the price right on the bid, or do you have them call (or you call them) to set up a time to meet and discuss it?
    Do you measure each and every commercial account that you're bidding? If I took the time to do that on every account I was bidding, I would have no time for anything else. I guess I don't understand how everyone does it. How do you get these big commercial accounts? There just doesn't seem to be enough time. Any shortcuts?
  2. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I look at it, and bid. I give them a price quote sheet then, and if its commercial and they want a contract, i fax it to them.
  3. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    are most commercial accounts pretty open about bids? or do they look at you like you're wasting their time and would rather not deal with you.
  4. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    Expert, My impression is this. Highly Visible commercial accounts dont really want to be bothered. However when you come to the table with either a reputation or they take notice of another Highly visible commercial property you care for then they come to you. I feel like it's the "Red Carpet" of the Green Industry. Meaning you are invited to give them a bid. When I am saying Highly visible commercial accounts I am talking about accounts in the tens of thousands range. Your typical commercial accounts resturants, hotels etc. I would find out the decision maker and mail them personally a prepared bid then follow it up with a phone call. I always include my prices on my bids. The maikn reason is I dont want to waste my time calling on an account if I am way out of their budget.
  5. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,389

    Here commercial clients will send out invitations to bid. You usually have a month to get the bid package back to them. Don't bother bidding one you are not invited to bid. They will ignore you. They send out the bids to contractors they know can do the work. And ones with good reputations.
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    If you're going after commercials, it's a simple rule of thumb. If the place looks good, and there is no prior notice about them taking bids, leave it alone. You're usually just wasting your time. Most professional places, - if they have decent service, will stay with who they have. It's just not worth the risk to them to try someone else. I have some of my clients show me proposals they recieve every spring form this service and that service, and most of them are a joke. These places get bids for around half of the cost they are currently paying now. They just shuck them into the round file, because they know what they are geting for their dollar, and they know what they would get for the other services dollar. I was given a great piece of advice from a friend (whom I used to work for, and is now the largest privately owned private service in our area, and for a quite ways away). He told me when I broke off on my own (among other things), to look for the places that need the help, but also have good potential. THESE are a good market. Don't look into the places that are too run down though, because they are highly probably that way for a reason. I never do any actuall measuring anymore, because over the years, I can look at a place and tell how much it's going to cost me to do it.If you would like some advice or good ideas on proposal forms, feel free to let me know. I'd be happy to help you out.
  7. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    I mainly look over the site and determine the price from prior jobs that i have done that were close in proximity. Then i tell them i will get back with them the following day and always ask what time would be convienient for you. Go home figure up the estimate, call them back and first explain in detail everything they will be getting, them give them the price at the end. And NEVER give them just a price by leaving it on an answering machine if they are not home. Hang up and keep calling back until they answer. You have a better chance at selling your services if you are talking directly to them because you can put your sales tactics to them and sell them on it.
  8. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    Runner - I know what you're saying. Anytime I'm out driving, whether it's working or not working, I have a notebook with me and I'll jot down any addresses that look like they are not getting lawn service. Then I will decide the best way to go about approaching them. I have done this a lot with residentials, and it seems to work. I'm not out to take anyone accoutns or even to waste my time on a bunch of commercial accounts that I either can't handle or have no chance of getting. I just wanted to get this thread going to see what other peoples take was on the subject. From what I gather, it sounds like a reputable lawn company will be approached (invited) to bid. I'm not in the phone book, do you think that would help? How do businesses go about ''inviting'' you to bid?
  9. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    By the way, I was invited to give a bid on one commercial account, so I needed to get a feel for how to do it. It will be my first. An acquaintance of mine dropped my name at a board meeting and they told him to have me get a bid in.

    .....Just so you know where I'm going with this
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Is it real complex, or somewhat simple of a bid? If you'd like sometime, I can take a look at it, and tell you what I think of it, and about what I would get. (No, I'm not going to take it...not my style). We do this often (Myself and a few friends) to sort of compare notes on. Just a thought. If it has a board, however, it may be a condo, so you also have to figure in a PITA factor because EVERYone has something to say at some point or another. You have 100 old people with nothing else better to do than nitpick, and everyone has their own way they think it should be done.

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