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How do you present the price?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Slcareco, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    I'm at a stand still with this, and because of not yet running my own business heres my question:

    When you go to a house and you go around with your wheel (thats to say your not free balling numbers) and you go to your truck and take everything into a account of how much this LAWN will be per cut, what is the best way to present your price to the client?

    Do you go knock on the door again and just say I estimated your property at so and so dollars?

    Do you say you'll have a price first thing tomorrow?

    Do you email, telephone, or mail the price?

    Whats the most professional business way of doing it???

    HELP! Thanks!
  2. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Well, it depends if the customer is home.

    MOST times, they'll call, and I say I'll be out there whenever I get time to get a look at it and give them a quote. By "whenever", I give them a window of a few hours. Generally i'll just go there, take a look, and call them back with the price. I generally won't knock on their door to see if they're home, unless they specifically state that they'll be there.

    If they agree to the price, then I'll set up a time for me to go over to the residence, where they can look over my agreement and sign it if they wish.
  3. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    so your saying dont make an appointment to meet the client and discuss other things and such when you want to measure the prop? You just get calls and get the address and tell them you'll be there whenever and just go there "whenever" and measure it out or w/e and just leave and call em?
  4. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    I personally try to meet with each and every potential customer. Sometimes this is impossible but i always try. I do this for several reasons. I can show them my professional apperance and attitude, I can upsell them in areas and I can see if they are going to be a PIA. I find that I can land most that i personally meet even If i am higher than the rest of the bids. I stress customer service and comunication.
  5. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    I do agree. I will meet with the customer if they wish. I have no problem with it. I'm pretty good with people, and I believe it helps my cause if I can personally discuss their needs. But, it's not always possible.

    The vast majority of the time, they call from work and want an estimate. So I get them one within an hour or two and call them back.

    When I head over to have them look over/sign an agreement, I'll also give them a detailed list of our other services, and leave the offer on the table to do additional work should they desire.
  6. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    ok but on a specific term, what do you give them before the agreement form to present the price??

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Mostly now I just do mowing estimates over the phone...after all these years if I can't be real close I shouldn't be doing this. I ask if they have a fence (extra trimming) and if it's a corner lot (extra edging) and go from there. Sure every once in a long while there's something weird that I didn't anticipate. I tell them for instance it's $35 per cut or thereabouts, maybe slightly higher. That usually works for them...

    If I actually look at the lawn, I always knock...the best time to make the sale...
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Before I even head out, I run the property through Zillow as this gives me some heads up as to what I'm dealing with (lot size being the most important, property value may have some influence but watch it - do NOT price lots based on property value, price them based on the size AND condition).

    Regardless of Zillow's output, I still have to look at it because if half their property is in the woods then it costs less, but maybe it's all on a steep hill so it costs more, whatever... Either way, a lot of factors can affect the price and I use Zillow only as a general guide (it helps).

    Then I go out there, already half-informed of the lot size and having at least somewhat pre-screened my customer.
    Just for example... If while on the phone, the customer gives indication that they don't have a lot of money (you might run into this) but Zillow tells me the property's value is around $500,000, then this saves me one free estimate. At the same rate, should a customer volunteer that they have a 1/2 acre lot and Zillow lists their property as a 22,000 square foot lot, then I know this might turn out good.
    Hint: 1 acre = 43,560 square feet (I actually had to go look this up just now LOL).

    I've never used wheels, I learned by pricing by the look of things.
    Harder at first, but like 'wow' later on.

    Once I get out there, I take a look at the work immediately (nope, don't even knock).
    > Park the car, get out, go estimate: This prevents getting sidetracked with some bs.
    > If my mind is not clear or it becomes sidetracked, it is possible I am no longer in any condition to give a proper price.
    Sometimes I may knock (or if they come out), but a lot of times I ring them back and give them the information.
    A few minutes should be the most it takes.

    Far as setting up a schedule, I look at the condition of the lawn:
    Look for sprinkler systems and evidence of Chemlawns (I mean I don't care if it's Chemlawn itself, but if the lawn looks really nice and lush it is likely treated) because this affects cut frequency.
    Irrigated AND treated lawns need to be cut the most frequently.
    Naturally irrigated AND treated lawns fall in between.
    As do irrigated but UN-treated lawns.
    While naturally irrigated AND UN-treated lawns fall into the least aggressive scheduling category.

    Regardless of what I see, I ASK the customer to confirm my suspicions regarding irrigation and treatment (don't let the looks fool you).
    > Such as, just because I see sprinklers doesn't mean they use them, etc, etc...
    I then tell them what a normal cut schedule would likely be for their lot (8 days = most aggressive, 10-12 is less aggressive, etc) and how the cutting frequency varies throughout the year (spring is busiest, summer is very slow, fall is a little like spring but not quite).
    I also inform them of what I estimate the actual turfed part of the lot size to be, and what my rates run for that size, per cut.
    Then, they usually either say 'ok do it,' or we thank each other and say bye-bye.
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    I simply tell them how much it's going to cost.

    MOST of the time, it's done over the phone. The customer will say one of two things:

    "I'll get back to you" - which usually means they are looking for a different price.

    "That sounds good to me" - in that instance I go ahead with setting up a time to meet them at the residence to sign an agreement and possibly discuss any other needs.
  10. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    How do you present the price?? is it on paper? is it the agreement that you just use to present the price? (but I would think thats too pushy of a way to give someone the estimate) any suggestions?

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