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How to juggle meeting several customers with time parameters

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Ijustwantausername, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,041

    Hello all, it already feels like the spring rush and its not even Feb 15th yet. I am running into a lot of detail specific jobs, customers that can only meet when they get off work, or 2 hours after a meeting I have with another customer 5 minutes down the road from them causing a lot of back tracking.

    Do I just need to tell them 1 time per day that I can meet? I'm glad to have this problem but when I'm on the road I can't be in the office sending estimates and I haven't found a great way to tackle the problem.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  2. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    I got a mobile printer and I can print up estimates on the spot, I use my phone as a hot spot for the laptop. As for killing time between estimates, I might go grab a beer or something and bring my computer in. I often try to get as much info as I can before meeting the client, so I can get the estimate started on Yardbook beforehand. I know I didn’t really answer the question but just saying what i do. It is tough working with peoples schedules and yours.

    At least some things such as rock/ mulch estimates or tree trimming/ removal you can do without them being there.
     
    Ijustwantausername likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,041

    Do you like yardbook? That’s the other bottleneck I need to fix in the next 2 weeks is a good customer scheduling program for their weekly services. We have 66 account and they are all on a dry erase board, that’s not going to be sustainable long term.
     
  4. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    I don’t mow anymore but when i did, yardbook was great for scheduling and routing. Even with 100+ accounts very easy to use
     
    Ijustwantausername likes this.
  5. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 15,515

    My wife is a seamstress and does alterations for tons of brides. Lots of details to iron out. She tells them the initial consultation is one hour and to have all questions and concerns written down so the hour can be spent efficiently covering everything.

    If a client can only make it after 6 (Her closing time) she tells them that the amount of time you're late is taken off the hour appointment...and more than 15 minutes late cancels the appointment and to call to reschedule.

    If it is important enough they'll take time off work to get it done. They can't make it because of work but expect you to work overtime with no pay to cater to them?

    I know sometimes it is part of the job, but often times if asked the person can get away from work for an hour or two. Weekends are another option...it's much better to meet up on Saturday for an hour or so than meet up at 7PM until 9 and your night is over. At least a quick meeting on Saturday leaves you with almost an entire day.

    Making them write out questions and concerns etc. helps with having to pull teeth on ideas or waste time on filler talk. It also weeds out those that aren't serious. If they're serious they know what they want...the not so serious call around to get a feel if this is even something they want to do. If they can't write out questions and ideas they have themselves they aren't seriously considering doing it, or it's months down the road.
     
    knox gsl and GravelyGuy like this.
  6. grass man 11

    grass man 11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    It depends on how bad you want the business. Are these $3000 dollar meetings or $300 meetings.

    my advice is to only go out for large jobs, charge a consultant fee, and only have certain times and days available. Keep one or two after hours , but the rest during the day. Your the professional, let them play on your terms. Show me an industry that will stay open just because I want them to stay open, without being charged for it.
     
    DLL LLC likes this.
  7. OP
    OP
    Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,041

    I agree, is the consult fee charged after or before the meet? I've always wondered what happens if they do not like my ideas, then what? A lot of people do not like to hear the truth sometimes.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,041

    I think the other issue I'm running to is these 1 time or 1 day jobs. They are much harder to slot in than the recurring weekly landscape maintenance visits.
     
  9. grass man 11

    grass man 11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    paid when they book it. I don’t care if they like my ideas. I give them as many options as I can. If they knew what they wanted when they called us, we would tell them to submit a plan or scope of work to bid on. Doctors charge for their visits, and your not obligated to like their opinions.
     

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