How would you react pt 2?

Cmonstihl

LawnSite Member
Location
Texas
Just curious how your would handle a situation like this.

mowing a biweekly and a elderly lady is watching me across the street. She calls me over, requests an estimate for the backyard only, I give her a price just for the backyard because it is overgrown.

$25, she agrees and says she’ll pay $30. I declined but she insisted. Pretty big backyard that should have been $35 but I was feeling generous and I had momentum. After I’m done I pencil her in for every other Thursday for backyard only when I’m servicing the yard across the street again.

I pick up a few more clients over the weekend due to the rain and referral’s, so I call the elderly lady to see if it’s ok if i I push her to Wednesday’s. She agrees but mentions the front needs to be mowed now as well.

I say ok, not a problem. before I can roll out my next statement she asks, so it’ll be $30 for both right? I say no, as we never discussed the front yard. (She had a neighbor scalp it a day prior to me servicing). Just to help her out I say I can do both front and back for $35. She loses it. Saying we agreed on $25 and if I don’t take it she’ll just have to find someone else!

i reply by saying it’s your money, your entitled to do what you want with it. But I’m not servicing both front and back for $25, it’s $35. She threatened to find someone else again then says it’s my decision to take the $35 or not. Now I’m confused. Again, I tell her it’s your money and you have the freedom to pay whoever and whatever you want. It turned into a echo of her repeating her same lines of finding someone else and it’s up to me to accept $35.

So she went from bargaining, to threatening, to acceptance, but mixed in a little bit of guilt and backtrack in there. I’ve made my decision what to do, but curious, how would you react?
 

That Guy Gary

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
SW Idaho
Eh, I'd take the 35 and see how it goes from there. She might have been genuinely confused at the time. I can deal with someone being upset unless they start getting belligerent.

If she keeps threatening to fire me over other things I'd drop her quick but having multiple houses in the same area is a big component of making good money doing residential.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Just curious how your would handle a situation like this.

mowing a biweekly and a elderly lady is watching me across the street. She calls me over, requests an estimate for the backyard only, I give her a price just for the backyard because it is overgrown.

$25, she agrees and says she’ll pay $30. I declined but she insisted. Pretty big backyard that should have been $35 but I was feeling generous and I had momentum. After I’m done I pencil her in for every other Thursday for backyard only when I’m servicing the yard across the street again.

I pick up a few more clients over the weekend due to the rain and referral’s, so I call the elderly lady to see if it’s ok if i I push her to Wednesday’s. She agrees but mentions the front needs to be mowed now as well.

I say ok, not a problem. before I can roll out my next statement she asks, so it’ll be $30 for both right? I say no, as we never discussed the front yard. (She had a neighbor scalp it a day prior to me servicing). Just to help her out I say I can do both front and back for $35. She loses it. Saying we agreed on $25 and if I don’t take it she’ll just have to find someone else!

i reply by saying it’s your money, your entitled to do what you want with it. But I’m not servicing both front and back for $25, it’s $35. She threatened to find someone else again then says it’s my decision to take the $35 or not. Now I’m confused. Again, I tell her it’s your money and you have the freedom to pay whoever and whatever you want. It turned into a echo of her repeating her same lines of finding someone else and it’s up to me to accept $35.

So she went from bargaining, to threatening, to acceptance, but mixed in a little bit of guilt and backtrack in there. I’ve made my decision what to do, but curious, how would you react?
I guess you’ll have to find someone else then
I’m sorry
 

Grassfire205

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Louisiana
This point in the year i probably would have said a couple choice words after she lost it and then said find someone else. I dont have time to be yelled at and have someone mad at me for no reason over some damn grass. 35 bucks aint nothing take a hike lady.
 

BrendonTW

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Oklahoma City
I would stop jacking around with $25-35 yards and homeowners. Go commercial with a $100 minimum where you can do a $100,000 account and only have 2 phone calls per year from them.

That’s what I did anyway. Just giving you a hard time. Nothing wrong with doing what you’re doing. Just couldn’t do it myself.
 

guitarman2420

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Midlothian, VA
With elderly clients, I have to be very patient and I only have a few. I look at them as "giving back" clients. I try and help them and not worry about the exact costs. I was taught if you're going to do charity, do it for the joy and not complain. I know that wasn't maybe your original thought; or motive; but maybe that will help you in how to deal with her.
 

Where the Pavement Ends

LawnSite Member
Location
Montgomery, AL
Isn't there a Bible verse in Galatians that says that "you reap what you sow"? It is purely your choice in how you handle her. You've got some great advice. Getting it in writing for future reference is a great idea. You can do that, you can walk away and let her find someone else, or... as suggested you can take it as it comes each time. On many occasions, we managed someone's property, someone who were going through difficult time, at no cost. I've often thought that when we pick up a really good account, that it might have something to do with giving freely to someone else. The good thing is, that you get to make that decision.
 

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