i got another guy coming to give me a price...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Brianslawn, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    "i got another guy coming to give me a price... can i call you back and let you know what i decide?"

    "sure" i said, "but we only mow this part of town on friday and wont be back for a week."

    "OH..." she said

    "If you like we can do it right now"

    $75 to pick up grass... $60 to mulch it.

    "I would like the grass picked up... but... I guess it would be better for the yard to mulch it." she decided.

    new mil $$$ house lady is leasing. had a kid mowing this summer. he disappeared a month ago when school started. grass aint been cut since. she chose me without even waiting to see if other guy showed up to give her a price.

    thanks for the 5 new yards this week kids and cheapos that cant take the heat or high gas prices. no fuel surcharge ever added either. phone is ringing off the hook.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah, but tall grass if it takes TWICE as long, it costs twice as much. They got another guy coming? Most of them are bluffing but if they're not, then what am I doing here? I mean that's cool, see you later.

    ... I almost NEVER show up to give an estimate in the truck unless it's enroute during my scheduled jobs, I show up in my car so then I *CANT* do it right then and there and THIS prevents me from skru'ing myself in that manner because I got real TIRED of running my equipment in the dirt... Time and time again people expected me to run my stuff through the worst of things for next to nothing, and once it became an expectation, it got me thinking, and I eventually realized:

    - 60 jobs at $30 each or 40 jobs at $40 each is the question, roughly speaking.
    For argument's sake, lets call them all One-hour jobs.
    60 x 30 = $1,800 to 60 hours.
    40 x 40 = $1,600 to 40 hours.
    Hmmm... 1600-to-1800 vs. 40-to-60 didn't seem fair, and so I did the math and found if I take 60 jobs at 30 each I work 34 percent MORE for 12 percent more money! 34 percent more wear and tear means a piece of equipment that SHOULD last 4 years now only lasts 3 because tall grass IS hard on a mower, the engine shakes in its foundation the entire time, but nevermind the details, it's just really hard on the machine and it SHOULD cost more.
    And sure enough I noticed over time when a mower or anything breaks, I HAVE to fix it myself AND it breaks MORE when I'm doing cheap work. Not that I mind, most of the time I like fixing it BUT the problem was I had NO choice because I could NOT afford to HAVE it fixed, and that slowly burned until one day I had had enough of the slave labor.
    There's a lot more to it, such as when they hire someone else to do some real NICE paying work without even bothering to ask you (mind you, they do this even when you charge them the right price) but when you charge them the higher price, it pisses me off a LOT less too.
    When I did it for less, I was always hurting, never could afford nothing, I hated it. Today, my brand-new Wb is just about paid off in 5 months even thou I have a year to pay for it, I want it out from under me because I can do it.
    Yeah baby, high-balling Rul3z payup
  3. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    it was at the end of the route. got other yards around those few blocks. actually wasnt too tall from all the heat and all the trees on it. mowed at 4" and was only cuttin an inch off in places and nothing in others. it was real thin and really didnt look too bad before. weekly yard at that price.

    shes been having it cut much shorter... another reason why it wasnt too bad. it look soooooo tall to her though. told her id cut it a bit shorter next time. big property, but not much grass. most is tore up needing dirt and sod or landscaping.

    yes i shouldve added on a bit more for the first time, but 2 guys weekly @ 25 min. to mow, plus i'll charge extra for leaves, brush hogging field out back, fert., and any landscape work we do.

    shes a rich prissy woman and it has to be just perfect and the fact nobody cut it for a month, whether it needed it or not was driving her crazy and she couldnt wait any longer.

    she could (or at least appears to be able to) afford to pay whatever price, but was looking for a way to save a few bucks... yet had limited patience to do so. told me afterwards she'll just have to tell the other guy hes too late if he showed. yeah, she may have been BSing. but i figured since we're going to start mowing most the yards every 2 weeks... might as well add on a few. if i dont like the new customers... i'll drop them in the spring

    bobby or someone was saying the high gas prices and drought was good for biz. i agree. it thinned out the herd around here. my buddy said today that hes turning down a couple yards a day. just in the past 2 weeks, when it started raining again and grass is growing, people have been calling both us up saying their lawn guy disappeared. we say welcome to the world of high priced lawn care... el cheapo is now extinct! all my new yards with a $40 min. are paying more than what they had been with their other lawn guys. even got a couple 1k sqft yards @ $40.

    point is just show up lookin like you know what youre doing. have confidence and name youre price. if they dont like it, just turn around, wave and start walking away. when faced with the decision of knowing their yard is going to get done, or wait to see if someone else will show up that may or may not save them $5 bucks... they start thinking fast.
  4. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    Same thing happened to me around early may. Guy called asked for estimate, went out, took a look, priced it and called him. He said they had another guy comming right? So two minutes later I get a call "when can you start" ... LOL.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I get real tired of it somedays when the stupid game gets on my nerves.

    The story of 'got another guy coming' is an old magic keyphrase it SHOULD go in one ear and out the other BUT it can tick me off at the wrong time because it's also them influencing the price is what it is and some just won't stop with the stupid joke somedays. I had a guy one time caught me on a day where I'd just about had enough with the influencing and he said this mess about 'got someone else coming' and I said 'Oh so you just want the cheapest price' and he goes 'whats wrong with that...' So as I'm leaving I say to him 'Im not the cheapest guy so the other guy you got coming is the one you need to hire' and left.
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    This isnt anything you did, but I get severly p/o'ed when the moron that calls for an estimate cant have the courtesy to call and cancel it. I tell them that, but not in a nice way.
  7. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    I don't know if you have this or not. but, I would've had her sign my agreement, that way I am automatically signed for next year. Sorry kids!!
    I don't like picking up the kids slack.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I can tell you right now, and you guys that don't know will find out eventually, that if you show up on a job prepared, That is a HUGE plus in your favor. It is nature...we, as consumers, don't just want things,...we want it NOW. We are a convenienced, fast paced society.
    If you show up on a new job, prepared to do it now, that is a HUGE sell point (and tactic). When people ask "When could you do it?" and you're able to say NOW, that works for people. That will not only influence their decision to just go ahead and buy, but because of that, you can ask for and get a slightly higher price. People love this stuff. That has been a tactic for years and years. Anyone who thinks that making a customer wait, putting them off, and/or making them jump through hoops will get jobs more than someone who is prompt, prepared, and can do it right away, is sadly mistaken.
  9. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    100% Right on Joe, excellent post. The type clientele we cater to ,wants the job done like yesterday. And if your company is capable of getting to work first, many times that company gets the job!Is this business,being slow and unprepared, is not a virtue
  10. Mr. Magpie

    Mr. Magpie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I was on an estimate and asked the old guy how long it took him to do his property (church) with his 30" tractor. He said an hour. I knew I could do it in 15 minutes, with 15 minutes of trimming and blowing all by myself, but quoted $55 per cut. I highballed his azz and he took it based on his concept of the property taking long time. His back couldn't take the bumps, and we probably made it look better than him too, so he's even more happier than most to have us come out. $110 dollars per hour every week .... Booyahh! He likes my bro and I too (we talked to him about the church history and stuff for like 45 minutes on an off day) so he'll be slow to cancel.

    You gotta recognize the people who don't know market, but think in terms of their concept of the job, then befriend them, then jack the price up. People who do know the market and fish around for cheap, GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT, while lowering the quality of the service. This has worked for me.

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