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I just can't believe some people ... (or is it just me?)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Sharp Services, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Sharp Services

    Sharp Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I was called yesterday, a referral, by a young couple that wanted me to give them a price on maintaining there lawn. I go over after I finish my days work and when I get there the couple advises me that they had decided to turn there lawn over to a lawn company to free up there time and that they had already gotten three prices, but a neighbor told them about me (wouldn't say who and I don't have any yards in here neighborhood).

    After they gave me a tour of there very ordinary yard and told me what they wanted I advised them that I was going to my truck and figure out my estimate and I would be up to the house in a few minutes. Before I could go to my truck the wife asked me ... "well don't you want to know how much the other company's offered to do her yard for". I said no that my price was not set by other company's, but what I could afford to do a quality professional job for her and her husband.

    About 15 minutes later I took them a quote sheet ($52.00 - per cut with a $225 initial clean up charge). They looked at it and told me that I was not the cheapest and then waited to see if I would change - lower - my price. I advised that I was not trying to be the cheapest and that I thought my price was fair for the services they wanted and for the professionalism they deserve.

    They said they would call me today, but I don't think I will hear from them.

    This ever happen to y'all ... this is the first time it has happened to me.

    Do you think I handled it OK?
  2. lwcmattlifter

    lwcmattlifter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 859

    You did good sticking to your price. This kind of thing happens to everyone. Usually, when someone says they have had 3 quotes already it's a red flag for price shoppers. From then on out it's an uphill battle to maintain your pricing. because they are going to try to low ball you for everything else and cancel service as soon as the next lowest bidder comes along. Just my .02, don't waste your time with them. You can't win them all and you shouldn't worry about it.
  3. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    If they didn't hire you on the spot I don't think they will. You did right by sticking to your price as long as you are bidding by knowing your costs. If you truly know your business (which it sounds like you do) then move on and look for another customer. These people sound like shoppers. I hate when they want to tell you the lowest bid. How do you know thats true or B.S. They can tell you anything they want to see if you will lower your bid. Then its all downhill from there. It happened to me in my first year but I learned fast because I started figuring my costs and found I was working for free. That makes you a bitter man that will do rotten work because you know its a loser. You are on the right track by sticking to your rates, stay with it.
  4. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

    Your estimate was a firm figure and it's good that you stuck with it even when faced with what they told you.

    You can't believe them when you were told the others were lower. For all you know you might have been the lowest and they are trying to chisel even more off the cost.

  5. rbriggs

    rbriggs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    We use a set price list for our business as well. Rates are dependant on the volume of stuff people want removed (ie. 1/4 truck, 1/2 truck, full truck, etc.). We know we don't have the lowest rates around, but we do quality work, are fully insured and don't dump the waste in an empty lot someplace. We aren't in business to lose money!
    I was trying hard for an account with a property manager in one of my territories. I had met with them at their request and given them a presentation of our services. They told me that they were quite impressed with the service and with our company as a whole. However, the price they were getting from their "landscaper" ( I wouldn't call him that) was far lower. They told me the price, and it wouldn't even cover my dump fees for the items that they wanted removed, let alone labor, fuel, insurance, etc. So I explained that to the owner and his response was simply, "I pay him. I don't care where he gets rid of the stuff. What I don't know, won't hurt me." I decided that I really didn't want an account with a property manager with such an attitude anyways.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    First off, you handled it PERFECT, *NEVER* let that schitt affect your price, this is exactly what I'm talking about when I speak of ppls 'influencing' the price and to be quite frank I can catch a bad attitude on the wrong day someone comes at me with that bs...
    It's one thing if they mention they got (or are getting) other estimates, I can deal with that but also one hint is enough... Once that schitt gets to where they can't shut up long enough to let me do some THINKING without them constantly trying again and again to get yet a LOWER price just ONE LAST TIME we GOT to try (as if I didn't hear it the first time), they better watch out because I've been known to jack up the price by another 20 to 50 percent at that point just to shut them up... One might think the extra-high price is a bad way of doing business but as you've already suspected, MOST of these folk never call me back regardless of what price I give them (unless it's TOO low) so it really doesn't matter. In your case you threw back several hints which SHOULD've told them you are NOT cheap but evidently they don't listen very well... Yeah, I doubt you'll hear from them again, by the way if you listen carefully SOMETIMES you can see this kinda schitt coming before you head out there (like on the phone) but not always, I still get it on a regular basis as well.

    Far as the 'dont you want to know about the other companies' that's along the same lines of 'dont you need the work' and there's a slew of these which is all just the same old song and dance all of which translated mean 'I dont want to pay a lot of money.' Fact they're looking for a good deal wouldn't be so bad but it has been my experience they're not willing to pay anything even CLOSE to standard industry rates, MOST of them are looking for a price at least HALF my normal rates and 1/3'rd or 1/4 of my normal rate is not at all unusual... These are folks who think it should cost 10-15, maybe $20/hour to get yardwork done and they're a dime a dozen, but keep doing what you did and you will minimize this stuff coming your way - Do it any other way and you will not believe the sheer number of ppls who will suddenly call you ALL of them wanting the same deal.

    The other estimates you can safely ignore, they are not YOUR estimates and do not concern you, not to mention even IF they show me someone else's estimate there is no telling if the estimate is real or something they printed up on the computer, not to say everyone does that but it wouldn't surprise me if (or when) someone does.

    As far as I'm concerned when they tell me I am not the cheapest, I tell them I could've saved myself the trip if they would've asked over the phone, I would've told them upfront I am not the cheapest, never have been and never will be. Now if they're the kind who think they can get someone to do whatever work for 70% OFF then you need to let whoever the fool Lco is to DO the work, I know I don't want to compete with nobody on a price war.

    Last but not least, sometimes just for kicks I quote a REAL stupid low price (well I get tired of this somedays) just to see what happens, remembering that if they DO call me in the end (the chances at this point are good), I am under NO obligation to do anything about it - Or another way to say it is: MY estimate is THEIR bid, this IS a bidding industry, I got a LOT of folks 'bidding' for me to work on their yard and to be quite blunt, highest bidder wins (gets the work done first) from my side of things the lowest bidder can wait until EVERYONE else is taken care of, then once I get to where I have NOTHING going on, I'll consider their ridiculous offer (even if I quoted the price, it was their influencing / hinting which made the price so low to begin with thus the price is now as much theirs as mine) and maybe (BIG maybe) I'll actually go out there and do the work thou most of the time I find I have absolutely ZERO incentive to even leave the warmth of my bed on days like that, heh...
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I think you handled it perfect by not backing off your price. I dont give a rats behind what joe smoe can do it for, I know what I have to have. Most of these kind you will never hear from again because all they want is the cheapest, dont care how good or dependable you are, just want cheap. I deal with it every week. Not the kind of cleints you want anyway. Another warning is when they call you a month later because el-cheapo has not shown up is to turn them down fast. Will be nothing but trouble and beat you to death over every nit picking thing or drop you when they find another cheapo lawn service.
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    My only question to you is what's with the $225.00
    clean-up fee?You said they had an ordinary yard.It would have tobe extrordinarly messed up to apply that much of a first time clean-up fee to start.Don't you think?Or is that your normal start service fee?
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I was sort of wondering the same thing....I think I would have discussed just incorporating that into a fall cleanup price. Other than that, for the maintenance program, you did it exactly how it should've been done.....text book case.
  10. Sharp Services

    Sharp Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    When I said that it was just an ordinary yard ... I ment that the yard was nothing special ... just your same cookie cutter yard.

    The $225 was for cleaning the mess up. The bushes have not been cut all year (maybe two) ... the yard has not been raked and it is in bad need of edging and the beds need cleaned out. The yard will take a good five man hours to get it clean and ready to go. (5 hours X $40 = $200 plus running the junk to the dump - which is less than 4 miles from my house, but still a pain).

    When the homeowner was showing me around these are the things that they indicated that they wanted taken care of. Its another one of these ... I want my house to look the best on the street, but I don't want to pay for it!

    Anyway that is what the $225 is for and I really tried to keep the cost down.

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