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Is It Worth Your Time?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by olderthandirt, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Potential customers calls for a residential install on lawn and beds, maybe a patio or walkway, bushes, trees or what ever.
    You ask them what would be a convienent time to meet them and go over what they want. Then you hear there busy everyday that you mention and they just want you to leave an estimate in the door for them. Do you go and do the estimate or just blow them off figuring there fishing for prices? This happens alot around here becoase of all the new construction.

  2. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    Sounds like they are price shopping but don't want to meet you face to face for what ever reason.
  3. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    i would go over there to "have look around, see what we're dealing with, get an idea, throw some ideas at you maybe you didn't think of..." (that's what i would tell them), but tell them i cannot give a price until they can walk through it with me so it can be an accurate estimate.

    if i had a even the slightest feeling they weren't going to use me anyway.... ofcourse i say i'm too busy.
    but in todays world, sometimes people are actually too busy, they should atleast be available in the evening, before it gets dark. it gets dark here, way after 7, give me a break..
  4. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    I consult with customers for any install. If they are not willing to sacrifice some of their own time, why should I? Too many variables involed on installations to just "leave one in the mailbox". :cool:
  5. gvandora

    gvandora LawnSite Member
    Messages: 143

    I usually like to see the customer and feel them out to find out exactly what they want, need, and expect. However, there are some jobs that are simple enough, e.g. grass cutting, lawn spray program, that a face to face meeting might not be absolutely necessary. However, I still prefer a face to face meeting because it makes for fewer problems in the long run. Plus, I find that meeting the client is usually a great opportunity to upsell and replace that shrub that looks crappy or whatever it might be.
  6. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    "Potential customers calls for a residential install on lawn and beds, maybe a patio or walkway, bushes, trees or what ever"

    If you need to design and plan for those things mentioned,that
    is a service and is charged for accordingly. (MIn 1 Hr).

    An estimate is based upon the plan that they hand you.
    I would do an estimate and leave it ,if thats all that is required.
    No Charge,it's business.
  7. LandMatters

    LandMatters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    I agree with CoffeeCraver. If they have a plan that you can give them an estimate off of, then that's free. If they want a free design for them to bid off of, let the other guy give it to them for free. Also, if they only require a few shrubs here or there, then that is not a big deal either. then it's up to you what your time is worth to meet with them in the first place. They can pick away at every idea you have, you spend an hour with them, 1/2 hour preparing what to bring to the appointment, setting up the appiontment, an hour in travel to and from the appoinment, and so on. All for free.

    One of the biggest problems with the landscape industry is the most companies are willing to set an appointment, then consult with the homeowner for free, then provide them with a free design. Thus the contractor has spent nearly 8hrs in all working up a plan (for free), meeting with them for free (2 times), and then leave the plan with the homeowner (for free). Why would anyone want to work for free. Once they have the drawing, they can really bid out the work.

    I prefer not to work for free, so we'll be charging consultation fees for now on. The entire fee or portion of the fee can then be credited to any work that is done.
  8. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Wouldn't bother.
    As has been mentioned,If they can't spend some time on it then why should you?
    Too much of a waste of time for people that are not serious about doing business with you.

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