Is this why some satisfied customers never give referrals?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mbricker, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Last week I was mowing a lawn that I've mowed 4 years. The couple has always expressed that they are very happy with my work. But I have never had a referral from them, except for one absolute PITA lawn that was a home going through probate.

    In the time I've worked for this couple, I've seen some of their neighbors go through 2 or 3 lawn services, and some of the work has been incredibly crappy. But never has one of those neighbors approached me about taking over their lawn, despite how good my work looks on this one lawn. I have not solicited any work in this neighborhood because the day I work this area has always been full.

    But as I finished last week, a neighbor lady was out on her lawn picking up some sticks, and making small talk I commented on the nice weather etc. Then as I saw the lawn was slightly overgrown I asked if she could use a good lawn service. She hesitated then asked how much would I charge for that lawn.

    We walked around the lot, and I quoted her a price. She gave me a very strange look and said "are you sure you can do it for that?"

    I told her I was positive, and she said "well you are $10 less than the guy who cuts it now, who was supposed to be here 4 days ago. And Archie told me you were way too high."

    Archie is her neighbor I've worked 4 years for.

    I wonder if his perception that I'm "too high" has been passed to all his neighborhood.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I've oftened wondered about this too. I think it goes back to how social the neighborhood is. If there are a lot of young kids on the street, the parents tend to be outside with them a lot and get to know their neighbors.

    I've got 2 customers who are like referral machines. Not just for neighbors, but co-workers, friends, etc. Of my 70 or so customers, 8 of them came from one customers referrals (I should give him a discount, I really should, but his yard is a PITA. I refer to it as "The Widowmaker")
  3. SouthernFried

    SouthernFried LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    I think this is a good point.

    I know for fact that some client neighbors were too "intimidated" to ask me for service because I just "looked" too expensive.

    When...after doing a particular lawn for almost a decade that consistently got "yard of the month"...the homeowner talked to some of his neighbors. They told him that it must cost him a fortune to use me. He told them what I charged and they were surprised.

    I now do 8 of his neighbors. Almost wish they'd quit referring me...almost :)

    Kind of a catch-22 situation. You want to "look" good, and do excellent work. Which, in itself, can scare off people who will think you just have to be expensive, and wont approach you.

    I always thought, if they think your too expensive, then they must be too cheap and I wouldn't want them anyway. When, in reality, they are probably paying the same for a lesser service.

    Always thought it was a little "crass" to advertise prices...but, in cases like this...a little note to neighbors with your price schedules on them might be a good idea.

    I have also found, that some clients simply don't want you to do neighbors yards. Some just like having you exclusively as an image thing...some just think you'll not spend enough time on their yard, if your doing their neighbors too.
  4. viking72

    viking72 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    Archie wanted the best looking lawn in the area.
    Social warfare (He is to expensive).
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    There she Blows!!!!!!!!! Put your flyer Down the street and they will call.

  6. BryPaulD

    BryPaulD LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 392

    Same here. I don't do this for a living, but I'm a fanatic about my lawn and I don't want any of my neighbor's lawns looking as great as mine. :p
  7. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    customers are afraid that you will get to busy and make up crap so others wont hire you!
  8. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    Norm ? is that you ? wow, that's a pretty good answer, I agree with you 100% :D
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Yep, Archie wanted to look like a bigshot, paying big money to have his yard done.

    Now his ego is deflated and you'll be out of a yard..... :)
  10. CapnDean

    CapnDean LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Anybody ever tell their client that you will discount their lawn if the neighbors on both sides contract with you?

    Wouldn't it be worth a little to you to do 3 lawns in the same visit?

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