It pays to be as professional as you can

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by kc2006, May 16, 2005.

  1. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Just got a call about a mulch job, first thing he says is "well your the most expensive quote i got but you were the most professional too, so I'll go with you"

    All because I walked the property and did alittle measuring, he said all the other guys just looked real quick, said it would need 1 more yard of mulch then what i said and charged less. I priced it at 55 a yard installed he gave me the figures of the other guys and they wanted 38-40 a yard! the mulch is 25 a yard with my discount, i couldn't imagine putting a yard of mulch down and only making 13-15 off it.

    Just found that kind of funny, normally we all deal with people that are price shoppers but its nice to get a comment like that, shows that all the extra effort is worth it. :D
  2. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    I agree with the professionalism. It has landed me several jobs over other companies.

    I find it interesting though that so many companies quote their jobs by the yard.

    As for me. I go do the measurements, determine how thick it needs to be and then I give them a price.

    They don't ask how many yards and I don't tell them.

    I price it by the job.

    I would think that by pricing it by the yard it encourages "price shoppers".
  3. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I priced it by the job but he already had an idea of how much mulch it would take. People always ask me how many yards its going to take, if they sit and divide it up let them I guess. I don't come out and say "It's $55 a yard" I say "It's going to be $247 plus tax for labor and material" then normally they want to know how much is going to be there (as he did in this case so I told him 4.5). I just found it to be a compliment even though it wasn't ment as one.
  4. Tn Lawn Man

    Tn Lawn Man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479


    It must be a regional or neighborhood characteristic. Nobody here ever asks how many yards. They just want know the final price.

    That can be a little tricky too. Because, I am the type to do extraordinary good work. That is not bragging, I just tend to do better work than the other companies. Go figure. So many of the other companies bid much lower because they don't take the time to do a great job.

    That is where my professionalism has really paid off.
  5. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    That could be why they charge so little for mulch, if they just toss it as fast as they can and go.. I too take my time and make sure it looks nice, alot of times neighbors will stop and ask for estimates too so it pays to do a nice clean job.
  6. turfman33

    turfman33 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    I also think that because Of the way my rig looks (clean, neat and tidy) and that I wear my own uniform that people think I'm to expensive and don"t even ask for estimates. I have worked some yards for a couple of years and know that next door to them did not have a lawn care provider. then they have a guy that looks no way near as professional and I haven't even been asked to do an estimate.

  7. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 693

    Next time you do some of your excellent work, hang some PRICED doorhangers on the neighbors' doors. You let the timid neighbor folks you're looking for work, and what they can expect to pay for your excellent service.....


    KDLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I have hung over 1500 door hangers this year on doors.. very profesionally done glossy finnish the whole 9 yards.. and I have had some clients tell me that they were hesitant to call me cause my door hangers looked so nice they were not sure they could afford me or not.. I know that is a complement. this is my first full year in the business and I am not doing too hot this year with clients.. I only have 15.. but the ones I do have like my work and my attitude.. and I am a perfetionist when it comes to my but I am surviving so far.. I have learned alot about the comercial side of things also this year.. I guess that is what the first year is about.. getting your feet wet and learning.. but I am having fun as a full time guy.. even though the money is not there..

    maybe you guys can help.. out of the 1500 hangers I hung I might have gotten a call back from about 50... can someone tell me why? I put them in higher income neiborhoods ... just a

    thanks.. Kent
  9. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 693

    50 responses from 1,500 doorhangers isn't too bad, that's a 3.3% return.

    Question: do you price the doorhangers? This would help the homeowners determine if they can afford you, or not. Why go back to do an estimate on a lawn you've already been to when you did the door hanging?
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I also price by the job,mainly because the environmental variations involved.I mean yeah,you can say $55.00 a yd instld
    what if you have to inst it on a steep hill?What if there is no access to the beds within 100'or so?Or run past a mean chained -up dog all day?
    What if you gotta take down a gate or a delivery guy drops it in the wrong place?(just an example that would never happen to!*~)
    What if you forgot to tell the cust to move the cars on that day and the left for the weekend?
    That's why I always walk the area,meet with the cust,took measurements. I don't have to now..after awhile you just can look and know almost to the shovelfull how much your gonna need.anyway that's why.I don't always look so professional,sometimes I have sticks in my hair,dirt on my clothes and mud on my boots, :p but do try and clean my hands and face to meet with a client in the middle of or end of the day.As long as you speak professionally and act with intelligence ;) and smile alot :D they don't really care about the rest....
    oh and by the by..I happen to drive a minorly beat primered clipped'53'GMC shortbed truck/with a 403 Olds under the hood. for work,It's a sleeper.. haah..with a "49"Jeep bed for my small equipment trailer,also have a much biggger trailer for my jobs too.But I drive what most here would consider to be a "scrub"truck..
    But if clients are gonna judge me by what I drive,I don't wanna work for them anyway. :cool2:

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