Just ask me

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MDLawnman, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. MDLawnman

    MDLawnman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    I took a call from what I thought was a prospective customer several days ago. The man said that he had several properties, 1/4, 1/2, and one acre properties and wanted to know how much I charge to mow each. I told him I needed to look at them at no cost to him, and I'd give him an estimate. I hear someone else listening on the line then they hang up. Armed with caller ID I call them back thinking that we were accidentally disconnected. No answer. Then it hits me - it's just a competitor or at least someone who is getting into the business trying to feel out how I price.

    This is not the first time this has happened to me and it is the main reason why I won't give any pricing over the telephone.

    WHY NOT JUST TELL THE TRUTH & ASK ME? I may even meet with you and talk it over. I'd at least suggest to them that they review this web site. I'm finished ranting now . . . does this happen to you?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I hear you, I get that too and what irks me is they try and be slick or funny about it, if they just flat out told me they were new and could I answer a few questions? Worst I could do is say no... I don't care much for any business owner who refers to his customer's houses as 'his properties,' I guess is what it boils down to, idk, hard to see this crap coming, it's so unexpected.

    But when they are upfront (I get a few of these as well), then they go 'can you send me a pricelist with detailed estimating instructions and the current cost of any and all materials, along with a labor conversion worksheet and sample contracts, estimate and proposal forms, a specific budget and business plan for me and anything else you might just have around?

    It's like, they either try some backhanded kind of way to get something simple and stupid out of me, or they're upfront and ask for the entire blueprint schematics on how to run a business from start to finish.

    But you're right, I don't like over the phone quotes, thou the reasons are usually somewhat different, I also don't like someone asking me for a free estimate, in writing.
  3. cward

    cward LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    No phone estimates on this end either. I've thought about charging $20 for a written estimate and then crediting their account for the $20 when I get a contract. I've had many conversations with my competitors about pricing and I don't have a problem with that at all. I have never had a cold call like lawnman.

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