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lose or gain jobs due to contract?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sharpcuts, May 18, 2010.

  1. sharpcuts

    sharpcuts LawnSite Member
    from NE OK
    Messages: 78

    OK, so I am just curious whether anyone has lost/gained jobs because of a contract. Sorry if that sounds confusing but here's the scenario.

    I had a lady call last week to get a quote. They are an older couple, live in a middle class development, with a nice home. They, like many in this economy, lost much of their retirement in the stock markets. They are asking me to bid because they are currently in a contract with another company. Now here's the strange thing: they are completely happy with the guy that's doing it now! They just don't want a contract. Now the guy they currently have only does contracts, no exceptions. I, on the other hand, do both. I know that they probably won't save alot just because they aren't in a contract, but somehow they will feel more in control of their monthly expenses:dizzy:.

    Just wondering if you have lost or gained any jobs because of this type of thing? Is this a trend we might see more of in our low economy?
  2. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    Be careful if you give them a by cut price that its good for weekly mowing@ bi weekly@ etc. Don't do a weekly price on an on call basis.
  3. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    In other words, they want a cheaper price. Don't be fooled about the "I just don't want a contract" BS.

    This is how my residential agreements(I call them agreements not contracts) work... The customer signs, but can cancel at anytime with 2 weeks' notice, written or phone call.

    Win-win situation. No arguing over the price because it's in writing, but the customer has an out.
  4. sharpcuts

    sharpcuts LawnSite Member
    from NE OK
    Messages: 78

    yeah, I use the same kind of agreement. & I know not to charge the same for weekly & bi-weekly. My agreement spells out the schedule as well, & states that any less frequency there will be an up charge. I was up front with them that it would need a weekly mowing. They said something about the fact that they wouldn't have to pay through the winter without a contract. The way I figure it, it comes out the same either way unless my cut price is lower per time than the other guy's. I gave them the same price I would give anyone else. She wanted to look at some of my work, so I told her of a couple of jobs I do in the same sub. A lot of the older folks in my area don't like the idea of a contract for some reason. Prefer the handshake agreement thing they were used to I guess.
  5. LandscapemanFL

    LandscapemanFL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I have used them in the past. I just offer two different rates, Discounted for the contract/agreement and a little higher for the non. Most customers go for the no contract plan. I have had calls like yours, I dont understand the whole concept. But I am happy for the new customers.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    That is not my problem, should have sold before the bubble burst then
    they would have made out, we're talking 5 to 10 times the money invested.
    Come to think of it, maybe they did sell.

    Finish the contract, then call me again.

    Ohhhh yeah, I catch the drift, time to run.

    Good for him.

    Forget it, I know full and well what all of that means, I'm outta here!

    All the time, case like this gladly so! :waving:
  7. TheC-Master

    TheC-Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 819

    I like user agreements for residentials, provided they pay out for the month if they cancel. It helps keep things in order about what everyone agreed to. A must considering some customers have split personalities or something.
  8. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    My thoughts also.
  9. lawnboy dan

    lawnboy dan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,711

    i have recently lost jobs to people who think its cheaper to go with a contract. the fools didnt bother to crunch the numbers
  10. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    In my case all my contract customers are cheaper than pay as you go. When I can schedule and count on mowing or doing whatever it is cheaper.

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