Mr. softy? bad for business

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fga, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    is it possible to run a profitable business, be successful, and be flexible on costs when customers plead and beg?
    I don't like to be taken advantage of, and have become "tougher" as each year passes, but i find myself giving in on occaisions...... bad habit, or normal in this business?
    now i'm not talking extreme numbers here. Like an $85 trim job, real quick last week,guy got me down to $65 with his wife yelling at him in the background that I'm too much money. LAdy lost her job recently, pleaded with me to lower her price 10 dollars a month....
  2. locutus

    locutus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,266

    It makes some people feel good to get you to lower your prices. Like they really achieved something. I dont think you gave too much away by going down ten dollars a month.

    This idea could backfire on you in certain markets, but did you ever think of building in some negotiating room in you pricing?
  3. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    not really, but i guess if i have a clue that the person will be one of those types, i could do that. I think my prices are fair. if they don't think so, i say thanks anyway.
    in these cases i've mentioned, it's me basically feeling bad for their situation, and cutting them some slack (at my exspense:( ). I don't like doing things like that, in fear they will make it a habit. Sometimes i just want them to leave me alone and stop crying so i can finish up!
  4. dvmcmrhp52

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

    So tell me what that 10 dollars a month did for them?
    Did it buy the baby a new pair of shoes?

    Just kidding, but I think you get my point.
  5. Action Lawn

    Action Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    We had this problem last year. our estimators were being beat-up by the customers. So we made a very strict system, all calculated numbers, no negotiating allowed. It saved on sales stress, and we didn't loose any of the quality work. We don't want price shoppers anyways, they are head-aches. If you drop an $85 job by $15 just to get the job, that is almost 20%. That is more than most companies' profit margin. I don't like working for free.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    One lady wanted me to drop my mowing price because:

    1-Husband lost his job
    2-She has allergies, can't mow
    3-Daughter is always "too busy"
    4-Oh yeah, husband is "allergic" too

    She's telling me this as she is drinking a $4 cup of Starbucks coffee. People like that get no slack.

    If its someone I know very well, I have helped out on occasion, but only very occasionally.
  7. pcnservices

    pcnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    Bad customers! Stick to your guns and build a good reputation for yourself with good paying customers. Dont create a president for yourself by bargaining on your service fee. Be reasonable and firm.
    Good Luck
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    yes being mr. softy is bad for business. when they start that crap i tell them, "yea, i know how you feel, i had 2 trucks break down, roof caved in, and my son needs braces." screw em addam, don't back down. fair pricing is a two way street, fair to them and to you
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    There are other stores down the road, ... let them shop at those. If I lower any prices or compromise on any service, it's because it is ME that brings it up. These people don't do it at grocery stores, they don't do it at pharmacies, and they don't do this at the doctor's office. Getting this service is NOT a standard thing, it's more of a luxury thing. If they don't want to pay the steakhouse prices, or even the coney island prices, then they can go to McDonalds very easily. The choice is theirs, but PLEASE don't "ask" to take a burgwer out of my mouth so that I may replace it with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just because
    1-Husband lost his job
    2-She has allergies, can't mow
    3-Daughter is always "too busy" (probably too busy MAKING MONEY!)
    4-Oh yeah, husband is "allergic" too
    or any other reason.
  10. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 497

    being mr softy wont work in the long run, cause if they jew you down then they will do it all the time, its a fact. stand your growed dont give in,be firm, ive learned that from this site and its help me alot

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