My Own Stupid Fault!

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Trinity Lawn Care LLC, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    Well my right hand guy started helping this year with estimates. He is really good at it and has a very high closing ratio(about 60% - 70%). However, he went out and landed a small mulch job. It was scheduled for last Saturday, then postponed until Monday, and then actually was completed today, because of the weather.

    The problem was that he never had the customer sign the proposal. That is not his fault, because I never actually told him to do it. Usually, there is time between the estimate and scheduled job for my wife (partner) to get the signed proposal and get 50% of the payment.

    To try and not make this to winded. Mike comes back (after proposal) and turns in proposal says that there are two different proposals one for the mulch job, and another for additional mulch work ( edging out three tree rings for two sand cherries and a pear tree). He said that he explained to the customer that it would be an additional fee and she stated that she did not wish to do that at this time.

    Well to bring this to a finish. Wouldn't you know the mulch job gets completed today and sure enough around 8p we get a call from the customer saying that the job looks great, but it is not complete. She stated that Mike told her that the tree and shrubs (rings) would be included. After the call I spoke to Mike and he said that she specifically said she did not want to do that work at this time, or he would have done it while they were there.

    I just can not stand when customers try to get over on you! My fault. I told Mike and my wife both that from this point forward that No work is to be done without a signed written proposal. That is company policy. Sorry so long. Had to vent, been having a couple of rough days.
  2. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    Hey it happens. Is she willing to pay for the extra time it will take to finish the job?
  3. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    No. She insists that it was supposed to be a part of the original estimate. O.k. she got that one. Hey, I guess the bright side is at least she does pay. We usually receive payment from her right away.
  4. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    mate you are right,it is your fault a way it is .this is something you and you have to learn.he sounds as though he is a good guy .i would say to him he has to go back and complete this job.tell him it is a good chance it may be gratis .there is no need to feel like crap here .its a learning thing .it is something you:waving: have to get a grasp of if you are going to put on people
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    See this thread:

    Your right hand is closing way too many, to me there is no sale until I have been paid.
    And if he keeps twisting or bending things to go his way, sooner or later this is what happens.
  6. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    No, I am alright. I am not that upset. What I am upset with the most is the fact that so many people will try and take advantage of you. I am not really losing that much money. It is really the principal of it. He told me that it is his fault and that I can dock his pay for it. I explained to him that I am not going to dock his pay. However, he now knows that going forward a written proposal must be signed and that we must retain a copy of it on file at the office. I would rather do a $40 - $50 job gratis then fighting with a customer over $100's. Going there tomorrow to finish the job.
  7. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Learned that today, luckily it was on 50 dollars only and I should get paid. I'm tired of it, you stretch out and be nice one time and you get spit on.

    Live and learn right.
  8. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    Hear ya Kurt. What I am learning is that you can be nice, but you have to be a bit cautious when it comes to people. There are some very nice folks out there, and there are definitely those that will stick it to you the first chance they get.
  9. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    Hear ya bro.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Ohhh yeah, I resent that to this day, it really is amazing isn't it?
    The worst thing is they do it the MOST your first year or three, right when it's hard enough already.
    It chills out after that, but only after you put your foot in a few strategic places, and it never stops completely.

    I find at least half will do it, I think the actual figure is closer to 9 out of 10.
    And if you think that's bad thus far, check this out:
    Another business owner is TWICE as likely to take advantage of you.
    A customer is TWICE as likely to take advantage of your hired help.
    You're TWICE as likely to be had online.

    I shouldn't complain because before I became an owner, I did it too... But then that's how the whole world acts, only now do I see the error in my ways, but how do we teach them, how can we change it?

    Very frustrating...
    The only secret I have found that works is be completely upfront and honest yourself, NEVER take advantage of them even if you can. Over time this will help you find the few customers who won't do it to you, and since you're one of them, the trust that you built will keep you out of the fray. It is ok to make a mistake, but be aware of yourself and don't do it on purpose because a customer that trusts you and doesn't do it to you will leave you if you so much as try (well maybe not the first time or even the second but sooner or later they will see it just like you see it now, and they will leave and you will be stuck with the rest).
    The beauty of it is, you don't have to charge as much with the honest ones... The dumb thing is, I wish everyone would realize life would be much easier and cheaper if everybody went straight, sooo much time and money is wasted, not to mention the effort...

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