No good deed goes unpunished

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Gr grass n Hi tides, May 13, 2004.

  1. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    Got a call from a homeowner (lives out of town) wanting clean-ups on two properties he has in my area. I drive around and do the estimates. While at one of his properties I notice the hose is in the pool, water running & the pool is overflowing down the side of the deck for who knows how long. Of course, I cut the water off. Home owner: "awe, man I really appreciate don't even know, I see $400 and $500 water bills there all the time from stuff like this........I really appreciate it."

    Of course, this conversation and two others because he had about 100 questions are long distance, on my nickle (okay part of it fair enough).

    So, I price these two clean-ups to get the work. Told the guy I could do the work this Friday because he has people coming in on Sunday.

    Finally get a return call from him (a voice message this a.m.): "gee man, I appreciate all your trouble but I got another quote that is significantly lower than yours.......maybe we can do business in the future sometime."

    Travel time, long distance calls, time doing estimates + I save the guy 100s of dollars on a water bill & I also had my price a tad lower than usual so I could land the work & what happens...........
    underbid by lowballer.

    I called this guy back & asked him what he's paying & he even told me who is doing the work without my asking. It's a joke.

    I don't usually complain about the lowballers. I'll tell you what though.............I'm considering trying to hit them in THEIR market & concentrate on the little 2K - 5K size yards & lowball THEM. I think I can beat their time/pay rate since they're using 21ers & I'm using bigger equipment.
  2. Mikes Lawn Landscape

    Mikes Lawn Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 458

    I think your frustration should be geared toward the customer not the other LCO.:angry:

    Sorry to hear that remember as someone said on here "We only rent our customers":cool:
  3. creek chub

    creek chub LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38


    I know it's frustrating when you go above and beyond to help a customer or potential customer out and lose to a low bid. I suggest you read some literature on sales tatics, particularly overcoming objections. You have a home run with this guy you just got to swing the bat. Call him back and tell him " you know Mr. "x", I was thinking about my proposal and you said the other company was lower than my bid. But as I have already demonstrated I provide a quality service for a competitive price. Ask him does he think another company would have took initiative to shut off the water to save him $100's of dollars? He already knows the answer. Tell him if I get your business, that you will check his property for anything out of line i.e., accumalated mail and forward it to him weekly(which indicates a vacant home to thieves), or anything that indicates you have a vested interest in his home.

    Differentiate yourself from your competition and you'll pickup work from customers who truly want a value added service. I have been in this industry only a short while and I truly believe it's just as sales based as it is service based. Quality service is essential to survival but effective sales tactics will propel each one of us to higher profit margins.

    Call him back. What have you got to lose? If you don't get the account, so what? Use it as practice to over coming objections. It'll come in handy next time.

    Good Luck- Creek Chub
  4. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    chalk it up happens all the time. Just a part of doing business.
  5. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Don't worry about it, theres more work out there. I've gotten pretty worked up about how many "lawn companies" if you even wnat to call them that showed up here within the last 2 seasons. Just yesterday there were 4 crews on my street that you know were not real companies just yahoo's doing it on the side, and there was 2 actual companies that are well known, 6 crews on one street at one time. But anymore i take it easy and just figure theres more work out there.
  6. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Shawn, sorry to hear that. You may want to call him back again and as pointed out try and sway his decision. We all get underbid but try and do everything you can to win the account and the customer.

  7. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,964

    Just go turn his water back on for him. Just kidding! Or am I?
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,372

    I agree, each time you're in the area, turn the hose back on. Don't put it in the pool though, put it in the yard, so no one sees the pool over flowing and the new guy always has a wet yard to work on. :eek:
  9. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    Mike's - Actually, I was a little ticked at em both. You know what though I am not going to biatch about this any more at all. In fact, I put up this thread in the heat of the moment which was stupid of me. Should have just shut up & handled it otherwise instead of mouthing off about a problem. Regretful.

    Creek Chub & Gravely - Thanks for the positive .02 on this, which makes putting up this heat of the moment complaint session worth while. Appreciate it guys. I did call him back......just a few min. ago & left him a voice message. We will see. My thing is this - I already had these jobs a little below my usual rate (already a dumb move I'm quite sure but happened to have an open slot on Friday b/c another job moved to next week); and it was this potential client that told ME how much I saved him on the water bill. I'll talk to him again though & see what happens.

    sildoc - That about sums it up, unless he changes his mind when we talk and/or this other guy no-shows for the work. Quite possible once he realizes how under-bid he has it, especially if he's out there the past couple days doing more underbid work.

    kc - You're correct too. Hard for me to keep that in mind sometimes though. So I'm turning this around........I am now thankful to this low baller for reminding me ;-)

    Tharrell & mowerman - :angel: or :angry: "One sitting on each shoulder" to speak! Naw........not really ;-)
  10. Trevors Lawn Care

    Trevors Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,180

    Hi Tides,
    If i may ask why did you lower YOUR price? Did you know someone else was bidding? Stick to your guns.


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