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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These are the only things in their heads...

They want their driveways black...

They want their driveways black... at very cheap price.

They want their driveways black... without making anything else black.


I lost another 2 jobs to guy who was charging just over 7 cents a square foot.

And the customer calls me and treat me like I am the crook because my price was double.

Maybe VOLUME is the way to go in this business, that seems to fit in with what the public wants.
 

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Looooogi you are not useing this site to the fullest
whe a cust looks at me like i am there dear grandmother craweling up there leg with a knife in my teeth i send them here and let them look at all of this then they see what is really going on . next time you have a problem adv the cust that maybe they should look at some info before make up there minds
 

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You have to inform the customer, when I talk to them and tell them my price I tell them, "For your driveway it will be [email protected]@@, that includes, oil spot removal, crack filling, edging, your driveway swept and blown clean and top quality sealer."

My selling point is when they see me and my set up, I see many guys in old beat up trucks with a home made unit that looks like crap, with jeans and a dirty shirt on. I show up in uniform with my company name on my shirt, hat, truck and trailer. My truck is clean, my trailer looks sharp, my unit is from marathon with a huge tank and 2 hoses, 2reels and 2 wands.

I find alot of people like the fact that I look so proffesional and I try to make them feel like they are important and that I care about their driveway. I send everyone of my customers Xmas cards every year and that is what seperates me from 95% of the other guys out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do people really want to know? These days I find people want if fast and cheap..

I still think price is the number one thing for people but I will try and win them over. I always talk to people and explain to them why my price is higher (if it is) and I have yet to get one person to come back to me, I will try harder.


I am going to keep taking the advice from the people here, you guys have helped me get me where I am. I am doing ok, it could be better but this is my first year.
 

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I take a weed wacker and trim the grass along the driveway, it gives the driveway a more polished look when its done. Yes I always include crack filling, I like to do a full service, it looks much better after.

You will always get some people that only care about the cheapest price but if you do a good job and treat people with respect, that goes a long way.
 

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I lost another 2 jobs to guy who was charging just over 7 cents a square foot.

This statement amazes me and pi-s-s-es me off because just today I had the same sort of encounter. We were out doing our grass route and I stopped at a another lawn guys house to tell him I have this new system and if he could use my services through his business(me using another unmarked truck) and I would pay him 3 cents per square foot. As we are talking I notice his drive was just done and ask him who did it and how much. When he told me the price and I measured the drive, it only cost him 5cents a square. He has had the same guy for the last 15 years and the coating usually lasts 2 to 3 years. I can't understand why the f--k people are doing this to this industry. I thought it was only the retiree and shift worker lowballers in the lawn care industry.
The sealer guy also had a worker so I am now on the look out because I am going to stop and make sure he has WHMIS training and (WSIB)insurance and propert MTO stickers if needed. We have got to start taking these lowballers down, when we pay all these fees then they have got to be on the same playing ground.
JUST HAD TO VENT.
 

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Do people really want to know? These days I find people want if fast and cheap..

I still think price is the number one thing for people but I will try and win them over.
I recommend some good books on sales. People ALWAYS lie. Not always on purpose but they do.
What they SAY they want isn't what they want. There are basic human emotions that cause people to buy. Number 1 is the relief of pain, another is to gain love. (There are 7--buy some books, if you want to sell learn the art of selling)

But What? How does that apply to driveway sealing?
See what that customer really wants is to (a) protect his pavement investment-save the pain of re-paving expense (b) gain love - have a driveway that looks better than the neighbors so he feels better about himself... I could go on but won't. You either see by now that is is ultimately important to find what has motivated that person to contact you and then "sell" to the real reason he wants the driveway sealed--educating (a) about the importance of good quality will work there (b) needs to be sold on why you make driveways look better than any other company.

Finally you will never get over the fact that your 3 things are absolutely correct! For you.
YOU believe it so of course they will always do what you expect of them. You have made up your mind. I could talk to the same people with entirely different results because I wouldn't start by "selling" I would start by asking a question where the answer led to another question and repeat until I found what that customer REALLY wanted. Then I would "sell" to that and money woudn't be the main object.

You obviously have no background in successful sales. That's OK, but you need to stop thinking you have customers all figured out after only a few months, buy some very good (and sometimes the older ones are better) books on sales-read & re-read them and put them into practice. You will be amazed how your attitude will change, then magically their attitude will change and your sales and ability to sell your services for more will result.
It will help your lawn business too so there's no way for it to be a waste of time.
I really encourage you on this. After all my years I am re-reading a 30 year-old book on sales this week and have read 2 articles on trends in web design. You must always be learning.
I can assure you any long-time successful sealcoating contractor (and I have done numerous sales seminars for sealcoating people at national meetings and talked to plenty) will tell you: "sealcoating is the easy part, the actual putting the sealer down; the hardest part is the marketing & sales".

But as long as YOU believe those 3 things they will be true and work just that way--for YOU.

I had a man attend one of my talks and afterward talked to me and told me "that all sounds great but you can't sell a driveway sealing job in Chicago for more than $75 (this was years ago) I spent a good deal of time talking to him, trying to get him to try just one of my methods. Surprisingly a year later the same man attended another one of my talks and afterward came up and asked if I remembered him (I did , unusual for me) and he said the same exact thing. Year 3 I saw him at another meeting in the hall and he spoke so as we were talking (and he still lamented about his business) I told him bluntly "I have been thinking about this the last couple of years and you're right. You can't sell a driveway sealing job in Chicago for more than $75" He seemed shocked and asked what changed my mind and I explained the operative word was YOU (meaning him) and that since I decided he would never believe any different he would never have different results.
Again about a year later I ran into him at a convention although this time he was looking for me hoping I was there. He excitedly told me how I had made him mad when I said what I did the year before--that it was all "him" and so he decided to adopt one particular technique of many I had said would probably do him the most good in his market...yet still he didn't really "believe" so he did it half-heartedly and left out one of the steps just kind of threw a "better, more expensive job" (and more profitable) in there as a choice. At the first of the year he was amazed, people actually were paying more...long story but by season's end 75% of his customers were paying more, he had added another crew to handle the work and had his best year ever--he wanted me to know I was right after all and the next year he was going to really "try" the things I had talked about. I haven't heard from him since but I have talked to a friend of his who said he was very busy still, having trouble "keeping up" and I know Chicago is one of the toughest markets in the USA full of "cheaper than anybody" sealcoaters.
I look forward to hearing from again but my point is the customers didn't change a bit...all that changed was his attitude & actions...

(I mean no personal criticism of you, just constructive suggestions based on what you said)

Best of luck to you payup
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I take a weed wacker and trim the grass along the driveway, it gives the driveway a more polished look when its done. Yes I always include crack filling, I like to do a full service, it looks much better after.

You will always get some people that only care about the cheapest price but if you do a good job and treat people with respect, that goes a long way.
I am not a crook, so I will always do my best and I hope it will pay off in the end.

I had one customer last week who stood over my shoulder complaining he had to leave, be booked 10 days in advance!!! He kept asking me when I was going to finish(looked like he was going to the beach) and he was really upset.

I still took my time and did a good job because my name is on that job. The guy did not want to rescheduale or pay me before I finished. If I did not start spraying I would have walked away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I lost another 2 jobs to guy who was charging just over 7 cents a square foot.

This statement amazes me and pi-s-s-es me off because just today I had the same sort of encounter. We were out doing our grass route and I stopped at a another lawn guys house to tell him I have this new system and if he could use my services through his business(me using another unmarked truck) and I would pay him 3 cents per square foot. As we are talking I notice his drive was just done and ask him who did it and how much. When he told me the price and I measured the drive, it only cost him 5cents a square. He has had the same guy for the last 15 years and the coating usually lasts 2 to 3 years. I can't understand why the f--k people are doing this to this industry. I thought it was only the retiree and shift worker lowballers in the lawn care industry.
The sealer guy also had a worker so I am now on the look out because I am going to stop and make sure he has WHMIS training and (WSIB)insurance and propert MTO stickers if needed. We have got to start taking these lowballers down, when we pay all these fees then they have got to be on the same playing ground.
JUST HAD TO VENT.
How is business?

You bought a line painter as well right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Webman thanks for that post.

Your are right.

I think my weakest point is P2P sales. I manage to get most the jobs that come by my way but sometimes I feel like a deer caught in headlights when a customers tells me they can get their driveway sealed for much cheaper, I hate to lose a sale because I work really hard to get those contacts.

I know there are people who are getting $350 bucks to seal a driveway that should cost $175.

I guess the fustrations must comes from my own sales skills, if I get people wanting my services and my work the would not go for the cheaper jobs.

It is a hill I am gonna have to climb if I am going to make this business go.

I have no sales backround...

Can you recommend a few books to get me started?
 

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Looogie, first job tomorrow in the afternoon. Would have been sooner but dam grass won't slow down. I tell everyone that we are so far behind now that we are back in first.
I PM'd you a message. Take a look. P2P sales don't bother me at all because I fiqure you walk in the drive with no job, you can always walk out the same way, it just upsets me when joe is doing it cheaper just to lowball. I appreciate the thoughts on reading books and believe me I have read a few and attended a few go-go-getem seminars but at the end of the day we all want to save money and so do our customers and that is what is fuelling these lowballers. Seminars and books give you some basic insight and expectations but at the end of the day if you did't pay for the books, seminars, hotels/fuel/meals for the seminars then you may have been able to do the job cheaper and still make money. Just a thought. I personally am trying to keep myself at the 16 cent per square foot and only drop to 13 cents if its house next to house next to house.
 

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I lost another 2 jobs to guy who was charging just over 7 cents a square foot.

This statement amazes me and pi-s-s-es me off because just today I had the same sort of encounter. We were out doing our grass route and I stopped at a another lawn guys house to tell him I have this new system and if he could use my services through his business(me using another unmarked truck) and I would pay him 3 cents per square foot. As we are talking I notice his drive was just done and ask him who did it and how much. When he told me the price and I measured the drive, it only cost him 5cents a square. He has had the same guy for the last 15 years and the coating usually lasts 2 to 3 years. I can't understand why the f--k people are doing this to this industry. I thought it was only the retiree and shift worker lowballers in the lawn care industry.
The sealer guy also had a worker so I am now on the look out because I am going to stop and make sure he has WHMIS training and (WSIB)insurance and propert MTO stickers if needed. We have got to start taking these lowballers down, when we pay all these fees then they have got to be on the same playing ground.
JUST HAD TO VENT.
What MTO sticker are you talking about? As for the WHIMS training I think that is cover in the permit to buy dangerous goods. (if you are talking about a cut back sealer) As for the helper if the guy contracted his services the helper is reponseable WSIB coveage but I could be wrong about that.
Do not take what I said the wrong way, I totally agree we you. I have to deal with the same problems on 90% of my jobs.
 

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What MTO sticker are you talking about? As for the WHIMS training I think that is cover in the permit to buy dangerous goods. (if you are talking about a cut back sealer) As for the helper if the guy contracted his services the helper is reponseable WSIB coveage but I could be wrong about that.
Do not take what I said the wrong way, I totally agree we you. I have to deal with the same problems on 90% of my jobs.
The MTO sticker is the sticker for annual safeties on truck and trailers if there Total Gross Vehicle Weight accumulates to more than 4500kgs or about 8000 pounds. This does not mean what you are weighing in at empty or loaded, it means that what the maximum your vehicle and trailer combined are able to carry at maximum capacity.
As far as WHMIS training, the paper they give you when you fill up is fine and dandy for you but for your employees there is mandatory yearly training required so your employees no how to read the document and beable to find what they need in all that writing incase of an accident. Its the law.
The WSIB coverage is required for any one that works with you. Again its the law. Sub-contracting only applies in most cases to general contractors. The only way it would not be needed in sealing is if you where sealing a parking lot and needed a second company with there own equipment and materials to help and at that point they are responsible for giving you a clearance certificate for there WSIB coverage.
So as you can see all of this requires money and sometimes alot of money and thats why the lowballers sometimes are able to give a price advantage because they don't follow the rules/laws.
 
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