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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MDLawn, Dec 3, 2012.
Darryl, great response. Especially your last point.
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Also why is it ripping off, tricking, or taking advantage of people when you have a business plan you are trying to follow?? Also customers are very important, they are the life of your business. Doesn't mean they tell you how to run your business or know everything because they read a book or talked to thier awesome neighbor. If they have issues you talk to them about it. If they try and dictate how you service they don't care about service.
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I don't think there's any misunderstanding. You stated that you consider yourself to be an employee of your customers, and after all your name here is Yardguy. I consider myself to be a contractor.
I'm not saying I don't let my customers have any input, but my goal is to do what's best for my business and the customer's lawn. I'm not going to cut their lawn at 2.5 inches if I know it's the wrong thing to do, I'm not going to cut it bi-weekly if it needs cutting weekly and I'm not going to go out of my way to cut their lawn on a day that they're not on my route.
Once you start negotiating price, letting the customer dictate the frequency of cutting and/or cutting height, you are letting them control you and your business, and in my opinion that is a dangerous precedent to set. Once they know they can get the upper hand on you they will continue to do so.
I've only got one customer (and he's a good customer) that gets his grass scalped, the only reason I do it is because he's 87 and his wife of 50 years recently passed away so I figure he can get a pass on MY WAY.
But the problem is most on here view that as not listening to the customer blah, blah, blah.... Most also cannot take "No" for an answer when it comes to price or other related issues. So the pressure of "No" and the fear of not being accepted causes them to do irrational things like drop service prices, cut on days that don't fit the schedule, or do more and more free and discounted things until its too late and the hole they have created is too big to crawl out of.
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well there are no negotiations on price ever for anyway or anything.
but if someone calls up and wants an estimate for bi weekly service, i give it to them. if they ask me what height i cut at i inform them and if the want a different height i inform of what the results could be and that i can't be responsible for those results and if they still insist, as long as there paying what i want, i'll go to it.
if you wanna call that letting the client run my business fine, no skin off my nose.
the way i see it, i don't profile my clients. some of you guys do and thats fine. i don't only take on certain clients. i will take on whoever will pay the price i give. from the guys who just want there grass knocked down as short as it can on a regular basis to the one's who want a perfectly manicured lawn.
i think there IS a misunderstanding. you have set in your head you are gonna do things THIS way and no one is going to get you to do them any differently. if they try you tell them no.
i'm not that way. if someone, mainly the client who is the one paying me wants something done that happens to be different than what i normal do, i don't just say no i'm not doing it that way. i work with them and try to honor what they want.
can i put my input once though or will you tell me no? how about you run your business your way and i'll run my business my way, since it seems to be working for both of us.
Yardguy, certainly we can all run our businesses our own way. After all no one can force you to do anything you don't want to do; but I subscribe and participate in the website so that I can learn from others and maybe do something a little (or a lot) better than I used to - otherwise I've got better things to do than just write messages about how I do things and no listening to other points of view. What I hear in your postings is that you have made up your mind to do it your way and not open to fresh perspectives. http://www.lawnsite.com/images/smilies/dizzy.gif I regularly learn things here, even though I've been in the service industry for over 30 years, the last 7 in the landscaping business. You are never to old to learn a new trick or two, or so knowledgeable that someone can't give you a new idea.
To me the key statement Yardman made is that he doesn't care if his customers respect him. The whole relationship will go smoother if the customer respects you. In my opinion, it is important to gain the customer's respect and establish yourself as the expert so that they will relinquish control of their lawn care to you.
You are right. Respect = professionalism. It doesn't mean they like you. There are many people I respect but don't necessarily like. Respect also = maximum $. If someone does not respect me or my work they will not pay me what I'm worth. I don't know how many times I've advised the client that what they are looking for is the college or high school kid down the street who has a lawn mower and willing to do the job cheap.
Yup...I now refer them to college age son, lol.