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Pricing yourself out of the riff raff

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by CrystalCreek, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. LawnVeteran

    LawnVeteran LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    Exactly. But then I tell myself. I work for me and screw everyone else lol
  2. MowDaddy

    MowDaddy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,739

    $100 Canadian is about $77 US.
    So your right in ball park.
  3. Mitty87

    Mitty87 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,517

    It's not hard to find a good company here to do work at 1/3 of that price. A lot of them have been in business a long time and do good work, they just don't know any better. It feels like some think they don't deserve financial security or any monetary reward because they do manual labour.

    I remember an old boss complaining all the time about not making any money. I asked him why not raise his rate and he looks at me like I just peed on his rug. I've worked for these guys that cut all these corners with labour laws and the taxman, not willing to give their employees a good wage. They risk their future by paying guys as subcontractors and taking a large portion of income under the table , all to save money for their clients.

    I wouldn't be surprised if I was one of these guys in 10 years still wondering why I don't make any money and following the same path as the guys I mentioned. It really just comes down to ignorance and a misunderstanding of what a business is.
    hort101 and That Guy Gary like this.
  4. Todd73

    Todd73 LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Florida
    Messages: 2,586

    I thought I had a mentor; my supervisor at the prep school. Before working there, he had, what he claimed, was a successful lawn business for 15 years. Turns out for every one good piece of advice, usually about equipment operation or how to do a particular job, he’d have ten bad about the business side of things. Over time, I realized his “success” was either perceived or because he worked his butt off on volume; NOT because of solid business decisions. We parted ways less than amicably a few months back when I upped the price on his lawn maintenance (he convinced me to do his two lawns at a ridiculously low rate when I first started out using the old “_____ is all I can afford, but it’s TWO lawns” routine) from an over 30% discount to only 23%. He accused me of screwing him on pricing and poor quality. I dropped him on the spot and haven’t spoken to him since.

    Moral of the story: Choose your mentor carefully. Validate their claims of success, don’t follow advice blindly, and decide if they’re helping you out for altruistic reasons or if they have ulterior motives.
    LawnVeteran and hort101 like this.
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 11,804

    I know somebody like that. Huge lawn care business. Always claims to be broke. Not paying his bills on time. But he always drives a newer model monster truck:dizzy:
  6. BrendonTW

    BrendonTW LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Oklahoma City
    Messages: 1,107

    Agree with your thread @CrystalCreek

    My process for selling our services is really geared towards finding the right fit because I put very large amounts of effort into selling to a customer once I realize they are the right customer for us and we are the right vendor for them. So I hate turning in bids that we lose. Not because I don’t like rejection so much as I hate feeling like I wasted my time in something that truthfully never would have worked in the first place.

    Note that it is important to distinguish between truthfully never would have worked in the first place VS I didn’t do a good enough job making the customer understand why they needed us. It’s easy to blame losses on “well they just weren’t the right fit”.

    Once I find a prospect that meets our criteria for a customer who we want to work for I go full force into selling to them. And you know what? I believe so strongly that they will benefit from us that I don’t even think about price because I know that in the back of the customers head that they aren’t passionate about price or saving a dime. They are passionate about succeeding and building their company. It’s so much better to offer value that can help them achieve what they are most passionate about than it is to play to the “we can save you money here” idea. Sometimes it’s both. Usually we are higher. But my goal is to get the customer excited about us before they are even thinking about a specific job or pricing.

    I think it is important in sales to be able to identify the right customer who is willing to pay the price LONG BEFORE pricing comes up.

    Sometimes you will think you found that customer and down the road you will realize that they truly only care about price.

    But with lots of time in critical thought and sharing thoughts and ideas with other stakeholders for your company you will come up with some really good ways to know, many times before you even meet with the customer, whether they are more or less likely to be someone you want to do business with.

    Keep in mind that most of my stuff comes from a commercial background.
    hort101 likes this.
  7. BigJlittleC

    BigJlittleC LawnSite Fanatic
    from Chicago
    Messages: 8,232

    In sales vaule>price. If you can show the vaule in your product or service price becomes less an issue.
    LawnVeteran and hort101 like this.
  8. LawnVeteran

    LawnVeteran LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    I completely agree. I learned the skills through various people and foreman. But I chose a mentor based on his knowledge and his success and creative business decisions. Also they have to be a good person with a good heart.
    hort101 likes this.

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