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Promoting your annual contracts to your customers?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rob7233, Jun 10, 2006.

  1. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    After reading many threads on how having annual contracts is clearly benefical to the LCO and it makes good business sense.....my question is:

    How are some of the ways that you guys present and promote the benefits of your annual contracts to your (current or prospective) residential customers that are used to dealing with their prior "lawn guys" that charged by the per cut basis.

    What do you say to them as THEIR BENEFITS and how do you guys present it, in order to get them to sign on the dotted line?? What do say, to answer a particular or any other objection ? Or do I have this all wrong, and the point is not about "their benefits" but mine. No, I do not currently have contracts (service agreements) now but really wished I did when I started. Herein, lies the rub.
  2. alwaysgreener

    alwaysgreener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Annual contracts are used mostly for full property management programs. But if youÂ’re just mow and go lawn care your probably better of staying with your monthly billing because if you miss weeks due to rain, drought or whatever, you will have to credit them back.
  3. Thirdpete

    Thirdpete LawnSite Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 236

    You shouldn't lose weeks to rain, just work longer days. If you don't have 1.5-3 hours of daylight at the end of your schedule everyday you're over extended and people tend to understand if you have to cut late because of rain delays.
  4. alwaysgreener

    alwaysgreener LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    What does that have to do with annual contracts??? I used "rain" as an example...Relax..
  5. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    I'm still planning on going ahead with Service Agreements that won't specifically state the length of term for all to sign. It's purpose is to set forth my policies for scheduling, contact, delays, payment, penalties, cancellations, notifications, work specified etc. This would make life easier by getting everyone on the same page and would clearly spell some things out. The service agreement would be also be a part of the annual contract but with an open term vs the annual.

    Although, with the annuals, I'd like to be able to count on a set amount of money coming in during the off months. Any thoughts on how pricing should be set on seasonal "per cuts" vs. annual contract pricing??

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I've been putting all new customers on a flat-rate plan...I present it as the are reserving a slot on my schedule basically. Maybe it gets skipped here or there during the season for whatever reason. Doesn't matter. The company HAS to generate a certain amount of revenue each week, month, year...it's already a seasonal biz and further subjecting revenue to the vagaries of the weather makes it even rougher. I'm surprised really only one person has really questioned how it works, nobody else seemed concerned.
  7. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    Raise your non-contract price 10%. Multiply number of mows by per mow price, divide by 10 or 12 months, however long you want to go. Factor in a 10% discount from the already 10% increased price. There you have your monthly billing. I've found putting in a 30 day cancellation clause helps a lot. If people will abandon you for a cheaper guy, the contract won't stop them. The 30 day clause makes people feel more at ease in case they have to move, get ill, lose their job, have unforseen expenses, etc. I've found not a single person has stiffed me by putting in the clause.

    Service agreements also put customers at ease because they don't want to have to find somebody to cut their lawn in July, so it's a win win. I do nothing but contract work, it really weeds people out.
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I only offer that method of payment.

    when questioned, I tell them in the spring and summer we are breaking our backs and should be charging you alot more than this. In the fall and winter things get a bit easier for us and that is how we can justify charging less in the summer.

    example $200 monthly yard
    should be at least $275 in spring and summer
    should be less in fall and winter, but we average it out to the $200 to make budgeting easier for everyone. Sound fair?

    and if they say anything other than yes, walk away.
  9. JJLandscapes

    JJLandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Never used contracts for mowing and not planning on it
    do a good job and you will never have to use a contract and never due a service until the customer knows the exact price

    116 customers and growing and everyone comes back have an occasional end of year person who doesnt pay around $10o but after a few threats i get it almost everytime
  10. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    I wouldn't recommend the yearly contracts for the simple fact that if you are dropped, then the amount you have received is what you will end up with. I doubt that you will be able to go back & get eny extra money.

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