Stuck to my guns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Volhunter, Jun 14, 2001.

  1. Volhunter

    Volhunter LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Messages: 33

    I'm new to the business and doing it part-time. Starting up way too late, its been tough getting work. I passed out 500 flyers this week and have 500 more to put out by the first of next week. Got a call for an estimate this morning & went to take a look. Pull up to a $350,000 house with the bermuda gone to seed, hasn't been edged in probably a month and I doubt its been trimmed all year. The lady comes to the door and cries about being pregnant, having to work on one of their 3 rental houses, no time, etc. I listen politely then start measuring the yard. It comes up to about 10,000 sq ft and roughly 800 ft of edging/trimming. I figure 1.25 hrs for the job plus a mark up for a "one-time" cut and the extra time it will take for being in such bad shape. I quoted her $65, which I thought was reasonable. I thought she was going to fall out! Gave me the "poor pitful me" look waiting for me to give away my services. It didn't work. She said she couldn't afford that (for a one time cut! LOL). I told her if I did it weekly, it would run about $50 per cut. She said she would just wait until her husband could get to it. I thanked her and left. I wanted to relay this to the younger guys starting out (I ain't no spring chicken). Stick to your should know what a job is worth (if you've done your homework), bid it and stick by your number. It hurts when you need lawns like I do, BUT I've been in the business world a long time and I promise odds are that a good job at a FAIR price will take you far. There is ALWAYS somebody that will do it for less...don't be that somebody, because if you are, you won't be around for long. Sorry I got long-winded, but I thought this might help some of you.
  2. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    That is sooo funny that she couldn't afford an extra $15 for grass that is high enough to be baled. I love when there is people out there that make enough money to buy that jag, but refuse to pay the price for everyday things.
  3. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    Dear Volhunter, great post. I'm 45. Been taken advantage of so many times as a youngster. Nothing gives me more confidence than to 'walk away' from a cheap customer- you in effect set yourself up for success when you define and enforce your bottom line. Customers like definative answers: yes or no, Teusday ( as opposed to 'sometime next week'). I always tell myself that my price is worth the service I give. There's no free lunch- some customers have not found that out.

  4. Double D

    Double D LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    Amen Brother!
  5. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    soooo true ;->
  6. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    Good show! ;)
  7. evergreenlawn

    evergreenlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Way to go. Another will come.
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I had a customer like that last year. Always complaining about this, that, and the other. She suckered me into a cheap price, ain't happenin' no more. I'm more educated, only because of this great site. Glad you stuck with your price. I hate it when people think we're just dummies that mow, HA! Take a hike sister, we're smarter than that!
  9. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    Good for you! stick to your guns!I like the ol saying "i'am on a fixed income "I always tell them "it must be nice knowing how much you will get every month" i heard that here an i started useing it .It works.They usually shut up or think you are a smart a**.
  10. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    You should've been able to weed out a customer like that over the phone.

    I know different sites have variables, but if one of my crews spent 1.25 man/hours on a 10,000 square foot lawn, they'd be fired.

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