Taking on new customer's job via phone

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by alpine692003, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,502

    I have this rule and I've never been screwed YET..

    If a customer calls me via on the phone and wants a quote on something, ie) lawn for example.. I say sure, $35...

    She then saids okay go ahead and cut it, I say to myself.. wait a minute, I would like to meet you 1st before I go ahead and do this..

    I've heard so many different stories on it being a prank to you, customer never wanted it done..

    So, each time a new customer calls I say okay... I would like to meet with you before we go ahead and give youa quote and service your property..

    Am I the only one that does this, or do you guys do it as well?
  2. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    I NEVER bid a lawn without first SEEING it with my eyeballs....period.
  3. Creative Lawn Care

    Creative Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 271

    You tell then a price ($35) without seeing the lawn??? Ok..........
  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I never give numbers over the phone except for an hourly rate to do certain jobs. I tell them that my hourly rate is $40.00 per man hour for landscape related jobs but mowing is never bid over the phone. I get a few tire kickers (other lawn care guys also) calling and asking me to give a ballpark bid. I say my minimum is 30 bucks and we go up from there.
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I'll give numbers over the phone, but only if I know the property.

    Say manager from McDonalds calls, the one that you stop at each morning for breakfast, you can pretty much quote that without being on site, for mowing anyways. Or local gas station guy, or local pizza joint, you all get the idea.

    Same thing goes for residential. My minimum is $250 / month, for cutting, so if I know they're on a 1/2 acre - full acre lot, if they want a number, I'll shoot them that. If they're not in town, or an area where they're on 2 1/2 + acre lots, I say I'll stop by.

    I always quantify that this is just a ball park number, but that I'm within $20-30 / month.

    You can ask them as well if there's anything outstanding on the yard, a big hill, fencing, etc., and usually get an idea. Again, this is around the area that I've lived now for 30 years, so there's usually not too many surprises.
  6. Branchland

    Branchland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    If it's in a mieghborhood I'm fiamilar with I'll tell them my going rate in that nieghborhood, but that I've got to see the property first. As far as meeting the custumer, I've still got a couple of custumers I've never laid eyes on.
  7. desert rose gardening

    desert rose gardening LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    I have been doing this work for 20 years, I have never heard of that prank where I live. I give prices over the phone all the time, if its a house in the city it is $30.00 a week or $40.00 every two weeks and I rarley make any adjustments to that when I give a price over the phone. When it comes to Country properties I have to look at them first before I will give them a price. And for meeting with them, I perfer to just swing by sometime the day they call and take a look at it, and call them back that day with a price and they don't have to be there. I know what to do, I have certian questions I ask when they first call so I also know what their main concerns are. I would rather them not be their when I come by to look at their house. That way I can be in and out. After 20 years of giveing estmates it can take a up lot of your time. I have many customers I have never met.
  8. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    I refuse to make appointments to meet with people for a residential lawn cutting estimate. They want to meet me I know, But I don't want to meet them ,especially after 6 o'clock at night when they get home from work or on the weekend. Meeting people for an estimate on lawn cutting is a hassle, because they can never meet with you during regular business hours, or they want you to give them a specific time 3 days away; And all this so they can price shop.I just tell them that I'll be by sometime tomorrow and I'll leave an estimate. If they approve just call and let us know so we can schedule you asap and mail us the signed copy.
  9. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    alpine, i have a lawn i'd like you to cut before seeing it for $35. never mind that it is 4 acres.

    got the point?

  10. Firstclasslawn

    Firstclasslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    Ok heres the deal if they want quotye over the phone then I say sure it will be $40.00 for the first cut, after the first cut it could be $35 however it may stay at $40, Leave a Check under the mat for the first cut then we can set up monthly billing or weekly billing after the first cut if you like, I HAVE NEVER been screwed doing this. IT WORKS

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