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The Perfect Proposal to use???

cwb20

LawnSite Member
I would like some ideas of what to include in an estimate form these questions are as follows:
1. Do you price per sq. ft. w/ a base ?
2. How do you deliver your estimate in person, mail, or on the door handle (illegal to go into mailbox)
3. Do you use 2 piece carbon forms?
4. Do you only estimate what service was asked?
5. Finally, would anyone part with a sample form?
Thank you,
Chris
 

bastalker

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Connecticut
Hey Chris, When I get a call to do an estimate, the first thing I do when I get there is get real personable with them. Introduce myself, ask them if they would like to take a walk around the property to show me what they are looking for as far as maintainence, renovations, cleanups etc...

First impression is 9/10 ths of the battle. Once you have an idea of what they are looking for, you can make subtle suggestions. Yes, we can do this or that no problem. You know what would look awsome? If you let us do this, an it would really look great if we did that.....

You just want basic mowing an trimming? We can do that for you no problem. The lawn looks a little stressed though. I really think a fert program would help the yard alot. I see you have crab grass, an I would really like to get rid of that problem. I want the rest of the people on the block to envy your yard! Looks good for both of us that way....

The whole time you are having this conversation, in the back of your mind you know what you you want to charge...For each suggestion you make, they will ask you what the price is. Tell them. If we do this it will cost you that, if we do that, its going to cost this this.

If when you are done, an they are interested, tell them...Let me write up an estimate for everything we talked about, an I will get back to you in the next couple of days, an we can all sit down an finalize everything.

Estimates can be done on anything, from Microsoft Word, to My Invoices an Estimates, to Grounds Keeper Pro, or just writing it out on a piece of paper. It depends on you, an what kind of records you keep.

Doing an estimate for a potential customer is a salesmanship endeavor. Make them like you right off, and then it doesn't matter what you write the estimate on....
 

GreenMonster

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
NH
Originally posted by bastalker
Doing an estimate for a potential customer is a salesmanship endeavor. Make them like you right off, and then it doesn't matter what you write the estimate on....
I agree with everything bastalker said, except that it doesn't matter what you write the estimate on. I think a professionally prepared estimate is a reflection of your capabilities, detail to attention, and creativity. All very important traits in this biz. If you've already established a good repoire in your initial sales pitch, as described by bastalker, a good proposal is icing on the cake. IMO, generic carbon forms are a little on the cheesy side.

I do mine in MS Word, and have had several comments on the thoroughness and professionalism put into them. I think your proposal can separate you from the competition. If a customer choice comes down to two landscapers, do you think the written proposal may be a factor in their decision?

I almost always hand deliver proposals in person. Now matter how complete, customer will undoubtedly have questions.
 
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