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up selling current customers( to much?)

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by jay albers, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    All my customers are just lawn cuts right now, I would love for them to go to a cut and maintenance programs. Im not sure alot of them will go for that.

    When i cut there lawns i am constantly seeing things that need to be done. Hedges trimmed, trees trimmed, touch up mulch, bed edging,etc,etc.

    When is enough, enough? I hate to leave money on the table, but at the same time i don't want them to think i'm nickle and diming them. I also dont want to put them in a position where they dont want to get somthing done, but don't want to look cheap either.

    If somthing is looking really bad i say somthing, but if its so,so i usually won't say anything.

    What do you guys do? Are you always selling your current customers?

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I up-sell all my current customers. Usually I will just point out that something needs to be done and that I can do it for X amount of money if they want me to. The worse they can say is no.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. j-ville native

    j-ville native LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    i try to avoid that extra stuff. mowing is easy but hedges and mulch will wear you out
  4. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178


    are you serious?

    i'm not even gonna get into it
  5. That's always been a problem for me too. I even have a couple of customers where I can choose what's needed. It don't make the decision any easier.

    I try to think it thru like this;
    1. Will it benefit the lawn? Like killing off all the weeds so the grass has a chance.
    2. Is it time sensitive? If I don't get those shrubs trimmed soon I'll be hauling off clippings by the truckload!
    3. What are the customer's expectations? I have one customer who said they just wanted a "yard" not a "lawn". They've never had a broadleaf weed app, I "trim" their fenceline with herbicide. They're happy, I'm happy.

    You need to think too that some services don't really seem like such a good value to the customer and might need to be sold a little more. Like core aeration & fall fertilizer. You really don see the results until next year and the customer may have forgotten how bad the lawn was. It's not like mulch where you see the results the same day.

    It's always a tug-of-war between the services the customer expects you to include, and what they're actually willing to pay for. When I quote a lawn they always ask (afterward) "Is that trimmed?"

    You got to think too "Who will get the blame?" If something looks bad on a property, nobody's going to think Wow! thos folks are too cheap to pay to have their fenceline trimmed! NO! they're going to think Man! what a crappy job that lawnmower guy did!
    When it gets to that point I just do it AND BILL THEM accordingly. Then grit my teeth when the check come in to see if they paid it. So far so good.
    I have one customer who wants to save money by not putting down mulch in the shrub beds. The weeds were getting taller than the shrubs! I CAREFULLY killed them with Roundup. The bill was a lot cheaper than mulch and the property don't look like it's abandoned.

    I once had a customer who always answered NO! to any extras for the property. No weed & feed, someone else always got the mulch job and so forth. Then one year they informed me they were going with a "better" landscape company!
    Sometimes you just kind of carefully and tactfully take that decision about extra services away from the customer.
    I have a blurb printed on every bill "Additional labor charges $60 per hour." Sometimes they get billed, most times not. But I'm not working for nothing.
  6. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Messages: 4,891

    Leave them an estimate with the services you see they need. Nothing wrong with that. I definitely don't recommend just doing it and billing them. I know if my lawn guy did that. He would have done a lot of extra work for free.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. j-ville native

    j-ville native LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    Why do you ask "what do you guys do" and not expect to get a variety of answers. I try to stay in the mow, trim, edge, & blow range and not get into hedge trimming, weeding, laying mulch, etc because that's back breaking stuff. It will definitely put a toll on the body. If a customer ask me to trim hedges I'll do it but I'll never volunteer it. If I have any time and want more work I'll try and get more business mowing lawns before I try to get my customers to let me trim their hedges. yeah that's what i do
  8. jay albers

    jay albers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    my bad j-ville

    I can respect that
  9. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Essentially ALL of my accounts are full service covering mowing, landscape trimming, irrigation work and chemical applications. Wouldn't do it any other way.
    The way to "sell" this idea is to point out the client is able to budget one figure per month with a one-year contract.
    And since I already do the chemical applications for insects, disease or weeds it is very very easy for me to spray the landscape with a growth regulator meaning I don't trim every month, more like once per four months.
    But I still get paid for full service. The client is happy since their landscape doesn't grow out of control/appears uniform and green, the crew is happy since they aren't getting whacked by a bunch of trimming work, and I'm happy since I get paid.
    The question is: Why wouldn't you try to obtain full service accounts?
  10. j-ville native

    j-ville native LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    It's cool jay. Are you solo or do you have a crew? If you have a crew those additional services would be a lot easier to provide than if you were a solo operator like myself. I don't even have anyone to hold the ladder while I'm trimming high stuff! LOL not good. I have to spread 150 bags of mulch for a customer on Sunday morning and I have to do each of those bags by myself. Even with a wheel barrow that is no fun. That's why I don't try to up sell my customers and I only do additional services when they ask me to. I'd much rather be sitting down on my ztr with trimming and edging being the only strenuous activities.

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