Weeding People out over the phone

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Florida Gardener, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. echo

    echo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

  2. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 3,239

    "Thanks for calling XYZ lawn, I would be happy to bid your property. If you can give me your address I can stop by..." ..................either.........

    "today since I'm in the area and give you a price."

    "Tomorrow since I"m in the area tomorrow."

    At that point 99% of the people that call me are fine with when I stop by, if they want a price NOW NOW NOW!....I apologize and let them know I can try to stop by on my way home today, but if I can't...it will have to be tomorrow......

    If I"m home and have the computer handy I ask them for their address, and look it up on Bing maps which has the bird's eye view and give them a ROUGH price based on the map, and tell them it may go up or down based on when I actually see it.

    Others I let them know my minimum price and they hang up.........others may go further because my minimum isn't that bad and they want to know more....so I visit the property and let them know.

    You're not going to win every bid, if you do you're not charging enough, if you don't get any you're charging too much...........but since this is about weeding out phone calls and saving gas and time, you just have to let them know yuor minimum charge. If it goes further you have a good chance of winning it if you present yourself well.
  3. Brules

    Brules LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Oklahoma
    Messages: 958

    In the sales world it is called "qualifying"......developse some basic budget numbers for sizes of yards/lots/services and when talking to them use statements like:

    "For a 1/2 acre yard, edged, trimmed (explain these if needed) and blown off - I usually charge X-Y, is that in the range you would be willing to pay?".

    Be straight up honest yet respectful and they will usually be truthful with you.

    Explain what makes you different or better than the cheaper guys (fully insured - if you are - cite your limits). Explain how the $15 guy hauling his push mower in his truck, probably doesnt have insurance to cover X Y and Z (rock through your window etc).

    In my business, when I am qualifying and I hear someone say "do you sell used stuff", thats my instant = not gonna be my customer. :) I sell 1.5-2m a year and I don't get bogged down with silly, picky or cheap customers. People I sell to know I have the best solutions and products and they will get what they pay for. If they cant grasp that, I dont want to deal with them.

    Screen, qualify and profile. Will save yourself a lot of time AND hassle in the long run.
  4. Jcl4slc

    Jcl4slc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    First, I would ask them where their home is located? ( this will give you a idea if it's in a nice or bad area). Next I would ask if they were using a professional company. ( this will give you a idea if they were paying a professional or little Johnny down the street). Last I would ask them what they are looking for. ( listen,listen,listen) those 3 questions you can profile a potential client.
  5. Caddyshack Lawn Care

    Caddyshack Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 748

    I'm just trying to wrap my head around why someone would want to weed people out over the phone. We either want more business or we don't, and this isn't a cold call you're making - the customer is coming to you, so you have the advantage. A golden opportunity to make the sale.

    The number of times I was sure I had a sale, but didn't is about the same as the number of times I thought I was wasting my time and ended up landing the account.

    I don't know about the rest of you, but things are starting to heat up/dry up a little around here now. I'd love the opportunity to land a few more sales.

    1. Never, ever give a price over the phone.
    2. Don't try to sell on price. Sell on price/service. Heavy emphasis on the service part.
  6. Ditta&Sons

    Ditta&Sons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    I believe he only wants to weed out the cheap people or price shoppers who will most likely cost him money on just for going to see the property and talk with the customer. If he can weed out the ones that only want to spend $15 every two weeks, hes already saved himself money and time. Why waste your time driving half an hour just to have the customer say "oh wow, I didnt think it would be that much, ok thanks I guess Ill keep doing it myself"
  7. yardsmowed

    yardsmowed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    After driving to look at yards and wasting my time when thy here my rates...this is now my method. I explain my rates to them. That I do not have a minimum, they only pay for what they get. If they do not like my rates I move on. My rates are fair and competitive and something included in my rates others have difficulty in delivering in my area is dependability & reliability. I have only lost 3 potential clients in 20 yards. Not too bad I think.
  8. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    I ask them their address and look it up on google earth. If it looks like a dump I kindly tell them I can't help them, if its in a nice area I start qualifying them.
  9. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,115

    Good suggestions, but I think the first question should be "How did you hear about us." If its a referral, chances are good you will get the account. Last thing you want is to get a referral from a good customer and then give them a lower or even a higher unrealistic price.
  10. Ditta&Sons

    Ditta&Sons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    Great idea asking how they heard of us. I keep forgetting to ask this. They usually say how when we meet in person but its an excellent qualifier.

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