What do you think about this story?And what would you do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AB Lawn Care, May 1, 2000.

  1. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 585

    My partner got a call last week from one of my clients.We cut his home and his apartment and 2 houses next to him.He said that he would like to combine his 2 propertys and his neighbours into one job.He said he would like 1 price for all these propertys,And also said he was going to get some other prices from other people.So he was basically trying to get me to do all those places for a super cheap price!My partner called our long time client that lived down 2 houses that was part of the bid.He told us that he never heard about this and did not know what the deal was.He called us agian and my partner told him we would not do this!We told him how we where doing his propertys cheap allready becouse his house was next to sevral of our other propertys.He just changed the subject and ended the call.We don't really know if he is going to try to get our other clients to get togeather to get a cheap price.I don't think our other clients will get rid of us but you never know!So after going through all that mess I was cutting a lawn and guess who walks up?Yep the cheap guy.I was expecting he was going to talk about what was going on and the guess what the dork said.&quot;hi I looking for someone to cut our lawn&quot;yes you read that right he did not even know who I was!I cut the dorks lawn every week last year and did his snow and he did not know who I was.Do you know why????Its becouse he is rich and never would think twice about me.I guess us poor poeple all look the same!Anyway I said to him I from ab lawn care.He was shocked and did not know what to say.He was looking all over the place becouse he could not look me in the eyes.After about 15 second he said &quot;I guess you know what that is all about then&quot;I said YES then after looking around some more he said&quot;so I guess you guys are pretty busy this time of year&quot; I said that we where pretty busy.I should of said dealing with jerks like you keep us pretty busy!But since I don't want to harm my reputation I kept it to what I said.Then he went his way and I went mine.This year we got rid of 1/4 of our work becouse they where too cheap,hard to deal with,paid late all the time and so on.Now becouse of this jerk I may loose 2 great jobs!I'm not sure if he will try to get them to do what he is thinking.What do you guys think about this situation?What would you guys do from this point on?I am trying to pick up more work to fill my hole left by my useless clients but that takes time.Tell me what you think or what you thought about that!<p>P.S.The cheap guy owns sevral condos and is loaded!<p>from:Adam<p>AB Lawn Care
  2. greenlawncare

    greenlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Don't know why the fact that's he's &quot;loaded&quot; has anything to do with it. You should really be charging the same price vs. quality ratio to everyone regardless of whether they drive a Rolls Royce or Honda Civic. What's the point of making a lot of money if you're just going to get charged more for the same services you got before when you were not wealthy. In other words I strongly disagree with anyone who charges their client a &quot;rich tax&quot;. This is the same mentality you probably face everyday as an employer. Ever catch your employees ignorantly treating your equipment like crap? &quot;Whatever, the boss owns it. He makes so much money OFF US, he can afford to buy new equipment...heck, our boss must be rich, he owns his own business.&quot; - Anyway, that's probably besides the point of your post. :)<p><br>I think you've got to understand where this guy is coming from. He knows how business works, the more you do per hour the cheaper it is for you. So why should the three lawns in a row be treated any differently from one large lawn? He's got a point...and if he gets his neighbors in on it he'll have a great chance to negotiate a price from someone fresh who WILL think of it as one large property.<p>Now that you know his point of view, he should know yours. Hit him where he understands and respects. Talk business talk. Explain to him that prices have already been adjusted to reflect the expected scenario of getting multiple properies in a row. Tell him you need a certain percentage of your propertys to be adjoining in order to maintain &quot;economies of scale&quot; and the efficiency needed to keep prices low for everyone. Your pricing structure is such that your long term goal is to strive for every property to be adjoining to at least another property. The fact his property is next to two others does not mean that he is paying more than he should have to; it's just part of the pricing structure. Does his cable or phone company offer him &quot;street rates&quot;? Do they combine them together and treat them as a multi-roomed office complex? No, simply because they take all possiblities into account when calculating pricing, and A&B Lawn Care is no different. Try it. Let us know how it works out.<p>
  3. greenlawncare

    greenlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    One more thing....<p>Have you seen this guy's financial statements? How many dollars does he have in his bank account at any point in time? How liquid are his assets? Are his condo's profitable? How many years left on his mortgages does he have or has he already paid them off?<p>Obviously you don't know these answers yet you know that he's &quot;loaded&quot;. Careful not to make to hasty a judgement. It may be that although he controls a lot of property, he might actually be scraping by like the rest of us - and just trying to maintain the status quo of his friends and family. It will be better for you when you talk to him to go in with an open mind and without pre-conceptions of &lt;b&gt;who he is&lt;/b&gt;.<p>Something at least to ponder anyway.
  4. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,180

    Adam, The best thing you can do is get out and communicate with your customers. Put on that Polo shirt and start knocking on doors, ask them point blank what the objective is. If they are in the mindset to get a cheaper price and have a spokesman for the group, chances are it's already being bid on by another company and you don't even know it. Explain to them what you have how you have already restructured your business by reducing the cheap and slow payers, pump them up seperately by telling them they are the cream of the crop, very good customers, and you don't want to lose their business. Communication is the key to any relationship, business included, if they don't know who you are then make a point to introduce yourself to them and soon they'll find out there is a person behind that trimmer, edger, and mower! It doesn't just happen by itself. Ask questions and tell them that your quality is above the competition and for x years you have been trying to satisfy all your customers by doing a good job..............kill em with kindness, what do you have to lose? Greenlawncare is right about not judging a book by it's cover, you might have more free cash on hand than those &quot;rich&quot; folks. Everybody seems to push things right to the edge, they might be on the verge of falling off. The &quot;spokesman&quot; might be in the worst shape so he's out scrounging to get a reduced price by combining everyone into an association type setup, this way he might negociate himself a cheaper monthly payment.<p>Homer
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 11,810

    Thats true you have no idea what someone has in their bank account. But you can tell what their prioritys are by the material things they have.2 0r 3 cars. An expensive home etc. Our priority is getting the most money for our services. Most of my customers want a nice looking lawn. They jusy don't want to pay to get it that way or keep it that way. Its my job to educate them to the fact that if they are going to hire me its going to cost them, because I have to make a living just like they do. Most customers try to keep the prices the same forever. Its our job to adjust the prices for market reality and inflation. Its a constant battle. It can make you very ill always fighting to get paid in the year 2000 prices. I don't mind paying a fair price for quality work. But some people just look at the bottom dollar until they see that the quality of the work sucks. But they never seem to relate that to the price they pay. PRIORITY, lawn work is usually last on the list. Its out job to make this job pay a decent living. This wealthier people are usually the harder they pinch a dollar. But if they really want something they will usually go out and buy the best. Boats, cars, houses, furniture. But for some reason they should get the yard work done for nearly free. Its not our fault they are living beyond their means.

    MRPLOW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    I just had something similar to you happen, although in a much freindlier fashion. I job I have been doing for acouple of years called and said his elderly neighbor wanted a price for the lawn, he asked if I would give them a little discount for doing both, I normally don't do this but the guy always pays on time and never complains about anything so I said what the hell and I gave them each $2.00 off as long as I do both properties. The next week I got the neighbor on the other side too, so it worked out pretty good for me. I now have 3 jobs I can do right in a row, their back yards aren't seprated by anything so I can really cruise back there. Besides I can always raise ther price next year. Your situation sounds more like some sort of blackmail too me, which would probably piss me off.
  7. lawnforce1

    lawnforce1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Boy, now that I know the mindset of the loaded property owners I'm glad I bought that Range Rover. <p>
  8. OP
    AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 585

    greenlawncare-Where did you come up with the fact that I charge my rich clients more?I charge everyone the same price!I think you did not get why I said he was rich.The reason I said that is becouse generally wealthy people are willing to pay good money if the services being offered are to their liking.I did not say that becouse he is rich he should have to shell out large amounts of money.I also don't think he is loaded I know it!He owns sevral bmw's and just trust me...He is loaded!!!!<p>-MR PLOW I think you know what I'm getting at.I don't know if he is try to get the other people next to him to get rid of me or if he is just trying to get a cheap price.I guess I will just try to service my clients the best I can and hpoe they will apperciate that!<p>from:Adam<p>AB Lawn Care
  9. Charles

    Charles Moderator, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 11,810

    I think the rich man is just cant stand that you might be makeing good money cutting lawns close together. He probably dont think a grass cutter deserves that much money. Probabl a snob. We dont make a good profit most of the time driving and unloading and loading. When you get a good setup like that why should you cut your prices? Thats not good business sense at all. The good deals make up for the bad deals. I none of that goobers businesshow much money you making off other yards
  10. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,002

    Hell, I'll admit it. If I run across a potential client that I know is very wealthy, I will quote a higher price than I would have if he or she had been living in the poor house. The reason why is the wealthy like to see you earn that money, at least around here. They are the ones that will take up the time. On average, if two properties were identical, the wealthy client would expect more than the guy with the modest income. That's just the way it is. Why not quote a higher price, eventually the wealthy homeowners lawn will require more work. Instead of cutting yourself short, know this going in. This way you don't mind doing a little extra because you are making a decent amount of money.<p>Just remember you are not comparing apples to apples. The rich and not so rich are completely different.<p>

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