What would you say....

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by KenH, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    Mother of a good customer wanted 2 3 year old hemlocks replaced, which had died in a screen row. Existing plants were about 7' tall and pretty wide. Told her I would pick up 6-7'ers to replace the dead. Brought them in, planted, left. Phone call 3 days later, does not like 1 because it is not WIDE enough. I politely explained it is going to be difficult to try to find ones that wide (matching 3 year old plants), not to mention if I DO find something, having to pull the existing one out.(Which as you know is not going to be easy---no machine was used.) Of course, older people think anything you say is just an excuse not to do the work...doe s not understand why I cant bring in 10'ers without a machine. "Just get 4 or 5 of your friends" she says. She wants me to look around to see what I can find.

    The kicker is the only reason I took this job because she is the mom of an existing, and Im just trying to finish up the season...... Just wanted to vent a little. Now I have this on my back.:dizzy: :dizzy:
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    No problem
    here's what I would do. Price in the machine, delivery, removal which should be easier with a machine. and your profit. And that will be her cost for the 10s. Don't have to explain why the price went up except to tell her thats the diff between 6-7 and 10s. If she goes for it you made your $$$ if she doesn't then problem solved. DO not work for FAMILY OR FRIENDS!!!!

  3. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    Thanks. Ill work those numbers up. See, this customer was neither family nor friend. Just the mom of an existing customer.
  4. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,254

    I agree with mac, just jack the price up to the point where it makes it worth your time if not more than that. if she go's for it then good for you and if not then you have not lost anything. I used to do this when i would do power-washing, I hated to do decks so i would always Price extremely high and if i got the job then i got paid great if not then i did not worry about it. Just my 2 cents
  5. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    How important is this existing customer? I'm not saying mistreat the mother, but you know darn well that you need paid for what you do....then again, sometimes it is part of the business, putting up with some PITA's.
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Then that would make her just another potential client, She should recieve the same bid as any other potential client would. No more & no less.

  7. MWM

    MWM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    I have had clients that thought we have access to vast nurseries with plants that can match any plant on their property. Sometimes you just have to let them find the plant they want then go from there. I have only done this once or twice but there are definitely people out there that will not be satisfied no matter how hard you try. It's enjoyable when they cannot find what they thought would be a easy find.
  8. westernmdlawn

    westernmdlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    Sean Adams: Just received your Lawn and Landscape Maintenance Business Startup Kit in the mail the other day. Just wanted to say that I read it cover to cover twice, and have it sitting on the shelf for referrence - It is very well put together and am thoroughly impressed. Thanks so much. Brian DeVore
  9. Strongmd

    Strongmd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I've been avoiding hemlocks altogether because of the Wooly Adelgid insect that is sweeping new england.
  10. jwholden

    jwholden LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 218

    Could you tell her to wait until after the spring growth and they will 'blend' fine. If she is not happy then give you a call.

    If I show up at a jobsite with the same size plant, but many different sizes, I prune them all to around the same size. Could you prune her existing hemlocks a little shorter, in a way she wouldn't notice, to make everything blend better.

    Just a little brainstorming.

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