"Yearly Agreements"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Nelson, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. Nelson

    Nelson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    I am having trouble having people to sign these things?
    On every new account..... I mention this agreement thing
    and they refuse? I have a nice typed out thing with
    per visits etc. etc. but to no avail?

    I read a few post stating that in Florida that is the only
    way 2 survive? Any Insights will be greatly appreciated.

    I feel like if I acted on every post I read....I will have no accounts?
    Can someone tell me a better way of having someone to sign an
    Yearly agreement??(Not a Yearly Contract) Anyone from Florida
    or Anywhere that can help I will Thank You very much ......:help:
  2. AielLandscaping

    AielLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    i'm in ca which appears to be the only other yearly service area, and after reading about yearly agreements on here, i decided to do the same thing myself... heres how i went about it...

    existing customers - sent out a notice with each customers invoice stating what their new averaged monthly rate would be. only had one customer ask to stay at the way (and i let her, she's one of my best customers)

    new customers - just give a monthly rate, and explain that this rate is averaged over the whole year, this way you have a set income during the winter. if they seem to balk at this idea, show them the weekly rate that this is based off of and then they have something to go by and don't think your just ripping them off by getting paid to come out and look at their lawn in the winter when it isn't growing.

    since making this change i have not had one customer be turned away because they didn't like the flat rate.
  3. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    I've been using "Aggreements" since I started back in 89. I usually don't have any problems with people signing because I go over the entire agreement with them pointing out the clause that lets them cancel with written notice for any reason. I also make sure they know that by paying monthly on a yearly aggreement they get the cheapest price that I offer. I explain it in a way that they can relate to. Since most, if not all of them came from up north I compare my service to their gas utility bill that they had when they lived up there. I tell'm it's just like the "budget plan". Instead of paying large bills all summer long and then tiny bills all winter I add the number of times I'll cut in the year and then devide it by 12 monthly payments. That gives them the same payment all year long, making sure to explain that it will be easier for them to budget their lawn care expense that way. And to the people that I know will ask " Aren't you afraid they'll cancel you come the cold weather?" the answer is no. After almost 14 years in this business I've only had 2 people cancel come the fall. I've included a copy of my aggreeement for you to use as an example.

    Attached Files:

  4. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Can you post your agreement.. maybe something(s) are not worded new customer friendly enough. How did your previous clients take to it?

    I was nervous when I went to an agreement but didn't have any problems.
  5. Nelson

    Nelson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 278


    It's the one from LawnSite.........

    I do not think it will be cool to post it ?

    I made a few adjustments to it though....

    Looks good 2 Me............

    Thanks guys 4 all your post....Keep Em Coming......:D
  6. lknm

    lknm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I could not see the contract!!! is it just me or is there a problem? just currious!!....... I had a problem getting my customers to sign one at first untill i aded the 60 written cancelation period!! now most of my customers are on a yearly contract!
  7. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    This is what we have at the bottom of bid proposals

    Acceptance of Proposal:

    Prices, specifications and conditions are satisfactory and are hereby accepted. You are authorized to do work as specified. Payment will be made as outlined above. Maintenance Proposal shall exist for one year. Automatically renewed unless given written notice. Either party may terminate agreement with a 30 day written notice.

    Sign the Proposal & We will Send a Copy with Your First Billing Invoice.

    The selling point with monthly is to establish a clear understanding that you are providing 42 weekly visits per year (or what ever yearly total maybe) .... and for them to remember that in 3 Summer months they get 5 cuts (in July Mon-Tues-Wend get 5) and in 1 Winter month they will get 3 services

    so any thought of "why do I pay full price in winter" needs to be educated to what yearly service with monthly billing really is
  8. ipm

    ipm LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 264

    It is not easy to get people to sign. They see it as a commitment, and it is. There are ways around the so called commitment like a 30-60 day term. clause. Which is nice because it gives you 30-60 to find a new acct. or Tell them that by signing this it just states that I have permission to be on your property. Feel the cust out. I have been nailed a couple of times and trust me that is all it takes.
  9. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I don't ask for yearly contracts, I simply ask for a commitment for 8 cuts. I tell the customer what I'm going to do for him and take a blank sheet of paper and I write it down one side as I explain it to him. I draw a line down the middle and on the other side of the line, I explain what it is that I want in return. I ask for 8 cuts and I explain that this will give me time to learn the yard and solve any problems so that in the end we're all on the same page. :D (ha ha pun intended) What I don't explain to the customer is that I know that if they commit to 8 cuts, chances are they'll go the whole season. I have a 100% success rate, in fact. 8 cuts is very nonintimidating. Every one figures that if they don't like me, 8 cuts and they'll get someone else. Anybody can stick it out that long. It also has two other huge advantages. 1st: asking for a commitment screens the deadbeat price shopping complainers. The bums won't sign anything, so if you're getting no success, it may be that you're only dealing with people that would give you greif anyway. 2nd: 8 cuts gets me far enough into the season that I'm still locked in when the neighborhood squids with daddy's mower get out of school. (squid means squirrely kids) My entire contract is hand written. As you may or may not know, a contract can be written on a corn shuck and still be binding. Somewhere on that page write in that you need 2 weeks notice when and if they decide to change services. Explain that if they change without notifying you, it's a double loss for you. You will have lost them AND you will have lost the other customer that you could have had if they hadn't used your service in the first place. And that isn't fair.

    On final thing. I don't usually do this, but you might consider putting in that if you don't hear from them during the winter, it is automatically assumed that the service will continue the following spring unless notified. Of course I don't know what it's like in Jacksonville. Ya'll may not stop during the winter.

    Hope it helps. :)

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