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CHEESE2009
08-26-2012, 05:34 PM
There is a lot of talk about low-balling, but in some cases, have you found it necessary at times to stay afloat?

In this example, imagine losing all of your high paying clients and being forced to resign, or low-ball to stay in the game. Quality no longer matters, but prices and deals you offer do.

For example:

Would you be willing to give work valued at $100 away for free, in order to receive $500 later on?

How much would a sacrifice like above impact you?
How would you make it out work for you?

SECTLANDSCAPING
08-26-2012, 09:02 PM
I wouldnt!

You have to stick to your guns. I did about 6 pressure washing quotes in 2 days. I only got the ok from one. So when it came to the last 2, I dropped a $75-100 off the price. I didnt get either job I underbid. 2 of the others called me a few days later and hired me. So I ended up with 3 out of 6. 3 out of 4 at my normal price. I made $1300 in 11 hours.

I have a commercial property that I do. When I bidded it the guy negotiated me down $500 off the price. Since it was for the following year I was like screw it. Its guaranteed money for next year. This ended up being the pickiest customer ever. Tells me he wants brown mulch. I install then says it looks old, I told you black. Theres goes $300! Because of a early mowing season, a bigger spring clean up and installing mulch twice, I barely broke even the first month in this contract.

I have another guy that wouldnt do weekly cuts. Then he would complain that the grass was to high. Acting like I wasnt showing up. When I told him it would look like that. Then as soon as the grass slows down he wants it cut every 3 weeks now. I dropped him in a heartbeat. It has barely been 2 weeks and his grass is 6 inches high. I had him under contract for a $400 hedge trimming at the end of the year but screw it.

I find it when you pick up customers that shop for price you get people expecting way to much for to little.

CHEESE2009
08-26-2012, 09:47 PM
The best part about every year, is not calling back the bad clients. I have clients I drop, and they drive around town searching for you the following year, very awkward (true story).

This year has been my best ever with clients in general, I usually drop 6-10 clients (per year) who don't fit in with my system of doing things.

We did without rain for most of the season, and I've got this one client who accuses me of using a mower that leaks gas on his lawn, causing it to dry up like every other lawn in town. My guy and me have a good laugh when we leave, wondering why the hell we bother with this crap.

There's honestly only so much you can do when a client backs you into a corner and refuses to listen to reason. At this point, instead of just firing him, I just ignore it and await to deposit his next check.


Is there any other business worse, when it comes to putting up with b.s? I'd imagine not.

avetslawncare
08-26-2012, 10:36 PM
WHY?!?!?? Why would this be necessary? There is so much more out there, why break your back for no reason?


As I have started my business, I feel as if customers want quality at a reasonable price........not a low ball price, but just somewhat reasonable.......the guys who lowball ruin it for the rest.

CHEESE2009
08-26-2012, 10:55 PM
WHY?!?!?? Why would this be necessary? There is so much more out there, why break your back for no reason?


As I have started my business, I feel as if customers want quality at a reasonable price........not a low ball price, but just somewhat reasonable.......the guys who lowball ruin it for the rest.


Let's say lowballers take over the world. You can't for the life of you charge what you should. What would we do? Kill them off?.. maybe... some of them...


all of them.

SECTLANDSCAPING
08-26-2012, 10:58 PM
Let's say lowballers take over the world. You can't for the life of you charge what you should. What would we do? Kill them off?.. maybe... some of them...


all of them.

wood chip them

Steve
08-27-2012, 02:33 PM
Have you run into situations where a customer tried to get you to perform some initial work for free in the promise of more work down the road? How did you handle that?

CHEESE2009
08-27-2012, 03:19 PM
Have you run into situations where a customer tried to get you to perform some initial work for free in the promise of more work down the road? How did you handle that?


Not exactly, close. Usually I've already landed the client for one service, but as I'm there, that's when they try to get me to do favors for them.

If I shovel walkways, some will request for me to shovel in front of their garage doors, which takes only 2 seconds of my time, but doing so still manages to upset me.

-

For lawn maintenance, I generally like to go above and beyond... Like trimming weeds out of the driveway, along curbs (facing the street) and walkways, sidewalks, etc. However, there are times where I just can't do it.

I had one client with a large brick patio in his backyard, nothing but weeds would grow from every groove. I got stuck doing it once, and wasted a lot of my time and trimmer string. I eventually had to say "no", and the client acted as if I was the cruelest person in the world.

Steve
08-28-2012, 11:12 AM
If I shovel walkways, some will request for me to shovel in front of their garage doors, which takes only 2 seconds of my time, but doing so still manages to upset me.

Have you found ways to deal with this over time? Are there things you can say or do that will diffuse the issue so you don't get upset?

CHEESE2009
08-29-2012, 01:32 PM
Have you found ways to deal with this over time? Are there things you can say or do that will diffuse the issue so you don't get upset?

For most services I would simply increase the cost. Unfortunately, people believe that they are already paying too much into each season, so I would just have to suck it up and deal with it - hoping that it works in my favor.

In winter, I'll usually go days without sleep, so that little extra 2 seconds of unpaid work is just a nuisance. Not much could make me feel good about it, unless I was handed $1,000,000. ... that'd be nice...

Steve
08-30-2012, 11:22 AM
In winter, I'll usually go days without sleep

Are you going to be doing anything differently this winter with your services?

CHEESE2009
08-30-2012, 01:18 PM
Are you going to be doing anything differently this winter with your services?

No. If I have nothing to complain about then my life would be pointless.

I'm an insomniac, so I don't mind working 12-15 hour shifts in the winter, it's perfect!

Right now we are marketing with coupons, placing them in door jams. The only difference this year, is that marketing will not stop, we'll do some every day for a few hours at a time.

If we bump into a homeowner, we just say:

"We have a promotion going on for walkway snow clearing this winter. With 20% off, the price comes to XXXX before taxes, with tax it only comes to XXXX for the complete season. Thanks. Bye."

It's exhausting and often depressing to do marketing, but it's my favorite thing to do.

From experience, I understand the response rate is low, so for every 1000 homes I hit, I'll maybe receive 1 call.. lol, but I feel great considering its decent exercise - and beer tastes so much better at the end of the day!