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  • Did I screw this quote up?

    Hi everyone! I have been reading your posts for quite sometime now and just decided to register. This is my first post, and its something thats been stuck on my mind all day. I had a customer email me for a quote. I stopped by his house, the front looks pretty quick and easy. The back yard...looked like a war zone. There was some grass, mostly sticks and stumps with roots sticking out of the ground. There was also a fair amount of dirt, and everything was downhill. I wouldn't see any way to get a commercial mower back there...because of all the obstacles-on a hill, a "drop off" in the middle of the yard, stumps, trees and much more! It was just about 1/3 of an acre. The going rate around here is $30 to $35. It's just me mowing- with my trusty Toro 21" push mower. He was very fast to respond when I said I'd stop by, but after I quoted him $40, I have yet to hear from him. I figured $40 is fair- because it's going to take me a little more time. I didn't tell him his hidden yard treasures would put a hurtin on my mower. Did I do right? Is there something I should have changed up a bit?

  • #2
    Hi everyone! I have been reading your posts for quite sometime now and just decided to register. This is my first post, and its something thats been stuck on my mind all day. I had a customer email me for a quote. I stopped by his house, the front looks pretty quick and easy. The back yard...looked like a war zone. There was some grass, mostly sticks and stumps with roots sticking out of the ground. There was also a fair amount of dirt, and everything was downhill. I wouldn't see any way to get a commercial mower back there...because of all the obstacles-on a hill, a "drop off" in the middle of the yard, stumps, trees and much more! It was just about 1/3 of an acre. The going rate around here is $30 to $35. It's just me mowing- with my trusty Toro 21" push mower. He was very fast to respond when I said I'd stop by, but after I quoted him $40, I have yet to hear from him. I figured $40 is fair- because it's going to take me a little more time. I didn't tell him his hidden yard treasures would put a hurtin on my mower. Did I do right? Is there something I should have changed up a bit?

    even 40 is too cheap. Think of the damage those cute little stumps will do to your mower... $40 wont even cover the labor, much less the part. Try him again and offer to do only the front for $30 and he might bite

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    • #3
      Thats a good idea! Lets see if he even writes back. I just got in 1500 post cards from Vista Print, so I'll hand those out in his neighborhood!!

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      • #4
        You didnt do anything wrong, you were too nice if anything. Careful with customers like that. They have a tendancy to make you feel obligated with giving them cheap rates. In the beginning I took on customers like this for dirt cheap because I wanted work....Now Ive let them go and dont drop my gate for anything under $30. In Landscaping there is Black and White....Cut and Dry,In and Out...Dont deal with the Gray! ( Tree Stumps on hillsides and tough BS thats gonna ruin your hard earned equipment)

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        • #5
          I cut a lawn once that had so many tree roots that it was like mowing over a bed of river rock. The lawn looked "normal" from the street, but just beneath the grass was a network of protruding roots that covered the entire lawn.

          Ultimately, I decided I could not work that job because if the damage it WOULD cause to my mower. It was hell on the arms just holding onto the handle as it bumped around almost uncontrollably.

          Let someone else deal with that crap.

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          • #6
            dont worry about him, and don't lowball yourself for a pizza and six pack at the end of it all. i just had a potential client hang up on me after telling her how much it would be to tackle her yard. i quoted at 127.50 (150.00 before discount) - she mouthed off to me that she expected the whole sh'bang for no more than 35 dollars and hung up on me!


            thats OK though, doesn't hurt my pride. i'm not workin for beer money anymore. if people dont want to pay they can scour CL for the guy who says he'll do it all for 20.00 flat. let the kids mangle peoples yards while the pro's do what we do.


            if you're just starting out, this is how it goes. it's the nature of the game. you'll get good hits eventually. keep flyin, door knockin, and post cardin. throw a cheap ad in your newspapers. prepare for fall-cleanups. learn what it all entails. autumn is also a great season for gutter work. if you get snow in your area, get ready for snow shoveling this winter. get a facebook page, get a cheap website runnin. you can do it! if you built it, they really will come!
            https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=336810496393655

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            • #7
              He was very fast to respond when I said I'd stop by, but after I quoted him $40, I have yet to hear from him.
              Can you tel us a little about how you presented the price? Did you do this in person? Was it over email? Could you have started the job right then and there if he agreed to the price?
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              • #8
                He had sent me an email asking for a quote. He was still at work and wasn't home when I got there. I told him I'd email him back within a few hours...which of course I did. I couldn't tell if he was shopping for quotes, or wanted it done asap. To be honest it looked like his current guy quit on him-probably because of the back yard. I feel better reading some of the other posts...I thought I was going crazy on this one! I spent a few years in sales and customer service, so I always offer STRONG customer service and am good at closing deals. It was a nice neighborhood that I wanted to get my foot in the door, but I can't win them all! So I'll hit up the neighborhood with some flyers and keep it movin!

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                • #9
                  Do you find it is tougher to make your sales presentation effective and ultimately win a bid through email versus in person?

                  Or what is your view on that?
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                  • #10
                    Answers that I have gotten after giving a bid-

                    YOU HAVE GOT TO KIDDING!!!!

                    FOR THIS LITTLE YARD????( almost 1/2 acre)

                    But it wont take more than a hour, I know I used to do it myself.
                    (I get 50 an hour)

                    YOUR NUTS!

                    Forget it!!

                    As you New Yorkers say-forgetaboutit.

                    I hae a rate, I make money, I support my faminly, pay my bills. If you think that I am going to screw myself to make someone else feel good.

                    I do quality work, and wont comprimise to do it 'cheap'

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                    • #11
                      So after a follow up email, he says the price was good!! Which is good news, I know it won't take me long. The front yard is nothing but two passes with a 21" mower. He says he wants to talk over the phone, which is fine by me. I gave him my cell so we'll see how it goes. As for giving quotes, either email or in person/over the phone is fine by me. Email is definatly much easier...but the downfall is it lets them take the time to think "Am I really paying this guy to cut my grass?" Then he does the $$ figures, and goes out to buy a mower. But the upside is email leaves a paper trail, which is always a plus and helped me out today!

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                      • #12
                        As for giving quotes, either email or in person/over the phone is fine by me. Email is definatly much easier...but the downfall is it lets them take the time to think
                        It seems the more personal the communication is, the better the chance is of making the sale. And when I mean personal I mean:
                        • Best - In person
                        • Second - On phone
                        • Third - via email


                        When you can be in person and ready to start the job right then and there, it really should give you an advantage. So I'd say, minimize the use of email, instead, use the phone. Then minimize the phone as much as possible and make the sale in person.
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