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Old 04-30-2008, 09:11 PM
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Keith
 
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Hi Dave:

Are you speaking mainly of residential clients?

I am not sure what your weather was like last year. In southeastern part of the U.S., we had a pretty severe drought in 2007.

I think residential customer mindset has been affected by the weather and they don't want to get locked into situations where they are paying though the grass is not growing.

Are you trying to get them into contracts? Maybe a looser "as-needed" purchase order would ease their attitudes.

When do you try to sell the schedule? On your first contact with your customer (probably on the phone) ask them if they are looking for someone to maintain their yard through the summer growing season or as just a one time deal. Plant that seed in their head immediately and they will likely come around to the understanding that set scheduling is a good idea. Let them know your schedule fills up quickly and if they lose their slot you might not be able to fit them in.

Do you raise your rates for one time services? It's a good idea to raise your rates several dollars for a one time service but if they are willing to let you come back on a regular schedule you will lower your price. There will be a small percentage of people who will try to take advantage of you and try to get out of their verbal contract. In my experience, the vast majority of customers will honor their agreement with you if you provide adequate service for your price.

Keith
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