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Old 11-08-2010, 11:49 PM
larson lawn care larson lawn care is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
When you are looking at a property and it is a wreck and the renter/home owner doesn't look like they will be able to pay and you are worried about it, how do you best go about getting yourself out of the situation?

Also, do you ever find that yourself asking the potential customer what happened to their previous lawn care provider? Can that at all tell you if they had a problem paying them or not?



When you are out in the field and you get stumped by a question, how do you suggest telling the customers you just don't know and you will have to get back to them? Is there a way to do it where it is ok?
To get out of a potential bad deal, I will often either tell them that the lawn is in too bad of shape for me to handle (which is usually the case if the person is unorganized) If they do not have a large enough gate for me to get my 61" mower through, I will tell them that my mower won't fit; although I do have a few smaller mowers, time is an issue and if I can't use my most efficient machine, accepting the job could really be a pain especially if you don't end up getting paid. It's not just these particular customers that I won't use a smaller for, if I am in an area where I have a lot of work, I may decline as well. If the job is somewhat out of my route, I will tell them that I it is a bit off route for me and I don't want to end up unreliable for them. I've bid high before to hopefully deter the potentially bad customer. This way, I will make more off of them if they do accept and it could make up for the customer not paying in the future... which in my experience has never failed. Before I didn't think about the customers characteristics but a trend started and after people wouldn't pay each year, I began to see matching characteristics of these people that did not pay their bills.

I don't ask who was taking care of their lawn previously, unless I can tell if a professional mower was on the lawn. Then I will ask usually to make sure I don't make the same mistakes as them. However there are things you have to look out for. Of course they won't tell you they didn't pay them. These people will sometimes talk very bad about them, usually cursing them out to me. I'll pry at the situation and determine if they will be a good customer for me. If someone tells me the last lawn company quit on them... this is a sign as well. I will make sure to ask lots of questions. I wish I could do a credit check (although I hate the credit system) and find out how much they have in their bank account, and even find out all of their expenses and monthly income... wouldn't that be wonderful!

When a customer asks me a question I do not know the answer to 100%, I will tell them everything I do know about the question asked, I will tell them that I am not an expert in the field, my expertise is with mowing mainly, and I will tell them that I can find the answer out for them. Or I will tell them who they can ask or where they can find the information from.
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