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Customers Restricting My Income?


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A place to talk about general business discussions.
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2012, 02:34 PM
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If there was one thing I had learned, it's that people will lie in order to get a better deal than you had already offered them. It's sickening how true it is.
Scott,

What kind of lies do you find people use to try and get better prices? And what's your view on how to counter them?
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2012, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
What kind of lies do you find people use to try and get better prices? And what's your view on how to counter them?
Steve,

I know you were directing this towards Scott but i can give you a quick example of one case I am sure of happened to me. I was mowing a yard in a senior community and noticed there was a truck with someone in it who looked like they had something they would like to talk with me about. I finished my pass and shut the lawn mower down to talk with them. After introducing ourselves the gentleman told me that he and his wife were on very fixed incomes and could not afford much but needed their lawn mowed on a regular basis. I told them I could do a basic mowing for $15 (this being an extremely low bid because I figured they would not be able to afford much). He said he would talk it over with her and get back to me. Sure enough, they decided it was something they could afford.

A few weeks later I attended a local charity fund raiser in town. I saw a lot of my customers, including the new couple who "couldn't afford much". When they got to the live auctions, I was surprised to see how many times they were bidding on things that were very materialistic. They ended up spending a couple hundred dollars on stuff they probably didn't need. Meanwhile, i find myself charging pennies for something they DO need. I realized very quickly that i had been deceived.

How I fixed this was very simple. Now that I knew there was no need to do any favors for them, I tried looking for new ways to improve my sales. I would do a BASIC mowing. Leaving many things that would normally be taken care of if I was getting enough compensation. I began to point out things that were needing to be addressed in the yard such as overgrown hedges, leaves accumulating in planters, bare spots on the lawn, ect. and found that these were things they wanted done. I informed them that at the bare bones price they were paying, I would simply be losing money to do those extra tasks. I ended up up-selling them to a maintenance package and they ended up paying the going rate that all my other customers were paying.

Obviously the couple knew that by going in and playing the empathy card would achieve results. They knew what they were doing and how to do it. Once I learned what I was doing, it was easy to show them the value of what they would get for just a little more per visit.

I don't necessarily think they were trying to take advantage of me, but I certainly ended up letting them. I learned a good lesson that no one tells you their top dollar that they are willing to pay. Our job as professionals is to tell them the value they are receiving for the price. If your price is too high for them, all that means is that they are not looking for the level of quality you are providing. I have definitely chosen to never let my quality drop to fit someone's budget.
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Last edited by IVPropertyMaintenance; 01-30-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Scott,

What kind of lies do you find people use to try and get better prices? And what's your view on how to counter them?
Scott: You owe me $75.00...

Client: Ok, no problem. I will have it next week.

*next week*

Scott: I'm here for the $75.00 you owe me.

Client: Wasn't it $50.00? Are you certain? My entire world is now destroyed. I think I'm going to have a heart attack, quick... give me a discount before I die. If not, please tell my wife and children I love them, and that IT'S YOUR FAULT that I became ill. All of this could have been avoided, but you are a horrible, evil person and this is exactly what you wanted, isn't it? You want me to die!

Scott: No. I told it it was $75.00.

Client: IMPOSSIBLE, there's no way. The stars and the solar system do not add up, the wind direction is all wrong!

^ pretty much how it is.

Last edited by CHEESE2009; 01-30-2012 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:28 AM
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Those were two great stories. WOW!

It is fascinating how all these angles are used.

Here you are doing things with your business out of the goodness of your heart and you later find there was some lying going on. Such situations can cause business owners to not want to help in such a way.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:55 PM
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I hope this was helpful. My advice isn't perfect, I tend to move from extreme to extreme.
Cheese you get the understatement of the year award! We can just cancel the rest of the year now.

You know, I am doing some work that is very cheap for what it is, but now I am looking at that same service pulling in 10k per month NET before taxes. This is after paying others to do all the work for me except for the steps that involve money.

I see that you quickly found out that the $15 per hour looks closer to 7-10 when you get through paying all the taxes. Rule of thumb that I use is 50% if I am paying someone $10 per hour, I figure that they will cost me $15 by the time I cover all other costs such as payroll/bookkeeper and taxes etc. Then by the time you figure in all your gas and equipment costs, you are making less than minimum wage.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:44 PM
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Wow, I thought I had it bad with prices in my area, $20 to $25 is an hour is extremely low. The low guys in our area is around $50.
Hell, I would be lucky to get $20/hour where I'm at. I live in northern Michigan and most people have cottages around the lakes up here that live down state. I think I come out most of the time making around 15-18 bucks an hour.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:19 PM
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Location. Location. Location.


I turned down a job yesterday. The front was two steep, dangerous hills, and then you had to lift the mower up over a 3 foot stone wall to the next level to do the back yard.

I'll pass. I did tell her that if I were to take it, I would probably be looking at $45 to cut it due to all the "obstacles".
"Yeah, I figured it would be about $50", she said. "You're the first person to even come over to look - I called four others before finding you".

She said that she's from Florida and down there people FIGHT to mow your lawn and she can't even find someone to LOOK at it here.




I'm done doing "charity work". If it isn't within the range I'm willing to work for, I will pass on it and take something else that's less work and pays more money.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:45 AM
sunsetlandscaping sunsetlandscaping is offline
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Yeah, "charity work" is no fun, but when your starting out, its hard (atleast for me) to turn down any work, especially in this day and time.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:01 PM
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After reading this I found some great stories of it's ok to say "no" to a customer.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsetlandscaping View Post
Hell, I would be lucky to get $20/hour where I'm at. I live in northern Michigan and most people have cottages around the lakes up here that live down state. I think I come out most of the time making around 15-18 bucks an hour.
Don't let them fool you. I don't know where you are in Northern Mi. but I am in the upper peninsula and I don't do anything for less than $25 an hour and that is at the bottom for manual labor stuff. Price goes up depending what equipment your using. Mowing rates are based on $45 an hour but I usually quote a price so there is a chance we can make more. Just remember if they can afford a second home, camp, or cottage they can afford to have someone take care of it.
Most importantly, to all you guys that think you should start out cheap. Don't cut yourself too short, its a lot harder to raise prices if you come in as the cheap guy. Do good work and you will always be rewarded with more. Remember equipment doesn't last forever and you shouldn't have to borrow money every time you need to replace something.
Also remember if your not charging enough that you couldn't pay someone else to do the job and turn a profit, your not making any money either..
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