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General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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Old 04-01-2006, 03:41 AM
tiedeman
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Ok, now this may sound really weird, and goes beyond all of my beliefs, but listen to what I have to say:

When I first started out, I never had customers sign contracts at all. *I actually marketed the fact that I didn't require customers to sign anything. *I just gave them a price and we went on word is the bond.

Well, after about 4 years in the business I started to use contracts, and I still use contracts for my regular lawn maintenance customers. *I would never start to work on their property until a contract was signed. *Over the years, I really have never had to use the contract either in regards to a customer dispute. * *

Now this is the part that kind of gets interesting: *In the past, whenever I did estimates for new customers they had to sign a contract. *I would present them the price, and then the contract. *I would say around 70% of them, would say something like, "Well, I will have to read over the contract, and get back with you." *Well guess what, I hardly ever heard back from them. *

So this year with the application customers, only my returning customers from last year I asked for them to sign a contract. But all of my new customers lately I have just been giving them the 15 Point Analysis of their lawn and the price, but not making them sign anything. *So far, I have landed 100% of the estimates that I have given. *Could it be the contract thing is related? *How many of these customers would I actually have if I required them to have a contract?
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Old 04-01-2006, 03:48 AM
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Hi tiedeman,

I don't think anyone likes to sign a contract. It is like putting up another wall between you and the customer. In the webcast we did with Joel LaRusic, he said he has been in business over 10 years and his feeling on contracts was he didn't use them either.
He didn't want to provide services to anyone who didn't want them.
I am sure there are good reasons why to use a contract. However as you saw in your personal experiment, they can be a hindrance.
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