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Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by wewille, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. wewille

    wewille Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    I know we just finished up the season and the snow piles are almost gone, but I would like to start bidding for next season soon. So what i am looking for are some ideas for an incentive program for clients who sign contracts early. I do almost entirely commercial work and I am tired of people waiting for the day before our first snow storm to sign contracts. So im wondering if you guys have done something like this and what your results were. I was thinking about offering a 25% discount for the first snow storm or two for people who sign before July 1st. Any thoughts or other ideas?? Thanks in advance!
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    If you can figure out what works I'd love to hear it, I've tried "no price increase if you sign before July 1st", "2% off your first bill" just in general being a nice honest guy, none of it has worked. same with the maintenance customers, commercial clients I've had for 5+ years, I send them renewals (multiple years) in January and have to hound them now because our guys are in the area doing spring clean ups.
  3. wewille

    wewille Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    Ok, if I figure something out I would most definitly let you know!!
  4. dodge2500

    dodge2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    I tried a 10% discount on the first months billing and got no one from that. Not much seems to work. No matter what the managers or owners seem to just not worry too much about it until the last minute. I didn't know about everything I had this past year until about 2 days before the first snow. We do all commercial work too no residentials.
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    I have two things im going to try. not sure if its any good, or what but heres the idea

    I figure, saying i will give you 10% off a bill seems to complicated for them. Odds are they will look at the price on the bottom of it, and make a metal note and toss it aside. my not even read yoru XX % discount. they figure if your going to give me the discount now, then you will give it later.

    Before the last snow fall, like in febuary. give them a renuewal contract and explain that if they sign now for next year you will give them x% off the bill this year and next year. actually issue a credit to their account for work that you already did. Yeah its kinda backwards, but its something different.

    option B. if issuing this time of year., physicly state that you are able to give them a discount because you can buy your salt/sand and other equiptment cheaper in the summer.

    if signed before July 1 $125.00
    Agust 1st $140.00
    singed before sept 1 $145
    anythign after sept $150

    If you actually spell out the prices and dates it makes them see the savings visually.
  6. dodge2500

    dodge2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    I think you have some good ideas there and I would be interested in seeing what kind of results you get. I agree with what you said about the 10% off for the first bill. It proved to be a bad idea and we got no results. But, it too was out there to try and get people to sign before Sept 1.
  7. wewille

    wewille Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    I took your idea and im going to give it a shot with a few property managers, ill report back when I see how it works!!
  8. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Couple of things can work well.

    1. Look at your accounts receivable. If it is reasonable I will offer to wipe it out if they sign for next year. Generally this works really well on the snowy years when they have gone way over budget.

    2. Offer a free service. Look at where you have your biggest margin and give them one free or two free. For us we can plow free a couple of times and still be cash flow positive. We will also offer a level of discount to sign multi Year each year.

    Bottom line for managers that own the property these can be very interesting. For managers who are a middle man they are not so much.

    Most will not work well this season. Managers are expecting prices to drop DRAMATICALLY. they will most likely hold out.