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Money is no object....oh REALLY?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by glenspot, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Ever notice how the people who say "Money is no object" are the ones with no money?

    Yesterday I gave a quote to a family who INSISTED that money is no object. They want me to plow mom's driveway up the road too.

    The only problem...this family has a driveway thats the size of a small parking lot. And they want ALL of it plowed.

    The "money is no object" line went out the window when I quoted her a price of $55 per visit. Mom's driveway (a small-itsybitsy driveway) is $15. Suddenly she had to talk to her husband first.

    In a way, I wish there was a way to quote prices over the phone. I'm debating coming up with some sort of a pricing chart. Certain amount of square feet is $_____. That way I can at least weed out the people who want a plow for $200 a year.

    Glen
     
  2. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    IMO, half of the people who say money is no object can never back it up. I've seen alot of people with big fancy houses and their property taxes are so high that they can't afford anything else. :rolleyes:
     
  3. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    I have to agree with you guys, If it looks to good to be true from the street, then the taxes are high!

    I started a standard square foot charge last year. This year I measured all the lots that I bid, priced them accordingly. I try to always have a $35.00 minimum, unless senior citizens or food is involved.
     
  4. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Or booze. ;)
     
  5. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    or girls?

    They run a local "Gentleman's Club"....maybe some sort of a trade could be worked out.

    LOL

    :angel:
     
  6. Hawkc01

    Hawkc01 Member
    Messages: 49

    Bidding over the phone is one of the greatest blunders of "contractor mentality".

    Never ever give a price over the phone for ANYTHING your service company offers. :nono:

    Cheap Charlies will give prices over the phone, but the Service Professional will present value and benefits face to face.

    Here's to higher profits. payup
     
  7. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    last years guy was only $300 a year

    I need to come up with some way to weed out the people who paid $300 for the season last year..

    Here's how it all goes....telephone call
    PITA: "saw your ad in the paper"
    me: "i'd be happy to come out and take a look at it for you"
    PITA: "sure...here's the address"

    then the visit, talking about their NEEDS, how I can meet them. what services I offer. how GREAT i am. LOL... and I give them the price.

    ALWAYS per occurance.

    Then comes..."oooh, well Mr. Plow did it last year for $300."
    Me: "I can't pay insurance, truck payments and make any money for $300 a year"
    PITA: Well, give me your card, I'll let you know. (OR) They tell me that it is more than they wanted to spend last year....but I should write up a contract and let them think about it.

    Next thing you know they resigned Mr. Plow for 300 a year.

    A wasted trip, wasted gas, a wasted card...and wasted time.


    I am going to start asking them when they call. "Why are you looking for a new plowing service?" If their answer is "price" then I can tell them that they should keep looking.
     
  8. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    First thing I do is tell them there's a minimum. Most will fall into that. If it's a long drive or private road, they will have let me know that, so I can tell them it's likely to be more than the minimum. If they're still interested, I will never give a final price over the phone - no exceptions. Not even if I know the driveway.

    Next thing is that I will listen politely while they are telling me all about what the "other guy" did or didn't do EXCEPT what they charged. Not interested and I tell them that. If they were happy with him, they'd call him back. Since they're obviously not happy with the past service, what they charged has no relevance to the issue. Now, by listening I know what they didn't like about the last guy and I tell them "Well, if you have me do it, here's how I'll approach the job".

    This technique has done very well since they can tell I know what I'm talking about. The last one was amazingly simple - he simply didn't want the snow plowed up against the side of his garage. All it would take would be to backdrag parralell to the front of the garage and then angle the plow right instead of left. Apparently, the last guy couldn't seem to get it straight all winter - snow was actually pushed up against the garage doors from pushing straight in from the street. I've been puzzling over this one for a month now and still can't figure out what would have been so difficult about it.
     
  9. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    Good idea. If they say better service then you could go out and show them what good service is. It is really hard to outbid any plower around here. The only way to get business is to actually do a good job instead if doing the 10 second pass in and out of the drive. I even pack a shovel and get the snow right up against the garage door and such. Like someone said the other day if a customer wants a $30 plow job they will get a $30 plow job.
     
  10. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    Mick has it right.

    You can ask them why they are looking for a new service, but I would be willing to bet that even 9 out of 10 price shoppers are not going to admit to price as being one of there criteria. Besides, how are you ever going to hone your salesman skills if you only take the easy sells???

    If your really running into this alot, you could try an experiment. Tell them what your rates are, offer to do one plow at their old rate (or a fraction of the seasonal price that you agree is fair), and tell them if they are happy with your service they can remain a customer at your higher rates. Kind of a one time discount, but it allows you two advantages, one is an easier close, how can they go wrong with better service, and a trial discount (once). Secondly, even if price is the only factor, by the time you get your first plow in its going to be pretty late to find a new contractor, so they might just get lazy and stay with you anyways. (Gotta love the lazy people :nod: ) Its not something I have personally done, but it might work?

    It has been my experience that even the people who say price is a consideration, or even those who use price as an objection, are really only looking for value, not price. If you beleive they want a lower price, you will never close them. Sure, they would take it if offered, but they will also take your higher price if you give them reason to. You just gotta find out what they are really looking for that they are not telling you (and sometimes they dont know themselves). Like Mick said, maybe they just want the snow stacked in a different spot, but unless you uncover that, they will probably assume you are going to do the same job as the last guy, so price is all they know to compare you on. Educate them, listen to them, and find their hot button.

    Good Luck!
    Kevin