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Walking away from a job prospect

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by wkr518, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. wkr518

    wkr518 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    A friend of mine got into the snow removal and landscaping business 4 years ago.He was going in and under bidding jobs,lowballing his prices to get business for his 2 person outfit that ran 2 plows in Upstate NY.It worked for a bit,but his "overhead" was hardly payed for.
    Come springtime he got part time job in addition to his landscape/lawncare startup business.2 years later he has 5 people full time including himself doing landscaping and snow removal and some sidework as a Housing Rehab Hauler.
    He admitted to me a few months ago that he started out making bad decisions,lowballing on his jobs because nobody had a reputation for his work.He also told me that a load of junk he took out of my basement 2 years ago has one of my old sales training manuals from Motorola titled " Negotiating To Win" that I had leftover from years ago classes I took from Motorola Radio Company.
    He said he learned to " walk away" from lowball customers,bad payers or potential customers who wanted to devalue his time and reputation by insisting on the LOWEST prices for his services.
    Now he has a reputation as someone who does good work,offers duality services and is worth every dime he is paid.
    I found this site and email link of it to him,also link to the business package that is offered in the business section of the forum site.
    Just wanted to share this that is all.
  2. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    I cann't agree more. I "interview" and "fire" customers all the time. If I cann't get paid enough to make a profit. If they are to much hassle for the return, if they want a level of service beneath my standard, all good reasons to "fire" your customer.

    It's hard sometimes when they are a high gross account but one $1000 account at 5% profit lacks the return of 5 $200 at 15%. If your high gross accounts want concessions whether it's the owners driveway (20 minutes outside the route) or a lower price they start to become less valuable.

    I "fired" one development this year. They were new last year, never wanted material, complained about snow in drives, ice on the roadway. Every person in the place must have called at least once. One guy called said he wanted to re-negotiate the price after the fact. When I sent them the "not this year" letter, they called asking why not, said we were the best they ever had. I held my tongue, told them it was due to scheduling conflicts, and thanked them for their past business. Replaced them in 2 days with a zero tolerance account that will make scads more $.
  3. Mick

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

    That's what I've always found to work out. One - I tell people that you get stuck with the reputation you start out with and Two - You pick up two for every one you let go for being unprofitable. Kind of hard to do at the time, but it seems to work out. With reputation - word of mouth is the most effective advertising there is and can work for or against you. You can make yourself hoarse telling people how good you are, but one word from a friend or neighbor can undo everything you just said.