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got a call

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grapeford, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. grapeford

    grapeford Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Got a call from a commercial account in my small town, looking for a quote on snowplowing and landscaping. My first question is always "are you un happy with the service". My contact says "no" we just want a cheaper price" If you're doing a lousy job, that's one thing, but if you're doing what's stated in the contract, then what's the problem. Do you go in and low ball to get the account ? Honestly, I don't need the work, we're very busy, and to deal with someone that is looking to save 10 bucks is probably not the type of customer I'm looking for.
    What do you guys think ?
  2. icudoucme

    icudoucme Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Here's what I would do Cost it out like you normally would. They take it you have one more money maker. They don't like it nothing lost.

    SKYNYRD Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    in my opinion you definitely do not want this customer. he doesn't value a good job, you, your equipment or your workers. on the other hand make him sign a contract then let him try to get rid of you and sue his butt off! lol i' j/k on that one but someone had to say it lol
  4. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    Totally agree....i was actually in that exact same situation yesterday. Guy saw my truck at the bank and asked if i would bid three of his properties...i asked the same thing about him being unhappy with his current service, he said no that he was just looking for a better price. I just politely told him that i don't like to underbid companies that i know are doing a good job and he would have to ask someone else, but if he ever became unhappy with the actual service being provided i would bid it
  5. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    What is wrong with looking for a better price even if you are not unhappy with the service?

    If you knew that plow repair shop A and plow repair shop B both did a good job, but plow repair shot B usually cost you 15% less, you would be a moron to go with shop A.

    If the same snowblower sold at Lowes for $450 and Home Depot for $400, you would be a moron to buy it at Lowes.

    I guess everyone here just has so much money they never price shop anything???
  6. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Do you guys think all the plow manufacturers arent shopping for the best steel prices.
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Do you all just buy a new truck from the first dealer you pass, or shop for the best price?

    You're missing out on accounts, potential revenue, and answering like that to an inquiry for a quote means you have lost the potential for his 3 properties, but also the potential for any additional properties he may have and did not mention, and the potential for him to refer you to anyone.
    I certainly wouldn't refer you to anyone answering me like that, in fact I wager that qualifies as bad service in many peoples eyes and could lead to dissuading people he may know from using your service.

    I'll quote any property I'm asked to, and based on my normal rates. If service is being rendered by another company or not it the owner's business, not mine. I understand wanting to have a heads up on PITa accounts, but that's not going to be answered qith just that question/answer.
  8. Govbradst555

    Govbradst555 Member
    Messages: 56

    mcwlandscaping Just let me know who he is i'll give him a bid. I live here in NH and need more work.
  9. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    why not bid it... NO one says you have to give him a specail low price. Give him yoru normal bid price and go form there.
  10. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    Point is he is looking to "break" an existing contract he has in place now MID SEASON to get a lowball price.. We have contract termination fees for this exact reason.

    How would you like to have accounts setup for a truck's route, then in late january, a company cancels you because they find a better price? ok fine, pay $100 or $1000 depending on the size and cost of the location

    I would pay $450 for a snow blower from a equipment dealer before lowes or home dejunk, your not a moron for not finding the lowest bottom price. With equipment purchases comes warranties, dealer experience, dealer service, phone support.. let alone the simple fact that i cannot stand the pita problems you have JUST trying to get through the register lines at a non-personal place like lowes or home depot.

    Last year i was at my local lowes and home decrap 50 times a week, would you know when i go in to return something the third time in a month, they STILL dont remember me after i saw the same girl 500 times that month? Talked to the same manager 3 times that month, no thanks. Your time is worth money, when lowes, home decrap, walfart all consume YOUR time, thats money lost, but its up to you, save $50 on your paper receipt if that makes you feel happy at night.
  11. jgoetter1

    jgoetter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Perhaps you're assuming they're looking to cancel their existing contract. They may be interested in pricing out for next season. Either way, I would give them my prices and let them decide.

    You never know what may be happening on the other end, such as dishonest billing, unreturned phone calls, etc.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  12. flakesmeangreen

    flakesmeangreen Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    Didn't you answer your own question? In your analogy, both shops do a "good" job therefore you're only comparing price. The OP's potential customer doesn't seem to care if it's a good job or not, only if it's cheaper.
  13. Snowaway

    Snowaway Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    A car rental place asked me for a bid two days ago. I asked him the same thing are you unhappy ? He told me the same thing just want it cheaper. I asked him what he was paying he said 85.00 per hour around here that is the cheapest I have heard of, most guys are between 100.00 and 150.00 I bid him per push and have not heard back. That is just as well I would not want someone who would drop you mid season, nor would I want to take someones contract away. But next year fair game right?
  14. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Always keep- the door open Give your price that you would be making money on. Ya got nothing to lose
  15. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Welcome to capitalism.

    You simply have to cut costs. I'm beating up my insurance agent for better rates. I'm always looking for cheapest fuel. Same level of service and better price? Sorry, I'm moving and so are 99% of the people out there.

    And everyone now is looking for a better price because of the economy.
    Repeat after me: snow removal is overhead!!! and anything property owners can do to cut overhead will be done.
    Maybe the guy is just price checking, maybe the other contractor is overbid maybe you have a better way of doing the lot.

    But I said this last year (wal mart nation post), you simply have to find a way to do it faster/better/in less time to stay competitive.

    I'd bid it. I'm in business to make money after all.
    You don't get every bid, but you don't get any places that you don't bid.
  16. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    The OP mentioned that the client was happy with his present service, so it must have been good. Like everyone else on here, the OP most likely provides great service as well, so the analogy is bang on with both guys doing a good job and it just being about price.

    I'll go with the everyone else and say you should have bid the job normally, not gone for any low rates. You win, you have a profitable account, you don't, no harm.
  17. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    It's not always about the specific price people are looking at per sae. For instance maybe the original guys price is fine BUT it's how he charges them is what is the problem. I have seen too often clients complain about their previous guy because the seem to double charge them, charge them for service they didn't get, etc. Sometimes the client didn't understand the contract ... sometimes they are actually being screwed.
  18. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    50 times a week and 500 times in a month? Needing to talk to a manager 3 times in a month? Sounds like you may be the type of problem customer we all complain about!
  19. prizeprop

    prizeprop Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    Defnately put in a bid. The guy doing it now might be charging well above market rates, Maybe he's at $55 a man hour and your at $45 (Landscape maint.)
  20. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Give him a price. Maybe you'll be cheaper, maybe you'll be more expensive. Either way I would bid on it. Just because someone asks for a cheaper price, doesn't mean that they aren't a good customer, maybe they just want to shop around a little. I would probably do the same thing. Shoot him a price that YOU would do it for, and go from there.