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How do you deal with clients.

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by TurfKing360, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. TurfKing360

    TurfKing360 Member
    Messages: 67

    I was just wonder how everyone would deal with a client, that at the first sight of snow they start calling for salt. I have been plowing and salting tolong ow and this is the first client I ever had like this. Their lot really doesn't need to be salted there is vary little ice or snow, but the little bit of snow blowing around makes thing look slick. With the salt shortage I have budgeted enough salt to cover my client for the year but I don't want to waste it. As suggestions Please.

    MAR4CARS Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    I never refuse to pass up an offer to get paid.Weather i felt it needed it or not if the customer wants to pay me for services after i honestly tell them they don't need it i will perform the service and get paid.Ive heard of contractors losing accounts because they didn't want to do something for the client because they felt it wasn't needed.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    customer is always right. if somebody would fall your screwed. i can hear the call to the ins. co
    my contractor refused to salt.so it his slip and fall claim

  4. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,912

    yeah do the job and charge accordingly, make them happy or someone else will. make sure you pick up some extra salt before its too late in the season and you cant replace it.
  5. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    then it needs salt
  6. Mick

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

    Perform the service as requested and charge accordingly. Simple philosophy. I once had a customer who lived on a 3/4 mile private hardpack road. He wanted ANYTHING plowed. I once plowed a snowfall of less than 1/2". He thanked me as he wrote a big check at the end of the month. I think more snow went UNDER the plow than got pushed to the side. But that was what he wanted, so that's what he got.
  7. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    No they are not always right.....but they do need to be satisfied. If you can't do that, someone else will.
  8. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    maybe it's a seasonal contract and he's worried they will do this every snow , all winter long?
  9. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Yea, I suppose so if they are an all inclusive. We don't really know yet do we. If the salt charge is ala carte he should do it.
  10. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Go and salt it, he is asking for it. If its a seasonal contract, with salting included you still have to salt because of the liability thing learn from that and change your contract next year. If it really does not need it, you don't have to spread much salt at all. If the client is paying for it, do it, its extra cash. You mentioned you have stock piled your salt for this year. Is that based on how much you used last season. I really believe there is an over stock of salt this year. Everyone panicked after last year and ordered more than they even used the previous year, this forced the prices up, and created another salt shortage. Except this is not a real shortage, its been horded all over the place. If we get an average winter, then come end of January, all this horded salt becomes a liability. The price will start dropping, and you will be amazed how much will be available. Not to mention how many people are switching over to liquids thus reducing the demand for salt. JM2C
  11. TurfKing360

    TurfKing360 Member
    Messages: 67

    It is a seasonal contract and salting is not charged extra. Tis client use to plow themselves until they destroyed there truck, hit to many thing to fast. I have assisted them the passed 5 years with plowing so this year they gave me the contract. Last year they went through $3500 in bagged salt about 3 months into the 6 month season. I have salted and the remaining salt on the lot is enough to melt the next storm. we use magic o and treat our salt supply.
  12. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Sounds like you have to take a hit this year for figuring too low on this account's salt use, and as someone said, you change the contract next year to reflect higher usage.
  13. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Ever thought about capping exactly how much salt your including in your seasonal rate?? Now thats a concept. FYI, I have a clause in all of my seasonlas, basically including xxxx amount of salt at current market prices if required. should salt prices go up, or we have an over eventful winter like last year, they pay the difference. Same goes for salt extra...if salt rpices go up, they pay more.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  14. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    I would just go throw down a lil and call it good. Spot salt it if the whole lot is good except for a couple spots.
    I will say the draw back to magic and its residual can be a pain in the ass for blowing snow. Everything sticks and turns to slush and then refreezes when it dilutes out.
  15. 18lmslcsr

    18lmslcsr Senior Member
    from WI.
    Messages: 113

    I would just add a bit of sand mixed in with the salt to extend your supply and to meet the request(precieved need) of the client. If the DOTWI can do it, so can a private vendor supplying for the needs of a client.

    This is why we made the choice to offer absolutely no salting....It's in the contract and the clients sign in agreement to this. Since the inception of 18lmslcsr have not offer'd salt or sand. thank God the clients remain each year season - 2 - season. Actually most have stated they like not having sand, salt...it saves there drives and there rugs/floors. Not to mention the pets paws. 18lmslcsr only does resi's.

  16. mlbock

    mlbock Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    it's a good time to know your calibration. your gross profit can be HUGE and your salt useage minimal if you know what to expect, what the surface temp is, etc. we do a lot of seasonal contracts whichj average out - november and december, maybee 75-100 lb salt per lane mile. january, february, 400 lb salt. great time to show you are a professional!!!
  17. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I always charge over and above for salt, by the ton, no one includes it in the contract just for this reason. It is one thing to have to run the truck again but to have to put materials down that you didn't count on that will kill you. When you sign these conracts you have to think about every possible way to protect yourself, the customer wont. Even after you think you have all possilties covered you still can miss something and salt is a big thing to miss, alot more than time and fuel.
  18. NorthernSvc's

    NorthernSvc's Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    i would do what any sane businessman would do in this situation:
    drop 1/4 of the load so to make it look like a salted and charge for the full quoted load!
  19. TurfKing360

    TurfKing360 Member
    Messages: 67

    I believe we have enough salt budgeted for this client based on salt usage and needs of last year I just didn't want to start wasting it this early in the season for fear that this season might be worse than others. We plow for a local mall within 10 mile of this client and I haven't treated there salting any different than this client and I haven't had a single complaint or problem from them. Bigger area, alot more traffic both vehicl and foot and we haven't had a slip and fall claim yet knock on wood. I just never had a client so anal about salting. I also know last year they were complaining about how much extra money they were having to spend to clean the salt residue of the floors and have the commercial rugs and mats cleaned so often from salt.
  20. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    i understand where you're coming from but if they are paying you monthly, then they expect the salt to be spread whenever they want it to be...that's the downside of seasonal contracts. my suggestion would be to just salt it, it might cost you a little more but your relationship will be better with the customer. think of it this way...$1 profit over 10 years is better than $1.50 over 2 (if you follow what i'm hinting at)