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"It only takes you 6 minutes"

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Camden, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I have a few residential accounts this season. They are all on the same road and I can do them all in about 35 minutes. One of the homeowners called tonight after I plowed her out to say that she can't justify my price because it only takes me 6 minutes from start to finish.

    I feel like she's trying to penalize me for having efficient equipment. Her old service provider had a smaller plow without wings and no rear plow. Obviously I'm going to be quicker because I invested in those things but try explaining that to someone who knows nothing about plowing.

    I told her I'd reconsider her price and I'm only doing that because I bought a guy out and this is one of the accounts. I don't want to drop her because I'd be out the money I spent getting it.

    What do I say to this lady?
  2. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Just explain to her exactly what you said. The price is the price, and if I can do it in 3 minutes, but the old guy did it in 20 minutes, she gets the same service for the same price. On a side note, this is a prime example why you never pay for accounts. If you don't know them, you aren't going to know if they are a PITA.
  3. tmcbroo

    tmcbroo Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Well mam The price is what is is, the cost of the equipment, is your overhead, ask her how much does the 30g's in equipment cost a minute to pay for it, maybe she wants it for free? do yourself a favor if this customer is nagging about the price ask her if she would like to shovel it...

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    like i tell people in the fall time when im doing cleanups, just because i can do the job in half the time other companys do it in doesnt mean i get paid half the price, just means i have better equipment to get it done faster. the price is the price no matter how long it takes me.
  5. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    I think you are on the right track with how to explain it....she can either pay a kid $5/hr and take four hours and cost $20 or she can pay you $20 for 1/10 an hour. It's the same cost for her, but it costs you a lot more to run a truck and plow than a shovel. In the mean time, she can get out earlier to go about her day, you are insured, and reliable, a kid with a shovel well who knows. She'll definitely have to wait to get out of her driveway etc. It is hard to realize sometimes why stuff is so expensive when it's so quick and simple, until you realize that the machine that makes it quick and simple costs $$$$$, this is true in many things in addition to plowing.

    If you think she might actually find someone cheaper just calling the yellow pages than explain all that to her and offer her your best price. Otherwise just explain it to her and tell her your business plan says you can't go any lower or better yet it's the same price as everyone else on the street.
  6. yardsmith

    yardsmith Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    tell her its $25 (or whatever) whether you use a shovel, or a truck.

    One I always used was-
    "when you call a plumber over, you don't go thru his tool box & say 'no, you can't use this tool or that tool',' I'm the same way- you pay me to clear your drive. How long it takes is up to me. I'M the one dumping $15 grand in equip to clean your drive :gunsfiring:
  7. Get Plowed AK

    Get Plowed AK Member
    Messages: 78

    Yeah man, residential people do that to me as well. I spent to money to have good, efficiant equipment. Tell her what you told us. If she doesn't like what she hears find her some joe blow fly-by-night dude and have him do it.

    its business
  8. JB1

    JB1 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    tell her your sorry and ashamed, that you actually thought it would take less time than that.
  9. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Roy your the smoothest cat I know and your asking us for advice. Just work your charm.
  10. dayexco

    dayexco Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    should you drop your price with her....she might be an acquaintance of one of your other customers....in conversation, the price drop might come up. want that going on your whole route?
  11. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan Senior Member
    Messages: 727

    best answer yet. Another thing...those aren't the kind of customers I would want. I would tell her that it is what it is. If she doesn't like it:waving:
  12. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,779

    Tell her it's your minimum, explain your costs, time seen vs. time travelling, time billing,fuel, insurance etc. Woe is me....... but answer her concern. Sometimes they just need some reassurance their not getting screwed. If it goes further (and she deducts from your bill, or sends nasty notes with her cheque) drop her. Not worth the stress.
    I paid $23.00 for a pack of AAA batteries and a bag of chips at the grocery store the other day
  13. watatrp

    watatrp Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    I've had simlar complaints on the lawn care side. I explain it this way. I can do your entire yard w/ a $8000 zero turn mower in 20 mins. I can do it w/ a $800 push mower in an hour. I can do it w/ a weedeater in 3 hours. If it cost $35 for 20 mins you think it costs too much. Yet if I take 3 hours and charge $35 you probably think that I'm not charging enough. Please don't say I'm charging too much because I invest $8000 to get the job done efficiently.
  14. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    No kidding! Some of the guys on here could do her driveway in 2 minutes. I wonder what she'd say then :rolleyes:

    Ha! I'm usually easy going when I'm not upset but this lady is under my skin.
  15. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,598

    drive slower so it is not that obvious :)
    Clients don't get what they actually pay for!
    liability, 24/7 service, site monitoring, expensive equipment, wages, etc.
  16. jgoetter1

    jgoetter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 278

    Tell her to take business 101.
  17. PlowTeam5

    PlowTeam5 Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    Tell her to eat a bowl of rice with chop sticks, and a bowl of rice with a spoon. Either way, the rice is being eaten; you can just do it faster with more efficient utensils.
  18. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,143

    Great analogy. If rice were money, she'd still be eating the same amount, just faster with a spoon.
  19. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    What you should have said...
    "6 mins??? I better double the price! Most only take me 3!!!"

    Like one other said, do it for her and soon you will for others. Keep it where it is at and ask her if she has a complaint ABOUT the service. Price stays the same or increase since you readjusted your time requirements.
  20. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Treat her like your wife then. GIVE HER WHATEVER SHE WANTS. LOL