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What are you doing to combat against Low Ballers?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by kah68, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. kah68

    kah68 Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    I was thinking about this yesterday, I have lost 9 of my 24 accounts in one area to low ballers and my prices are in line. I send out letters in the fall plus I make calls to all current customers in September to confirm service and pricing. I was told by some I was too expensive by about half the people I talked to. I asked them if there other plow contractors call them regularly to make sure if they were happy? I asked if they had back up equipment incase of break downs? I asked them if they were given proof of insurance and explained their exposure to litigation due to slip/falls under a non insured contractor. Lastly I asked if there was anything my service was lacking in the past. Most could see the value and re signed, some could only see the $5 PP less the other guy was offering and that was fine by them. Everyone else seems happy with what we do. The pressure is on in this recession and price is King, but there has to be ways to educate the 'pice first' people to see the value in what we do.
  2. Rain Man

    Rain Man Senior Member
    Messages: 138

    You can get one of these to take care of the low ballers

    2010-12-04 16.38.50.jpg

    2010-12-04 16.38.50.jpg
  3. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    wow what are the specs on that bad boy
  4. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    I say the same things as you stated, unfortunately some people go with price and really don't seem to care until something goes wrong. It is frustrating but all part of business. It would be nice tho give those people and increase if & when they call back but realistically how much more can you really get when price is usually why they left to begin with. In this business as with almost and in this economy you have to be attracting / getting new customers all the time.
  5. cpmi

    cpmi Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 167

    The only thing you can really do is continue to provide great reliable service and maintain great customer relationships. Unfortunately a lot of people are ONLY going to look at price-they can care less if you are insured,have the right equipment and the manpower for the job,have a back up plan in place etc..Those are the type of customer I try to steer clear of-in this tight economy its tough to turn away work but most of the time those types are the ones that are gonna give you an ulcer over a few dollars.
  6. ColvinsPS

    ColvinsPS Member
    Messages: 73

    Keep up the good work and try to get some new customers to replace the old. It will pay off in the end
  7. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Two years ago I loss my biggest hotel to a guy who cut my numbers in half. The management showed me his contract, and even let me sit in on a conference call they had w/ him on speaker phone. Hotel business was really bad the last 2 years and they were trying anything to save a buck. I tried to show them how he could never do what he claimed, and explained what would probably happen when they needed him most. I have a 19 year working relationship w/ the upper management and still do other properties for them. I told them there was no way that I would work for those numbers, 1. because I couldn't, 2. because I knew it would set a precedence for all my future dealings w/ the company.
    I monitored some of the work the other guy did, and sure enough he was blowing the snow right into the parked cars on all the long isle ways. He also wasn't salting everything he promised either.
    Try to imagine a 400+ room facility w/ several sold out banquet halls, tour buses that come through a few times a day, and a loading dock that gets a lot of action w/ snow drifts filling it up. They had to call the dumpster company to make a special trip out to remove it because a delivery truck was pressed up against the side of it, when he slid. The maintenance department was constantly digging out cars, because the snow that got blown into them turned into icy speed bumps, where you'd have to smoke your wheels, heating them up to get over it...if you were lucky.
    Last season we had some good storms, I was called in several times to service other properties that I had no contract on (too far away), because the other contractors couldn't perform, and in 1 case kept getting stuck himself.
    So, I got my hotel back this year. The new property manager comes outside to thank me just about every storm, and offers me coffee. The moral of the story, for me anyhow...Was to let them learn (at my expense as well), be there and ready for the phone call when the other guy drops the ball. Let them feel the pain, but fix their problem so they don't loose more revenue than they have to. A days revenue at that facility, is just a drop in the bucket when compared to the difference in our 2 contracts. The complaints alone have cost them great, I just hope they learned...I think they did. And to the other contractor who I am speaking of...if your reading this than you know who you are, and so do I.
  8. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    I just keep doing what I'm doing - Quality.
  9. snorider075

    snorider075 Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    Quality. seems like the small stuff is noticed more like curbs cleaned and shoveling around cars sometimes throwing down a little extra salt without charging for it so the lot is perfect when you leave it.
  10. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    Post # 7 says it all. That is why I do not get upset with lowballers.
  11. cf1128

    cf1128 Member
    from NH
    Messages: 77

    bingo!!! Enough said!
  12. JustinD

    JustinD Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Thumbs Up

    True, people will see that you get what you pay for in the end.
  13. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    post #7 says it all let them learn the hard way. and they almost always do. thats what im waiting for now on a couple big accounts i lost to a guy who underbid my price by over 50%. on a $325 PP he bid it at $100 and has no insurance. best part this account is a private road. i can see things going really bad there
  14. dayexco

    dayexco Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    all of us are low ballers in somebody's eyes