Ready to play the waiting game on proposals again this year?
You already figured out your pricing that you need next year (See this article to calculate your man hour rating). The next step you have to go through is the hassle of creating new estimates/proposals. If you have been following our model, you should only be raising the customer’s prices that are below your dollars per man hour for your company. If you don’t know this number, go back to our article on Man Hour Rating. You don’t want shoot yourself in the foot by losing your most valuable customers by raising prices across the board.
Now, back to the proposals and estimates. Most lawn and landscape companies send out proposals early in the Spring. Then they get hit by late season snow once the bids are in the mail and no one calls them back. They sit and wait in the office for the customers to respond, but customers aren’t even thinking about mowing lawns when there is snow on the ground! Your well-thought-out proposal letter will just end up in a pile of junk mail on someone’s desk waiting for sunshine; if they remember it then.
Sure, once the sun comes out and everything is green most of your customers will call you back. However, by that time the lawn companies are going full tilt and busy answering phones, talking with customers, making estimates, and starting the Spring mowing season, and every phone call is just another intrusion on the crazy season. Like Spring isn’t busy enough!
Why not just avoid all this? But how?
Work smarter, not harder
If you were doing commercial properties, you would have a multi-year contract that would roll over, from year to year. At CLIP Lawn Care, we do the same with our residential clients. Our agreement is “perpetual,” and we continue to keep mowing from year to year. The clause that makes this possible is that we can change the price with 30 days written notice. The customer can cancel at any time.
It is something called “the assumed close.” You assume that the sale will continue and you leave it up to the customer to change that. By sending out proposals that need to be signed and renewed, you are assuming that the customer will not want your services and you are placing the burden on them to sign and return the proposal. Why make it hard for them to do business with you? Do you assume that they won’t want to have you do business? Are you that unsure of yourself and your service?
No! What you need is to know that your prices are right, that your service is good, and that your relationship is strong. Now, assume that you will continue to do business with your customers and that they want to do business with you . Stop the insanity of Spring!
Well, you ask, “What if I show up and mow the lawn and the customer refuses to pay?” While that does happen, it’s rare. It’s a small price to pay for not having to worry, call, talk, and wonder about the future of your company every Winter and Spring.
Man hour ratings ensure profits
Always work towards making your company be the one with long-lasting relationships, good work, and man hour ratings that keep profits growing. Stop renewing your proposals, and give a 30-day notice when you need to raise your prices. Let the customer tell you if you aren’t good enough to stay with next season.
Act like the company you want to be seen as 5 years from now, today, and you will become it.