I Hate Some of My Customers

capewalk

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We refused to do "Low Bidder" business.

One would think that the most price conscious buyers would be easily satisfied, since they placed lowest price as their primary purchase criterion. In fact, they are the first to complain. You cannot earn a top-notch service reputation by dealing with them, not to mention you make less profit.

When we sold Silicon Graphics computers, we would deliver them, install them at the desk, install all software and upgrades. One customer insisted on sending out the spec to bid, and complained to SGI that we declined to participate because it was low-bidder. Then they called SGI again to complain that the low-bidder just drop shipped the systems, including memory upgrades, leaving it for them to unbox, setup and upgrade. Then they paid us to come in, set up the systems, install memory and software upgrades, and OS patches. And then complained that it would have been cheaper to buy them from us.....:rolleyes:
I had a similar situation as well. I'd quote clean up and weekly service only to be told that the local high school kid would do it for significantly less. On nearly every occasion I'd get approached when the high school kid stopped showing up. Almost always the lawn was overgrown and or the clean up never really got completed. In most cases I was unable to take on more work being only part time. In the cases where I was able to take on the work the quote would be close to the original one. I'd get told well some of the clean up part is done why is the quote so high? It's because your lawn hasn't been cut in somewhere near a month and now I can't just cut it with a lawn mower. So in the end they ended up spending about the same amount of money but had a crappy looking yard for a period of time. I'm not involved with it anymore but I can't imagine things have gotten any better. As I see it most of the people low balling only last a couple of years. They get to a point where they see the wear and tear on the truck, equipment repair and replacement have taken such a big bite of the bottom line they may as well be working at McDonalds.
 

AHM

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Had a buddy running a landscaping business. ... I told him to double his price!
That's a perennial Dave Ramsey pro-tip, BTW.
Maybe not double, but jack up significantly.
Lots of small business callers are afraid to charge market price,
let alone the premium price justified when they deliver a premium product/service.

(Dave also raises his rent on tenants by a smidgen every year; on general principle).
 

mwalsh9152

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That's a perennial Dave Ramsey pro-tip, BTW.
Maybe not double, but jack up significantly.
Lots of small business callers are afraid to charge market price,
let alone the premium price justified when they deliver a premium product/service.

(Dave also raises his rent on tenants by a smidgen every year; on general principle).
Pretty much. Wifes best friend has a home based baking business. She does fantastic work, but her prices are far too low for the effort she puts into them. I've been saying she needs to double her prices and work less. Also to start quoting like she doesnt want the work when people have crazy requests. I think shes starting to listen.
 
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I wasnt sure if I should post this, but f*ck it.

Let me give you some background ...

I run a landscaping company and I am constantly checking competitors pricing in order to give people the best price possible. If I cannot be at a job myself, I usually stop by to check and make sure my guys did a good job.

A few days ago, a couple of my guys called in sick, so I went to do a job for a new customer. We spoke over the phone first, he told me my price was competitive and he sounded like a nice guy. So far so good, he was very polite.

I arrive to his house, nice middle class white guy.
I think he voted for Trump, but I didnt say anything just in case he was a Libtard - I later found out he was a Trump supporter. More on that below.

He showed me around, he had a nice yard with some interesting plants (see pic below), but it was a little bit of a mess. He told me how much he hated doing yard work and that's why he hired people like me (he had a white privilege tone to his voice). He kept telling me that we would negotiate the price, I kept telling him we already spoke over the phone and agreed to a price and payment method, but he kept cutting me off. Anyway, he reassured me I would still get paid what we agreed. I think he was high.

Anyway, I do the work. My kick a** new lawn mower made my day a lot easier...

View attachment 297754

Check out how nice his yard looks now:

(After I was done)
View attachment 297756
I should mention ... I had my daughter helping me out, this creep wouldnt stop staring at her. She is 16 and trying to save money for college.

Fast forward to the end of the day. We did a great job, his yard looks clean (looked like a jungle before), he is happy with the work and then tries to pay me with a check.

I was very clear with him over the phone, I told him my bank charges me $6 to cash a check, so the check would need to be for $506. I told him he could pay me cash, but he said "so you can keep it and not pay taxes?"

That's where it all went to hell. He threw rocks at my nice, new lawn mower (now it has a huge dent), and started yelling at me because I have an accent. He thought I was an illegal, so he started telling me what a POS I was, that I should have a bank account and that he couldnt wait for Trump to build the wall so people like me would stay out of this country ... (I let him go on without telling him I'm a citizen)

I told him to just give me the $500 and I left as fast as possible. I was afraid he would try to shoot me.

What Would NES do in this situation?
Wait a minute Wait a minute Wait a minute!.......didn’t we have a discussion a few days ago about how great you are at tapping into foreign investment markets and financial strategies common Americans ignore???? And all this time your just a freakin landscaper!!!!! Hahahahahaha!!!!!! Just kidding my friend, it’s lonely at the bottom ain’t it, lol!!!!
 

AHM

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Wifes best friend has a home based baking business. She does fantastic work, but her prices are far too low for the effort she puts into them. I've been saying she needs to double her prices and work less. Also to start quoting like she doesnt want the work when people have crazy requests. I think shes starting to listen.
There's a Ramsey Personality for that.
Maybe your wife's friend would dig that site.

(Can't say how often, if ever, Ms. Wright rolls out the "don't lowball" spiel.
But she's been exposed to the concept fer sure).

Submitted for her consideration...
 
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Blueskyday

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I freak out every time I KNOW I have to raise prices.

Labor cost has gotten so bad on cape....I'm close to....giving up.

I'm also close to reinventing my business... so don't read too far into any one given comment lol

I have NEVER (ten years) lost more than 1-2 REGULAR customers over a round of price raises.

ALWAYS RAISE YOUR DAMN PRICES!!!!!!!
if there is any,..... any..... question about the situation..... raise your prices. period.

This time...I raised them waaay higher than I should have. f*** it. I know I'll lose people but.....I'll pay...

less payroll
less food cost
less liquor cost

and still....make more profit, while working less....

yay.

Don't sell yourself short.

Know what you want to be worth.
Get there.

Now, I just need to listen to my own drunken ramblings lol :)
 
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smokey-seven

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I upped my prices today. Felt kinda funny doing it. But I've had service repairmen at my house twice recently for stuff I don't work on and realized how behind I was on pricing.
Let us how you made out please?

This time...I raised them waaay higher than I should have. f*** it. I know I'll lose people but.....I'll pay...
Cost and effect... do a quick analysis for us when the dust settles please.
 

smokey-seven

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I think I was the only barrier to raising my prices.
Yea, when you feel the penny pinching you, you are late at raising your prices.

In my original example, my buddy doubled his prices and only lost 20% of customers. He dropped one crew and one truck and had surplus equipment to service and be ready for a breakdown on another crew. Service improved and it was just plain good business.
 
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Yup. My overhead definitely isn't as high as an automotive shop so I'm not that high. I had a appliance repairman fix my fridge. He was very knowledgeable about the problem, brought the right parts, and fixed it on the first trip. But their "service fee" doesn't really include their "labor". So I figured between there $129 service fee and $85 labor fee, I paid $214 dollars for an hr of work, not to mention I'm sure a generous parts mark up. He assured me they were the cheapest in the area as well by quite a margin. I understand the pricing for service because there is so much of the day spent driving between jobs. It's not like having a car brought to you or quoting a construction job and spending days there.
 
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But that pricing and a recent company helping me out with a fried zone board for my furnace was $180 for a service call (which did include the labor) took an hour also. Helped me raise my pricing
 

Dennis in MA

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I haven't raised my prices in 25 years. Of course, my fees are a % of assets, so as long as the assets grow, so do my fees. ;)
 
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