How to Screen Potential Clients

Do you have a process in place for vetting your online requests?

Recently, we received two online requests through our website and there were two main things that stood out to me – super cheap and cash discount. These keywords were a red flag that they were either tire kickers or not an ideal fit for our services.

When you own and run a lawn care and landscaping business, mowing grass alone, typically, will not help you grow and scale. You just can’t make enough on mowing services to make it sustainable in the long term. You need landscaping or another higher margin service offerings to make it work. This is why it’s essential that you vet your incoming requests for estimates/quotes in a way that helps build something more sustainable and profitable.

Which is why I’m going to give you my TOP 2 TIPS on how to handle the tire kickers that just want a job done cheap [that probably doesn’t care about quality] and that will more than likely be a pain in the a** in the long run.

Set a Minimum Rate

Linnemann Lawn Care and Landscaping has a 4 hour minimum (crew of 2 for 2 hours) and/or a $350 minimum on the landscaping job side. For mowing, it’s a $45 minimum, but that also depends on where the job is located (further way, means more time and money, which costs the client more).

Setting a minimum doesn’t stop there though. When we set a rate for a job, there are some key factors that we have to consider. The number one question to ask when quoting any job – what does the WHOLE job look like and what will it cost the company?

When figuring a job you have to factor in:

  • Fuel
  • Miles
  • Time
  • 2 man team
  • Equipment
  • Materials

It’s not just about showing up to mow and landscape in order to make someone’s yard look good for the weekend (a blog for another time), it’s about what all you are investing to make it happen – so know and charge your worth!

Charge a Consultation Fee

One of the best ways to weed out the tire kickers from the start is to charge a consultation fee. Once you receive an online (or over the phone) request for a estimate/quote, decide then if it’s worth your time to quote it for free or to charge a fee.

Here’s two ways to make this decision:

  • If they say they are calling and gathering estimates – charge a fee
  • If they are further out (distance wise) than your normal service area – charge a fee

Pro Tip: Google maps and Google street view is awesome to see what kind of property you will be going to and quoting. Use this to determine if it’s going to be a job that’s further out than your normal service area and to also see what type of home you are dealing with. Know who your ideal client is and focus your efforts on those types of clients. If the distance is far out from your headquarters, consider charging them a fee. Remember, it’s not just a 20 min drive, it’s a 40 min drive round trip!

At Linnemann Lawn Care and Landscaping, we charge a $50-100 fee for clients wanting a quote for a job that is 20 miles or further away from our normal service area. When charging a consultation fee, it’s all about trusting your gut. Listen to those key words – super cheap, cash discount, just needs shaped up to sell, quick and simple curb appeal, etc. Once you hone in on those keywords during the call (or in the online request), you’ll start weeding through those who aren’t a fit for the services you provide.

Bonus Tip: Create a client avatar sheet and make sure all of your staff know who your companies ideal client is. You know what kind of clients you enjoy providing lawn care and landscaping services to, make a list of identifiable qualities and provide that to your team.

For more advice and tips like this, follow us on Facebook!

Need more guidance on how to own and run a successful lawn care and landscaping business? Book a consultation and let’s see how The Green Executive® can help you build and achieve permanent profitability within your landscape business today.