Depending on how you present your snow plowing bid can have a direct result on if you get hired or not and what kinds of services your customer will sign up for. I asked a member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum about his methods for estimating snow removal services and how he gets so many upsells. He told me of the importance of breaking down each service in your bid to show the cost of each. Then I followed up with more questions.
How often do your customers go for the bare bones snow plow job versus want you to take care of everything? Are you ever able to upsell them when they want to go for the cheapest? If so, what do you suggest a snow plow operator say to help increase the dollar value of the sale?
He responded by saying “most customer have told me they like the way I break down the pricing & accept the whole package. This way they see what their money is paying for. Say you tell a Mr. B, who has an average sized lot but a big wrap around sidewalk & wants de-icer, it will cost him $50 each snowfall. Now lets say he knows that Mr. X next door to him is only paying $35 & has a bigger lot. You just lost a customer. He doesn’t realize Mr. X only has a front door & no sidewalks at all.
Business owners usually only think of it as “snowplowing the lot”. They don’t look at the big picture regardless of the services they want. Now let’s say it this way: snow removal of the lot is $30 (less then MR. X, he’ll like that), “you have a pretty big sidewalk” snow removal for it will be $15, you also want de-icer that will be $20. Then you tell him “I’ll use a broadcast spreader that will cover your sidewalk & a little bit of the parking spaces along the sidewalk. BINGO! He thinks he just got a deal. He’s paying less then Mr. X for “snowplowing” and he’s getting a larger area de-iced then he had planned. When in reallity, you just got a $65 client!
Now for the ones who want bare bones service: if you get a customer who still wants bare bones, watch them, watch them, watch them. Here’s why: if it’s a small business they might be doing sidewalks & de-icing themselves. You probably aren’t going to change that. But for larger businesses that use the employees for this, you’ve got a chance.
For example: I have a rehab facility who said they’d take care of de-icing. I came back by one morning after I’d plowed their lot & see 2 of the office girls out there in their nice clothes throwing ice melt by hand. After a few snowfalls I stopped in & saw the boss. I told her I saw her girls out there throwing ice melt by hand. Followed with, you know that stuff isn’t the greatest thing to get on your hands! I’m sure it doesn’t do their clothes any good either. Then I say, you know, if you want I’ll still take care of that for the price I quoted you. Then I throw out the “spreader line”. Most of the time, I got them. What they don’t think you know is, these girls have been chewing their ear off about doing this. But you’ve been “watching them”. Another one I do is this daycare who has a wheelchair ramp. It’s about 50-60 feet long.
The first year I provided service to them I charged $15 to shovel it. With solid 5ft walls on both sides of it, it was a real pain. The next year they said her girls would take care of that but if it got too deep they would have me do it. I explained that it would be a lot harder when the snow got too deep because of the walls on the sides & that since it was a “as needed” removal it would be $25 instead of the $15 they had paid in the past. She said that was fine. But now I have a snow blower. The first time they called for the ramp I was in & out in about 10 minutes. $25 please! Thank you. Remember, if you’re NOT doing it, SOMEBODY else is. Figure out who & use that to your advantage. Good luck!
Also, after my first year of plowing on my own & seeing exactly what my expenses where, I raised my prices the 2nd year & didn’t loose a single customer. Good, friendly, service.”
How to upsell snow removal services - GopherHaul 50 Snow Plow Business Podcast
How to upsell snow removal services - GopherHaul 50 Snow Plow Business Video