It’s not uncommon for a client to receive multiple estimates for tree work—and to be surprised by the differences in quotes. There are multiple variables to consider when estimating tree work that can cause these fluctuations.
When selling tree work, it’s important to go into the sales process with a good understanding of where your quotes are landing in the marketplace, and why you charge what you do.
Clients have to understand that you’re not just coming up with an arbitrary quote—that there’s a reason for the cost. This is particularly important for companies that tend to fall in the mid- to high- price range.
If people are being asked to spend more money, they are going to want to understand why. But if they can see the value in paying more, they will.
At Joshua Tree Experts, we are always upfront when we are selling tree work that we are not going to be the lowest bid.
We have found that prospective clients appreciate our transparency, especially when we explain why we tend to cost a little more. That’s why we’re sharing some of the common reasons why tree work is sometimes underestimated by other companies.
Reasons Why Tree Work is Underestimated
If clients ask you why some bids are so low (and others seem “high”), it can be helpful for them to understand some of the behind-the-scenes expenses that some companies are paying (and others are not).
When clients understand these reasons, they see the value in paying a little more.
1. They are Not Buying Top-Notch Equipment
Tree care equipment is a big investment. For that reason, some companies try and run the same machines for many years beyond their prime, instead of buying something new.
This is obviously a disservice to the customer as the equipment plays a huge role in the results and the safety of the work.
But when it comes to estimating tree work, companies that are not investing in the best equipment might be able to charge less than those who are. It’s important that customers understand this difference. When comparing tree work estimates, it’s simply not comparing apples to apples. The quality of the work directly hinges upon the quality of the equipment.
2. They are Not Hiring High-Level Employees
Like most services, great tree work is contingent on great people. But many companies do not emphasize the importance of hiring high-level employees. In fact, they’re willing to take anyone who will do the work for a low price.
Of course, a lot of tree care companies are also more focused on tree removal. While tree removal obviously takes knowledge, skill, and experience, there’s a lot more involved when you are also focused on tree preservation. This takes highly skilled Certified Arborists who have a strong understanding of arboriculture and can make tree and pest disease diagnoses.
With so many different tree problems, these diagnoses can be complex (as can understanding the treatment options).
When we are selling tree work to clients, we talk about how we can help take care of other trees on the property (even if we’re removing one). This is something that not all companies can offer at a high level. But it also means we have to invest in highly trained people, which naturally costs more.
3. They are Not Investing in Training and Certifications
In addition to hiring the best and the brightest workers, tree care companies should also be invested in ongoing training and education.
At Joshua Tree Experts, we talk a lot about having Certified Arborists on staff.
This is much different from an “arborist,” which can be anyone who does tree work (without any official training). A Certified Arborist has been certified by a professional organization like the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). This implies a certain level of competency.
According to ISA, to earn their ISA Certified Arborist credential, you must be trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of arboriculture. ISA Certified Arborists must also adhere to the Code of Ethics that strengthens the credibility and reliability of the workforce.
As you might imagine, this adds a tremendous amount of value to a tree care franchise. It’s not like “just anyone” can become a Certified Arborist as it takes an investment of time, training, and experience. But along with all of that, comes an added cost to the company.
Helping Clients Understand Your Place in the Marketplace
As we said at the start of this article, we are not out to be the lowest bid, nor do we want to be. There are good reasons why we cost more than our competition and we are not willing to compromise on them.
But what’s key, when selling tree work, is that the clients understand those reasons, too.
The truth is, some won’t. There are always going to be those clients who are shopping on price and simply looking for the lowest bid. But it’s important to remember that those are NOT the kind of clients that you want for your tree care franchise.
Clients who are just looking for the lowest price out there won’t necessarily be able to understand the value of paying a little more—and that can honestly be a recipe for trouble.
We are never willing to compromise the quality of our work simply to hit a price that the client might want (and you shouldn’t either).
At Joshua Tree Experts, we have a target profile customer and it definitely doesn’t include those who want lowball prices. When it comes to setting your business up for success, having a “target” customer is key, as is setting those customers up with realistic expectations (and helping them understand why there can be such differences in bids).
All of this might sound a bit daunting but if you are a Joshua Tree Experts franchise owner, we’re here to help. We can offer advice on how to talk to customers and how to set your business up for success.
As we have said before, we are here to be your partner in success and that includes mentoring you in your home service franchise journey.
Are you ready to grow a successful business from strong roots? Joshua Tree Experts has the proven systems and processes in place to help. Request a meeting and begin your journey today.