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olderthandirt
08-24-2005, 10:20 PM
What would you guys do if you were handed your competitions customer list ?
It states what services they receive and how much they pay and the pay schedule -monthly or on a 12 month plan, the # of ferts etc. This company does not actually work in the same area as you but it overlaps your territory.
The list has over 500 names and info on it. Its NOT TG/CL
What would you do, because I just got the list :D I know what I'm going to do but would love to hear comments.

6'7 330
08-24-2005, 10:24 PM
Way hell.i would take the high rode aproach lol.
scroll down.






































































































































To my pocketbook lol ,is that a proper answer?

dixiedemon
08-24-2005, 10:30 PM
i recently got a list to of an lco from another county he is selling out adn wants me to buy his yards why should i have to buy something that is not going to be his next year anyways and i already now what his service consist of

all ferris
08-24-2005, 10:30 PM
mac,
Do unto others as you have them do to you, unless it's tgcl or scotts.

Shuter
08-24-2005, 10:32 PM
Could bite you in the azz.

liquidforcedude7
08-24-2005, 10:34 PM
Ive got a mental list im making for myself of the yards in my neighborhood that I might could get, haha

MBDiagMan
08-24-2005, 10:38 PM
I have actually dealt with this VERY situation in an entirely different industry. The competitor left his notebook on top of his car and swung out onto the road in front of me. It fell off the top of his car onto the median in the left turn lane. I picked it up, thumbed through it and handed it back to him personally the next morning.

I did not write down any names or anything, but I let him sweat when I handed it back to him because he knew that I was his competitor. I figure that the fact that he knew for sure that I had it in my possession overnight was enough to side track him for a few months.

You can call me a chump or whatever you want, but my ethics would not allow me to copy it or even memorize any contact names or numbers.

A man is no better than his handshake and his ethics.

Have a great day,
Ol' Fashioned Doc

bobbygedd
08-24-2005, 10:39 PM
if you want 500 clients, and they are all on that list, do whatever you want to take them. successful businessmen are ruthless, the rest, are just lawnboys

dixiedemon
08-24-2005, 10:42 PM
what is the list was given to you by the other lco himself

Mower For Less
08-24-2005, 10:53 PM
I would probably direct mail all the ones I was interested in. I'm not into stealing business per say, but if they just happen to want to switch on their own, well ............. :)


Kevin

Brianslawn
08-24-2005, 10:56 PM
how'd you get it? is it real or a hoax with a phony list. if the people are happy with current service they probably wont switch reguardless of price. i would say do unto others as they have done onto you.

olderthandirt
08-24-2005, 10:57 PM
what is the list was given to you by the other lco himself
No he screwed over a former employee of his and the guy made a copy before he left. He thought I would like to have the list and gave it to me

dvmcmrhp52
08-24-2005, 11:09 PM
No he screwed over a former employee of his and the guy made a copy before he left. He thought I would like to have the list and gave it to me




Somehow I already knew this...........hehe...........

So, is this ex employee now working for someone else????????????????????? :waving:

Seriously Mac, I'd be a little careful with this.

Precision
08-24-2005, 11:14 PM
Somehow I already knew this...........hehe...........

So, is this ex employee now working for someone else????????????????????? :waving:

Seriously Mac, I'd be a little careful with this.


Sort of reminds me of the hot married woman that you end up married to after you break up her marriage. And you thought she wouldn't do the same thing to you later? :rolleyes:

dixiedemon
08-24-2005, 11:18 PM
the list i recived was given to me by the owner but he wants me to buy the yards from him for next season

daveintoledo
08-24-2005, 11:20 PM
sending out a general flyer to some of them, not mention price or anything, and if they are happy they will pitch the flyer, if they are not, they will call and that should be fare game..... :blush:

don't want to sound like a crook i am as honest as the day is long, but i am also ambitious.....and WILL succeed... :angel:

6'7 330
08-24-2005, 11:22 PM
Hell's bell's what do we have here,grass cutters or businessmen?

daveintoledo
08-24-2005, 11:24 PM
like the new avatar

dixiedemon
08-24-2005, 11:30 PM
one of my good friends tries to run a lawn care business he just cuts the grass dosent care what it looks like as long as he gets paid and these are all apartment complexs it looks like he used a weedeater on the whole thing everytime, i know what he gets to do them all, should i take them and give them the service a real lco should give a public place or let them go on with the wanna be they got he never has a customer for back to back years

dvmcmrhp52
08-24-2005, 11:48 PM
Hell's bell's what do we have here,grass cutters or businessmen?



I guess that's where my point lies...............
A businessman will contemplate the pros and cons of such actions.........a grass cutter will not.

sildoc
08-24-2005, 11:52 PM
Poses a dilemma. One you know they all are looking to have the maintenance done. Easy to sell someone that needs or wants it any ways. How ever like mentioned before I think I would flier them or send them a post card without a price and land them fairly. It is not stealing them if they switch because they want to. If you don't low-ball them to land the deal, it would not be stealing. Just an inside secret to who needs the service.

JimLewis
08-25-2005, 12:00 AM
I don't get what the big deal is? What's so exciting about having another guy's list of clients? Then you can go after each of his clients one-by-one? What? You wanna mail each of them an invitation letter, offering your services at a discounted rate?

Heck, I got one better than that even! I know whole communities where there are literally thousands of houses right in one small area and almost every single house in the area has their own LCO crew. So even better than having one company's list, I have a list of thousands of homes from dozens of LCOs. I may not know the rates. But I know which houses are serviced by LCOs in this neighborhood. But what good does that do me? Are people that fickle that they are going to just up and jump ship to use your company? Why would they do that? Because you offer them a cheaper price? I doubt many people would switch on just price alone. And if they would, do you really want that kind of customer? I know I don't!

I am definitely no where near the cheapest LCO in my area. I am one of more expensive. And I find flyers on my customer's doors every single week. And yet they keep us and never switch. Why would that be? Maybe because people will stay loyal, regardless of price, if you are doing a good job!?! So what's to make the people on this "list" you got come to your company? Heck, I could give you MY "list" and I doubt you'd be able to convince many of my customers to switch to your service. They like us. So if the people on this "list" you got are already happy with who they got, what good does this "list" do you?

sildoc
08-25-2005, 12:18 AM
I don't get what the big deal is? What's so exciting about having another guy's list of clients? Then you can go after each of his clients one-by-one? What? You wanna mail each of them an invitation letter, offering your services at a discounted rate?

Heck, I got one better than that even! I know whole communities where there are literally thousands of houses right in one small area and almost every single house in the area has their own LCO crew. So even better than having one company's list, I have a list of thousands of homes from dozens of LCOs. I may not know the rates. But I know which houses are serviced by LCOs in this neighborhood. But what good does that do me? Are people that fickle that they are going to just up and jump ship to use your company? Why would they do that? Because you offer them a cheaper price? I doubt many people would switch on just price alone. And if they would, do you really want that kind of customer? I know I don't!

I am definitely no where near the cheapest LCO in my area. I am one of more expensive. And I find fliers on my customer's doors every single week. And yet they keep us and never switch. Why would that be? Maybe because people will stay loyal, regardless of price, if you are doing a good job!?! So what's to make the people on this "list" you got come to your company? Heck, I could give you MY "list" and I doubt you'd be able to convince many of my customers to switch to your service. They like us. So if the people on this "list" you got are already happy with who they got, what good does this "list" do you?
This is very true. Quality is worth its weight in gold. However knowing how larger companies work the quality usually sacrifices. Medium to small companies have better quality control. This is also to a point. If you are stretched thin the quality is not there.
Hey Jim thinking of moving to Portland could you fax me a list of you Clients? :D
No Just kidding you can keep that rat race to yourself.

olderthandirt
08-25-2005, 12:46 AM
I don't get what the big deal is? What's so exciting about having another guy's list of clients? Then you can go after each of his clients one-by-one? What? You wanna mail each of them an invitation letter, offering your services at a discounted rate?

Heck, I got one better than that even! I know whole communities where there are literally thousands of houses right in one small area and almost every single house in the area has their own LCO crew. So even better than having one company's list, I have a list of thousands of homes from dozens of LCOs. I may not know the rates. But I know which houses are serviced by LCOs in this neighborhood. But what good does that do me? Are people that fickle that they are going to just up and jump ship to use your company? Why would they do that? Because you offer them a cheaper price? I doubt many people would switch on just price alone. And if they would, do you really want that kind of customer? I know I don't!

I am definitely no where near the cheapest LCO in my area. I am one of more expensive. And I find flyers on my customer's doors every single week. And yet they keep us and never switch. Why would that be? Maybe because people will stay loyal, regardless of price, if you are doing a good job!?! So what's to make the people on this "list" you got come to your company? Heck, I could give you MY "list" and I doubt you'd be able to convince many of my customers to switch to your service. They like us. So if the people on this "list" you got are already happy with who they got, what good does this "list" do you?
The big deal is that the list is ppl and companies that need and use a service, there not contemplating using one they are already using one.
No I don't want to mail each one a letter only the ones that are profitable to me.
As you know commercial work is very competitive and anytime you get any info that can help you your one step up on your competition. You are in a better position to make a bid if you can, and still be profitable with the info that I have received. And SOME people are loyal I have quite a few like that, but I'm not naive enough to think that people won't go for a lower price if presented with one, good work and loyalty only goes so far. Cash is king and if you really believe that your customers won't switch companies because they "like you" raise there rates another 20% and find out how loyal they really are. Try that with your commercials and I know you will loose 50% by next spring. Customers pay for a service if you can provide the same level of service at a lower cost thats who 95 % of the customers will go with.
BTW- No Dave the guys not working for me now or ever.

dvmcmrhp52
08-25-2005, 12:54 AM
BTW- No Dave the guys not working for me now or ever.




I was just kidding Mac.............

olderthandirt
08-25-2005, 01:18 AM
I was just kidding Mac.............
I know :jester:

JimLewis
08-25-2005, 12:07 PM
The big deal is that the list is ppl and companies that need and use a service, there not contemplating using one they are already using one.
No I don't want to mail each one a letter only the ones that are profitable to me.
As you know commercial work is very competitive and anytime you get any info that can help you your one step up on your competition. You are in a better position to make a bid if you can, and still be profitable with the info that I have received. ..................

Ok. I gotcha. I am sorry. I just do residential. So sometimes when I see a thread, I just assume people are talking about residential clients. My mistake.

You're right, commercial is a very cut-throat business and that's why I don't do it. And there's no loyalty like there is in residential. So I guess every advantage helps. I see where you're coming from now.

Runner
08-25-2005, 02:27 PM
Here's what I do. I have my own list...At the beginning of this season, I bought a notebook for one purpose. Everytime I see a flag sticking out of a yard, whether it be tru-brown, lawndoctor, Scotts, or any of the other privates around here, I record the address. THESE go onto my mail list with a different letter. The thing is, is that it's not really that cold of a call, since I already KNOW they are in the market for this service. The way I see it, I have lawn care companies calling MY clients, soliciting them, so all is fair.

bcg
08-25-2005, 02:45 PM
No he screwed over a former employee of his and the guy made a copy before he left. He thought I would like to have the list and gave it to me

I'd be really, really careful about this. If this guy stole confidential work product from his former employer before leaving, he could face criminal and civil prosecution. If you use that stolen product, you could face the same. Is it really worth it?

AintNoFun
08-25-2005, 03:48 PM
i'd like to know how many of u guys that are saying "go for it" solicit the clients are the same people who do nothing but cry about lowballers or getting jobs taking from you...

DFW Area Landscaper
08-25-2005, 04:19 PM
Well, even if you undercut the price, you'd be doing good to get 10% of them to switch at a price that still makes profit for you.

If you have no plans to undercut price then what is your advantage? You can drive through residential neighborhoods and see where lawn crews are cutting and doing apps. If you are in the market to steal business from competitors, then you know where to start knocking.

I just don't see that having a competitor's price list is that much of an advantage. But I do think it is unethical to use it to your advantage, especially if you've hacked his computer to get it or otherwise stolen the list.

How would you like it if someone somehow came into contact with your customer list and tried to steal all of your customers? Rest assured, your competitor is feeding his family (or at least trying) with that customer list.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

jbell113
08-25-2005, 09:03 PM
What comes around goes around and usually twice as bad when it finally comes back to bite you.

6'7 330
08-25-2005, 11:16 PM
I care about as much about having a tapeworm as do about residential accounts, but if I could get the head up on commercial accounts, hell yeah I would take a list and use it.
Around here commercial accounts are dog eat dog, here one year gone the next. Anything information that might get me in the front door with a property manager, purchaseing agent, etc you bet I would use.

HighGrass
08-26-2005, 12:46 AM
What would you guys do if you were handed your competitions customer list ?
It states what services they receive and how much they pay and the pay schedule -monthly or on a 12 month plan, the # of ferts etc. This company does not actually work in the same area as you but it overlaps your territory.
The list has over 500 names and info on it. Its NOT TG/CL
What would you do, because I just got the list :D I know what I'm going to do but would love to hear comments.

I would send each one a letter stating that you are (who you are) and let them know that you are available to mow. I wouldn't (This is me, not me assuming I'm you) try to low ball each lawn but instead gove them a realistic quote to mow the lawn withouot using the competitors price. Why? Because I know what I'm worth and charge accordingly. Easy to say, tough to do.

GrassBustersLawn
08-26-2005, 01:01 AM
I know what MOST Lawnsiters would do.

1. Use the list
2. Mail listees a letter with 20% (or higher) off current price.
3. HOPE they can make it up on VOLUME.
4. Go out of business
5. Try to sell their failed business to other LCO's on Lawnsite.



Mike

stumper1620
08-26-2005, 01:05 AM
What would you guys do if you were handed your competitions customer list ?
It states what services they receive and how much they pay and the pay schedule -monthly or on a 12 month plan, the # of ferts etc. This company does not actually work in the same area as you but it overlaps your territory.
The list has over 500 names and info on it. Its NOT TG/CL
What would you do, because I just got the list :D I know what I'm going to do but would love to hear comments.
Well Mac,
Being the kinda guy you are, I figure the price list is basically useless to you, the account list on the other hand would lead to the temptation to send a post card or something to each one. I just don't see you as the type that would go after those accounts by price slashing, you know your cost and always price accordingly anyway. if the accounts can be taken fairly then take them. :D

olderthandirt
08-26-2005, 02:01 AM
Well Mac,
Being the kinda guy you are, I figure the price list is basically useless to you, the account list on the other hand would lead to the temptation to send a post card or something to each one. I just don't see you as the type that would go after those accounts by price slashing, you know your cost and always price accordingly anyway. if the accounts can be taken fairly then take them. :D
Steve, your almost right I don't need the list and did'nt ask for it and it does me no good with the exception of 3 commercial properties. The other company does not offer snow removal, that is subbed out separately. I'm a one call contractor, I can't beat the others price for the mowing and fert but I can match it AND offer my plowing at a slightly discounted rate if I get the full yrs contract. payup So I'll send out a letter and find out if any of the 3 are interested and take it from there.

Vassk1
08-26-2005, 02:43 AM
Basically it comes down to business ethics. We all learned this is Business 101 but maybe you were sick that day. Is your business doing THAT bad where you need to steal customers from a competitor?

For those who will argue that it isn't stealing. You know the names. You know the addresses. You know the prices. When you solicit those accounts based on this information, it is stealing. Not illegal, but very unethical.

olderthandirt
08-26-2005, 03:02 AM
Basically it comes down to business ethics. We all learned this is Business 101 but maybe you were sick that day. Is your business doing THAT bad where you need to steal customers from a competitor?

For those who will argue that it isn't stealing. You know the names. You know the addresses. You know the prices. When you solicit those accounts based on this information, it is stealing. Not illegal, but very unethical.

Your profiles say 0 yrs in business! Your not in any position at this point to talk about business ethics. Business 101 should have taught you that the strong survive and grow and the weak and stupid will fail and parish. Check out Wal-mart, GE, GM, etc. Do you think there business is doing THAT bad? Yet they use every advantage they get and if a mom & pop store goes out of business to bad thats life and business. The bigger companies can offer a service at a cheaper rate and how do you think they know there cheaper they pay for companies to do cost comparisons is that stealing customers?
Use whats at your disposal to make your company stronger as long as its not illegal.

south jerz
08-26-2005, 03:12 AM
If you want to be the next Gordon Gekko limiting lawnsite to 4 hours a day will be a start.

Vassk1
08-26-2005, 03:58 AM
Pickles, If you are using that price list to solicit his customers then you are trying to steal his customers. It's a pretty simple concept. So what If I don't have a business. I have a four year business degree. I know what ethics are and aren't. Everyone here does. You know deep down you are doing the wrong thing. You'll do it anyways. Don't bother comparing it to one of those large corporations because you'll just sound like an idiot. That has nothing to do with what you are doing.

If stealing his customer is going to put an extra meatball on your table and you need to eat that bad then do it. But what comes around goes around. If he ever finds out he will steal every last customer. Bank on it because he can. That's where the walmart analogy comes into play. He has 500 accounts for a reason. You are the mom and pop. He is Walmart. He can under price your accounts, steal them, and put you out of business permantely.

And I'd be a little hessitant on trusting his disgruntled ex-worker too. He's a mongrol. He thinks he's a victim. Give me a break.

Good luck on whatever you do though. I'm not rooting against you by any means but you may get what you deserve.

Mope Head
08-26-2005, 09:38 AM
To say it's about business is oversimplifying it. It's also about personal ethics and how you balance that against your business sense and desire to succeed.

The Golden Rule applies here. Maybe you can justify it by saying that as a businessman you have to be ruthless, but would you feel the same if it were your customers being stolen? What would you do if you found a wallet with money and ID in it? It's really not that different.

daveintoledo
08-26-2005, 10:20 AM
[QUOTE=Vassk1]Pickles, If you are using that price list to solicit his customers then you are trying to steal his customers. It's a pretty simple concept. So what If I don't have a business. I have a four year business degree. I know what ethics are and aren't. Everyone here does. You know deep down you are doing the wrong thing. You'll do it anyways. Don't bother comparing it to one of those large corporations because you'll just sound like an idiot. That has nothing to do with what you are doing.

if you had any clue, you would know that you are talking to a successful, intelligent, honest business man. I have a business degree too, doesn't make me an lco, running my business successfully does. I would be more cautious about who you insult here, you don't even know who the real businesses are verses the many fakes that are here...


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Lux Lawn
08-26-2005, 10:43 AM
Steve, your almost right I don't need the list and did'nt ask for it and it does me no good with the exception of 3 commercial properties. The other company does not offer snow removal, that is subbed out separately. I'm a one call contractor, I can't beat the others price for the mowing and fert but I can match it AND offer my plowing at a slightly discounted rate if I get the full yrs contract. payup So I'll send out a letter and find out if any of the 3 are interested and take it from there.

Mac,
Thats a tough call.Three new commercial properties could be profitable,plus the guy doesn't do snow plowing so you might even end up saving the customer a couple of bucks.Good Luck with it.

NickN
08-26-2005, 11:05 AM
Mac,before you do anything,consult a lawyer if your serious about using this information.This information is considered "proprietary information" and you and the ex-employee could get into alot of legal trouble with this.It's the same as working for someone in the electronics industry.If an employee were to quit and copy product schematics or production cost analysis in order to give them to a competitor,both would be in a boatload of legal trouble.

olderthandirt
08-26-2005, 11:07 AM
This company does not actually work in the same area as you but it overlaps your territory.1st post


Steve, your almost right I don't need the list and did'nt ask for it and it does me no good with the exception of 3 commercial properties. The other company does not offer snow removal, that is subbed out separately. I'm a one call contractor, I can't beat the others price for the mowing and fert but I can match it AND offer my plowing at a slightly discounted rate if I get the full yrs contract. So I'll send out a letter and find out if any of the 3 are interested and take it from there. 2nd post


If you believe that it "stealing" to offer more services at the same or a discounted rate your WRONG. I already said I can only match his price but with the additional service I can come in a little cheaper with it. This price COULD have been done with out knowing what he charged, but knowing just makes it easier.
If stealing his customer is going to put an extra meatball on your table and you need to eat that bad then do it. But what comes around goes around. If he ever finds out he will steal every last customer. Bank on it because he can. That's where the walmart analogy comes into play. He has 500 accounts for a reason. You are the mom and pop. He is Walmart. He can under price your accounts, steal them, and put you out of business permantely
This has nothing to do if I need an extra meatball IF I did I would solicit ALL his customers not just the 3 that are closest to my route. S.JERZ there's a reason I can sit and play all day. Don't try to change my analogy around because you have know idea what size operation I run or what type Just answer it the way I asked, which is the correct way to view it.
you can't possably believe its more ethical to hire a company or buy a mailing list which will tell me what is set aside for outside maintenance and/or landscape work.

Theres not 1 member that has not come in lower on price than his competition
And its usually for fear that he won't get the account that the price is lower or his operating cost are cheaper, only way it can be done and still stay in business. Personal ethics are a different story than biz. ethics but rest assured I'll have no trouble sleeping if I can get these 3 accounts This is business :dizzy:

If an employee were to quit and copy product schematics or production cost analysis in order to give them to a competitor,both would be in a boatload of legal trouble.
He copied them because he thought he was getting screwed by the other company. I don't know the guy personally and only talked to him briefly when he found out I was in the same business, BTW- already talked to an attorney and I'm in safe. :)

Pro-Scapes
08-26-2005, 11:09 AM
one of my good friends tries to run a lawn care business he just cuts the grass dosent care what it looks like as long as he gets paid and these are all apartment complexs it looks like he used a weedeater on the whole thing everytime, i know what he gets to do them all, should i take them and give them the service a real lco should give a public place or let them go on with the wanna be they got he never has a customer for back to back years

Hey ifyou can provide a better service that's your sell point. I just took 4 away from a guy and I'm twice the price. He just didn't take the time to do quality work and just rushed thru everything. Now that I dont feel bad about. I wouldn't intentionally low ball a legitimate guy who is busting his butt just like me unless its warrented like he did it to me 1st.

Prolly nuttin wrong with a little direct mail tho lol. Check the props out. If youcan offer moreor better game on.

Lux Lawn
08-26-2005, 11:14 AM
Hey ifyou can provide a better service that's your sell point.

Sounds to me like thats what MAC'S after plus he can provide year round service for these tree customers.

Vassk1
08-26-2005, 12:39 PM
Don't tell me what to do. I've done plenty of reading and not much posting. I disagree with him on his ethics, that's all. If you can't take it then do not respond to my posts. Lawnservice is cut throat...he's proving it as I type this.

To say how intelligent or honest he is, now that's a completely different story. I'm finding it hard to connect his analogy with Walmart to what he is doing here. If you want me to explain in more detail I will.

Maybe he has a ton of accounts. I bet if he has under 100 then the other guy can put him under if he was bent on it. And if I found out about this I would be bent on putting him down.

I'm not even sure how the employee obtained these accounts. Maybe said employee wasn't a grunt. Sure the employee would have access to the addresses, but the price list, Never.

TWUllc
08-26-2005, 02:24 PM
Do what your heart desires. payup payup

stumper1620
08-26-2005, 09:51 PM
better service for equal or less money, drop in and see if they are interested, I say if they are happy, they won't change anyway.
Do what you have to Mac I 'm sure it will be done in an ethical manner. :D
with what I have seen of your post since I found this site I have no problems believing you will handle this in a professional manner.