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miketina
12-29-2006, 08:01 PM
Would it be wrong to solicit the competitions customers? I mean approach them and hand them our business card. Is this bad business? Just looking for some input.

GreenN'Clean
12-29-2006, 08:21 PM
I hand out my Business cards every time I go out to eat,gas stations etc,, Are you going to homes of your competition and handing them out mike? I haven't ever done that but I have ran an add in the paper and have got customers because they weren't happy with the previous LCO.

miketina
12-29-2006, 08:27 PM
I was thinking about going to the homes that I noticed used a lawn service and try to sell myself. I would know right off the bat that they used a service. But I don't know if this would be right or wrong?

Wells
12-29-2006, 08:34 PM
Would it be wrong to solicit the competitions customers? I mean approach them and hand them our business card. Is this bad business? Just looking for some input.

Lets put it this way.....would it bother you if the competition found out where most of your clients lived and started soliciting them?

It's one thing to solicit a whole neighborhood but it's another to specifically solicit another companies clients.

It comes down to a moral issue and I personally wouldn't target my competitors clientele. I wouldn't have a problem targeting a neighborhood where other LCO's are known to work, but I wouldn't specifically go after their clients without blanketing the whole neighborhood with business cards or fliers.

On the other hand if you're providing your clients with a decent service at a reasonable price they shouldn't have any reason to change to a competiting company.

meets1
12-29-2006, 09:14 PM
I would probably do it. Reason is it is dog eat dog out there. I have had several new buys start up in the last 3 yrs. 1 guys is now out. Anyway - all these guys approached our commercial cliential - most stayed with us but there were a few that jumped ship to save a few bucks. Another guy approached a large condo we do - full days worth of work - 3 guys. He now as that. It makes me re-think some of my ethics regarding business but anymore - were all hungry and try to keep the plate full.

lawnpro724
12-29-2006, 11:23 PM
I agree with Wells, it may be dog eat dog out there but I have never and will never do that. I do advertise and solicit neighborhoods but I think going after someone elses customers is wrong ....... how would you like it. If you want to get a bad business rep among your peers then go ahead and see what happens to you.

lawnpro724
12-29-2006, 11:29 PM
I would probably do it. Reason is it is dog eat dog out there. I have had several new buys start up in the last 3 yrs. 1 guys is now out. Anyway - all these guys approached our commercial cliential - most stayed with us but there were a few that jumped ship to save a few bucks. Another guy approached a large condo we do - full days worth of work - 3 guys. He now as that. It makes me re-think some of my ethics regarding business but anymore - were all hungry and try to keep the plate full.

I have had that done to me before and I didn't like it very much but I still won't go down to there level. I sign everyone to a contract, if they want to break it all they have to do is pay me the difference. Nothing like getting paid for not working.

carcrz
12-29-2006, 11:33 PM
If you're going to do it, do us all a favor & don't do it right in front of us. I had a dummy do that to me this past season. He got an earful from me!!!

LemkeLawns
12-30-2006, 12:07 AM
I wouldnt do it to residential, but commercial? If you can provide a superior service why not drop off a proposal? If the prospect isnt satisfied with their srvice and has another option that they would be happier with they would change. A good LCO can tell when a prospect isnt getting good service, if you see different crews there year after year or standards lower than yours, what is there to lose? Its also a way to have your name on "THE LIST." If a crew went out of business would the prospect be high and dry or have one of your cards and give you a call to replace the previous LCO? I dont think of it as taking away business from a LCO but providing assurance that if they need a new service provider that they will have one. Dont be a cut throat but an alternative.

1MajorTom
12-30-2006, 12:12 AM
what goes around comes around, is the way I look at it. Mess with us, and eventually it all comes back around to bite you in the butt.

like wells said, it's one thing to solicit a specific neighborhood, but to just go up to certain houses that you know another company is servicing, is not something I would personally do. I'm referring to residential work, not commercial work.

FATWEASEL
12-30-2006, 12:35 AM
Commercial work is a whole different ballgame. It's a given that nearly EVERY commercial property contracts someone to maintain their property. Anybody that maintains commercial properties knows this and there is no secret that other people may bid on property that you maintain.

Residential property is different. I believe, as I'm sure most seasoned members on this site feel, that targeting specific properties like that is unethical.

On top of that I feel that you do a disservice to yourself by skipping all the other properties in between.

Andy:)

ECS
12-30-2006, 01:01 AM
Is it wrong for Aberson's to send you a flier if you are a Kroger customer?

1MajorTom
12-30-2006, 01:08 AM
Is it wrong for Aberson's to send you a flier if you are a Kroger customer?

nope, not wrong at all, because they dont know for sure if you are actually a kroger customer or not.

DuraCutter
12-30-2006, 01:21 AM
I would probably do it. Reason is it is dog eat dog out there. I have had several new buys start up in the last 3 yrs. 1 guys is now out. Anyway - all these guys approached our commercial cliential - most stayed with us but there were a few that jumped ship to save a few bucks. Another guy approached a large condo we do - full days worth of work - 3 guys. He now as that. It makes me re-think some of my ethics regarding business but anymore - were all hungry and try to keep the plate full.

Yes, in residential it's a dog eat dog. And the dogs are getting pretty skinny.:laugh: :laugh:

Maybe one day, lco's will beat each other on or about the head and offer money to the clients to have the honor of cutting their lawns. :laugh: :laugh:

I can see a day where a fully grown lco will do lawns for $10/cut and go 25 mph on his gocart ztr...:laugh:

ECS
12-30-2006, 01:36 AM
nope, not wrong at all, because they dont know for sure if you are actually a kroger customer or not.So if they know, then it is wrong?

1MajorTom
12-30-2006, 01:39 AM
i get what you are getting at, you want me to say, "yes it's wrong."
but it's like comparing honeydews to grapefruits, 2 different industries, a large food chain store, and the local lawn boy.
if I were to follow a local company around that maybe only had 50 customers, and go to the door of all 50 of his customers, yep I think it's wrong. but if I send out 5,000 fliers, and happen to send to his 50 customers, no i don't think it's wrong.

pclawncare
12-30-2006, 01:52 AM
I have had problems with a few mexicans doing this stuff to me. They would be cutting a yard accross the street in a neighborhood that i had 90% of the yards about 15 in this area. Anyway when i left they went accross the street to the yard i had just completed and asked how much i was charging and told the gentelman they would mow it for 5 dollars less than what i charged. Needless to say he didnt leave me and 2 other people in the neighborhood have mentioned that they came over after i left. But just the yards that they saw me doing. I called the owner and asked if he had a second id like to speek to him. Remaining in a calm voice and told him who i was and he promptly hung up on me. So you know what i did the next week i went to the only house that they mow in the neighborhood and talked to the owner and gave him a price just happend to be 5 dollars higher then my compeditor, and then told him that id throw in a free mowing if he would give me his business. The next week he called me and said add me to your list im tired of the other guys. Now i run that neighborhood so in a way if someone is gona screw with me like that i feel that i have to right to play the same game. This is the only time that i have done anything like this it is not my regular business practice to go after others customers as most of them are friendly and nice and we all seem to get along.

HOOLIE
12-30-2006, 02:01 AM
It may seem shady but the homeowners that already use a service, well, you know they use a service :laugh: Probably a safer job to take than the guy down the street with 9" high grass and the trimming hasn't been done since 1987... I mean someone that already has an LCO is the type of person we would want to market to right? Think about it....

That said, still I wouldn't target any jobs of any LCO I actually know personally, as a courtesy. Anyone else is fair game :laugh:

ECS
12-30-2006, 03:05 AM
i get what you are getting at, you want me to say, "yes it's wrong."
but it's like comparing honeydews to grapefruits, 2 different industries, a large food chain store, and the local lawn boy.
if I were to follow a local company around that maybe only had 50 customers, and go to the door of all 50 of his customers, yep I think it's wrong. but if I send out 5,000 fliers, and happen to send to his 50 customers, no i don't think it's wrong.Well did you not get your customers from someon else? So if it is a small company that you target to grow your own company it is wrong? If you send out a bunch of mailers and get those same customers it is OK? Why is it comparing honeydews to grapefruits, advertising is advertising, plain and simple regardless of the industry. In order for any of us to succeed, we need customers. I know sure as the grass is green, that no one else is going to take care of me, no one else is going to pay my expenses. It is up to me to get the customers and the work to make a living. This is called Free Enterprise. What do you suggest? Oh OK, it is your lawn so I won't step on your toes. What other properties do you have so I know where not to go? If I solicite a property, I know if I get it that I am taking work away from someone but that is not my problem. It is the customers decion whether to go with me or continue to use who they have. It is nothing personal, it is called making a living, paying my bills, putting food on the table and a roof over my head.

RedWingsDet
12-30-2006, 03:13 AM
Every year I solicit the entire city, and each year people call me... Some say they dont like XXX company, and if I happen to be freinds with XXX company I will call them and tell them that their current customer doesnt like their work, and sometimes that XXX company will say "its all you buddy" and I will get that person.... However, if I dont know the company that they currently have, then I dont even bother calling that company to tell them, I just take it.... Not my fault they do crappy work....

However, I wouldn ever solicit certain people who have hired XXX company.

carcrz
12-30-2006, 09:52 AM
I look at it this way: I don't specifically target a competitor, I target new customers. If they are happy w/ their current service, they won't switch. I don't feel bad at all if I am taking someone's bread because I myself will probably be in the same boat down the road. Sure I'm unhappy when I lose a customer to a competitor, but that's business & why we call each other competitors.

miketina
12-30-2006, 10:38 AM
I would never ask the potential customer what they were paying and then lowball that price. That I would consider to be WRONG! I have a minimum and I stick to it. I am not a lowballer. I sell my service with quality and dependability. I would simply inform them that if they were unhappy with their present service, to please call me.
If a customer was happy with their service then they wouldnt give me a second thought. But at least if something does happpen with their present service, I've already introduced my service personally and opened the door. I would continue marketing in that same neighborhood, also appraoching people that I didn't know if they had a service.

grassmannj
12-30-2006, 08:34 PM
I agree with you 100%

Beau Rivage
12-30-2006, 09:01 PM
I tag entire neighborhoods with flyers and yes, I know that some of the people in them use LCOs. If they want to give me a try...fine. If not...that sucks, but I'd never target another competitors customers exclusively. That's just trashy.

meets1
12-30-2006, 09:06 PM
Survival of the fitness! Those that skim and get by will be gone. But in the mean time they (bottom feeders) A. Took our account away. B. Often alot cheaper C. Make a bad name/reputation based upon there LCO unabilities D. Make it tough to compete when the bottom feeder know's no better.

So what to do in the mean time - watch them sink - some may stay. But every person I meet is a contact - biz card, ask about there work - who is someone to contact at there workplace. It is all about networking in my area. Most times I find that it is who you know - not what ya know.

But I may still do some cold calling the winter, follow up with a letter thanking for there time, maybe send them a flier, and revisit that phone again early spring.

I don't see any difference when another dealer wants may biz and says - hey take the kubota Z out for a day and let me know even though he sees I have several toro's. Will I switch - maybe!

JimLewis
01-01-2007, 07:36 PM
I guess it depends on your values and on what basis you decide what is right and wrong. All I can speak of is my own values and ones that I think are fairly common. The most basic one that comes to mind is the Golden Rule; "Do unto others as You would like them to do unto you." And I think it's fair to say that most people wouldn't want another LCO soliciting their customers like that. So to me, that answers that question right there.

Now some people would say that this advice is good for your personal life but that there aren't any morals or ethics in business. That business is "dog-eat-dog" or "anything goes". As if it's all right to do things that you would normally consider unethical as long as it has to do with making a buck. I disagree with that. I don't differentiate much between my business and my personal life. In many ways, my business IS personal.

But let's break away from values and just look at it from purely a business perspective....because I don't think it's a smart move looking at it that way either.

First, I think the biggest key to residential is loyalty. And so if a residential customer is just willing to switch over to your company that tends to make me wonder how loyal they are. Some residential customers are VERY loyal. I have some who have been with me for 10 years!!! But others aren't very loyal and will switch LCOs twice each year for relatively dumb reasons. Are those really the kind of customers you want to focus on?

Second, I've always operated on the belief that there is PLENTY of business out there for everyone. And I know that's true in my area. Housing is booming here, economy is booming, most people have lots of discretionary income, and there is definitely more demand for landscapers and LCOs in my area than there is supply. So why do I need to focus on people who already have a lawn care company? There are literally hundreds and thousands out there in my community who just moved here or who just got to the point where they can afford a lawn care company. I can build my entire business around just finding those people, without ever having to steal someone else's customer. And I'd say if the area you are in isn't booming like this, then maybe it's saturated and perhaps you got into the wrong business.

Third, I think it reflects poorly on you. If I was having my windows washed and then later that day some guy came over and effectively said, "Hey! Check me out! I wash windows too!!!" I'd be thinking, "Um...ok...that's nice. But I've already found someone to do that. um...thanks anyway...." and I'd pitch the card or flyer they gave me. If I thought they saw my window guy out cleaning my windows and were trying to weasel his business out of me, that would kind of make me think of them as a little questionable and desperate. Is that how you want to come off.

Fourth, I think it's better to let your vehicles and good work speak for themselves. If you are already doing another lawn in the area and it is always looking nice, and if your trucks are lettered, etc. then people will eventually take notice and call you. I've had dozens and dozens of calls over the years like this, "Hi. This is John Jones. You maintain a landscape down the street for the Smiths. And it looks like you guys always do a great job. We're not really happy with our current service and so I grabbed your phone number off one of your trucks. I'd very much be interested in getting a quote from you." I think that kind of method of getting a new customer is much more successful in the long run.

Well, those are my thoughts anyway. Long post. Sorry.

Flex-Deck
01-01-2007, 09:08 PM
Around here it is dog eat dog - everyone else throws bids at my people, so I in turn do the same thing. I have a very solid base at the moment, and some of my customers have had bids lower than ours, but those low bidders can not match the quality and timeliness we provide. On the other hand our bids are reasonable both for the customer and us. We make money - they do not pay thru the nose. fair is fair.

Fantasy Lawns
01-01-2007, 09:14 PM
I could care less if someone did that (as many do this) to my present customer base ... if they flip on the first cheap coin tossed at em .... so be it

BUT what are you selling ?? ... is it your experience ... do you have a referral list of present properties you do..what is it you can do better to win that customer over ???

If it's price ?? ....we'll you'll be setting your self up fore failure

Perhaps you may just door-hang a neighborhood or some sort of ADVO thing ....but to go after jobs on the bases that they already have a service ...well ....be sure to come back in post in 5 years from now ...n comment on how this worked

chuck bow
01-01-2007, 09:32 PM
All the guys or most in my area that know each other have a understanding, we dont step on each others toes no matter what , We may get in a bind someday and need each others help and if you have pissed someone off they may not be there to help you . You got to watch commerical clients tho they will tell you anything to get the lowest price possible without regard to anyone or anything . What jodi said a ways back what goes around comes around and sooner or later it will bite ya in the butt

J&R Landscaping
01-01-2007, 10:02 PM
I advertise in a couple local papers and also in a church newsletter and senior citizen center newsletter. I also hand out business cards and put out a ton of flyers. If a customer calls me and says they would like an estimate, I will give an estimate. During the estimate, I ask how they where refered to my company and why they are looking for a new company.
Based on that answer, I can have a good feeling about how good a customer will be. (I usually run from an answer like well I had 4 lco's last year and they all provided bad service)or something similar to that.

I don't specificly go around and target another lco's customers directly. I am busy with my work and don't have the time to spy on them. If I see a competitor working a few houses down from a house I am at, I may approach the home-owner with a business card and make them aware that I service Mrs. Smith's property a few houses up their street. If they ask for an estimate, I will name my price. I won't lowball the job but I may match the current rate if it is with-in $3 of what my rate would be.

I know some will say thats not a good thing to do but it's what I do. I have never had a problem with another lco over taking a former client of theirs.

HOOLIE
01-01-2007, 10:53 PM
A lot of people are looking to switch LCO's for one reason or another, it doesn't necessarily mean they are PITA's or disloyal...maybe they want to deal with an English-speaking LCO (a common request) or just not happy with the service. To say that any lawn where an LCO currently works is "taken" and off-limits to advertising is silly IMO.

That said when I flyer I hit all the houses in a development...if I'm there might as well hit them all...

walker/redmax
01-02-2007, 01:06 AM
Would it be wrong to solicit the competitions customers? I mean approach them and hand them our business card. Is this bad business? Just looking for some input.
Nope, not at all, that is why we live in America (IMO).

Korn
01-02-2007, 07:20 AM
I think Lewis Landscaping said it best, let your work speak for itself. Several years ago i considered targeting houses that other companies were doing, and planned on telling them i could do a better job. I decided against it. Now, i have a solid customer base built almost entirely on referrals, and people approaching me after seeing my work. This has proved to be more beneficial than anything.
I have been deployed overseas for several months now, and i know that no matter how hard my guys tried, some work didn't get done as well or as timely as i would of liked, or as my customers expected. That being said, i haven't had anyone cancel on me.
Customer loyalty goes a long way. Those are the kind of customers i like to have and they usually refer me to people of similar qualities. This applies to most of my commercial customers as well as my residential.

JimLewis
01-02-2007, 08:28 AM
Off topic - but thanks for Serving our country Korn. I can't tell you how much I respect you for being willing to serve in whatever capacity you were serving. If you're ever in Portland, look me up and I'll take you out for a drink or dinner or something and thank you in person.

grassmannj
01-02-2007, 03:00 PM
So I live in a develpoment with say 200 homes. Every year I hand out flyers. there are 5 or 6 other Lcos.
Am I wrong for wanting to capitalize MY own neighborhood.
Also the other Lcos are a little relaxed and maybe put down there gaurd and lost some properties to me, But it was never for price, It because I care alittle more because I live there.

Korn
01-02-2007, 03:36 PM
Jim Lewis, thanks, it's much appreciated. If i am ever in your neck of the woods, i will look you up.
Grassmannj, no i'm not saying it's wrong of you at all to go put flyers on every house. It's all up to you. I will be the first to agree with you, that it's frustrating when you see a property you would like to have that is being maintained by someone else and you know you could do a better job. From that point on, each to their own. I know that I would rather hit up other houses and let the ones already maintained alone. If they want a better job done on their lawn, they'll either talk to their company, or approach me. Yeah, I might miss out on an opportunity by not having my foot in the door, but for me, it pays off in the long run. There is a lot of business out there. Who knows, maybe somebody thinks my work is poor and they can do a better job. If thats the case, I would hope that my customer would talk to me rather than just jump ship. If they go elsewhere or someone else approaches them, it's my loss and my fault for not doing a better job.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
01-02-2007, 04:16 PM
We do not go up to people and solicit them, because we notice that they are using a service. However, if we are soliciting a neighborhood everyone gets a flyer, doorhanger, or mailer. We do not intentionally try and go after other companies customers. In fact, there have been times that we have recieved calls from people because their lco did not show up on time. We have met with these people and said " I know x from abc lco and they are pretty good. I am sure that it is just due to all the rain that we have had. If they do not show by x then give us a cll back." On the other hand, I have done bids, found out that it was another companies property and their response "If they are going to leave us anyway you might as well grab it. IF not they are just going to find someone else."

All that to say I wouldn't single another lco's customers out. If you land one through broad advertising then so be it. It is a bus. and it they are competition. However, don't set out to take bread from another persons table it can come back to haunt you.JMO.

JimLewis
01-02-2007, 04:19 PM
I agree with Korn and Trinity. There's nothing wrong with spreading flyers throughout an entire neighborhood or sub-division. You're not specifically targeting any house.

My previous posts were speaking more toward targeting a specific house that you know the competition does.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
01-02-2007, 04:48 PM
So I live in a develpoment with say 200 homes. Every year I hand out flyers. there are 5 or 6 other Lcos.
Am I wrong for wanting to capitalize MY own neighborhood.
Also the other Lcos are a little relaxed and maybe put down there gaurd and lost some properties to me, But it was never for price, It because I care alittle more because I live there.


Again, I do not feel that it is wrong to try and take advantage of the fact that you live in that neighborhood. However, I wouldn't go after another companies properties specifically. There are some companies that take that very personally. If you are flyering everyone in the neighborhood and picking up customers based on that I say that is great! Where in South Jersey are you?

ECS
01-02-2007, 04:54 PM
I agree with Korn and Trinity. There's nothing wrong with spreading flyers throughout an entire neighborhood or sub-division. You're not specifically targeting any house.

My previous posts were speaking more toward targeting a specific house that you know the competition does.

This I can agree with. I don not deliberately go to a house and I do not do any advertising to speak of. I do however send letters out to properties I wish to provide a service to, so I guess you could call that advertising. I do not know if they have someone or not and if they do, I do not know who it is. I have given this a lot of thought lately and I would not deliberately target one company. If it happens that way, there is nothing I can do about it. When I do target specific homes, it also is not just for the lawns, it is for the snow and the caretaking also.

DixieFerris
01-02-2007, 05:01 PM
You can and should solicite to your competitions properties, commercial or residential. Does Walmart ask permission from Target before sending out flyers? Does Joe's butcher shop call Ralph's butcher shop down the road and say "Hey, I'm going to put T-Bone steak on sale this week" and Ralph says pleaese don't, and Joe says Ok, nevermind? Come on be real. Going around and undercutting is poor for everyone, but someone who has a lawn service is a QUALIFIED LEAD, which is half of the sales process. Do it with class, and you'll be fine. If you are worried about losing your customers to guys like me doing that, you don't have a very good rapport built with them. I would welcome someone trying to sell themselves versus me. I know that is arrogant sounding, but I know what we have done for the customer and how we talk with them regularly, and feel very confident we wouldn't lose them. Our retention rate this year was 99.4%. And it takes 4 times less resourses to retain a customer then to get a new one. If you advertise to people already using someone, that cuts down your qualifying time and money, so go for it.

Stillwater
01-07-2007, 08:04 AM
Yes wrong big time no question, be on fairly good terms with competion for several reasons, I can see your equipment getting messed with in the dark of night from my house......

Kicking down doors, terrorizing women and childred in the dark of night. OOPs that is John Kerry sorry bout that drifted off their for a minute.......

grassmannj
01-07-2007, 09:31 AM
Then you would also here the gun shot....

topsites
01-07-2007, 01:02 PM
There's no doubt about it, it is plain wrong!

I don't even care for the guys who drive up and down the road looking for work, even if what they do is not something I do and even if they're not specifically targeting my customer(s): Do NOT go up to my customer's door when I'm there!
It is also wrong to target only those yards that look like they have a commercial outfit taking care of things.
For the reason that, if they get my customer to pay for something, that's budgeted money that now can NOT get spent with me.
And that's just the legit side, the dark side of what usually happens with these fly-by-nighters tends to create long lists of woes as well.

Someone does that and I see them (and sooner or later I do catch one), I write down any information I can get (usually at least the license plate, but since they left an ad, phone number too) so I can forward it to the respective government agencies so as to make sure they're all legit.

And that's being nice, too...

It is a rule (if it makes you feel better, I learned it the hard way myself):
NEVER steal another Lco's work.

But no, I can't stop you (nor do I care) if you're putting out flyers in a neighborhood and you target everybody.
Still, if an Lco is working on a yard, might wanna skip that one (because it's just rude), otherwise all else is fair game.

Daner
01-07-2007, 01:21 PM
I'm with most of yaas...I could never try to sneak a customer from a local Lc...Its not the way to do business...I even have conversation mower to mower with lc,s working In the same area ...we pull up beside each other and shoot the breeze. No... Its dead wrong to target customers that way.

Ludicrous Speed
01-07-2007, 01:41 PM
Here is a thread that I may actually be qualified to answer on!

As a home owner not in the business: I maintain my own property, but if I had a service doing it, AND someone else solicited me, I would probably stay with my current person IF I was happy. If not, then that would be the first person I would call.

Someone trying to come in and undercut my current provider would be something else altogether, and I would not give them the time of day.......

sildoc
01-07-2007, 01:43 PM
I belive it is wrong to specifically solicit only other LCO's turf. Blanket the Neighborhood. Commercial is different. I always drop a card and ask when bids are being taken, however I do a blanket on properties that would work for my business via access and high profile.

Now I also deal this in a different aspect. I have made friends with many LCO's and this in turn has had many many accounts refered to me for various reasons. Mainly in the spring when every one is so busy and doen't want to take the extra job. This has inturn grown my business 100 fold. I feel a referal from a solid LCO is just as good as one from a family member. It says well If I were not in the business this is who I would hire.
Good luck and like said before what goes around comes around.

sweetlou
01-07-2007, 08:47 PM
I have no problem with someone mass advertising, but if someone is knocking on my customers doors I'm going to have a big problem with that,we all have families to feed and business is business,but theres a way to do things.In my experience there are customers that make a business out of scewing landscaper after landscaper,in turn we all get each others problem customers,anyway back to soliciting someone elses customers,I myself wouldnt do it,if my customer wanted to hire someone else fine,I'll waive to the guy as he is working,but if they solicited my customer were going to have a conversation and whatever happens from there so be it.

grassmannj
01-07-2007, 09:32 PM
I have no problem with someone mass advertising, but if someone is knocking on my customers doors I'm going to have a big problem with that,we all have families to feed and business is business,but there's a way to do things.In my experience there are customers that make a business out of scewing landscaper after landscaper,in turn we all get each others problem customers,anyway back to soliciting someone elses customers,I myself wouldnt do it,if my customer wanted to hire someone else fine,I'll waive to the guy as he is working,but if they solicited my customer were going to have a conversation and whatever happens from there so be it.

Sweetlou you said three's a way to do things? What would be the way.
Say if I mow in my own neighborhood and I do 20 lawns in a row, and there's 25 on the block.
What would be the right way to capitalize the hole block?
I do mass flyers every season and had great responce, I do think most home owners need a push in the right direction when it comes to LCO.s
The other LCO's just drop off the mexican of the week to do these lawns, And they just don't care how they leave the block. What would you do?
{ I have nothing against Mexicans}

sweetlou
01-07-2007, 10:12 PM
I believe that if the 5 houses on the block your speaking of are not happy and you have the rest of the block they'll seek you out, I'm sure if your doing 20 other houses on the block youll be there long enough for them to speak to you.Your work should speak for itself,as far as pushing them in the right direction,if thats the road your looking take,hey were all big boys here,whatever happens happens . I think its much more beneficial to make friends than enemies. like i said I would have a problem with it, on the other hand If they approached you thats a different story.I know I'm the type of guy that would never put myself in a position where if another LCO approached me I'd be in the wrong 100%,theres more than enough business out there for everyone than to go around and intentionally make enemies and thats just what you would be doing.Again this is just my opinion, I KNOW it would'nt go over to well with the other LCO's in this next of the woods either,you want to mass advertise fine, but dont knock on doors not to mention you don't know the homeowners relationship with the other guy could be a family member , good friend etc.

RedMax Man
01-07-2007, 10:21 PM
Ya its wrong. You won't gain any loyalty from customers because if you go steal the other guy's clients then when someone comes along to do the same thing to you then customer will just settle for them.

Promow Professional
01-07-2007, 11:03 PM
I would never go solicit someone else's lawns. I have however taken lawns from competitors who's clients were fed up with there bad service. I think there is a difference

meets1
01-07-2007, 11:23 PM
Alitte of subject here but my uncle is a construction contractor who just drew up plans for a 600K house. He has done the entire block thus far. There is a new guys who broke off from another construction company and I have seen his work and it is good. My uncle - 30+ yrs in biz - new guys maybe 5 yr total. He heres in church this new guys in going to hire my uncle - new guy then ask if he could see the plans and maybe he could build it. HE looks them over - and tells the home owner not only could he build it but he'll be 50K cheaper. Guess who the home owner went with?? My uncle wan't to happy. But.........

HOOLIE
01-08-2007, 12:59 AM
The thing to remember is, the customer picked YOU to handle their lawn duties. They can un-pick you just as easily...the notion that once you get a customer it becomes "your" lawn is a poor one. The notion that a certain street/neighborhood/town is "yours" is a poor one as well. Competition keeps us all on our toes...sure you hate to lose someone to a competitor but if you've let quality or reliability slip, it's your own fault. If you're that concerned about Joe's Mowing slipping a business card on your customer's door, then you're not doing the best you can for that customer.

Also the assumption that if a person is unhappy with their current LCO they will magically call you because you work on that street and certainly they must see you and you will be the next guy they call, is wrong. Most people go with the flow...they'll put up with a certain amount of mistakes or less than perfect work. They won't bother to call you but if you solicit them, they might call. Nothing wrong with that in my book.