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View Full Version : Best way to steel customers?


WHIPPLE5.7
12-25-2007, 09:32 AM
There are some accounts I'd like to have that some of my competitors currently hold but these guys have weaknesses and flaws. How can I get a customer to realize they should use me instead? Most of them just don't want to let someone go because they have had them for so long and are afraid of change or hurting feelings. I can't believe some of these LCOs. Most are not registered or insured and use ZTRs on small and soft soil yards leaving the yard looking like a Freightliner just drove through it. Even if they are alittle cheaper it still looks terrible having 4" inch deep tracks all over. Are the customers really that ignorant as to just keep having these guys come back. I've talked to many of them about switching and they just won't.

carcrz
12-25-2007, 09:48 AM
All you can do is offer your services. Loyalty is something that is greatly appreciated in my book. There's always someone out there that "can do it better than your current guy".

J&R Landscaping
12-25-2007, 10:21 AM
All you can do is offer your services. Loyalty is something that is greatly appreciated in my book. There's always someone out there that "can do it better than your current guy".

Well said! I agree!

You have to find a way to stand out in your regional market so people will see the difference between you and your competitors. The only thing I can stress here is quality work and NO LOWBALLING!

freddyc
12-25-2007, 11:00 AM
Maybe you can offer other services than the competitor, such as ferts, shrub trimming, tree work, gutter cleaning....?

If the customers are satisfied with their current guy then its likely they won't switch. You have to off something they're not getting now becuase from what you say, if quality is already not that great then they should already be looking for another LCO.


Maybe they need some landscaping but haven't thought of it??

topsites
12-25-2007, 11:05 AM
Way I see things is no matter how good I think I am still I am no better than anybody else, so don't take another man's work.
Don't do it, all I gotta say.

You never know, there might be a reason they're doing sub standard work :laugh:

MJS
12-25-2007, 11:25 AM
Way I see things is no matter how good I think I am still I am no better than anybody else, so don't take another man's work.
Don't do it, all I gotta say.

You never know, there might be a reason they're doing sub standard work :laugh:

haha, I know what you mean (it happened to me). Ever tried to mow around a jungle of honeysuckle? There was a reason the other guy was doing such a crummy job.

On the other hand, it never hurts to see if you can do things better than the next guy; sometimes you can.

mowtivations lawncare
12-25-2007, 03:17 PM
Personally i dont want to STEAL anyones customer. If my work ethic and results impress them enough to want to go with my services instead, i'm all for it, but to blatantly try and steal a customer is setting yourself up for the same thing to happen to you. karmas a bytch. good luck. But when the shoe is on the other foot, you'll realize stealing customers is a two way street.

CNYScapes
12-25-2007, 04:16 PM
I've talked to many of them about switching and they just won't.


Dont be so desperate. There are many more customers out there.

LindblomRJ
12-25-2007, 04:29 PM
All you can do is offer your services. Loyalty is something that is greatly appreciated in my book. There's always someone out there that "can do it better than your current guy".

Well said! I agree!

You have to find a way to stand out in your regional market so people will see the difference between you and your competitors. The only thing I can stress here is quality work and NO LOWBALLING!

That is the best advise here. Quality and relibility will sell be far better than being the cheapest price - to your down fall or undercutting the competetion to gain an advantage.

The Wal-mart principle is good for wal-mart and retail... Not a service business.

Az Gardener
12-25-2007, 04:40 PM
Personally i dont want to STEAL anyones customer. If my work ethic and results impress them enough to want to go with my services instead, i'm all for it, but to blatantly try and steal a customer is setting yourself up for the same thing to happen to you. karmas a bytch. good luck. But when the shoe is on the other foot, you'll realize stealing customers is a two way street.

Well said. This isin't the pirate green industry website, come here and learn how to lie cheat and steal your way to fame and fortune. Your words "how to steal someones else's accounts".

You will find it hard to take good clients from another company especially if you are telling them you do better work. In essence you are telling them they made a bad decision to hire their current company. It is hard enough for people to make that decision on their own when you try and push them one way they will automatically go the opposite direction, it's human nature.

I hope you fail miserably, I just posted this to display my superior intellect. Merry Christmas.

NC Greenscaper
12-25-2007, 05:50 PM
If I was You, I'd tell them that you work for free :confused: . That will probadly win them over. If your not interested in that, then I would be patient, do good work and they will seek you out.

Dave_005
12-25-2007, 07:58 PM
Never Ever Deliberately try to STEAL someone else customers, send them your flyers and info and if they want to switch they will call you. Stealing someone else accounts and work is intentially taking food off thier table, most would get quite Angry at this. Advertise and let your work speak for itself, its the customers choice who they go with, and Residential customers tend to be Extremely Loyal to thier current LCO's once they find one they are happy with.

ncls
12-25-2007, 11:26 PM
Here's a recipe for success. Bid the jobs at half what the other guy is charging. He loses a customer. You gain one. You can't afford to cut him all year, because you're losing money, so you go out of business. The third landscaper, who has done nothing, but advertise, and market his business in a fair and honest way, picks up that customer. Success.....:clapping:

dwlah
12-26-2007, 01:31 AM
Advertising,sending out flyers OK IF the customer calls you then give it your best shot Stick with the quality work
Intentionally going out of your way to steal customers is bad news
It can come back to haunt you like your worst nightmare
Talk with the LCO's
Who knows they may even give you the account or some others they dont want
One thing Ive learned this year is whats a PITA to you may not be to me
and vice versa

Had a customer call me this spring about doing her yard
I thought another LCO was handling it
I called him and he said have at it(shes a PITA) and did I want another property to go with it
I never had a problem with her all year

Mr.Lawn
12-26-2007, 10:35 PM
I agree with mowtivations lawncare, If you do good quality work and advertise you should get your customers. but to steal a customer from another LCO is bad news. the new customer you stole may not be worth the headaches later.

landscaper22
12-26-2007, 11:01 PM
I agree with most of the others here. You concentrate on doing great work and also respect your fellow LCOs. I have never tried to take a property from another LCO.
I tell you what will work though. You go out of your way to please your current customers and do a great job, and you will get more referrals than you can handle.
I am not outgoing and I am not a good sales person. I let my work speak for itself. Others watch you. I always wave at neighbors and sometimes chat with them. But I never try to sell them on my lawn care services. That may sound crazy, but that is just me. When they see you show up week after week, month after month, and year after year, and they see your quality work, you don't have to go to them because they will come to you.
Now I am not saying that you should not go after business. Most commercial accounts you have to go after. Some commercial accounts take bids every year or at some other interval. This is not considered taking an account. You have to introduce yourself to these customers. Find out if and when they take bids, and go from there. It seems even my large commercial accounts have fallen into my lap though. But as far as the original post in this thread.....it is fine to talk to another LCO's customers. Let them know that there property looks great and that the LCO seems to be doing a fine job. Tell them that if for some reason something does not work out with the current LCO they can give you a call....and leave it at that. If they are not happy with the current LCO you will know right away. Otherwise, be glad they are showing loyalty. If they flip flop around and are not loyal, you will get dumped too after a season (just like in any other relationship).

HOOLIE
12-27-2007, 01:22 AM
There are some accounts I'd like to have that some of my competitors currently hold but these guys have weaknesses and flaws. How can I get a customer to realize they should use me instead? Most of them just don't want to let someone go because they have had them for so long and are afraid of change or hurting feelings. I can't believe some of these LCOs. Most are not registered or insured and use ZTRs on small and soft soil yards leaving the yard looking like a Freightliner just drove through it. Even if they are alittle cheaper it still looks terrible having 4" inch deep tracks all over. Are the customers really that ignorant as to just keep having these guys come back. I've talked to many of them about switching and they just won't.

Look at it from the customer's point of view....if you're so good...then why are you going door to door begging for work???? :laugh: That's what I'd be thinking.

If you remember only one thing, remember this....customers care about reliability and convenience. If you can do a halfway decent job on top of that, you're good to go. The truth hurts but that's the way it is.

Diesel-1984
12-27-2007, 02:29 AM
There are some accounts I'd like to have that some of my competitors currently hold but these guys have weaknesses and flaws. How can I get a customer to realize they should use me instead? Most of them just don't want to let someone go because they have had them for so long and are afraid of change or hurting feelings. I can't believe some of these LCOs. Most are not registered or insured and use ZTRs on small and soft soil yards leaving the yard looking like a Freightliner just drove through it. Even if they are alittle cheaper it still looks terrible having 4" inch deep tracks all over. Are the customers really that ignorant as to just keep having these guys come back. I've talked to many of them about switching and they just won't.

Define yourself as dependable, knowledgeable, professional, and get as many licenses and certifications as you can; with those things you will overcome the other businesses (even larger ones) that don't have licenses for this or that (architecture is one, I'm working on my BA in state of NJ now to get licensed, going to take around 8 more years, im 18 but its a amazing thing in my state, no one really has an licensed LA and the large commercial and corporiate jobs req it, also can work for LA firms for more $$$$), I also have a home improvement contractor's license and licenses for lawn and ornamental pesiticides in NJ, all at 18 and because of it I'm landing jobs on the first quote and/or estimate and keeping my clients, i have about 30 now, been in business 1 year, bought my uncle's small illegal business and turned it into a ligit one. I try to follow up on all calls within 24hrs, or at least give a call back within 24hrs and set appointment time and date (I got a job for doing that, and the person called this CO called S&E landscaping also, which is a huge co in my area and b/c I responded the same day they have me to the work and signed on with me (and cancled them) for next yrs mowing) HAHA, and my licenses and certs and knowledge helped land it too. But I never try to "steal" clients, I believe in "karma" and whatever you do to someone else, someone will do to you, I just put myself out there, also if you do door to door flyers, and at grocery stores and free posting boards in your community doing give up if noone called after the first posting, you have to keep it going, check the boards every week to see if any tare off #'s are still there or if it's to beat up and needs to be replaced, for door flyers work up a schedule for the year, like are in Feb and do twice, then again in may for mulch (or whatever), in summer for fertilizing or whatever, in oct and november for fall cleanups, in nov for holiday lighting, and try to do the same flyers twice in month or whatever, because it shows your reliable and for real, not Joe Smoe, passing out flyers for a one time deal. Show reliability in everything you do, which shows professionalism and they will come. Im 18 paying my way through college with my business, do that and learn as much as you can and you'll get more business than you can handle, the fair and respectable way.

WHIPPLE5.7
12-27-2007, 08:43 PM
Look at it from the customer's point of view....if you're so good...then why are you going door to door begging for work???? :laugh: That's what I'd be thinking.

If you remember only one thing, remember this....customers care about reliability and convenience. If you can do a halfway decent job on top of that, you're good to go. The truth hurts but that's the way it is.


I have to go door to door because I'm new. I'm sorry if I don't get 50 clients from the wave a magic wand like so many of you.

Turf Commando
12-27-2007, 11:47 PM
Myself I'm starting off this spring with my name nothing more.
I will not lower myself to stealing others accounts, they have to make a living also..
I'm interested in residential mowing, I'm hitting houses as soon as winter breaks then it's war on the shore ''look out''.

landscaper22
12-28-2007, 01:26 PM
I have to go door to door because I'm new. I'm sorry if I don't get 50 clients from the wave a magic wand like so many of you.

As I stated earlier, there is nothing wrong with going door-to-door. Just don't go with the intention of taking the customer from another LCO. From your origional post that sounds like what you are trying to do.
Tell the potential customer you are glad they have a good LCO providing them with service. Give them a card and let them know that if something comes up, or for some reason it does not work out, that they can give you a call. Leave it at that. It's best not to step on the toes of others.