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Isobel
07-29-2008, 07:55 PM
I'm landscaping a yard for an old time family friend. Fully legitimate business deal, went through an estimate, a contract, deposit, the whole nine yards. So my friend's neighbor that lives behind her is also a landscaper. She had asked him and myself to do an estimate for her. Her neighbor never did, but I did and got the job.

I've started the project, cutting all the weeds down, put loam down. Everytime I'm over there, I'm almost guaranteed a call that evening. The call is something about how, "Her landscaper neighbor says you didn't do enough of this, or didn't do this properly, or need to do this, etc." And she always tells him that I know what I'm doing, ie: she backs me up, she has confidence in me.

I've only run into the landscaper neighbor once, and it was just him staring at me shaking his head, but I feel like the next time he might start in with his "suggestions."

I have neighbors of mine who don't use me to landscape their properties--which is fine--and I have never gone to my neighbors and begun questioning their landscaper's techiniques. I just feel that's unprofessional, and a bit immature too.

How do I handle any potential confrontation that I might have with this guy? I obviously have to work there, so I can't just walk away.

lifetree
07-29-2008, 08:52 PM
Just find out where he is doing some of his work, go by and look identify the "issues" with his jobs, and next time he starts down that pat just give it right back to him about how he's not doing his job properly !! And oh yeah, unless he wants you to tell his clients about his installation problems, he should keep his thoughts to himself.

Whitey4
07-29-2008, 10:07 PM
It sounds like the customer knows what's up with this character.... so, just answer any questions they might have and ignore this bufoon-blow hard. Give him the cold shoulder if you ever run into him... ignore his dopey arse. Don't lower yourself and begin exchanging low blows. Turn your back on him.... there is no better passive aggressive way to torque off an idiot. he simply does not exist... and treat him like that.

I've done projects for next door neighbors, but I don't want any for weekly maintenance. I want peace with my neighbors, and that would be an unecessary complication. I've even told them so... and they agree. I don't need any "you mowed YOUR lawn in the rain.... why not mine?"

Planting installs, removals, mulch jobs, one time deals are fine... even a one time application for weeds.... but not weekly maintenance. BTW,,,, this customer should tell him to stfu. But, as it's the next door neighbor.... and that is my point.

Isobel
07-29-2008, 10:10 PM
Thanks Whitey, that's good advice :) Just ignoring him.

I'm going to have a chat with the client this weekend, and taker her and her husband through exactly whats going on, so that they haven't any questions.

Whitey4
07-29-2008, 10:39 PM
Thanks Whitey, that's good advice :) Just ignoring him.

I'm going to have a chat with the client this weekend, and taker her and her husband through exactly whats going on, so that they haven't any questions.

Just tell them you feel he is attempting to undermine you, and you want no part of that kind of "no one wins" sort of exchange. Short and sweet. Then tell them if they ever have any questions, please ask... there is a reason why I do everything I do, and will be happy to respond to any questions you may have. Taking the high road seperates us from the idiots... and most customers will respect that.

Tell them what and why you are doing what you are doing.... but again, keep it short and sweet. Tell them too much, and now they think they can debate with the bufoon.... and the bufoon will pick them apart with half truths and outright lies. That might only serve to fuel the fire. Telling them too much might make it look like you are in defensive mode.... and the best advice I can give is too do nothing to legitimize his BS. Ignore him. Answer any customer questions. Let your results speak for itself.

Green Team Landscaping
07-29-2008, 10:53 PM
Just say "Well everyone has their own opinions dont they." or something like "Im sorry, but who was hired for this job, and who's opinion counts?" Just "polite insults" almost.

PlatinumLandCon
07-29-2008, 11:34 PM
I got in pretty big trouble with a neighbour (about 6 houses down) when he approached a client and started talking sh*t about my workmanship. The client fully backed me but this neighbour just has it in for me (one thing he hates is how loud my dmax is:dizzy:). One day I was walking with my younger sister and her friend's dog and this guy starts questioning my work and how a "punk 17 year old kid" thinks he knows what he's doing. At this point, I blew my top and filled him in until I was too tired to keep going. As you can imagine, it resulted in police and the whole bit. Moral of the story, just ignore it... I guess the guy is insecure about his quality and has to make sure your friend doesn't realise he's actually the chitty landscaper.

JimLewis
07-30-2008, 05:25 AM
I agree with the advice Whitey has given. I'll add a few things;

First, it comes down to a matter of self-confidence. You gotta know that YOU know your business better than that neighbor does. If you're at all unsure about this or think maybe this other landscaper is a little more experienced than you, than maybe you really should listen to his tips. But if you know you know your stuff better than he does, then it's just a matter of proving it to your friend/customer. Once you've proven your knowledge and explained yourself a few times, your friend/customer will have gained confidence in the fact that you know what you are doing - and he'll quit listening to the neighbor/competitor.

A conversation might go like this;

Customer: "My neighbor was watching you prep. the soil today and he suggested that maybe you didn't amend the soil with enough planting compost. I just thought I'd check and see what you thought or maybe if you were planning on adding more???"

You: "Well, he doesn't have the bigger picture in mind. I do. And sure, ideally it would be great to bring in 40 yards of perfect soil and rototill it all in to every open area of dirt you have on your property. Yes, that would be best. But that would also cost thousands of dollars more and I am keeping your budget in mind - he isn't. So to keep things affordable, I just ordered 10 yards of planting compost and I am just amending the soil in JUST the areas where we are doing the planting for this project. In doing that, I'm saving you thousands of dollars and the important areas where we are working on THIS YEAR are getting amended properly. I am tilling it in to 12" depth and when I am finished that whole back yard planting bed will be great soil to plant in."

Customer: "Oh. Um.. Ok.. Makes sense. Just checking. "

You do that a few times - he'll quit his "just checking".

If this kind of crap is happening, it just means your friend/customer is starting to second-guess your experience or methods. Once you reassure him that you are doing things properly, that you know what you're doing, he will eventually quit bugging you.

prizeprop
07-30-2008, 05:07 PM
I have a neighbor of one of my full maintenance customers that is a know it all as well.My customer sometimes says that Jack next door said it should be done this way or that way. I just tell her to look how great your property looks and then look at his ragged property. I GOT A KICK ONE DAY,I WAS TALKING TO HER AND JACK WAS TRIMMING HIS SHRUBS WITH A CHAINSAW.LOL

Isobel
07-30-2008, 08:54 PM
I GOT A KICK ONE DAY,I WAS TALKING TO HER AND JACK WAS TRIMMING HIS SHRUBS WITH A CHAINSAW.LOL

that's hi-larious! :laugh::laugh:

Mike33
07-30-2008, 11:07 PM
I never speak bad about my competion unless they draw first blood. It seems like he is jealous you got the job. I wouldn't give him the time of day to speak any more. Just advise your customer in a friendly manner what he is doing and she can call or ask any ? she wants. That is giving her confidance in you that you dont mind any questions and can answer them even though it annoying.
Mike

White Gardens
07-30-2008, 11:20 PM
I tell my customers, when I'm questioned, that this is my take on landscaping and gardening, and there is some subjectivity to it. I do it a specific way that I have found to be what I feel is the best. They also get some reassurance when I hand them a warranty at the end of the job.

Somebody is always going to question your work whether it be the competition or someone who thinks they are always right. I've actually defended other landscapers and their techniques when one of my friends or neighbors ask if "did they do this right".

I don't know, I would confront the guy and give him a non-threatening once over, and leave it at that.

Isobel
07-30-2008, 11:32 PM
i see that to be a truth with landscaping--that there are different ways of getting the job done. There's not one right way.

TforTexas
07-31-2008, 10:51 AM
I had a similar situation with a neighbor of one of my customers while putting in a bunch of plant materials. The neighbor stood next to each hole criticizing how deep I was planting, that I was not adding a bunch of peat moss, etc.
I patiently told him twice that I had work to do and didn't have time to "chat". He continued to stand next to the hole and look in so the next shovel full that came out went right on to his feet and filled his shoes with dirt. I gave him a very sincere, "Gee, I'm sorry, but I wish you wouldn't stand there while I'm working. I just don't think it's safe." He went home to empty his shoes and change his socks and I got to finish the job in peace.

Whitey4
07-31-2008, 11:42 PM
I had a similar situation with a neighbor of one of my customers while putting in a bunch of plant materials. The neighbor stood next to each hole criticizing how deep I was planting, that I was not adding a bunch of peat moss, etc.
I patiently told him twice that I had work to do and didn't have time to "chat". He continued to stand next to the hole and look in so the next shovel full that came out went right on to his feet and filled his shoes with dirt. I gave him a very sincere, "Gee, I'm sorry, but I wish you wouldn't stand there while I'm working. I just don't think it's safe." He went home to empty his shoes and change his socks and I got to finish the job in peace.

:laugh::clapping::drinkup:

Mike33
08-01-2008, 12:04 AM
On the other hand i would turn 1 of my 2 employees on them. I have 2 mountain boys working for me that is part of a different breed. Outstanding hardworkers but they speak softly and can hurt you real bad.
mike

Lawnworks
08-01-2008, 09:38 PM
On the other hand i would turn 1 of my 2 employees on them. I have 2 mountain boys working for me that is part of a different breed. Outstanding hardworkers but they speak softly and can hurt you real bad.mike

LOL.... get 'em boy!!!

Mike33
08-02-2008, 12:44 AM
That;s no bull **** either.
mike

NNJLandman
08-02-2008, 03:21 PM
What the others said is right. Just don't let it get to your head, always walk away and cool down if he gets you heated up. I've had this problem before. There are a lot of landscapers in my area, many of which I'm friendly with, but when it comes down to work we all woulda done it differently blah blah. We all bid against each other and it can be upsetting when your buddy hires the other guy etc. but what ya gonna do. Its business.

Not too long ago I helped my buddy out with a retaining wall. Roughly 8 other scapers who are friend of mine and my buddies came by, are you gonna do this, how come your doing that, this and that. I didn't mind because im sure I woulda been doing the same thing.

Stillwater
08-02-2008, 04:14 PM
I'm landscaping a yard for an old time family friend. Fully legitimate business deal, went through an estimate, a contract, deposit, the whole nine yards. So my friend's neighbor that lives behind her is also a landscaper. She had asked him and myself to do an estimate for her. Her neighbor never did, but I did and got the job.

I've started the project, cutting all the weeds down, put loam down. Everytime I'm over there, I'm almost guaranteed a call that evening. The call is something about how, "Her landscaper neighbor says you didn't do enough of this, or didn't do this properly, or need to do this, etc." And she always tells him that I know what I'm doing, ie: she backs me up, she has confidence in me.

I've only run into the landscaper neighbor once, and it was just him staring at me shaking his head, but I feel like the next time he might start in with his "suggestions."

I have neighbors of mine who don't use me to landscape their properties--which is fine--and I have never gone to my neighbors and begun questioning their landscaper's techiniques. I just feel that's unprofessional, and a bit immature too.

How do I handle any potential confrontation that I might have with this guy? I obviously have to work there, so I can't just walk away.



this is a problem between you and your customer, You need to tell your customer you are not interested in what he is saying. I would say, "Going forward I would appreciate it if you did not pass on his comments to me they are meaningless I am not interested".

His head shaking should be ignored.

Dean of Green
08-02-2008, 04:38 PM
I agree. Your customer should not be telling you this info. It serves no purpose other than to get you upset.

socallawndude
08-03-2008, 08:38 PM
No worries man, if he was a true professional he would have at least given a bid. He's got nothing to say for being a man not even willing to try, and I'm sure your friend understands this. Now go round-up his lawns:laugh:

Isobel
08-23-2008, 07:12 PM
So the landscape has been coming along--a little slowly--but coming along. I met with my client today for lunch and to go over the progress on her landscape, and the next steps.

My client has said her neighbor is now trying to sell her very inexpensive shrubs, instead of the ones I'm buying--but everytime my client says, "No." She tells me, and him apparently, that she's very happy with what I've been doing, and knows I will warranty my shrubs.

Oh a funnier note, she also told me that this neighbor landscaper of hers only does landscaping on the side--his main job is a city bus driver. LOL!
:D

Runner
08-24-2008, 12:40 AM
Gee, a full time job as a bus driver, and he also does "landscaping", and yet he STILL has time to stand around and gawk. Yeah,...REAL busy guy.