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View Full Version : would you solicit the competitions customers?


bobbygedd
11-17-2004, 06:58 PM
i have figured out a new way to do leaf cleanup. with my new method, i can (solo) make easily $100 per hr. i have 3 new clients i'm using this new method on. the one came out and talked with me today. he thanked me for the great job i've been doing, and he told me that he could easily get 2 of his neighbors to sign on. then he suggested i blanket the entire neighborhood with fliers. i asked if most of the neighborhood uses lawn services. he said yes, but, "so what." he said with my good work, fair prices, and "likeable personality" (yes, he really said this), combined with the fact that the other services never have an owner on site, just employees who can't speak english, he thinks i could easily get 3/4 of the entire neighborhood to sign with me. he thinks this simply because he's been living there a long time, and hears thier gripes. he thinks i would "fit perfectly." we are talking roughly 40 homes, that would gross approx 3k each, per season. would you?

John Gamba
11-17-2004, 07:16 PM
i have figured out a new way to do leaf cleanup. with my new method, i can (solo) make easily $100 per hr. i have 3 new clients i'm using this new method on. the one came out and talked with me today. he thanked me for the great job i've been doing, and he told me that he could easily get 2 of his neighbors to sign on. then he suggested i blanket the entire neighborhood with fliers. i asked if most of the neighborhood uses lawn services. he said yes, but, "so what." he said with my good work, fair prices, and "likeable personality" (yes, he really said this), combined with the fact that the other services never have an owner on site, just employees who can't speak english, he thinks i could easily get 3/4 of the entire neighborhood to sign with me. he thinks this simply because he's been living there a long time, and hears thier gripes. he thinks i would "fit perfectly." we are talking roughly 40 homes, that would gross approx 3k each, per season. would you?


Would have already done it.
John

bettergrass
11-17-2004, 07:18 PM
some may call me a scrub for being 16 and all but yea i do this all the time..... thats marketing.....i target areas where i see everyone has the stripes in their lawns...or where most the houses in the neighborhood have that....thats just the way it is. im not gonna waste money on flyers for a neighborhood that i wont get calls out of cause it is run down or just the people are do it yourselfers

so yes i would send out flyers over the winter....i just use my regular half sheet flyers but below my logo and imbetween the part where i list my services i have in all caps....CALL FOR A FREE QUOTE FOR THE 05 SEASON....did it last year and it worked well. of course your not gonna get them all in some areas though i mean you know how you have some customers that you know would never drop you well some of the people you put flyers out for are gonna have a guy like that too

hope i dont get to much crap for this and by the way good luck

i can email you the flyer if you want to just check it out or something

muddstopper
11-17-2004, 07:22 PM
Bobby, If I was you I wouldnt do it. Getting all those new customers would mean yopu would have to work more than 1 or 2 days a week. It would definatly cut into your fishing time and you wouldnt be able to drink that 30 pack each day. This sounds to much like a lose/lose situation for you. You are much better off to let your competitors keep all those customers.

Lawn-Scapes
11-17-2004, 07:25 PM
I would only avoid soliciting homes that are being done by LCOs that I am friendly with. Otherwise.. I especially like to hit homes that look like they have lawncare.

proenterprises
11-17-2004, 07:27 PM
i would go got it unless you are friendly with a certain company who is working at a certain house.

Mark McC
11-17-2004, 07:28 PM
Two points to be made here.

1) If you are not asking what a customer is paying someone else to do a job, you are not deliberately undercutting someone. You're just competing. That's the American way, as corny as it may sound.

2) Advertising is advertising (brilliant, eh?). If you're hanging flyers on every door in the 'hood, I don't see a problem with the ethical dilemma of targeting the competition. You're targeting the neighborhood, not the competition.

meets1
11-17-2004, 07:38 PM
Go for it! I do all the time in my area. Only time I don't mess with it is if I know the company well - like them subing to my company and I sub to them all my seeding/grading work.

Although there have been times when they get a little sloppy and the client just wants someone new - then I'll bid that job. The city employe's us for most of there mowing but they get the friendly competitor for all there spraying.

Smithers
11-17-2004, 07:49 PM
Moefb,

No offense, dude, but you have to learn how to write better. If not for your sake, for ours. :cool: . I could hardly understand what you were talking about. Maybe I just need to read it again. but you are a cool guy. Nonetheless

Bobby, Iíd do it, and I have done it. The customer ends up telling me what the other guy is charging after I tell him the price anyway.

bettergrass
11-17-2004, 08:38 PM
none taken man i try to re read my stuff after im done typing but most people dont catch their own mistakes.... also my shift keys are broke on my computer so it looks really sloppy and i dont have the experience you guys have....im still a youngn'

trust me im working on it. my dad constanly yells at me, you should see the first draft of some of my letters to customers. he has to murder the letter to make it sound right.

sorry though.... i just read through my post that is above and it looks like you just need to read it slow and try to think about it what you have just read, it should click. lol ill work on it for you though george

fga
11-17-2004, 08:49 PM
passing flyers around is one thing, cuz if they call, they are asking YOU for an estimate.

but here, if i went around deliberately seeking out houses with lawncare... you gotta be careful. i wouldn't want someone seeking out my accounts.. if the customer asked them for a estimate, f'em, i don't need them. but to come and silicit work that is clearly being done. :realmad: you have the freedom to do what you want, but its better to have friends in this industry instead of enemies. i see all the same guys all the time. on the road, the nurseries, the gas stations.

you said this guy in the neighborhood has crews of non-english speaking guys. probably some on the books, most not. what do you think "amigo" would do when he's offered 100 bucks to slash your tires, or steal a blower? i've heard of some guys trucks getting torched.
didn't you watch that episode of Sopranos? do the flyer thing. and if he still has a problem, then tell him to kiss your @ss.

paponte
11-17-2004, 08:57 PM
It tis a free country. I get circulars from a bunch of stores every week in the mail. Oh, and I see a ton of commercials every time I watch TV. Why would this be different? Business is business, and it's the strong that survive. :)

AL Inc
11-17-2004, 09:40 PM
If I had a dollar for every potential customer who said "You could probably get my neighbors, too", I wouldn't have to work anymore. It's BS

desert rose gardening
11-17-2004, 09:50 PM
Al Inc said it perfectly, but its fine to pass out flyers.

bobbygedd
11-17-2004, 09:54 PM
ah, you're missing the point. i know the old trick, "give me a good price, i'll get you my neighbors." but this has nothing to do with that, i already been working with him a few weeks, the price has already been set

Jackman
11-17-2004, 10:23 PM
Bobby since you said "blanket the entire nieghborhood" I would say all is fair, because you would be after new accounts in general but if you seek out lawns that are currently maintained by an lco and bipass the others then my friend you are just after someone elses accounts and would get no respect from me or most lco's in my area..... Its best to respect each other there is plenty of work out here and no one lco can do it all.......

AL Inc
11-17-2004, 10:26 PM
OK, you are already working with this guy and prices are set. I don't think it is wrong to advertise to the neighbors. If they are unhappy with the service they are getting now, maybe they will switch. And who better to switch to than Bob's Friendly Lawn Service? Sounds like it could be a good area for you.

Mo Green
11-17-2004, 10:33 PM
I would do it. That is what marketing is all about. If the customers are happy with their current LCO, then the competition in that neighborhood have nothing to worry about.

hustlers
11-17-2004, 11:08 PM
Absolutely not

I will not try to bid on something unless asked, or the current service is doing a horrible job.. I think that undermines our value systmes and can cause anger problems between companies and families.

I respect my competitors and just want enough to live OK, Im not greedy and want to maintain my high standard of ethics, because that makes me feel better.

How do you feel when people steal jobs from you, especially when your doing a good job..
Hope that helps

Shuter
11-17-2004, 11:16 PM
You may market to customers of other companies, but it may turn out to be a waste of time. Every year many of my customers get calls from other companies. In five years I have yet to lose one.

K c m
11-17-2004, 11:39 PM
i have figured out a new way to do leaf cleanup. with my new method, i can (solo) make easily $100 per hr. i have 3 new clients i'm using this new method on. the one came out and talked with me today. he thanked me for the great job i've been doing, and he told me that he could easily get 2 of his neighbors to sign on. then he suggested i blanket the entire neighborhood with fliers. i asked if most of the neighborhood uses lawn services. he said yes, but, "so what." he said with my good work, fair prices, and "likeable personality" (yes, he really said this), combined with the fact that the other services never have an owner on site, just employees who can't speak english, he thinks i could easily get 3/4 of the entire neighborhood to sign with me. he thinks this simply because he's been living there a long time, and hears thier gripes. he thinks i would "fit perfectly." we are talking roughly 40 homes, that would gross approx 3k each, per season. would you?


Just take a poloroid (spelling?) and staple a business card to the back. works almost every time. :)

lawnman_scott
11-17-2004, 11:42 PM
Absolutly not!!! I would never consider doing flyers in a neighborhood that i already work in. If you feel you must, maybe go to an area that the people dont have a lawn service already. A poor rundown area is a great place to look, most wont have a lawn service, hell most cant afford one there.
If you have to worry about accidently getting an account from a lawn guy you see in passing, maybe you should think about moving to a nicer area, away from all the extorsionists.
I wonder why people think we are so dumb.................

charlies
11-17-2004, 11:56 PM
Moefb, you have to learn how to write better. If not for your sake, for ours. I could hardly understand what you were talking about. Maybe I just need to read it again.

you do need to read it again. i have seen alot worse and i had no problem understanding his thoughts. by the way, you should not have used a comma before dude.

as to the question at hand, come on, be realistic. how do you think business works? (i mean in the real world, not in fantasyland) here are the realities of business: protect the good customers that you have and gain more and better customers. if you think the guy down the street wouldn't snag a lawn from you, you better think again. (but here on the internet many of us pretend we wouldn't)

fga
11-17-2004, 11:57 PM
Absolutly not!!! I would never consider doing flyers in a neighborhood that i already work in. If you feel you must, maybe go to an area that the people dont have a lawn service already. A poor rundown area is a great place to look, most wont have a lawn service, hell most cant afford one there.
If you have to worry about accidently getting an account from a lawn guy you see in passing, maybe you should think about moving to a nicer area, away from all the extorsionists.
I wonder why people think we are so dumb.................
who's this directed at?

charlies
11-17-2004, 11:58 PM
A poor rundown area is a great place to look

lol, that's a joke right?

ProSeasons
11-18-2004, 12:16 AM
bobbygedd

Repeat after me.

I'm not your buddy, I'm your competition. I'ts not personal, pal, just business.

charlies
11-18-2004, 12:26 AM
you ...would get no respect from me or most lco's in my area..... Its best to respect each other.......


however, bobby would get all the money from your clients that he picked up. sorry jackman, i would rather have 4k per year from 5 of your old customers than your friendship. harsh, isn't it?

i wish all the lco's in my area felt the way you do. i would be rich. who cares what other lco's think? do they pay your mortgage? no, and the silly rates they are charging, i doubt they can pay their own.

lawnman_scott
11-18-2004, 12:32 AM
who's this directed at?
You partly, the extortionist part. Is it honestly that bad there? If it is that bad there I just cant see why anyone would want to live there.

charlies
11-18-2004, 12:35 AM
Every year many of my customers get calls from other companies. In five years I have yet to lose one.

you should start charging them. lol

lawnman_scott
11-18-2004, 01:10 AM
i have figured out a new way to do leaf cleanup. with my new method, i can (solo) make easily $100 per hr. i have 3 new clients i'm using this new method on. the one came out and talked with me today. he thanked me for the great job i've been doing, and he told me that he could easily get 2 of his neighbors to sign on. then he suggested i blanket the entire neighborhood with fliers. i asked if most of the neighborhood uses lawn services. he said yes, but, "so what." he said with my good work, fair prices, and "likeable personality" (yes, he really said this), combined with the fact that the other services never have an owner on site, just employees who can't speak english, he thinks i could easily get 3/4 of the entire neighborhood to sign with me. he thinks this simply because he's been living there a long time, and hears thier gripes. he thinks i would "fit perfectly." we are talking roughly 40 homes, that would gross approx 3k each, per season. would you?
What is the new way to do leaves?

fga
11-18-2004, 01:14 AM
You partly, the extortionist part. Is it honestly that bad there? If it is that bad there I just cant see why anyone would want to live there.
no, it is not that bad here. in fact there is so much work to be done, i've never stepped on anyones toes going on 7 years.. and i'm still picking up work.

that said, my advice was drop flyers, but refrain from personally trying to steal anothers account. if that is bad advice, then if i ever want to set up shop in florida, i'll follow you around and explain to 40 of your customers at a time why they should use me instead of you.. if that wouldn't bother you, you're even more passive then i am, and i've never seen that!

HOOLIE
11-18-2004, 01:27 AM
There's nothing wrong with a little advertising, is there? So leave a flyer or business card at some neighboring houses. Who cares if someone else cuts that lawn. Maybe the customer is tired of them. Maybe they were just looking for a reason to switch. If you don't toot your own horn, nobody else will. Would you rather retire to the South Pacific one day, or would you prefer your competition?

lawnman_scott
11-18-2004, 03:52 PM
no, it is not that bad here. in fact there is so much work to be done, i've never stepped on anyones toes going on 7 years.. and i'm still picking up work.

that said, my advice was drop flyers, but refrain from personally trying to steal anothers account. if that is bad advice, then if i ever want to set up shop in florida, i'll follow you around and explain to 40 of your customers at a time why they should use me instead of you.. if that wouldn't bother you, you're even more passive then i am, and i've never seen that!
But there are about 40 homes in this area he is talking about, and i would bet that there isnt one guy doing all of them. Unless you live in a real small town, how can you be absolutly sure to not give a flyer to a person who does business to a guy you see once in a while? But I will agree, you probably are more level headed than me.

charlies
11-18-2004, 04:51 PM
ye, maybe we should all stop advertising period. because eventually, you're going to pick up someone elses old customer.

Smithers
11-18-2004, 07:03 PM
Charlies,

Too bad I just read all the posts that have been posted in this threat thus far. Otherwise I would have answered you earlier.

First of all, I was giving the kid an advice. I was not aware that his dad yells at him for the same thing as well, but I am glad that I am not the only one who cares about it. This will help him later in life, and the earlier he learns it, the more money he will earn.

Second, you should check your English skills. There IS a comma before or after a name in a letter. Just like I started this one - with a comma after your screen name. You should make sure that you are correct before criticizing, ok? As you might have seen in some of the other threads, I really do not mind being criticized, I even welcome it, as I learn from my mistakes. However, there has to be a reason for it. Otherwise, it's just plain accusations.

Third, I was not addressing you in my original post. If anyone should have been offended, it should have been Moefb (who was perfectly ok it).

Moefb, no problem. I understood what you were saying; I just had to go a little slower and try to figure out where you missed placing a few of your punctuations.Thatís all. I am glad that you did not get upset at me. I was just trying to give you an advice. No harm done.

later

bobbygedd
11-18-2004, 07:11 PM
screw it, i'm gonna do it. sunday night, gonna flier every house in the development, and the surrounding areas too. screw it, it's a gold mine in there

grassyfras
11-18-2004, 07:54 PM
Way to go Bobby. This world is full of marketing. "Its all marketing," thats my sayng these days. I get other cell phone companies trying to get me to switch plans all the time. Your either doing big business or no businenss. Its hard being a small businessman do what ya gotta do.

DennisF
11-18-2004, 08:37 PM
There is nothing un-ethical about advertising to a customer that is already being serviced by another LCO. The largest corporations in the world spend billions of dollars advertising to customers of other companies in an effort to win new business. They take great pride in taking customers from the competition. It's called "increasing market share" and they use every trick in the trade to do it. Business is business and there is no such thing as ethics when it comes to building market share.

fga
11-18-2004, 08:39 PM
All this talk of "do what you have to...." "everyman for himself......"

yet you hear complaints when someone gets undercut and lowballed... you hear "you're ruining the industry for everyone!". now you're on the same side????????????????? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
almost a contradiction. next time you get under bid severely, nobody cry or talk about scrubs, just remember the guy is just doing his job, tough to be a small business. all rules out the window. :cool:

lawnman_scott
11-18-2004, 08:54 PM
All this talk of "do what you have to...." "everyman for himself......"

yet you hear complaints when someone gets undercut and lowballed... you hear "you're ruining the industry for everyone!". now you're on the same side????????????????? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
almost a contradiction. next time you get under bid severely, nobody cry or talk about scrubs, just remember the guy is just doing his job, tough to be a small business. all rules out the window. :cool:I agree. Everyone complains about "scrubs" this, lowballers that, bla bla bla. Just do a good job and you will be ok. Dont do a good job they will find someone who does, and who has a likeable personality.

bettergrass
11-18-2004, 08:58 PM
george,

like i said before completley not a problem at all with you correcting me. i dont see the good in you guys arguing about correcting me though, you both have the right to you opinons.

lawnman_scott
11-18-2004, 08:59 PM
Charlies,

Too bad I just read all the posts that have been posted in this threat thus far. Otherwise I would have answered you earlier.


Its not a "threat" as you have written, its a THREAD.


Third, I was not addressing you in my original post. If anyone should have been offended, it should have been Moefb (who was perfectly ok it).


I think you meant to say (who was perfectly ok with it) Not (who was perfectly ok it)


Moefb, no problem. I understood what you were saying; I just had to go a little slower and try to figure out where you missed placing a few of your punctuations.Thatís all. I am glad that you did not get upset at me. I was just trying to give you an advice. No harm done.

laterNow see how pointless it becomes when everyone keeps correcting everyone here on englishclass.com?

charlies
11-18-2004, 11:57 PM
Second, you should check your English skills. There IS a comma before or after a name in a letter.

go back to school, dude. don't just make stuff up.

bettergrass
11-19-2004, 12:12 AM
i think i said we shouldnt argue about this lol....theres no point none of us our english profs and no ones perfect

as long as everyone gets the point i dont think we should correct each other

HOOLIE
11-19-2004, 12:13 AM
All this talk of "do what you have to...." "everyman for himself......"

yet you hear complaints when someone gets undercut and lowballed... you hear "you're ruining the industry for everyone!". now you're on the same side????????????????? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
almost a contradiction. next time you get under bid severely, nobody cry or talk about scrubs, just remember the guy is just doing his job, tough to be a small business. all rules out the window. :cool:

We're all a bunch of hypocrites...LOL. It's the truth though.

I don't worry about lowballers around me. There are so many LCOs around here that a couple guys charging $5 less than me really has no effect. Maybe in a rural area I can understand it, but in a large metro area, a couple scrubs aren't even a blip on the radar screen.

Smithers
11-19-2004, 09:38 AM
Charlies, except for a Ph.D, i have the other two. That's why i am tellin you this. :blob3:

grassyfras
11-19-2004, 04:24 PM
I dont complain about lowballers.

charlies
11-19-2004, 10:39 PM
Charlies, except for a Ph.D, i have the other two.

it is hard to figure out what this means, but i'll try... you have an undergraduate degree and a masters? (certainly not in communication) welcome to the club.


keep trying, i'm sure you'll get your PhD one day. the important thing is not to give up.