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  #1  
Old 02-23-2011, 06:24 PM
apsnova apsnova is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Virginia
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The "fight" for market share. What are your thoughts?

If I'm doing work at the property unrelated to mowing I generally ask if they want an estimate for mowing. However if they say they have a company already and seem happy with them, then that's how I leave it. I dont try to be the guy who comes in 5 bucks cheaper. Its just respect for a company is doing a good job and the fact that I HATE anyone who low balls work! What about you guys? Is "stealing" work just business? The way I look at it, there is only so much business to go around and you need to fight for your share. But where to draw the line. thanks for reading.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:47 AM
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MOW ED MOW ED is offline
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Location: N.E. Wisconsin
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There is no harm in asking if they are happy but my experience is that people who jump from one company to another are not customers I want. There is usually a flaw there be it cheap, hard to please, or nuts. I have had them all at one time or another. Business is business and its your call as to how you are viewed by the other lco's. Like you say, if you are going to lowball then I would say bad move but if the people have a valid complaint against their company and you can step in and perform to their expectations for a good price then that is business.
I have had other scumbag operators who work for cash smoke me on price. If a customer goes with the uninsured, non-tax paying cash guy so be it. I need to run a business not get beer money. That in my eyes is stealing. If you go toe to toe with another business and can offer the customer something more than go for it. Guys whine all day around here about getting beat. It happens. There are more customers but it isn't always easy finding the good ones. Take care.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:06 PM
GSPHUNTER GSPHUNTER is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Saint Louis Area
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I've learned this year more than ever to stand firm on price. Like Mow Ed said, offer something that others can't. Pay your insurance, work comp, taxes, etc...and charge accordingly. I'm the same way when it comes to recruiting new business too. If someone says they are happy with the company they have, I tell them that it's good to hear that they have a company they are happy with and that they are loyal customers. Unfortuneatly it doesn't happen enough in this business.

I have received calls from two customers this year that were seriously POd at their current provider. This provider is a huge player in my area, several million dollar operation. The one account is a good $30k / year for landscape maintenance + snow. The other is just an average sized commercial account. Both of these customers said that their current company wouldn't call them back after several phone calls and continued to get more outrageous with their snow billing. Both customers had been with the company for several years.

These are the accounts I want. They aren't price shopping, they are service shopping. You know you don't have to kill your margin to gain revenue. You charge what you charge and give them the service they expect. If you do that, they will be loyal to you and won't be taking the next bid that comes along and switching over some ridiculous amount.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:40 PM
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GreenI.A. GreenI.A. is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North East
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If I'm there doing an irrigation service I will leave them a quote for fertilizer. If the customer says they are happy with who they have I leave it at that. Now if they say they are happy and I am positive I can provide better service (theres obvious fert burns/striping/insect damage/weed issues) or theres a tg/cl sign then I will explain how I can provide a better service. If the lawn looks great and they say they are happy then I leave it at that, and I hope that if the customer decides to switch services they remember me. I'm not going to lowball to steal a job away from a guy doing quality work because next week he might be on one of my lawns and I don't want to give him a reason to try to steal a job from me.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:49 PM
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ron mexico75 ron mexico75 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apsnova View Post
If I'm doing work at the property unrelated to mowing I generally ask if they want an estimate for mowing. However if they say they have a company already and seem happy with them, then that's how I leave it. I dont try to be the guy who comes in 5 bucks cheaper. Its just respect for a company is doing a good job and the fact that I HATE anyone who low balls work! What about you guys? Is "stealing" work just business? The way I look at it, there is only so much business to go around and you need to fight for your share. But where to draw the line. thanks for reading.
I hear what you're saying....however, you ever heard the term "Nice guys finish last?" Business is business, and if you want to make more money then getting somebody to switch is the other guys problem. If the other guy is doing so good then the customer can always say no, even if you are less expensive.
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