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soliciting other companies accounts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Nathan, Nov 19, 2000.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    Do any of you intentionally solicit other companies accounts. There are quite a few small shows running around doing subpar work so it is easy for us to find people who we could service for a better value. I also have taken other accounts from a company that I used to work for. I don't feel bad about it since they were unhappy, I just gave them the option.
    I am just wondering if others do it and if anyone has success, or does it give you a bad image.
  2. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 585

    I'm glad you brought this up!I have mixed views on that.Yes I will go after other companys jobs,BUT!!!!!!Only if they have taken or have tryed to take one of my clients.Other than that,I will never go after other companys clients.I try to be as freindly as possible with the other companys in my city.And becouse I am very freindly with my competition,almost everyone in my city does not go after my work.I think that if you do go after others work it often starts a war.The other thing is often your competition's clients will only switch to your company if the price is right,and having large numbers of clients like that is a very bad thing!!!

    An other example is a fellow in my city.He went from a beat up old truck and a crapsman lawn tractor to 3 crews about 5 plow trucks,large tractor and so on in about 4 years.How did he do it???He under bid everyone elses jobs and did the work for about 1/2 the price of others.That worked for a few years,but if caught up to him.He racked up a massive debt,and was hurting pretty bad.As soon as all the lawn care businesses in our city learned about that,They all(including me)went after his work becouse they knew he was going bankrupt.Lesson is if you go after others work it me hurt you more in the long run!!!!

    The best way to make more money is raise your prices,and build up more work in your current area that you work in.

    Hope this helps!
  3. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,354

    Our company has people that contact condominiums, town houses and professional buildings, they ask if they contract out there landscaping. If they do we ask if they are happy with peresent lawn company and if they are we tell them we will send a bio on our company to look at for future refrence so if they are ever unsatified with present company they may contact us. If they are unhappy we will put in a detailed bid propsal to them. We have adopted this program and has worked well for us, we dont steal accounts away from anyone we just pick up where they left off or failed to complete work specs or shaddy work.
  4. Lawn Services

    Lawn Services LawnSite Member
    from DE
    Posts: 28

    If they like your work they will come
  5. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    This is business boys, if you want it, you go after it. If you feel close to another lawncare company, like your friend is that company, and you wish to not compete for his accounts, OK. If you have a sub type relationship with another company and you wish to not compete, alright.

    But, your entitled to the cherry jobs as well. Just because another company has had a account for years does not mean it is wrong to approach the client. The client may be unhappy, but may not realize you are there in town or that you can help them. If the client is happy they will tell you. If you wish to be more aggressive you still might get the account if you can do something the other comapny cannot deliver.

    You cannot always wait around for clients to come to you, sometimes you have to approach them.
  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    Iwish it was different but im affraid i
    would have to agree with skookum.
    If youask to pass the biscuits most
    of the time the plate will be empty
    when you get it.You got reach and grab what
    you can handle.Just don t elbo anybody
    too hard getting yours.country T M
  7. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    there is a difference in a placing a proper bid for a job and lowballing a legitimate company out ot their work.

    I've posted here before about the young man in my town that simply lowballed his way into the accounts that he wanted. unfortunately, he went too far one day and the fellas that had lost several legit accounts to his lowball prices found him on one of the job. the ensuing conversation is not apropriate to repeat here (so I am told).

    bottom line, you may need to watch your back if you are prone to lowballing a legitimate company out of their business.

  8. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 585

    I thought I would add that my post was based on residential jobs,I totally agree on going after others jobs when it comes to commercial/industrial.That's how the com/ind business runs!I think it is fine,but lowballing is both bad for your competition and bad for you.Like in my first post that guy in town actually dropped others prices by about $20 an hour.Not kidding here!!!And if you can't compete with lowballers than find other markets.We right now do about 90% residential/10% commercial.We plan on getting more into commercial later,but until we build the company a bit further,we are in no rush for commercial work.Hope this helps!
  9. I solicit every commercial account in our service area that we do not serve already. I do it every year at least two times a year. If you sit and wait for the business to walk up and ask you to bid, your growth rate is going to be painfully slow.

    It's not hard to provide good service with technically correct methods.

    he type of residentials we serve come to us because of refferals from our already satisfied clients. Our residentails are not less than $ 300 per month and several above $ 2000 per month.
  10. Nathan

    Nathan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 193

    I am not sure if everyone understood what it is that I am talking about. First of all I do not believe that underbidding or lowballing(whatever you want to call it) is wrong, in my opinion it is just taking advantage of free enterprise. Isn't that what this countries business environment is based on. If you can do something for cheaper than someone else and still make money, good for you. As far as other companies coming back and getting pissed at someone for taking away business from them; I think that is just stupid.

    OK here is the whole story. I worked for another guy as his company supervisor. I had a tie to all the accounts and all of the crews. I personally knew most of the customers and in return they respected my abilities. I also knew what everyone paid and their dissatisfactions. I finally left the company for many reasons. When I did, I could have easily taken a large number of customers with me, but I had a conscience. Now, down the road I am wondering why I didn't. It is ultimately the customers decision, I can't force them to switch. So, should I go back and explain my new situation to these customers and get some easy business. Or should I just leave the whole bad situation behind me.

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