Stealing Clients From Other Companies

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JimLewis, Feb 18, 2001.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    Hey, what's the slickest way you've taken a client from another company?

    I've taken many a client away from other companies but I was always contacted by the client first. I've never overtly approached them. But I often have the urge to go try to steal a client from another lawn care company. Particularly when I can see they are doing crappy work.

    Anyone have any good stories where they stole someone else's client?
     
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I try not to engage in blatant theft. If I see a guy doing poor quality work and I know there may be a change coming soon I will send them a letter letting the potential "new" customer I am rarin' to go!

    What I have picked up so far was from leg work, foot work, letters, phone calls, word of mouth, and advertising. In small town America where everybody knows everybody----or knows of them, it puts a strain on relationships. I don't have that killer instinct, thank God, but I try not to miss an opportunity either.

    I guess the worst thing I have done was when I was making the transition to full time, I got a call that one of the largest companys in town was going out of business. I got on the phone and picked up 3 of his accounts right off the bat---------I didn't know the business was for sale at the time, it was only out of operation for 1 week! Oh well, I pounced and still have them today, that was 3 years ago.
     
  3. lawman

    lawman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 199

    I would not go out look to steal some ones business. Now if the other guys client was not happy with their work and came over tome or called my for a price I am not going to turn it down. I feel that what goes around come around. I you go out a steal you may do well for a short time, but in the long run this practice will hurt your business.
     
  4. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    I wouldn't see anything at all wrong with what Homer described. Just business. Anyone see it otherwise?

    Mick
     
  5. capital

    capital LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    I don't think you can steal accounts per say. IE clients are for the most part very loyal. The ones you can steal are usually looking for low ball bids or rebid their property every year. "Not the type of accounts we usually persue." But like Homer said if a property calls you because they are not happy with their current service why not persue it. We do target neighbors of exsiting accounts but no hard ball approach, just a letter or a friendly hello when mowing. Find its easier that way and word of mouth from the exsiting clients is the best referal there is.
     
  6. Guest
    Posts: 0

    There is no such thing as stealing someones customer, if there customer is willing to look at another contractors estimate then that customer is fair game, we take customers from other companies and we also have them taken from us so we dont take it to heart when we lose a customer and when we take one from one of the other customers, the only time I would consider it underhanded is if you knowingly low ball the price but even then, thats your problem not the other contractors, Just My two cents
     
  7. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    I disagree,


    I think you summed it up by saying you take and they take. I would take it to heart if someoneI knew went to my accounts and took them by whatever means. I would find out from the customer if they had a problem with what I was doing and if so why did they not give me a chance to correct it. If it was just a plain old sales job or the other company offered more services and they wanted to roll everything into one then I wouldn't have an argument, it would be my fault for not competing on their level. Apples to apples I don't think I'm any less than the others and probably better than most.

    Your losing accounts and then re-taking others, that just sounds cut-throat to me and so far I have been fortunate to pick up from the dissatisfied and maintain satisfaction with my existing customers. A letter from time to time is a suttle aproach and leaves the ball in the customers court, if they aren't happy maybe they'll call me if they are then they won't, either way that's fine with me.
     
  8. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    If you are out offering prices that are a loss to you then in my opinion you are a thief . Nine were stole from me last year. If they offered more or better service for the same price I would not consider that stealing. Usually it is the customers that are cheapskates looking for a deal.
    What scares me is that in my redneck of the woods these lowballers are doing damn good work. I know they will drive themseles out of biz but there is akways another 1 or 2 stepping into their shoes.
     
  9. tpirobert

    tpirobert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    I don't "go after' or try to "steal" anyones accounts. I do advertise and flyer to homes and businesses that are in areas we work in. I assume someone is taking care of XXX factory, but I see no reason not to make them aware of my services. I recently got a call from a homeowner looking for fert/weed apps for lawn. I go out and look at lawn and it is perfect. His current service he feels is ignoring him and gotten too big, too fast. I know the owner of that service and we have referred work to each other. I'll give Mr. homeowner a bid AND call my buddy to give him a "heads up" about this customer. I know I can make the lawn look no better, but a call back on phone is just as important to this homeowner. Now, if I get this account I'm going to feel like the customer made the choice. Hopefull my buddy won't think I stole it.
     
  10. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    I dont go after anyones accts as that is wrong
    I think.On the other hand any lawn out there
    is a potential customer.Thats not going after
    anyones buisiness.Thats going after buisiness
    period,which is what free enterprize is all
    about.
     

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