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I'm fairly new to mowing full time, and one of my competitors is selling his mowing rigs on ebay. We mow in the same areas so I know a lot of his houses and I want to bid his accounts Do you guys think its ethical to move in on this guys customers before he sells his company? Owen
 

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Do unto other as you'd have done to yourself. As far as what they do unto to you? Well that's another subject ...

If you're going to make a move on insider-information, even though it's not illegal, it's definitely not honorable. However, if it is public knowledge that he's getting out of the business then it may not be as sleazy. But those accounts may be the most valuable thing he is selling, so if you do something to reduce that value, it wouldn't be too cool.

I'm all for hustling up work, but if you start stepping on other people's turf, you're setting yourself up for a fall. Aside from a LCO dropping the ball, just how loyal do you think these newly-hawked customers would be to you? I try to avoid price-shopper customers.
 

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Originally posted by Bluesteel
Do unto other as you'd have done to yourself. As far as what they do unto to you? Well that's another subject ...
applause, applause,
Bluesteel, just have to say, that's the best post I've ever read of yours, the whole thing. Just had to say that, good going.

OwenS, ever thought about approaching this other LCO to find out what his whole story is? Is he selling equipment only, or accounts too? Selling equipment to upgrade??
I'd advise you find out before you ASSume too much.:)
 

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well brother,i hate to say it but thats how the free enterprise system works....
its a judgement call,and i wouldnt go after a friends money.... but u better believe somebody will... just do whatever makes u sleep good at nite. jmo
 

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how would u like someone trying to take away youre meal ticket.
not everyone is honarabel but the ones that are get more respect and word spreads fast abought slime balls so what do u want to be.
 

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Go talk to him. He might have someone else that he is selling or trying to sell the accounts to. If you get a hold of him right away perhaps you can get in on the bidding. Just a thought. I wouldn't just go and try to take them out right though. Thats not how you want your reputation to go.
 

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I believe that if you are doing a great job at a fair price, you shouldn't worry about competition on your existing jobs. If your client decides to drop you it is their loss for you are quality. On that same note, if I approach a prospective customer that already has service I don't expect to get anywhere with them if they are happy with their current cutter. All lawns are fair game other than friends' clients.
 

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Originally posted by Gene Simmons
Dog dog, dog eat dog.

When I advertise, I go into any area that I want. Don't worry about it.
Right on!!! Only the strong survive. Do you think if TWA heard Southwest was cancelling some routes they wouldn't move on it (if these were routes they WANTED).

As far as your reputation goes - reputation to who; the customers, other cutters - do you really think the customers care how you get business or are they more concened with how you make their yards look
 

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I agree with Howie. This business is about competition. If you can't compete... don't complain..get out of the business. Big corporations go after each others customers and brag about it. The American free enterprise system works very well if you can compete.
 

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Right on!!! Only the strong survive. Do you think if TWA heard Southwest was cancelling some routes they wouldn't move on it (if these were routes they WANTED).
I think it is a little different to advertise than to go knocking on his customer's doors.
I dont know if I would call it immoral but I would definitely call it unethical, ungentle man like, rude and maybe a few others.
Why not just go ask him? He may only be upgrading his equipment.
As far as your reputation goes - reputation to who; the customers, other cutters - do you really think the customers care how you get business or are they more concened with how you make their yards look
Your reputation is yours to treat as you like. Yes I do think some customers care about your business ethics. If you act like a -------head towards the other LCOs they may just come after your accounts.
 

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I understand what you mean Chief, I'm sure Grazzmazter didn't mean it to come across as such. I grew up in the area he is speaking of, so in a sense I understand what he was trying to convey.
 

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If the customers have signed contracts then they cannot jump ship to you. But you can buy them from him.

If the customers don't have signed contracts then it would be unethical for him to try to sell them to somebody else cause he doesn't really own the accounts. The only thing he can sell them as is "hot leads". In this case I don't think it would be unethical to try to solicit the customers.

In any case I would give the customers my business card. There's a chance that they won't be happy with the new guy.
 

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Originally posted by OwenS
Do you guys think its ethical to move in on this guys customers before he sells his company?
No I do not. You know his business, or some of it is for sale because of the ad on ebay, not because he is doing a poor job. Your only selling point to these potential customers is "the guy is selling out." Bad idea. Think if you were in his shoes and the roles reversed. You are taking value from what he is trying to sell merely because you saw a for sale ad somewhere. This is exactly why most businesses are sold behind closed doors out of view from the public.

As far as targeting the lawns after the sale, I think it is still a bad idea. I reserve that kind of behavior for people who do it to me :)

Just sit back and think about it and I think you will understand my point. There is no harm in letting yourself be seen, but advertising to one man's customers is unethical in my book. If these accounts are worth something to you, which they obviously are, consider making an offer to buy them. You might be surprised what you could get them for.
 

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You have two options


Talk with the guy and find out if he is selling the business. Offer to buy some of the accounts. You don't have to buy all.............maybe if he downsizes it might be better for him. Or like one other said here, he maybe selling equipment to upgrade. We all do that.

The other thing you can do and it don't matter if he sells or not. Drop a flyer in the door. No harm in advertising.

I always have a good chuckle when I see a flyer in my door late winter, early spring. And I look down the street in both directions and can see most of the flyers just blowin around :)
 

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If it's an area you want to get, then put out some flyers or do any kind of advertising that you want. Does not mean that you have to tell his customers that he is going out of business. Let them find that out on their own. When they find out, and they have seen your name around recently they can make their own decision as to weather or not they want to call you.

It's not wrong to try and get clients, even if they are already with another lco. But is would be wrong to tell his existing clients that he won't be servicing them any longer, especially since you don't know if that is really the case. And it's up to him to tell them that.
 

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It all boils down to what can you live with. I personally would never do this and would contact the owner of the LCO selling his equipment to find out what the deal was if you want those accounts. Remember what goes around comes around.


Gravely_Man
 
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