Calling competitors for work?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gogetter, Jun 21, 2003.

  1. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Just wanted to hear some opinions on this.
    Every now and then you hear of guys that are turning work away because they are so busy.
    But has anyone ever picked up the phone and called competitors and asked them if they had any work that they didn't want?

    Although I don't know if I would actually do it, I could use more work right now and was curious if any of you have done that?
    Or if you've been on the receiving end of a call like that, how did you handle it?.

    I figure it could go either way. Either they'll be happy you called and gladly pass some work on to you, or they'll laugh at you because you're "the competition" and are out of line to ask them for "help".

    Thoughts? Experiences? Thanks.
  2. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    Yes, I have done it when I needed work. I have also helped some of them. These guys are pretty close friends of mine though. I don't know if I would call complete strangers looking for work. But it may work, I don't know.
    I have found that my mechanic's shop is a great place to network while getting my equipment fixed. I have met some of the most successful landscapers in my area there and just introduced myself. They were happy to talk.
    I don't think it can hurt to ask if you need the work.
  3. Heller Landscaping

    Heller Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    We had a Landscaper give us a landscape job and 9 weekly lawns that all wan't extras he really did not want anything for them, but we gave him one of the mowing's. It has been so nice to be able to talk to someone who has been a success in the bis. Although he told us that he had been watching us for a long time and would not give these people to anyone.
  4. teeca

    teeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    i did it my 1st year in business and they still refer people to me. i went to a very large company that only does the very high end accounts e.g, hospitals, apartments, things of this nature.

    if you do this, i would bill people myself, or get a contract for payments with the other lawn company, i didn't the 1st time, and took forever to get paid.

    the one thing that i did promis the company is that i wouldn't take any other work from a refered customer, with out giving them [lawn company] the opertunity to do the work, and i wouldn't compete for a bid. just not worth it to me, they've helped me out alot!
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I have one guy that reffers new business to me. I just went up to him and talked to him a couple of times while he was out cutting. He told me he was turning down work and gave me 2 lawns that were close to my house, so things were workin out. He also gave people that called him my #, which was only a couple, one of which I lost the bid because the price was too high.

    In reality, this is a very good way to go about getting more business. Just pick your LCO, though. Pick one you know isn't lowballing so when you give your bid the customer won't go off their rocker.
  6. I have been scheduled for subcontractin work since last November.

    Also one of the guys I sub for is maxed out and decided not to expand with his growth at this time, So I get the work.
  7. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    We refer work off all the time, when we are booked solid. Customers remember we did it (because we didn't want to see them ignored) and we get another shot later if the job is the type we like to do.
    Don't be afraid to ask a larger company for referrals. Often they are looking for someone reputable to send excess work to, and are afraid to send it to someone they don't know - or to another (often larger) competitor that they've been up against regularly.
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    I always refer extra work to two LCO's in the area.

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