Competitor Etiquette

Derwood

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SE Wisconsin
So, around Thanksgiving, I referred a fellow LCO in my town a job plowing snow at one of my lawn customer's houses. I have seen this guy around town many times. Always thought he seemed friendly. There was small talk with him at gas stations or at adjacent accounts when we finish at the same time, etc. (I think others on here have made small talk like this with LCO from time to time too). My customer's house is his summer home. He's there about half the time I cut him. I like him... good guy imo. He's friendly, pays well, etc.

He texted me the other day to say "fyi, the plow guy you recommended bid out my lawn today. He asked me what I pay and when I answered, he said I can do you for about half that." My customer told him he was happy with me and was not interested in changing things up. I did ask my customer if the guy just offered it up and he said, "Yes! First he asked me 'who cuts your lawn and what do you pay?' My customers says, "I got your number from the guy who cuts my lawn. You knew that right?" He said, "yes, but it never hurts to ask." According to my customer, he said "sure it hurts to ask" Especially in this particular situation!" then he proceeded to give him a tongue lashing about how shady that was, and THEN told him he'd find a different plow guy now, to boot. Thought that was cool that he dumped him. I might comp his first cut this Spring!

Probably should have just left it alone since my customer seemed to have it handled.... but I just couldn't lol. I called him and he says, "Yeah, I thought it looked like a nice lawn to cut, so I offered to do it for WAY less than you charge lol!" I expressed how disappointed I was that he would do that after I basically got him this snow account. His response was, "Free country brother. I don't answer to you" and hung up.
 

Groomer

LawnSite Gold Member
So, around Thanksgiving, I referred a fellow LCO in my town a job plowing snow at one of my lawn customer's houses. I have seen this guy around town many times. Always thought he seemed friendly. There was small talk with him at gas stations or at adjacent accounts when we finish at the same time, etc. (I think others on here have made small talk like this with LCO from time to time too). My customer's house is his summer home. He's there about half the time I cut him. I like him... good guy imo. He's friendly, pays well, etc.

He texted me the other day to say "fyi, the plow guy you recommended bid out my lawn today. He asked me what I pay and when I answered, he said I can do you for about half that." My customer told him he was happy with me and was not interested in changing things up. I did ask my customer if the guy just offered it up and he said, "Yes! First he asked me 'who cuts your lawn and what do you pay?' My customers says, "I got your number from the guy who cuts my lawn. You knew that right?" He said, "yes, but it never hurts to ask." According to my customer, he said "sure it hurts to ask" Especially in this particular situation!" then he proceeded to give him a tongue lashing about how shady that was, and THEN told him he'd find a different plow guy now, to boot. Thought that was cool that he dumped him. I might comp his first cut this Spring!

Probably should have just left it alone since my customer seemed to have it handled.... but I just couldn't lol. I called him and he says, "Yeah, I thought it looked like a nice lawn to cut, so I offered to do it for WAY less than you charge lol!" I expressed how disappointed I was that he would do that after I basically got him this snow account. His response was, "Free country brother. I don't answer to you" and hung up.

can't judge a book by it's cover, right?

those tacky, shady guys are out there, unfortunately. now when you get a call from one of his lawns, let that karma work!
 
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Youngandfree

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
VA
Sounds like your client has some integrity and is a keeper. Sounds like that plow guy just lost any future referrals from you. That was a real pos thing to do on his part.


I would have passed even if the customer had brought it up. Theres plenty of work out there no need to burn bridges to get it.
Yep. An old coworker has a handyman biz that cuts a few yards. This spring he went on a deployment with NG after a hurricane I believe. He asked if I could cut a few lawns when his assignment got extended. One of his customers asked me for a card in case my buddy was unavailable again. I declined and told her to call him first. If it's something he can't or won't do, he can call me. I'm not about to try and poach a client, and especially in that circumstance.
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
I had a similar situation. I was referring roof shoveling, gutter cleaning and lawns that weren't a fit for me to a long-time friend and high school classmate. He tried to steal one of my lawns while he was there cleaning their gutters. My customer said no thanks and let me know. Now he gets nothing from me and we're no longer friends.

You don't bite the hand that feeds you!
 

Skol

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
The Ozarks
I don't refer nobody else, and rarely talk to most other guys in the business in my area. (just one old guy, who has 30 or so accounts). And this is why. I want to be able to seek, bid, and win accounts freely, without having to worry about upsetting someone. No doubt what he did was shady, but the best way to avoid that is to mind your own (literal) business.
 

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