Competitor Etiquette

rclawn

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Kansas City
I think you need to refer only undesirable potential clients his way. Sounds like he is working cheap anyways probably won’t make it long. His loss
 

rclawn

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Kansas City
Just curious you get that drafted by a lawyer or just write it up yourself? I learned extensively about those last semester, and my opinion is that for this industry, at least with your average labor guy, the non-compete is only useful in protecting your current customers. You can’t keep a simple labor guy from going to work for your competition.... if he knows your systems, or has a customer list, that sort of thing, it’s a different story
 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
We had it drafted by a lawyer. We use it primarily for prohibiting them from leaving us and going to work for one of our commercial customers. We don't feel we can realistically prohibit them from going to work for a competitor, nor do we really feel the need to.

We view it as more of a mental physiological discouragement than anything else. A little bit of a scare tactic if you will. Whether or not we would actually follow up with legal action against an offender is another story.
 

rclawn

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Kansas City
He probably wouldn’t care to take any action unless ex employee was actively seeking out his customers... which is where the non-compete could come into force.
 

Billthelawnman

LawnSite 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.
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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.
Its dirtbags like this guy that gives all of us in this business a shady reputation to a lot of potential customers......with so many guys/ gals buying a lawn mower, string trimmer, blower then calling themselves lawncare/landscape experts it's a joke. I simply tell all of my customers when it comes to the "other companies", if there vehicles dont have a name on them and they cant give you a copy of there insurance document, show them the front door, that's why they can service a lawn for 25 bucks. And when they damage or ruin all or part of your property you will be calling me back to fix it.......I got out of the snow removal business 4 years ago, I make more money with a bathroom or kitchen remodel then I did all season of plowing....cant control when it snows...plus I dont have all of my commercial properties telling me to be there at 5am.....life is good....
 

Richard Carey

LawnSite Member
Location
Massachusetts
I do have established relationships with good companies whom I do refer work to and they also refer work to me, case in point a crane tree service, parking lot sealcoater/line painter, smaller LCO’s that do jobs too small for me, excavation contractors, builders/renovators, fence contractors. It it always good to network, and develope relationships with contractors in associated property maintenance trades, it can be a win-win, but you have to vet them and build that relationship. If I wouldn’t hire them for myself, or my project/properties, I wouldn’t recommend them. I kindly ask them to refer my services in turn, and respect their relationship with that customer.
 

cooperthumb

LawnSite Member
Location
St. Louis
Karma will take its course and these types of guys will be the guys always on the verge of collapse or financial ruin.
But...
If your not the bigger person, like to get the last word, never take the high road? Read on
My suggestion:
Wait till spring
Buy a battery powered equip 4g GPS unit
Next time at the gas station clip to trailer
Now set the settings to monitor "immobile 5+ mins"
Watch that for a week or 2
Document all addresses
Now you have a pretty good customer list
You also gave time spent on each property
Then have a nice postcard made up at Vista print
Put list in excel print as labels and market them for 6 or 7 weeks
You would easily pick up 1 out 5 so 10 cuts when you only have 50 is gonna be felt.
I do agree 2 wrongs don't make a right
All 2 wrights did was make an airplane
 

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