Competitor Etiquette

OP
D

Derwood

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SE Wisconsin
There is no way I’d ever plow. With my full time job like it is, I’d never be able to service folks like I think I’d have to. Right now I do my driveway (40x40 pad, 150’ run) with an Ariens 28” thrower. Used to push it with a quad. That was more fun but this is more practical at MY place.
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
There is no way I’d ever plow. With my full time job like it is, I’d never be able to service folks like I think I’d have to. Right now I do my driveway (40x40 pad, 150’ run) with an Ariens 28” thrower. Used to push it with a quad. That was more fun but this is more practical at MY place.
I had a full-time job when I first started plowing. I would take my truck to work and plow about 8 customers on the way to and/or from work. It actually worked out pretty well. I already had a plow for personal use.
 
OP
D

Derwood

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SE Wisconsin
Yes I understand that everyone’s situation is different. There is just no way I would be plowing anyone out on my way to work. I arrive at my full-time job at 6 AM on my late days. I work to live I don’t live to work.
 

Mark Stark

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, NY
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
Soooooo.......have you done this? Slick idea o_O
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I dunno how shady that is

three guy probably asks everyone who cuts your lawn
He’s not really keeping track of where his leads came from.
This is literally how most guys get 90% of their work and maybe the customer didn’t like you or thought your price was outrageous

the wrong/bad part was saying “I can do that for half”
How does he know
Has he ever cut it?
Has even even seen it not covered in snow?

the issue is guys should can’t estimate ajust want work and will figure out how to make money anyway.
All they do is hurt the industry as a whole.

so the crappy part isn’t he asked for more work from a customer
He’s willing to do it for half price

he doesn’t want to do the work to estimate it
He doesn’t even have the knowledge to know it’s not fiscally possible to be worth his while to do it half price.

ive estimated stuff before that was half price then someone else’s

IF that happens I sit down with the customer and figure out why we are so far apart and break it down for them.
 

Rich1101

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.
What a crock. Not too many customers would tell you the guy back stabbed you, so your really lucky. That would be the last referral the guy ever got from me, and the last time I ever spoke to or looked at that slime.
 
OP
D

Derwood

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SE Wisconsin
I dunno how shady that is

three guy probably asks everyone who cuts your lawn
He’s not really keeping track of where his leads came from.
This is literally how most guys get 90% of their work and maybe the customer didn’t like you or thought your price was outrageous

the wrong/bad part was saying “I can do that for half”
How does he know
Has he ever cut it?
Has even even seen it not covered in snow?

the issue is guys should can’t estimate ajust want work and will figure out how to make money anyway.
All they do is hurt the industry as a whole.

so the crappy part isn’t he asked for more work from a customer
He’s willing to do it for half price

he doesn’t want to do the work to estimate it
He doesn’t even have the knowledge to know it’s not fiscally possible to be worth his while to do it half price.

ive estimated stuff before that was half price then someone else’s

IF that happens I sit down with the customer and figure out why we are so far apart and break it down for them.


TP - I think just the opposite as you in terms of what was shady. I don't mind that he said he could do it for half. To me, that tells me (and evidently my customer) that he doesn't really know what he's doing. It's a red flag that he is still in "customer acquisition mode" and is willing to undervalue his own worth, just to get the work. To me, the part that is shady is that he asked, "Who cuts your lawn?" Because he KNOWS it's ME! I do think that him "not keeping track of where he gets his leads from" (if that's what really happened) is simply irresponsible on his part. But, based on our conversation on the phone after the fact, he didn't forget anything.

If someone referred me some work, I certainly wouldn't try to poach that account. I would do the opposite and try to return the favor the next time I had the opportunity. Do unto others, right?
 

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